Is Deadpool a Good Guy or a Bad Guy? Here Is Our Analysis of the Character

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Wade Wilson, better known as Deadpool, is one of Marvel’s most popular characters, mainly because of his unorthodox nature and general strangeness. Still, despite being exceptionally brutal and violent, Deadpool has acquired more fans over the years and has become one of Marvel’s most valuable assets. But this guy is generally weird, and based on his endeavors, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if you asked yourselves – is this guy a hero or a villain? Or, perhaps, an anti-hero?

  • Article breakdown:
  • Despite starting off his career as a supervillain, Deadpool went through several changes that transformed him into a true hero-leaning anti-hero and one of the most famous anti-heroes in Marvel’s universe.

Deadpool as a villain

Deadpool debuted in the comic book ‘The New Mutants’ #98 (1991), where he appeared as a supervillain hired to attack Cable and the New Mutants. Deadpool’s creators, Fabian Nicieza, and Rob Liefeld, did, indeed, imagine him as a recurring supervillain; that is how they initially portrayed their characters during most of his early appearances.

Deadpool Kills Writers

Deadpool was never your typical supervillain, mainly because he rarely had a plan or an idea about what he would do if he had power. He worked as a mercenary, but he wasn’t really a megalomaniac who wanted world domination or anything of the sort. He did kill the whole Marvel Universe in the famous Killology, but he wasn’t really your typical (serial) murderer; he killed for a reason – be it money or some twisted personal reason – but he was never a guy that would sacrifice everyone or everything just to obtain more power.

So yeah, Deadpool did start off as a supervillain. Still, he was – even then – so atypical that there was more than enough space for proper character development, which eventually happened later on. He was not a supervillain you’d want to meet – he was creepy, merciless, and completely nuts – but he wasn’t a maniac like Thanos or Gorr.

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Deadpool as a hero

Now that we’ve established that Deadpool is an atypical supervillain, we must determine whether he can be perceived as a hero. We know that Deadpool transitioned from being a supervillain to being… well… something. He stopped being an antagonist, that much is sure, but did he really transition to being a hero?

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After his transition, Deadpool certainly did a fair share of things that could be considered heroic. He also worked or was part of several superheroic groups, such as the X-Force, Avengers (not the original group, but one of the many spin-offs), S.H.I.E.L.D., and the X-Men. He also famously stopped a young girl from committing suicide on the pages of ‘Deadpool’ #20 (2015), albeit not without his signature dark humor.

Deadpool’s heroics are duly noted, but there are two facts we have to consider along with that. First of all, Deadpool is a very atypical hero, just as he was a very atypical villain. He does his heroics with unusual brutality and doesn’t embody the virtues a superhero should represent. He does things for a good cause, but that’s about it, really. He’ll save a kitten from a tree, but he’ll also chop up the tree so that it destroys nearby cars without giving it much thought.

Secondly, Deadpool never stopped being a mercenary for hire, so although he did heroic things, he simultaneously killed people as a profession. Sure, these were mostly bad people – generally – but it still means that his heroic side has a very dark counterpart. In that aspect, we cannot state that Deadpool is a hero, either. So, what is he?

Deadpool as an anti-hero

Luckily for us, literary theory has given us the term “anti-hero,” which represents a fictional character that does heroic things, but in a very atypical way, usually by adhering to a strictly personalized moral code or being an outcast that does heroic things, but doesn’t represent heroic values. Could we have found a label for Deadpool?

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In the two preceding paragraphs, we have explained that Deadpool is neither your typical villain (he was, but he is not anymore) nor your typical hero. He does heroic deeds, but he also does villainous things. He works with the X-Men and saves a girl from committing suicide, but he is also a mercenary for hire and kills people for a job. He is somewhere in the limbo between a hero and a villain, and most characters that inhabit that limbo are labeled as being anti-heroes.

And while there are more traditional comic book anti-heroes such as Magneto, Wolverine, V (from V for Vendetta), or John Constantine, Deadpool, while fitting the mold, is atypical even in that aspect. Still, that specific characterization is completely consistent with his overall persona. Deadpool is best known for being strange, weird, and completely unique. In that aspect, his being an atypical anti-hero should not come as a surprise.

He is so atypical because, generally speaking, he does not embody the dark temperament most of these characters have. They are very complex characters with stories that are represented like a Greek tragedy, adding to the weight all of the more traditional anti-heroes carry with them.

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Deadpool’s story does have that tragic element to it. Still, it is always presented in a very comical and lighthearted manner (which adds to the irony of the whole situation), and Deadpool is prone to talking about his misfortunes with a lot of dark humor. This is where Deadpool is specific and special – he doesn’t live off his tragedy; he twists it, turns it, laughs at it, and continues living like he wants to. His actions make him an antihero, but his backstory is not a typical example.

What do you think about Deadpool? Do you consider him a good or a bad guy? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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