Deadpool is a fan-favorite character due to his aloof nature and brutal way of handling his enemies, and let’s face it, at one point in time, all of Marvel was Deadpool’s enemy. He is often unpredictable and chaotic and doesn’t operate within the established moral code. So, what does that tell us about his moral alignment? Truth be told, Deadpool has, over time, proven himself to be both supervillain and antihero, and we’re going to explain why.
There are some good arguments for Deadpool being a supervillain
When we think about the greatest supervillains in Marvel Comics, we often think about brilliant geniuses or downright sociopathic characters with ulterior domination motives. And while Deadpool is certainly not a genius, and neither is he plotting world domination, his actions could sometimes be perceived as villainous in nature. In fact, he debuted as a villain in the first place.
For starters, Deadpool is a mercenary, meaning that even before he acquired the healing factor, he was “in it” for money. He often takes on contracts to kill or incapacitate individuals for money, and that hardly makes for an honorable profession, even if you’re taking out bad guys.
Second, he often associated with other villains or supervillain groups. He was part of the Weapon X Program, The Marauders, The Serpent Society, and don’t forget about Evil Deadpool Corps. I mean, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he is evil as well, but come on…
Deadpool also “killed” the Marvel Universe twice. And while the story is not canon, it showed us what Deadpool was capable of when he broke the Fourth Wall.
He lacks any kind of motivation, he often acts in his own self-interest, and all the connections that he forms are mostly superficial in nature and extremely violent. Deadpool doesn’t exactly have friends. He has obsessions. Top it all off with a dash of mental instability, and you get one chaotic and morally confusing character.
Deadpool is, more often than not, a comedic element to the story, however, and that’s why fans have trouble perceiving him as a legitimate supervillain.
So, is Deadpool an antihero?
Deadpool has, for most of his existence, been an antihero, and there are several reasons for that. Even though he is a mercenary, he isn’t always motivated by personal gain. Sometimes, his motivations for eliminating certain targets were motivated by his “messed up” sense of justice.
And speaking of that, Deadpool does occasionally perform heroic acts. He sometimes takes on missions for what he perceives as the greater good. His motivations can include helping others or, in some cases, personal redemption. He does have an unconventional approach to those kinds of missions, but it’s the thought that counts.
Despite his mental instability, one common topic that Deadpool often struggles with is personal improvement. He often seeks to better himself and overcome his darker impulses, but it rarely happens. He is also one of those antiheroes that have a tragic personal backstory. He got cancer. He was desperate for a cure, something that most people who have been seriously sick can identify with.
Deadpool got his cure, but with strings attached, he was turned into a weapon and driven insane. Due to the effects of his rapid healing factor, he is constantly in pain, and he can’t do anything to ease his torture. As you can see, Deadpool’s funny and “unbothered” character has a dark and painful underbelly, and looking at him from that perspective, you can almost see his motivations and understand his impulses.
Also, due to the aforementioned insanity, you can’t blame Deadpool for most of the stuff he does. He is a ticking timebomb in most situations that he is featured in, and the shoe can drop on either side.
Deadpool has plenty of antihero adventures
Despite his chaotic and sometimes evil nature, there are plenty of cases in which Deadpool proved that he was willing to better himself, especially when surrounded by friends. In ‘Cable & Deadpool,’ Deadpool plays the role of an unlikely hero and works with Cable, one of his best friends in the comics, to resolve a potential global crisis.
The series ‘Deadpool‘ released between 2010 and 2012 as a part of the Marvel NOW! era. Writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn contributed to Deadpool’s characterization as an antihero. The series showed us Deadpool’s attempts to be a better person and a hero, even if his methods were often unconventional and violent. Gerry Duggan continued his work on Deadpool, exploring his struggles with morality, redemption, and his attempts to become a hero.
In ‘Uncanny X-Force’ Deadpool is a member of the X-Force, a black-ops mutant team led by Wolverine. In this series, Deadpool is part of a team that carries out morally gray missions, showing us his willingness to be a team player for the greater good.
What about the live-action version of Deadpool?
Well, if you truly want to count Deadpool’s first on-screen appearance as canon, it follows pretty much the same trajectory as his comic history. Deadpool was initially introduced as a part of the extremely dangerous Weapon-X program. But his origin story was shown in more detail in his first standalone live-action appearance, and since then, Deadpool has been nothing but an anti-hero. Yes, he kills on-screen, but in the movies, he truly does have good motivations (most of the time), but he always ends up executing them in the wrong way.
What do you think? Is Deadpool antihero or a supervillain? Let us know in the comments below!