Now, while the rip-roaring box office success of Marvel and Fox's Deadpool looks set to have rubber-stamped Ryan Reynolds as the once and future inhabitant of the Merc with a Mouth's shiny red pants, a whole lot of Reynolds' success in the role can arguably be traced back to the fact that he is, for all intents and purposes, a real-life, walking, talking and cursing version of Wade 'Deadpool' Wilson.
In other words, Reynolds is Deadpool, in so much as any fully-functioning real-world human being can be, and Deadpool is very much him.
Take a look back at the character's comic book past, though, and things get a little more... complicated.
There Are Actually A Whole Lot More Deadpools Out There Than You'd Think
Indeed, as ComicBook.com recently highlighted, there are hundreds of variations of the antihero out there — and as it turns out, some of them might just be a whole lot less like Ryan Reynolds than the Merc we know and love.
Here are seven of my personal favorite alternates...
7. The Nice Guy, a.k.a. Zenpool
Ever wondered what would happen if Deadpool's moral compass was inverted? No? Well, Marvel gave you the chance to find out anyway back in the epic AXIS crossover event, during which Deadpool became a devoted pacifist... who was still nutty as a box of legumes.
6. The Multiverse, a.k.a. The Deadpool Corps
Now, technically we're talking a whole lot more Deadpools than just the ones pictured above here — seeing as there was a whole alternate-reality-Deadpool-based civil war at one point — but there aren't too many more beloved by fans than the likes of Lady Deadpool, Dogpool and, of course, the disembodied Headpool.
5. The Evil Twin, a.k.a. Dreadpool
Yup, that's right. There's an alternate version of Deadpool called Deadpool. Who once (sort of) managed to destroy the entire Marvel universe, before finally being foiled by our regular ol' Wade Wilson (during the aforementioned Deadpool civil war).
Technically, though, this is...
4. The Actual Evil Twin, a.k.a. Evil Deadpool
This is what happens when you stalk Deadpool and gather his dismembered body parts together in one place. That's right, they grow back together into an evil version of the antihero.
Yet more reasons never to stalk people, gang.
3. The Actual Alternative, a.k.a. Agent X
Technically an assassin named Nijo Minamiyori, Agent X was created via a convoluted merger of Nijo's body and Deadpool's brain, and for a while thought he actually was Deadpool. So far as almost-Deadpools go, then, Nijo's still the reigning champ.
2. The Kind of Pointless Version, a.k.a. Ultimate Deadpool
Remember how everyone's favorite thing about Deadpool is his wise-cracking, antiheroic nature and snarkily sunny disposition? Well, the Ultimate universe's version of the character got rid of all of that, and replaced it with a mutant-hating (and hunting) asshole who... still had the original's disfigured face. So... there's that?
1. The Fan-Favorite, a.k.a. Gwen-Pool
Yes, this is a real thing, and yes, that is indeed Gwen Stacy as Deadpool. She's even got her own comic book and everything.
And yes, you're absolutely correct. That is ridiculously awesome.
What do you think, though?
Who's your favorite alternate version of Deadpool?