Deadpool is one of those comic book characters that have all the regular superhero ingredients and yet somehow manages to be different than any other hero in comics. His skill set is as unique as his powers, and even those with similar abilities can’t quite survive what Deadpool can. So, can Deadpool age, die, or even feel pain?
Deadpool is nigh-immortal, meaning the situation has to be insanely specific for him to die. He does feel pain, however, and he feels it all the time – both physically, and mentally. He’s just learned to ignore it. As for aging, Deadpool’s healing factor makes it so slow it’s practically non-existent.
He does somewhat age, and his healing factor slows down with time, but it’s unclear if he’d ever get to a point where he’s dying of old age. That being said, Deadpool’s aging, pain, and immortality are all somewhat inconsistent and vary from writer to writer. So, let’s dive in and find some certainties in all the chaos.
Can Deadpool Age?
First up, let’s get the non-violent out of the way – can Deadpool die of natural causes, i.e., can he age? Well, it would, of course, depend on the writer, but it seems that Deadpool’s aging is so incredibly slow that he is pretty much the same Merc with a Mouth a thousand years into the future.
In X-Force/Cable: Messiah War #1, we see the new X-Force sent a thousand years into the future to do a job, and while there, they meet Deadpool. He is literally over a thousand years old and still very much alive, being almost the same guy as he was a millennium in the past.
He does reveal, however, that his healing factor slowed down, meaning it takes longer to recover from injuries. That could potentially mean that Deadpool’s healing factor could dwindle down completely at some point in the distant future and that Wade Wilson could die of old age. However, it would likely take tens of thousands of years to happen.
Now, you might ask, how is that possible, seeing that Wade got his healing factor from Wolverine, and we all know Wolverine eventually died of old age (it took centuries upon centuries, but Logan did age)? Well, it’s possible because their healing factors, and physiology, aren’t the same.
You see, Wolverine has adamantium in his body, constantly causing metal poisoning while his healing factor recovers him. However, as his healing factor slowed down with age, the metal poisoning became stronger and overwhelming, resulting in aging and, eventually, death.
Deadpool, on the other hand, doesn’t have adamantium in his body, so he doesn’t need to worry about it messing him up. He does, however, have cancer, but his healing factor and rapid, mutated cancer actually go hand in hand and complement each other.
Wade Wilson’s body is in constant battle and turmoil between his healing factor killing off cancerous cells and replacing them with healthy ones and the mutated hypercancer killing off the healthy cells and growing back the cancerous ones.
It’s a neverending battle happening all over Deadpool’s body, which is why, despite the incredibly powerful healing factor, his skin still looks so disfigured and horrifying. At one point, Deadpool explained that he needed both cancer and the healing factor to survive.
If he lost his healing factor, then cancer would just eat him alive in a matter of days, maybe even hours. On the other hand, if he cured cancer, his healing factor would continue producing unnecessary healthy cells, and with no cancer to keep that reproduction in check, Deadpool would literally grow exponentially until he explodes. Brutal, right?
Can Deadpool die?
With such an insanely powerful healing factor, it’s almost a given that Deadpool is immortal, right? Well, he is, to a degree. In other words, the situation has to be incredibly specific for Deadpool to actually die. The guy has tried everything, and nothing works. In Deadpool 2, Wade blew himself up with 1200 gallons of explosive – and nothing.
Even complete incineration doesn’t work – Deadpool regenerates from the ashes. Pulverization, decapitation, going through a woodchipper, drowning. You name it, he’s tried it, and nothing worked.
I mean, Taskmaster and Bullseye once caught Deadpool and planned on throwing him into a chipper, then feeding piranhas with him, then incinerating the piranhas, and then ‘snorting the ashes’ – but they gave up when they realized it just wouldn’t work. If there’s even a single molecule of Deadpool left – regardless of what shape or form – he’ll survive and regenerate.
So, I think it’s pretty obvious the guy doesn’t know how to die. Except, there is a way, and it happened in the comics, namely, in Deadpool: The End. Wade’s daughter, Ellie, is 97 years old, just about to die. Together, Ellie and her dad decide to end his agony of unending life once and for all.
Ellie develops a bomb that incinerates them both in a nanosecond and then opens a black hole that swallows even the tiniest molecule of their bodies before collapsing in on itself. That way, there’s literally nothing left from Deadpool to regenerate, and he is finally gone for good. Well, he wakes up in the afterlife and reunites with his true lover, Death herself.
That’s about the only way Deadpool can be killed. However, there was even a time when that didn’t work. You see, in Deadpool Vs. Thanos, Wade is in a reciprocated love with Death, who Thanos was in love with before being forever banned from her realm.
Out of jealousy and spite, Thanos cursed Deadpool using a combination of science and necromancy to make him literally immortal. So, even if his entire being were vaporized down to the last molecule, he’d just respawn somewhere randomly, so he could never see death again. Luckily, that curse was lifted, and Ellie reunited Wade with Death.
Can Deadpool feel pain?
So, the guy doesn’t age, and he basically can’t die, and he always jokes around, even when suffering from horrific injuries, such as decapitation. So, can Deadpool even feel pain?
Oh yes, he can. He’s just experienced so much of it for so long he practically chooses to ignore it.
In fact, there isn’t a moment in Wade Wilson’s life where he isn’t in excruciating pain. It’s just that his tolerance is off the charts, and his entire life is the reason for that to be the case.
First of all, he was a US Army soldier and then a mercenary. Both jobs require you to finish the objective regardless of the pain – you learn to tolerate it. Then, the guy developed over 30 different forms of cancer, suffering excruciating pain all the time. He even stopped doing chemotherapy, just wanting to die.
It built up his pain tolerance significantly but couldn’t prepare him for what was about to come – the Weapon X experiments. There, Dr. Killbrew experimented on Deadpool and the others in brutal, sadistic ways. All that combined to drive Deadpool completely insane, suffering from mental pain just as bad as physical.
And then came the healing factor. Remember how I explained why Deadpool’s skin is so wrinkled and burnt-looking despite his healing factor? Well, as it turns out, it never – ever – stops hurting. Imagine being in pain over your entire body – all the time, every second of your life. That’s what being Wade Wilson looks like.
If all that isn’t enough, all you need to do is read through some of the Deadpool comics. He screams in pain almost every time he gets injured, be it a gunshot, a cut, a severed limb, or whatever.
Hence, Deadpool does feel pain, but he felt so much of it throughout his life; he simply learned how to desensitize it.