I felt the need to write this so acutely that I just jumped out of the shower, and there might be a puddle of water collecting at my feet. But, here we are. Deadpool. This character compels me. And, for my family and friends who have had to sit through a flood of my fangirl-ing, they’re owed an explanation. I might get emotional writing this, but here it goes. I saw a list about him the other day and realized how much I adored this character.
Some characters move us beyond what any actual person might do. For me, Wade Wilson is one of those characters. I think he is that for a lot of people, especially millennials. Now, why am everyone so crazed? I can only guess what draws in other people, but let me expound on what pulls me in.
Sure, his regenerative powers are out of this world, but our Merc with a Mouth is in perpetual pain. Why does this mean so much to me? Because so am I.
The day I got diagnosed with chronic migraine was rough. I cried. I had had migraines since I was 6. I was 21/22 when diagnosed, and had lived with migraines most of my life at that point. I would have at least 3 a week and some lasted for months. Good days were when I just lived with a minor headache instead of the perpetual drill that ate at my brain and made me want to throw up. So why did I cry when I had been living in pain for so long? Because I had believed for so long that this was just a weird fluke…I was in a fairy land, of course, but everything seems so much more hopeful before you give it a name…a name that includes the word “chronic.”
Migraines have always made me feel weak. I can’t do certain things because of them. I’m not always in a good mood because of them. But here we have my favorite anti-hero. In perpetual pain. And being the biggest smart-mouth you could hope for. That alone is enough to make me love him. Maybe it’s made me a bigger smart mouth, I don’t know. But it’s nice to have a character I can relate to on that painful level.
2. He’s insecure.
Who can’t relate? I think insecurity about something is a big part of the human experience, but to see a popular character, albeit anti-hero, be insecure? That’s just lovely. It makes you breathe easier. And you know? It’s comforting to know that he still does his thing. When you’re a kid, you have Superman. When you’re a 20-something navigating the world, Deadpool pushing through things like insecurities seem pretty heroic.
3. Let’s face it, he’s got issues.
And thank goodness he does. Because I have them too. I’ve got depression and anxiety, which I admit to people often because most of us do. A lot of my close friends deal with anxiety. Some are depressed. Some are bipolar. And you know what? They’re fantastic. They have struggles, but they work through it–and I want to tell every single one of you, if you read this, I admire you so much. I have yet to meet a human that I adored that didn’t have to overcome something. Deadpool is the same way. He’s addicted to guns and blows all of his money on ammo and pain meds. And yet…there he is, surprising us all with a lot of selfless acts. Like the time he filled in for Peter Parker as Spiderman. Now, our Merc is a killer, let’s be honest. Quite violent. But when he did that for Peter? He killed no one because he didn’t want to hurt Peter’s rep. That’s really sweet if you know both of them. And his consideration of Hawkeye? Priceless.
4. As a friend of mine put it, he wants to love everyone so much, but he’s too scared and has too many trust issues to follow through.
I feel him. I’m not that severe, but like I said, I have trust issues (I’m working on it). I care about a lot of people…in fact, I probably care about them too much too soon. And they probably never know it. Watching him deal with it, you relate. And I don’t think I’m alone in that. I think a lot of us are in the same boat.
5. He’s clearly dealing with life via humor…and aren’t we all?
At least, I am. I laugh to keep from crying. It’s how I cope. It’s how many of us cope. It’s how comedians are coping, let’s be real. And you know, I think there’s something brave in that. Laughter keeps you moving forward. It gives you courage to keep on. And Wade makes me laugh.
I think, at the end of the day, Wade Wilson is a very deeply, complex and flawed character, trying to cope with so much (such as the loss of his daughter), and it hits me. I think it hits his cult following. He’s the underdog we all identify with. D
eadpool is messed up, but at the end of the day, he cares about his friends. He cares about people. He has a heart of gold, and that, that is what we are all looking for. Someone who’s in no position to judge us and just cares. A character with our problems who still manages to pull through. Honestly, he was created in 1991. He’s a millennial as far as I’m concerned. He’s us. He is our messy generation that has struggled and fought and screwed up.
But also he has an amazing sense of humor and great taste in tacos and pancakes…And he has a point. Chimichanga is fun to say.
It’s probably the humor thing, isn’t it guys? I just waxed poetically about Deadpool…for over 1000 words. Okay. There’s a questionable life choice for ya. See you Friday.
And moms, DON’T TAKE YOUR KIDS TO HIS MOVIE. Last thing we need is someone getting mad and then some mom protestor group stalls the sequel.