Deadpool seems to have universal appeal. It doesn't matter which corporate titan you pledge allegiance to – DC or Marvel, odds are, you probably like Deadpool. And what's not to like? He's funny as hell, deadly, and cartoonishly unkillable. But when we tally up all the things about him that are so much fun, what we end up with is a picture of ourselves – the comic book fan – inserted into our own favorite comic book universe to goof around as we please. You read that right: Deadpool is a comic book fan put into a comic book. Let's look at the similarities between Deadpool and comic book nerds.
He's Genre Savvy
That doesn't mean he necessarily knows he's in a comic book, but he knows plenty of stories like his own, and he references them often. This varies, however, from comic to comic. Remember that time that Deadpool tried to hunt down and murder every Deadpool fan, thinking that if no one would read his comics anymore, he could finally die? It was pretty meta, but it also suggests that Wade is at least peripherally aware that he's a comic book character. If we could ourselves become a comic book character, we would know it, and probably love it the same way Deadpool does.
He's Too Ugly to Score with Comic Book Women
We've all seen him without his mask on. Now I'm not saying fanboys look that way, but I'm sure some readers have already skipped down to the comments to launch into vicious ad hominem attacks as soon as they read that heading. Contrary to the stereotype, most of us are either happily married, or involved. But raise your hand if you think you've got a shot with Black Widow, Mary Jane, She-Hulk, Black Cat, or any other bodacious comic book vixen. Anyone? No? Me neither. And that's Wade's position in the comics as well. He longs for them the same way we would if put into that world. But let us not speak of these things, for they hurt too much.
He Doesn't Take Himself Seriously
And neither would we if we were put into a comic book world. We'd be on freaking holiday with martial arts prowess, katanas, and guns galore, coupled with Toontown-style immortality. If we were set loose in our favorite comic book world, we would constantly snicker and wise-crack, even as Wolverine ran his adamantium claws through our chest. It would be so awesome. Speaking of Wolverine…
Other Heroes See Him as a Pest
Spider-man, Wolverine, Captain America, they all groan and roll their eyes when Deadpool comes around, and if I were given super powers and set loose in their world I would pester them to no end. Those guys would hate me, but I wouldn't be able to help myself. I'd be too star struck to care that they're being inconvenienced by my presence.
He Doesn't Think of Himself as a Hero
I don't know anyone who does. Deadpool often flirts with the concept, but never fully commits. He once told Spider-man he wished he could be a hero like him, but he just loves killing too much. I imagine I'd have a similar problem if I were dropped into a comic book world with super powers and immortality; I'd be too busy having fun to buckle down and do the serious hero thing. It would be hard to focus, especially since I'd be genre savvy, surrounded by dream women and my favorite comic book heroes; how could I not play? Sure, I'll kick some butt, maybe even brawl with some of the heroes for fun, but at the end of the day, I'd still just be me – some guy who just really likes super heroes.
In conclusion, Deadpool does everything I would do if I were a comic book character: goof off, crack jokes and use self-deprecating humor, sing bad pop songs, draw infantile pictures with crayons, make video game and action movie references, flirt with vixens and pester the great heroes. And maybe save the day. That's why we love Deadpool so much. He's us. We're him. And it's awesome.