A disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary who heals extraordinarily quickly and often breaks the fourth wall to talk directly to the readers, Deadpool is one of the most popular comic book characters of all time. He was portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in the well-received 2016 film of the same name, which went on to become the highest grossing R-rated films of all time and the highest-grossing X-Men film.
Here are a few facts you might not know about the Merc with a Mouth: Deadpool.
35. Purely Coincidental
When Deadpool was first created, he was remarkably similar to DC’s Deathstroke. So much so that, as a joke, they named him Wade Wilson. Deathstroke’s real name is Slade Wilson.
34. A Simple Man
In fact, that’s why his costume was red. He was modeled after Deathstroke, but also because the artists were inspired by Spider-Man (although Deadpool is convinced it’s the other way around). He was also conceptualized as a character that would be easy to draw so that the artists could meet their deadlines faster.
33. A Complicated Web
Speaking of Spider-Man, of all the enduring relationships in Marvel history, there is none sweeter than Deadpool’s undying desire for Spider-Man to be his best friend. Spider-Man isn’t quite there yet, but Deadpool is convinced he’ll break him down. We’re rooting for these two kids.
32. People Change
When he was first introduced, in New Mutants issue #98, he was a villain. There was no plan to have him become the character he has developed into today.
31. Classic Good News Bad News
Deadpool got his powers after he joined Weapon-X in an attempt to obtain the healing factor that would cure him of his cancer. While the healing factor prevented him from dying (that’s good), it also advanced his cancer and left him horribly disfigured (that’s bad).
30. A Betting Man
Deadpool was named after a betting pool run by a group of failed government subjects which gave each of them odds of survival. Deadpool’s odds were 1000 to 1. He beat the odds. It really helps when the writers are on your side.
29. True Patriot Love
Deadpool is a Canadian and proud of it. He often breaks the fourth wall to mock American readers for never having switched to the metric system. And, let’s be honest, America deserves it for being such a backwards country. The metric system is clearly better.
28. Not the Best Bonding Experience
Despite being Canadian, Deadpool’s favorite superhero was Captain America. And because both Captain American and Deadpool identify as failed government experiments, Captain America is one of the few Marvel superheroes to treat Deadpool with respect.
Deadpool is one of the few characters to have appeared alongside almost every other Marvel character.
Deadpool was given the title “The Merc with the Mouth” because, guess what, he won’t shut up. In fact, he’s defeated more than one enemy by driving them crazy with his non-stop talking. Just like The View.
25. Noble Gesture
Before he became Deadpool, Wade Wilson was in love with a prostitute named Vanessa Carlysle. But after he got cancer, he left her, refusing to subject Vanessa to life with a dying man. Deadpool and Vanessa later crossed paths when she became a shapeshifting mutant named Copycat.
24. Split Personality
Deadpool has died several times, but the second time he died, four false versions of him appeared, each representing a different aspect of his personality: Superheroic, Psychopathic, Comedic, and a version of him that was only capable of saying the phrase “No pickles.”
23. Cunning Linguist
Deadpool can speak five different languages but can say the word “chimichangas” in seven. Classic Deadpool.
22. Organ Grinder
Deadpool has survived quite a few difficult situations, including nuclear blasts and beheadings. Because of his apparent immortality, he often donates his organs to people in need, knowing that they’ll immediately regenerate. Because that’s what you do when your kidneys operate under the same policy as breadsticks at an Olive Garden.
21. He’s got a Type
Deadpool has been in a number of romantic entanglements, including with the Black Widow, Yelena Belova, but he finally settled down with Shiklah, former fiancée of Dracula and Princess of the Underworld.
20. Dearly Beloved…
When Deadpool got married to Shiklah, it was a huge event that saw the entire Marvel universe assembled. In fact, the wedding didn’t get to happen on the page until Marvel was able to gather all the previous writers and artists for Deadpool who had drawn and written the recurring side-characters on the comic, to help make the wedding into the “event” that it was.
He has a daughter named Eleanor, after being seduced by a woman named Carmelita Camacho. He found out about Eleanor after Carmelita was killed and after Eleanor was abducted, he rescued her, and then gave her to a friend at S.H.I.E.L.D to hide the truth of her paternity.
The only thing Deadpool fears are cows.
17. Sum of all Fears
Deadpool’s only weakness are kittens. And an anti-regenerative ray.
16. Crazy Town
One of the most popular fan fiction crossovers are between Deadpool and Harley Quinn. Their insanity has been considered by many to be a far better match than that of Harley Quinn’s and the Joker’s.
15. Han Shot First
Deadpool is a Star Wars purist and once killed a man because he claimed to like the prequels which, to be fair, was a net positive for the gene pool.
14. Could Have Been a Stork
Because his mental instability makes him a bit of an unreliable narrator, Deadpool’s childhood is not as clearly defined as other superheroes. In some versions of the story, his father abandoned him and his mother when he was very young. In other versions, his father was abusive and his mother died of cancer. In all versions, he’s a smart aleck.
13. Anything with a Hole
Although in the film, Deadpool has a very straightforward heterosexual relationship, in the comic books, his sexuality is more of a question mark. He’s had a number of unique partners throughout his history, which makes sense given Deadpool is a pretty unique character himself. He’s been with shapeshifters, aliens, and the physical representation of the abstract concept of Death.
12. Are You Talking to Me?
While Deadpool is known for breaking the fourth wall, often to make jokes to the reader in hilarious asides, there is a darker aspect to his self-awareness. He knows that he is a character in a comic book and he is unbelievably depressed that he exists only to amuse the readers. I mean, you get it right? I totally get it. It’d be like existing only to write lists of “interesting” facts. Sigh.
11. Who’s on First?
One of Deadpool’s most interesting partners has been Cable, a tremendously powerful psychic time-traveler. Often adventuring together, Cable plays the straight man to Deadpool’s psychotic comic insanity. With conflicting moralities, these two are often at odds, which often results in hilarious banter.
10. Mighty Morphin’ Time
Although Deadpool has one of the strongest healing factors in the Marvel universe, he also has another, more out of place power known as “bodysliding.” This is essentially teleportation using a device that Cable invented. However, during one of their adventures, their DNA got mixed-up, so whenever one would teleport, the other would teleport to the exact same spot as well, causing their bodies to morph together. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
9. Uncanny Resemblance
Ryan Reynolds, who played Deadpool in the film of the same name, was actually referenced in the comics by Deadpool himself who said that he looked like a cross between the actor and a shar-pei.
8. Does This Shirt Make Me Look Big?
The suit that Ryan Reynolds wore in the film actually had a muscle layer underneath it. However, they removed it because Reynolds was already so muscular that the suit made him look too bulky. Ah, the problems of the genetically blessed. So quaint.
7. Size Doesn’t Matter
Compared to most other superhero movies, Deadpool had a relatively miniscule budget ($58M) and yet it still managed to make nearly half a billion dollars worldwide.
6. Public Opinion
Studios were reluctant to make the film, and in order to convince them, a three minute test reel was filmed in 2012. Nothing came of it. But in 2014, someone leaked the reel to the public, and based on the overwhelmingly positive response, the film was immediately put into production.
5. What’s in a Name?
In the original draft of the film, Negasonic Teenage Warhead wasn’t included. However, the director wanted a superhero with traditional physical superpowers. They had considered Cannonball, but they went with Negasonic Teenage Warhead because of her outlandish name. Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s parents, on the other hand, deserve to be flogged.
4. Rewriting a Book by its Cover
In the comic books, Negasonic Teenage Warhead is actually a telepathic precog. They changed her powers for the film because they felt it suited her name more.
3. This Film is not yet Rated
On April Fools’ Day 2015, Ryan Reynolds posted on Twitter that Deadpool would be rated PG-13 prompting a horrified backlash from fans who felt that a PG-13 film could not do the superhero justice. Later that day, Reynolds confirmed that it was a prank and that the film would be R-rated.
2. Dirty Money
Deadpool became the first R-rated movie to open above $100 million at the box office.
1. No Yuan for You
The film was banned in China because of its extreme violence, profanity, and sex. While Chinese censors did consider an edit, they ultimately decided that cutting those things out made the film incomprehensible and decided not to have the film play in China at all.