How Did Deadpool Get His Name? What Was His Name Before?

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Deadpool is undoubtedly one of the most interesting characters in the Marvel Universe. Thanks to his sarcastic and witty sense of humor, he became one of the most beloved anti-heroes both comics and movies had to offer. But he led a somewhat different life before squeezing himself into a tight-fitting red suit and turning bad guys into kebabs with his katanas. ”Deadpool”- it sounds mighty, right? But how did Deadpool get his name, and what was his name before that? Let’s find out.

Deadpool’s real name is Wade Wilson. He is an ex-mercenary diagnosed with terminal cancer and underwent the Weapon X Project because of it. Wade was sent to  Hospice, where Ajax and Dr. Killebrew experimented on him and other patients. The patients led a betting pool regarding which patient would die next. After Wade escaped, he took on the moniker Deadpool because of it. In the Deadpool movie, the Dead Pool was led in the bar ”Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Girls”, where Wade spent his time, so that’s how he came up with his name in the movies.

Deadpool’s origin story is the same in the comics and movies. However, some minor details were changed to fit better in the overall thematics of the movie, and we’ll focus more on that in the next few paragraphs.

The inmates in Hospice conducted a ”Dead Pool”

How did deadpool got his name

Wade Wilson was always a witty guy who never backed out from a fight. On the contrary, he enjoyed it. His professional career as a soldier and mercenary started when he joined US Army Special Forces. He was efficient and always got the job done but eventually was dishonorably discharged. That was not a problem for him because many organizations were interested in using his skills, so he found other jobs easily.

After spending years as a mercenary for hire, the illness took its toll on his body, and he was diagnosed with multiple tumors spread across his body. Department K, the Canadian branch of the Weapon X program, used that opportunity, and Wade accepted their invitation to become their test subject. Wade was then injected with Wolverine’s genetic material, which enabled his body to regenerate, and tumors were controlled. So, he was seemingly fine and ready to return to work, where he operated as a mercenary until he killed one of the Department K agents.

Department K labeled him as a failure because of it, and he was sent to Hospice, where he would be used as a test subject. The Hospice was run by Doctor Killebrew and his assistant, Ajax, who conducted torturous experiments on the inmates there. What followed was a series of brutal and torturous experiments with a high chance that anyone subjected to them would die.


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So, the inmates in the Hospice invented a morbid game to keep them entertained, a pool about when will each inmate die in the experiment process – a ”Dead Pool”. Wade endured all the experiments, but the final was the most brutal. Ajax ripped Wade’s heart out and left him for dead. However, Wade’s rage and endurance woke up his regenerative abilities, which had never reached their full potential until that point. His body healed, and Wade managed to escape from Hospice.

Besides the fact that he could survive a heart ripping, all this also meant that Wade won the Dead Pool, as no one guessed right when he would die. And basically, Deadpool was born. However, the movie Deadpool changed some parts of this origin story.

How did the ”Merc with a Mouth” get his name in the movies?

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If you haven’t seen the movie, there might be some spoilers in the next few paragraphs, so read at your own risk. Basically, the movie starts ”in media res,” and it follows Deadpool as he tries to locate Francis/Ajax and make him pay for what he does to his face and body and for all the suffering Wade endured during experiments. Then we see retrospectively what Wade’s life was like before Ajax tortured and burned his whole body.

Wade spent his time in the bar ”Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Girls”, where mercenaries gathered and where they could be hired. Besides that, all the mercenaries, including the bartender, Weasel, indulged themselves in a ”Dead Pool” where they bet on which one would die next. Weasel put his money on Wade to die. Those bets did not revolve around torturing or experiments like in the comics, and even they tried to set each other up just to win the bet. It was all fun and games.


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Wade met Vanessa there, and saying they fell madly in love would be an understatement. As Deadpool said: ”Life is an endless series of train wrecks with only brief commercial breaks of happiness.” And what he had with Vanessa was the ultimate commercial break. Like in the comics, he was then diagnosed with terminal cancer that spread across his body.

As an ultimate attempt to save his life, Wade accepts the invitation to become a test subject in a series of experiments that would awaken his latent mutant genes. In the movie, Ajax is the one who runs the place, tortures and experiments on people, and then sells them to be a controlled weapons to the highest bidder.

Ajax tortured Wade brutally for long periods, but Wade’s mutant genes awoke only after severe torture, leaving Wade’s body completely burned. Even though the process was complete, Ajax wanted to repeat the experiment just to torture Wade for fun, but Wade managed to escape and seek revenge afterward.

how did deadpool got his name

To do that effectively, he needed to conceal his real identity and get himself a costume and a nickname. Wade and Weasel had a series of hilarious name-calling regarding Wade’s disfigured face. Amid it all, Weasel realizes that he would never win a ”Dead Pool” now Wade has the regenerative abilities, and after hearing that, Wade decides that would be his nickname- Deadpool.

As you can see, all the main motives, names, and characters are the same both in the comics and the movies, but changes have been made in the movies for a more comedic approach to it all and to fit better in the overall storyline. That said, we can all agree that Deadpool is one of the most interesting characters ever appearing on the comic pages or the big screens, no matter how he got his name.