The Complexity of Deadpool
Most people will agree that Deadpool is an entertaining character. However, the comedic brilliance and almost perfect portrayal of the character by Ryan Reynolds is not the determining factor. Neither is the fact that he is a pop-culture-bashing, omnisexual man-child (however captivating that might sound to you).
The superhero universe concept was created and built on the common perception that there exists good and evil. Add superhuman abilities to that concept, and voila, you have heroes and villains. Since the earliest editions of superhero comics became popular, the genre has developed, and today we can see a broad spectrum of ethical and moral standards. Everything from an unwavering ethical compass in Captain America to characters like the Nazi depicted Red Skull who seemingly is evil because he is evil.
There are also characters that are difficult to place on a spectrum between good and evil. A famous example is Thanos; the ambition to wipe out half of all existing life in the universe appears cruel and evil at first thought. If you dive deeper into his reasoning, you could easily argue that he has the world’s best interest in mind.
Then there is Deadpool. Perhaps one of the most morally ambiguous fictional characters ever portrayed on screen. He does not exist on a moral spectrum. He has no ethics, no moral code. He has loved ones and shows feelings of compassion, but they waver at every passing moment. It’s impossible to tell where his ethics lay because he does not care. Combine this with the fact that he continually draws the crowd in by breaking the fourth wall and you end up enchanted by the complex character.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Deadpool is humorously savage, quite amusing, and possesses all the traits to be a fan favorite. What I’m getting at is that while appealing to us ridiculously, he also reveals humanity’s deepest depravities, many times without us even realizing it. He draws forward a truth that only the morally lawless can do. He is just as intriguing to the slow-witted as he is to the insightful.
His complexity is simple, yet complicated.