While Deadpool may be most known for his excessive humor, he is one of Marvel Comics‘ deadliest fighters – with one major flaw that keeps him from the top spot.
Marvel has a number of characters well-known for their impressive fighting skill: from heroes like Shang-Chi, Iron Fist and Daredevil, to anti-heroes and villains like Elektra, Punisher and Taskmaster, there’s no shortage of colorful characters who are excellent at combat. While Deadpool may be more known for his irreverent humor, long-term fans know that he is not to be underestimated. Wade Wilson, the Merc with a Mouth, the Regenerating Degenerate, and frequent annoyance to Spider-Man and Wolverine, has beaten nearly all other A-list fighters at one time or another. It’s easy to see why: he has all of Wolverine’s extensive training and overpowered healing factor, and none of his issues with uncontrollable berserker rages. Deadpool’s incredible regenerative capabilities allow him to shrug off nearly all mortal wounds, leaving him with no obvious weaknesses to exploit.
The 2017 limited series Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe Again, by Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic, reveals a previously-unspoken, yet obvious weakness. In the storyline, Deadpool is brainwashed by a cabal of villains led by the Red Skull and tricked into killing the world’s heroes without even being aware he’s doing it. The grim miniseries sees Wade slaughter beloved heroes, some in particularly gruesome ways, before he’s able to escape the villains’ control and seeks revenge. In issue #5, Bullseye, Daredevil’s archenemy and perhaps Marvel’s greatest marksman, taunts Deadpool during their fight. Deadpool is there to murder Wilson Fisk, one of the Cabal’s leaders, but Bullseye and Batroc the Leaper are defending him. As Deadpool makes his trademark quips, Bullseye comments,“You’re fast… But you always slow down – just a little – to make those smart aleck comments of yours. It’s your weakness.”
1/1 Deadpool’s Need to Tell Jokes is Holding Him Back
Deadpool wins against Bullseye, getting in a classic one-liner (“And yours is putting a target right in the center of your forehead.”), but Bullseye’s point remains. While Deadpool may not have any obvious physical weaknesses, this story proves that his personality – his mind – can be used against him. Someone with foresight can plan for this, and weaponize Wade’s quips and barbs against him. Since Deadpool jokes constantly, even in (perhaps especially in) very dangerous situations, a competent fighter can take advantage of this to keep Deadpool off-balance, and hopefully land a winning blow. This is broadly similar to how the Cabal uses Deadpool’s general instability to slaughter the Avengers, as both he and the other heroes wae used to him perceiving reality differently, and don’t notice his behavior change until it is too late.
Deadpool’s eccentric personality and immature antics often detract from the fact that he’s one of the most dangerous fighters in the Marvel Universe, and his healing powers make him an implacable foe. While Deadpool has experienced tremendous personal growth since his early Marvel Comics appearances in the ’90s as an X-Force villain, his need to tell jokes during combat has remained, and it is the one thing keeping him from being a perfect fighter.
Next: Deadpool vs Punisher Settles Marvel’s Deadliest Killer