Full Name: Wade Wilson
Occupation: Mercenary, former US Special Forces, former Weapon X agent
Mutant Abilities: Powerful healing factor that includes ability to regrow limbs, enhanced reflexes and agility, superhuman endurance and stamina, immune to telepathic intrusion
History: Like a many victims of Weapon X, the life of Wade Wilson has been largely obscured. But unlike the other victims, the legacy if Wade Wilson is even more convoluted due to his unstable and at times erratic persona. His mental instability makes it difficult to discern any significant details from his life. He admits whole-heartedly that he’s crazy and at times even flaunts it. Despite his limited sanity, his life can be traced back to a point where he was of a sound mind.
While his exact age is unknown, it is known that Wade Wilson was born somewhere in North Dakota shortly after World War I. His father was a returning veteran who made his living working on oil rigs. He was known by his friends and enemies as a violent and ill-tempered man. This may have been due to post dramatic stress disorder as a result of his service in the war, but whatever the cause it became his most defining trait. It is believed that this violent nature caused Wade’s mother to leave when Wade was only two-years-old. There are no records of who she is or where she ran to, but her absence did little to tame his father’s anger. As such, Wade was an early target for his father’s wrath at a young age.
His father’s anger created a violent environment for young Wade, but as he got older he adapted to it some unique and at times odd ways. He found out that he could temper his father’s rage by making jokes. It established in him a wry sense of humor that quickly became one of his defining personality traits. He also found out that if he showed he was as tough as his father acted, he would avoid further wrath. This didn’t spare him future beatings. After his father developed a severe drinking problem, even his jokes didn’t help. It eventually led Wade to distance himself from his father as much as possible. By the time he was a teenager, he had largely cut himself off.
As Wade grew older and more distant from his father, he became more undisciplined and hot-headed. He thumbed his nose at authority and often picked fights. By age 16 he was hanging out with biker gangs and burglarizing houses. By age 17 he was expelled from school for assaulting one of his teachers. In that time he was arrested on multiple occasions. In many of those instances, he demonstrated poor judgment and impulsive behavior. On one such occasion, his judgment was so poor that he tried to carjack an off-duty police officer. Even after the officer informed him, Wade chose to pick a fight rather than run away. This landed him in jail and in front of a judge. But rather than just throw him jail, the judge gave him the choice of joining the army instead. Wanting to avoid jail, Wade chose this army. This fateful decision would prove a turning point in his life.
At first, army life was not ideal for Wade. His poor judgment and lack of discipline made him a challenge for every officer he faced. He was constantly reprimanded and transferred to a number of squads over the course of his service. However, when he wasn’t annoying his officers, Wade demonstrated uncanny killer instincts. Since his father had been a World War I veteran and had taught him to handle weapons at a young age, Wade was better than most of his fellow soldiers when it came to shooting. He was also better than most when it came to toughness. Having been hardened by his father, he was able to ensure any punishment his officers could dish out. He showed a natural willingness to run into the heat of battle without fear or regard. This led him to be deployed to a number of war zones where Wade got his first taste of killing.
Wade Wilson’s records get somewhat sketchy at this point. It is known that he participated in combat operations within Korea, Vietnam, and South America. And during that time, he ascended in rank to a Special Forces unit. He received numerous recognitions for his service. He developed a reputation for ditching any concepts of strategy and running right into line of fire. This earned him a number of injuries including bullet wounds, broken bones, and at one point temporary paralysis. But he continued fighting. He even was said to have shown an unusual enjoyment in combat. At times, his mental stability was questioned. But every time he was deemed okay for combat, either out of apathy or a desire to not lose a good soldier. While he did become more disciplined as the years went on, his attitude remained in question and this eventually led him to an operation that would change the course of his life.
It started as a simple reconnaissance mission in southern China. Wade and a group of Special Forces commandos were tasked with uncovering and disrupting links between the Chinese and their allies in Vietnam. During the mission, his team discovered nuclear materials being shipped between China and Vietnam as part of joint effort to supplement their weapons program. Like he had done many times before, Wade impulsively ditched his squad and attacked a convoy. This time his bravado caught up with him. He used a series of hand grenades to disable one of the convoys. But in doing so, he broke the seal on some dangerous weapons grade materials. While he succeeded in his mission, he became violently ill with radiation poisoning. His body became severely burned and was soon covered in scab-like wounds. He also exhibited severe cancer-like symptoms. The army doctors gave him less than three weeks to live. That’s when Weapon X stepped in.
As an accomplished soldier, Wade was ideally suited for the program. At the time, Abraham Cornelius and Professor Robert Thornton was trying to rebuild the program after their efforts with Wolverine and Sabretooth failed. Then Colonel John Wraith pulled some strings to allow Wade Wilson to be their next test subject. Due to Wade’s dire condition, he eagerly agreed. Some tests were conducted and it was discovered that while Wade wasn’t a mutant, he was a carrier of the X-gene. In order to carry out the experiment, Professor Thornton used the data from Wolverine’s procedure to infuse in Wade a new healing factor. However, during the experiment, they incurred some unexpected side-effects.
The process worked to a degree. It was able to infuse Deadpool with a healing factor every bit as potent as Wolverine’s. This allowed his internal body chemistry to effectively heal from the radiation poisoning. However, it did not heal the severe burns throughout his body. But the most distressing side-effect by far was how the experiment affected his sanity. It was at first thought to be temporary, but it only got worse as time goes on. Wade started talking to himself. He went so far as to tell his doctors that he was part of a comic book series or some fanfiction story. He mental instability escalated to a point where Colonel Wraith ordered that Wade be killed to save face for Weapon X.
One night when Wade was sitting alone in his hospital bed talking to himself, a platoon of Weapon X soldiers entered with the intention of killing him. But Wade showed he was sane enough to fight back. He ended up killing every soldier, taking their weapons, and using them to escape. During his escape, he laughed and made jokes the whole time. After killing all the agents and standing in a pool of their blood, he took the persona of Deadpool. This name stuck and it was the name that led him to the next phase of his life.
After escaping Weapon X, Deadpool went through a wandering period. Not much is known about what happened during this time. For a while, he was thought to be dead. But he eventually turned up in Russia where he attempted to enlist in the Omega Family, which was one of Russia’s most prominent mob groups. They gave him the distinct costume, firearms, and katanas that would later define his appearance. For a time, he was he excelled at his work. However, when Omega Red discovered that he had ties to Weapon X, he also tried to have Wade killed. But like Weapon X, some unexpected circumstances prevented this.
At the time, Omega Red was also fighting Wolverine. He believed that Wolverine had committed some egregious crimes against his family and Russia. The details of these crimes aren’t known, but they were personal enough to make Omega Red dedicate vast resources into killing him. Wolverine seemed to have his reasons for hating Omega Red as well, but again the details are unknown. And when Wolverine heard of the assassination attempt on Deadpool, he saved him.
With a long list of new enemies, Deadpool teamed up with Wolverine and began a two-man assault on the Omega family. The two worked well together, causing Omega Red and many of his allies a great deal of frustration. For a while, it seemed they were on the verge of ending the Omega family completely. However, Omega Red was able to gain the upper hand by setting a trap for Wolverine and Deadpool. This trap consisted of a partnership with Weapon X, which led both men into an assault in North Korea. Once they were both caught in the trap, Omega Red intended to give them back over to Weapon X. While Wolverine was unable to escape, Deadpool got away.
For a while, Deadpool tried to locate Wolverine. However, this proved too difficult and he was of no sound mind to contemplate doing so. As such, he became a full-time mercenary. His reputation for being impulsive and mentally unstable continued, but he did prove efficient at his job. And working with Wolverine gave him new sense of direction that led him to avoid falling into the same persona as his father. This direction helped Deadpool become one of the most successful mercenaries of his kind. He is known to have worked with the likes of the Hand, which often led to clashes with the Azazel. But he’s managed to survive and thrive amidst the violence and chaos. Due to his mental instability, it seems as though he really enjoys it.
Character Breakdown: Deadpool’s persona is a case study in psychological chaos. He doesn’t just come off as mentally unstable. He embraces his mental instability. It shows in the way he makes jokes and wise-cracks in every situation, even in the heat of battle. He demonstrates many traits of psychosis, hearing numerous voices in his head and manifesting irrational perceptions. Yet he is somehow able to function as a competent mercenary. This indicates a certain level of sanity that allows him to sufficiently process the world around him. However, it is impossible to determine the extent of such sanity due to his chaotic mind.
Deadpool’s mental instability also seems to manifest in various voices that may act as different personalities at times. He’s able to go from a persona capable of killing without remorse to one that exercises a certain level of morality. This may be in large part to the time he spent with Wolverine after Weapon X. As someone who went through a similar process, Wolverine was best equipped to instill in Deadpool some sense of honor. It may be limited, but it prevents him from going too far in his work and even allows him to second guess others he suspects may be using him or seeking to cause mass destruction. It creates a very fragile balance of sorts within an unbalanced mind so it’s difficult to surmise whether Deadpool is good or evil to an extreme. More often than not, his morality fluctuated in between the two.
This ability to have some sense of honor also shows in the twisted perceptions he often exhibits. Most of the time, his mental instability manifests in jokes or deranged musings. But at times, his perceptions are a bit more elaborate. At times he seems to genuinely believe he’s a comic book character or a character in a fanfiction series. This kind of mental instability could be construed as a form of super-sanity, one that allows him to see the world in a unique way. That perception may not be entirely logical, but it appears ingrained in his persona. Given the chaos of his mind and the nature of his work, it is almost impossible to get a full understanding of what makes Deadpool tick.