Ever since Ryan Reynolds donned the red mask and started speaking directly to the camera in 2016’s Deadpool, the Merc with a Mouth’s popularity among superhero fans across the world has grown exponentially. But the movies aren’t entirely faithful to the character from the source material. And there’s a lot of stuff in the whole decades-long history of the character in the comics that the movies simply don’t have time for. If you’re not a fan of the Marvel comic books and only a passive viewer of the movies, then here are 10 things that you almost definitely don’t know about Deadpool!
10. Deadpool compared himself to Ryan Reynolds in 2004
In a 2004 issue of the buddy comedy series of comics that teamed Deadpool up with fellow mutant Cable, the Merc with a Mouth described his burnt, scarred face as “Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei.” Reynolds even acknowledged this as his reason for wanting to play the character in the first place during the press tour for the movie that shall not be named because it took off Deadpool’s mask and sewed up his mouth. He said, “I’ve always loved the character. I remember reading one of the Deadpool comic books, and somebody asked Deadpool what he looks like. And he said he looks like a cross between a Shar-Pei and Ryan Reynolds. And I was like, ‘I really, really wanna play this guy at some point.’ I thought it was pretty cool.” So, a note to other comic book writers: if you want a certain actor to play your superhero character in the movie version, have the character compare themselves to that actor actually in the comics, because there’s a good chance that the actor in question will read it and actively pursue a faithful adaptation for the big screen (and make you a ton of money in the process).
9. He’s a bit of a foodie
It’s not really shown in the movies, but Deadpool has exposed himself to be a bit of a foodie over the years in the comic books. For starters, he has a well documented obsession with chimichangas, which has become a hallmark of the character’s personality (to the point that a lot of his diehard fans were furious that there was nothing more than a passing reference to it in the movie), although he did reveal in one of the later comics that he doesn’t actually like chimichangas. He simply likes saying the word “chimichanga.” In a Mexican restaurant, he sits at his table saying, “Chimichanga, chimichanga, chimichanga, chimichanga, chimichanga, chimichanga,” but then when the waiter comes over and asks him what he would actually like to order, he asks for an enchilada instead, because he prefers the taste of them to the deep fried burrito that is a chimichanga. He has also noted a love for tacos and, in one widely circulated panel, he cooks up 372,844 pancakes for himself and says, “I love the smell of 372,844 pancakes in the morning.” It looks like a Scrooge McDuck style pile of gold, but with pancakes instead of actual gold coins.
8. His sidekick is a Hydra agent
You remember Hydra from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that terrorist organization that gave the Nazis Red Skull during World War II and then infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. in the present day? Well, one of their agents, Hydra Bob, is Deadpool’s sidekick (or, as he’s sometimes called, his minion – or his pet). But he’s not a bad guy – he only took the job at Hydra because his wife was pressuring him to get a steady job with a dental plan. The partnership of Deadpool and Hydra Bob is quite key in the comics. They helped Captain America and Bucky defeat Arnim Zola, which was adapted into movie form (minus Deadpool and Hydra Bob) in Captain America: Civil War. In fact, Deadpool has grown so attached to Hydra Bob that he’s his whole reason for staying alive. In a recent comics storyline, Wade Wilson was “cured” on his mutation, meaning that his scars healed and he got his old face back, but he could also no longer regenerate and was vulnerable to death. At first, he felt liberated by it, saying that he felt “more alive than ever,” and he couldn’t wait to die, but his urge to protect Hydra Bob is what’s kept him alive.
7. Deadpool has tangled with historical figures, including Lincoln and Hitler
Deadpool once went back in time to Berlin in 1945, zapped himself in Adolf Hitler’s private quarters, killed him, and tried to make it look like a suicide. He yelled through the door for the guards to hear, “Ach, I can’t take it anymore. I’m the saddest dictator now. I’m Hitler…Hitler killing himself…myself.” And then he was gone in a flash. The guard entered to see that their Fuhrer was riddled with bullets, like from head to toe with his entire face ripped open, so it clearly wasn’t suicide. But then they realized that with the war over, they didn’t have any allegiance to him anymore, so it didn’t matter! Deadpool also had a cage fight with a zombified Abraham Lincoln when he was brought back to life by evil sorcery. During the fight, he asked Honest Abe, “Mind if I ask you a historical question? Did you ever go to Canada and put a short, hairy baby in a woman?” This tongue in cheek joke is yet another jab at Wolverine made by the Merc with a Mouth, based on the time when Abe Lincoln was in office being the same time roughly that Logan was born and, you know, them having the same facial hair.
6. Deadpool’s roommate Blind Al is being held against her will
You know the lovable blind lady, Al, who Deadpool lives with? Well, only readers of the comics know the truly sinister nature of their relationship. In the movies, they just exchange banter and occasionally insult each other in a humorous way and they have a pretty mutual living situation. In other words, in the movies, they live together. But in the comics, Al is Deadpool’s hostage. He holds her in the house – which is called “The Deadhut” and is located in San Francisco – against her will. He keeps her locked up in the basement as his prisoner, using her blindness to his sick and twisted advantage. It’s pretty messed up. The vague backstory of their relationship has it that she used to be involved in British intelligence and Wade Wilson was hired as a mercenary to kill her. He spared her life then, and later tracked her down after the Weapon X program cured his cancer, gave him mutant powers, and turned him insane. That’s when he captured her, locked her up in his house, and thus their peculiar relationship began. Al may be Deadpool’s prisoner, but she’s also so much more than that – she’s also his friend, his confidante, his mother figure, his Greek chorus (which is just a fancy way of saying that she’s basically Deadpool’s Statler and Waldorf).
5. Hulkpool was once a thing
A Marvel Comics series once ran called Hulked Out Heroes that essentially showed us what each of the major Marvel heroes would look and act like if they were infused with Bruce Banner’s power to turn into the big green meanie the Hulk whenever he gets angry. One such hero was Deadpool, whose Hulkified alias is Hulkpool. Much like how the Hulk doesn’t like his Dr. Jekyll alter ego Bruce Banner (which we saw a lot of recently in Avengers: Infinity War), Hulkpool doesn’t like Deadpool. In fact, he hates him. He can’t stand him. It’s not very practical for the two of them working together to beat the snot out of evil, but it sure is entertaining on the page. And the combination of Deadpool and the Hulk makes for an incredibly powerful character indeed. Considering he has the regenerative healing powers of Deadpool infuses with the massive size and indestructibility of the Incredible Hulk, it’s fair to say that Hulkpool can’t be stopped. He will win every fight, he will live forever, and nothing or no one could bring him down. By combing Deadpool with the Hulk, the perfect mutant, strengthened by the gamma rays that gave Bruce Banner “the other guy,” has been created. If only those two sides could learn to get along…
4. He has a bromance with Spider-Man
Spider-Man and Deadpool have a lot in common and a lot not in common. They both wear red costumes and make smart alecky remarks to bad guys – oh, and they both like to tease Wolverine for whatever reason. But they’re also very different. Peter Parker is an awkward, nerdy teenager who isn’t very sure of himself, whereas Wade Wilson is a brash, extroverted, pansexual mercenary who’s really ‘out there’ and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. If you consider all of these things, then it really seems like a no brainer to pair the two of them up to go on wise-cracking adventures together. Well, that was exactly what Marvel Comics thought when they paired them up for a series of comics where they’re either partners or adversaries. One time, they got into a fight. In the midst of the battle, Deadpool jokes to Spider-Man, “When I got bitten by a radioactive spider, all I got was a rash on my inner thigh like you wouldn’t believe. That doesn’t mean I can’t do some fancy moves, too!” before kicking him in the back. One time, they trade banter while fighting off a bunch of dinosaurs that Deadpool accidentally brought into New York (so Deadpool).
3. Deadpool’s regenerative powers don’t work for his head
Deadpool’s enhanced cell regeneration abilities have their pros and their cons. One of the pros is that he is effectively immortal (despite the fact that he has died all those times), but one of the cons is that he can’t really get drunk. Still, his immunity to the effects of drugs come in handy when he’s shot with a tranquilizer and it doesn’t work on him. The movie adapted the character’s regenerative powers pretty faithfully. When he loses his arm, another arm grows back. That’s about right. But the same wouldn’t work for his head. If Deadpool gets decapitated, forget about it. He’s a goner. However, there have been some exceptions to this in the comics. When he got into a big battle with the Punisher one time, the Punisher ended up blowing his head off – and then it regenerated. So, that was point of controversy among the fans, to say the least. His head also grew back when it was decimated by the Hulk. Also, in the comics universe where all the Marvel characters got turned into zombies, Deadpool became a ravenous zombie named Headpool who, through various antics and circumstances, now feasts on human flesh 24/7. So, he got a pretty good deal as far as the zombie world goes.
2. The character’s sexual orientation is highly debated
When the Deadpool character first started appearing in the comics in the ‘90s, his sexual orientation was left ambiguous, but it seemed as though he was bisexual, so that’s what the fans thought. But then the character’s co-creator Fabian Nicieza was asked for a definitive answer about Deadpool’s sexuality, so he gave this response: “Deadpool is whatever sexual inclination his brain tells him he is in THAT moment. And then the moment passes.” But then in December 2013, comic book writer Gerry Duggan gave the character the official label of being pansexual, so that’s what the fans were going by. But then later, when he was starting to get annoyed at the question, Nicieza said more bluntly, “Not trying to be dismissive, but readers always want to ‘make a character their own,’ and often that is to the exclusion of what the character might mean to other fans. I’ve been dogged with the DP sexuality questions for YEARS. It is a bit tiring. He is NO sex and ALL sexes. He is yours and everyone else’s. So not dismissive, but rather the epitome of inclusive.” So, it’s a question that’s been debated a lot over the years. It’s seems that Ryan Reynolds is all for portraying the character as pansexual in the movies, although the story so far has focused on his relationship with a woman.
1. The whole character started as a joke/rip-off
The Deadpool character was first introduced into the Marvel Comics universe as their alternative to DC Comics’ own Deathstroke. DC had a cool mercenary character and Marvel wanted one, too, so they commissioned a couple of writers and artists to create a rip-off – and that rip-off eventually became Deadpool. So, rather than try to veil what was clearly a shallow rip-off back when Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld first created the character, they decided to double down and make it obvious. Deathstroke, who is also a mercenary with two machetes strapped to his back and a head to toe costume (although Deathstroke’s color scheme is black and orange, whereas Deadpool’s is black and red), is the badass merc alter ego of Slade Wilson. Therefore, they gave Deadpool the alter ego Wade Wilson. It’s basically the same name! And back when Deadpool was more or less just a straight mercenary, they were basically the same character, too. But then Deadpool developed further, and in fact, this little naming gag was the first ever example of a meta in-joke that would eventually lead Deadpool to become a much more original character with a rampant self-awareness and a penchant for breaking the fourth wall.