Everyone has their favorite comic book hero or villain, in some case. Some with good intentions and wanting to help humanity in any way they can, others want to destroy everything that is good. The character I am writing this origin piece about is Deadpool. Someone who has straddled both sides of the good and evil divide throughout a checkered existence. He’s not everyone’s favorite and, indeed, a vast majority of readers hate him, but I personally put that down to a lack of understanding, in most part. Deadpool is completely ruthless in getting what he wants, but the thing that made me a fan is his one-liners and witty come backs. He isn’t called ‘The Merc with the Mouth’ for nothing. His wit is as sharp as his swords. So, for Deadpool virgins and fans alike, I hope this origin piece will be a good introduction and an accurate homage, respectively.
Wade Winston Wilson was born in Ohio to a family as dysfunctional then as he would turn out to be later in his life. He constantly ran away from home in his teenage years, joining gangs to get street wise. This accelerated to him as he received training from various organizations, until he took the decision to become a mercenary himself. His first few missions didn’t go well, as his over-enthusiasm and lack of discipline caused failure after failure. Instead of facing up to failure, he just changed his name and moved on. He has been known among others as ‘The Crimson Comedian’, ‘Chiyanosake’, and, most fittingly, ‘The Regeneratin’ Degenerate’, which shall become apparent a little later.
Wade moved to Canada to try and get more work. This is where things started to go wrong for him. He met a man called Wade T. Winston who, through time, becomes one of his targets. Agreeing to take the job, his rashness rears its head again, as he kills his target’s wife by mistake. Wade T. disappears, leaving Wade W. to take his name, as he held Canadian citizenship, which enabled him to move freely around the country. Disaster strikes him when he is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. He joins Department H, who is trying to find a cancer cure. After they failed to deliver, he was sent to the Hospice. This is where he first meets the mysterious figure, ‘Death’, who only he can see, as he has been close to it several times. The Weapon-X program is his destination. The idea of this program was to splice a human with the regenerative properties of the Wolverine. The program was a success, at first, until his state of mind was severely altered into the unhinged character he became. He can now regenerate his body. He can even re-join his severed head as long as it is in contact with his body, which must surely be beneficial to him. However, like most things, it has a trade-off. His cancer became accelerated, covering his body and face in numerous weeping ulcers. This is why he now wears the uniform and mask we all know and love, very much like Spider-Man’s, but with his famous swords slung on his back. His name was derived from the lottery that the guards had, betting on who would die next during the Weapon-X Program. They called it The Deadpool. So, from this point on, Deadpool was born.
Deadpool broke the superhero mold, as he showed signs of schizophrenic tendencies and a macabre interest in death, which manifests itself in the methods that he uses as he carries out his actions. As mentioned earlier, his sense of humor is second to none, taking down foes with words sharper than his swords. His weapons are legendary, from swords to machine guns and everything in between, which somehow appear from nowhere. The fabled ‘magic satchel’ is where he produces his wide array of accessories, which, of course, makes him very acrobatic, as he has no weight to carry. A character named Blind Al has been intertwined in many of Deadpool’s publications, playing the part of Mother, Housekeeper, and even Prisoner. They constantly played very cruel tricks on each other, but seemed to need each other to stay somewhat sane. Deadpool has become a bit of an enigma. Personally, I think he is really cool, with an edge that is sometimes missing in other better-loved characters. Things changed recently, as he has become mortal, but his disregard for life and fascination of death keeps him on a thin line, as he takes risks at every turn.
He has appeared in many publications, including Cable and Deadpool, Deadpool and the X-Men, Dark Reign, Uncanny X-Force, among others. He has, of course, presently claimed one of the Marvel NOW! slots. I, for one, am delighted. So, ladies and gentlemen, this is the journey Wade Winston Wilson embarked on to become the legendary Deadpool, entertaining readers for the last 21 years, with, hopefully, many more to come.