Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, is one of the most controversial comic book characters in history. The Merc with a Mouth, as he is often called, is known for his extremely brutal feats, his language and his breaching the barriers of traditional comic book narratives. Because of that, he has also become one of the most popular comic book characters ever. He has been part of different superhero groups, but his inclusion in the X-Men is what inspired today’s article. Since he was, at one point in time, an X-Man, is Deadpool a mutant, then? Keep reading to find out!
In the literal sense, Deadpool is not a mutant as he was not born with his powers – they were experimentally created. Still, he is considered to be one by a lot of people and even we could describe him as a sort of “transmutant”, a mutant who was created, rather than being born like that.
Who is Deadpool anyway?
Deadpool is the alter ego of one Wade Winston Wilson, a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He was created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld, debuting in The New Mutants #98 (1991). Due to his quirky nature and the general weirdness of his stories, he has become one of the most popular comic book characters today.
Initially, Deadpool was depicted as a supervillain when he made his first appearance in The New Mutants and later in issues of X-Force, but later evolved into his more recognizable antiheroic persona.
Deadpool is actually a disfigured mercenary with the superhuman ability of an accelerated healing factor and physical prowess. The character is known as the “Merc with a Mouth” because of his tendency to talk and joke constantly, including breaking the fourth wall for humorous effect and running gags.
Interestingly enough, he was modelled after DC Comics’ supervillain Deathstroke, who completely inspired the Deadpool persona, including his name (real name and alias), his origins and his costume. The main difference is that Deathstroke is a serious supervillain and mercenary, while Deadpool is more on the comical side. His adventures include numerous hilarious storylines, with one even depicting him killing off the whole Marvel Universe, including himself.
He has appeared in several derivative materials, including TV shows, video games and movies, where he was portrayed by Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds played the character in the X-Men film series, appearing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Deadpool (2016), and its sequel Deadpool 2 (2018).
Is Deadpool a mutant? What are his powers?
The first question from this section is quite an interesting one because we need to dig into the very core of Marvel’s mythology in order to answer it properly. Why? Well, in order to answer this question, we have to determine what makes a mutant in Marvel’s mythology.
Mutants are humans with mutations that give them special abilities. Some of them are aware of their abilities from the start, some discover them later on, while some never discover them. The extent and type of powers also vary from mutant to mutant, to extremely powerful examples to completely useless ones. They are usually classified based on their power levels.
The general idea is that mutants are born with their powers, regardless of when or if they discover them. They are born with these mutations and although they can be artificially enhanced, later on, there has to be a congenital factor present. So, if you’re not born a mutant, you cannot become a mutant.
From that perspective, the comic version of Deadpool is not considered to be a mutant. Namely, Wade Wilson became Deadpool after being part of the Weapon Plus program, which is the same line of generational research that created Captain America (‘Weapon I’), Wolverine (‘Weapon X’), and many others before and since then. So, the comic version of Deadpool was artificially created and would thus not qualify to be a mutant. The movie version is a bit different, since Wilson’s healing factor was present even before the experiments through which it was enhanced, meaning that the movie version of Deadpool would qualify as a mutant.
But, are the criteria really that strict? Namely, Deadpool – the comic book version – is by many considered to be a mutant and he is generally considered to be part of the X-Men lore, which puts him alongside all those with congenital mutations. So, if he is de facto considered to be a mutant, why couldn’t he also be de iure considered as one?
Although those with a more orthodox stance will say that you’re either born a mutant or you’re no mutant at all, things have begun to change in recent years and we’re not talking about a specific category that could easily be described as ‘transmutants’, i.e., those humans who have achieved mutations artificially and can now be considered as mutants, despite not being born as mutants. This category is still not official, but it is slowly penetrating the fandom and is becoming more and more popular.
As for Deadpool’s mutant powers, the most important one is definitely his healing factor, which makes him practically immortal, even without Thanos’ immortality curse (see below). He likewise has superhuman strength, durability, and agility and is an excellent marksman. This covers his basic powers and abilities.
Can Deadpool be killed?
The question of Deadpool’s (im)mortality has been extensively analyzed in a separate article, so we advise you to follow the link to find out more on this issue.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!