Here’s something I’ve happened upon that I’d like to share with you.
Recently I’ve started reading a Marvel comic; specifically that of Carnage Vs. Deadpool.
While reading that I realized that I was witnessing a transition in the character of the Merc with the Mouth.
A good portion of Deadpool’s personality is that he is a mercenary that would kill probably anyone for the right reason or money. Or both. He’s depicted as a 4th wall breaking loon with a loveable looser quality to him. As a result the majority of the well-known Deadpool stories have him getting into a situation largely of his own fault and getting put through the ringer as a result.
However, recently, I’ve started to notice some shifts as Deapool has changed hands. Typically he toes the line between being a lovable murderer and a complete degenerate by usually being pointed at the bad guys and failing when it came to socializing with (read: fighting) the good guys. Conversely, there are other interpretations.
The most shocking that I saw came from Deadpool Max, where his fourth wall breaking and self-referential humour was shown as the mutterings of a diseased mind frequently exploited by other forces.
Another interpretation, and it’s one I’ve seen more often, is that Deadpool is slowly gaining a moral backbone about things. This is seen in Uncanny X-Force issues 32-35 when he’s shown trying to help the young clone of Apocalypse by stopping the young man from going down a dark path.
This ties into the crossover I’ve mentioned. If you think about it Deadpool and Carnage have a lot in common. They’re both morally bankrupt killers that think what they do is fun. Carnage is openly depicted as evil, through and through without illusion or compromise. Deadpool, during the series gets the idea that because he’s likely as warped as Carnage he can think along similar lines and figure out where Carnage is going.
I’m not sure entirely where the point of Deadpool trying to think like Carnage is going but it is going to an interesting place. The story itself also highlights an interesting development. In the comic’s third issue we see Deadpool tracking Carnage’s kills at a certain point and quickly becoming disgusted with the idea that the two of them are similar. To me that’s an incredibly interesting route to take. But it does highlight the trend I’ve seen of writers giving Deadpool an arc of character growth.
Deadpool, in many ways, is a character based on how you interpret a humorous killer. As such, each writer takes that idea and spins it different ways. That change in character (and in some cases, origin) has been referred to by Deadpool himself on several occasions. However, Deadpool doesn’t exist in a vacuum, the entire Marvel Universe has to deal with him and most of them don’t care for the merc with the mouth, even if we all love him. At that point we see a choice for Marvel. Either have Deadpool become a mad degenerate who can’t function in the reality of the Marvel universe, or… have him grow up a bit.
I’ve got to admit, it’s starting to look like the latter.
In all fairness, it’s a sensible move. It’s one we’ve sort of demanded Spider-Man take but I think it’s quite clear what Marvel’s doing to that poor bastard.
I’d like you all to appreciate the reality that Spider-Man came into existence decades before Deadpool and yet, Deadpool is maturing first. Just let that sink in.
The truth comes from the one hard fact that, unless writers take the effort to mature Deadpool and make his interaction with the Marvel universe become smoother he’s going to slowly be written into a degenerate madman. At that point, he’d basically be Carnage.
Instead, over time we see that Deadpool has limits, specific lines that he refuses to cross when it comes to decisions that he makes. If anything he does doesn’t cross that line it’s clear he’ll do it as long as he enjoys it.
Even if he never could eat that many pancakes.
Oh Deadpool, you can’t eat that many pancakes.
This comes into conflict for fans who know Deadpool as the killer who doesn’t care if he kills the innocent or guilty but it does give him more to work with for writers who wish for him to not operate within a vacuum in the Marvel universe.
The question remains if that growth will remain consistent after this recent crop of writers is done with Deadpool.
Probably not, knowing Marvel.
But it’s nice to see some contrast with him against Carnage. I count that as a win.
And so too does this work exist.