Deadpool is being super-hyped. Fox clearly has a lot invested in it, and fans are excited to see the Merc with a Mouth on the big screen. But the truth is Deadpool's past is so bizarre and deranged that a good portion of it could never be adapted to the screen, at least not in a way that will get audiences to go see it. Sure, he seems like a wisecracking superhero right now, but the history of Deadpool is much, much more dark.
DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
The title of this series isn't a clever metaphor or the comic book equivalent of clickbait; this really is a story about Deadpool killing pretty much every character in the entire Marvel comics universe. See, although Deadpool has become a bit of an anti-hero over the years, he was introduced as a straight up villain. He's an assassin, after all. You pay him and he murders people, that's not a super heroic pedigree. Plus he's completely insane.
This story starts with the death of the Fantastic Four and only gets crazier from there as Deadpool runs rampant. Why would Deadpool kill everyone? It has to do with that insanity problem of his. While trying to cure him of his madness, the X-Men inadvertently put him in the care of Psycho-Man disguised as a doctor who makes Deadpool even crazier. The only voices Deadpool hears now are ones instructing him to kill, which he does in a series of creative ways. For instance, how do you kill Luke Cage, the man with impenetrable skin? Use Pym particles to shrink bombs, put the bombs in Luke's coffee, and then detonate them after he drinks them.
Suffice it to say, by the end of the series Marvel is out of heroes and the world is a bloodier place. You can imagine any number of reasons why a story like this would never work on film. First and foremost, why would anyone want to see a movie in which every beloved character gets slaughtered mercilessly? Not to mention the logistics of combining all those characters thanks to how Marvel's rights are chopped up amongst a handful of studios. Plus, even though comic fans will readily accept alternate Earth storylines and characters coming back from the dead, if everyone died in one movie and 6 months later a new Thor movie came out, some viewers just wouldn't buy it. It would take away any sense of dread any future movie could have. A character dies? So what, alternate timeline.
If fans wouldn't be happy to watch Deadpool destroy the Marvel universe, they probably wouldn't be too keen on seeing him destroy the literary universe either. In Killustrated, Deadpool finds himself with a problem—he is the only one who understands that he and the rest of Marvel's characters are all just fictional beings in comic books. In order to end all the senseless killing and resurrections, he needs to find a way to put an end to fiction itself. So he enlists some super smart supervillains and together they craft a plan: travel to the Nexus of All Realities and destroy the classics of literature. If they destroy the literary classics, there would be nothing to inspire the modern writers and thus no comic book characters could exist. Does that make sense? It better.
Deadpool seems to agree that this plan makes sense, so he leaps into the Nexus where he is able to kill Don Quixote and Moby Dick before heading off to take on Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, the Little Women, Tom sawyer, the Little Mermaid, Mowgli from The Jungle Book, Ebenezer Scrooge, and more.
All of the works Deadpool slides into are public domain, so this movie could probably be made, but come on. The cast of characters alone is immense, and very few get developed beyond mentioning who they are before Deadpool does away with them. Can you imagine how unsatisfying it would be to have Tom Sawyer and Dracula in the same story for less than 5 minutes each?
DEADPOOL VOLUME 3 #1
The latest run of Deadpool, written by stand up comedian Brian Posehn, really helps the character live up to his comedic potential. The issue with a lot of old Deadpool comics is that they just aren't that funny. After all, comic book writers can be witty, but most aren't comedians. Posehn legitimately is a comedian, and a metal head, and a fan of horror, so Deadpool fits him like a glove. The result is a Deadpool who comes to life on the page with insane violence and laughs.
To start his run with Deadpool, Posehn and artist Gerry Duggan went full on patriotic and had Deadpool fighting resurrected Presidents. The comic takes Deadpool across America to electrocute Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the subway, off Teddy Roosevelt in a zoo along with an elephant, and dice up Gerald Ford with helicopter blades. Plus, Nixon's dog gets killed…again. Deadpool is very thorough.
Zombie stories are always popular, and the idea of Deadpool running hogwild on corpses with the assistance of Dr. Strange and the ghost of Ben Franklin is kind of fun. But is the American public ready for a movie featuring Deadpool murdering literally every dead president in history? And zoo animals? And sentient, Soviet monkeys? There's a lot going on in this story line and a lot of it is pretty over the top.
SUPERMAN/BATMAN ANNUAL #1
This is a hugely disappointing entry to include on the list because this is arguably the greatest appearance of Deadpool in the history of comics. If you noticed something curious about the title, then you already know why it could never be filmed. Deadpool is a Marvel character, and Superman and Batman are DC. So how did this comic come into existence?
It's no secret in the comics world that Deadpool is a ripoff. Some people don't like to admit it, but artist Rob Liefeld straight up stole the character from DC, where he was better known as Deathstroke. The only unusual thing is that writer Fabian Nicieza, upon realizing Liefeld stole Deadpool, went along with it. He even named him Wade Wilson in honor of Deathstroke, whose name is Slade Wilson. It was like a sucker punch to the gut against DC Comics. And make no mistake, DC noticed.
In 2006's Superman/Batman Annual #1, inter-dimensional doppelgangers of popular characters keep turning up and it seems like Deathstroke's doppelganger bears a stunning resemblance to Deadpool, as he's now an expert wise-cracker with a healing factor.
The entire Superman/Batman storyline was a bit goofy—at one point Batman and Superman are forced to sleep in the same bed—so it was all in fun that an unofficial Deadpool showed up. But given the origin of the story over at DC Comics, you can bet your life this would never be optioned for a screenplay.
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