Move over, Wolverine; step aside, Magneto. There’s a new love machine in Fox’s X-Men movie franchise, and he’s got the bear rug to prove it.
Ryan Reynolds revealed the first image of himself as Deadpool on Twitter this morning showing the character lounging on a bearskin rug in front of a roaring fire, accompanied by the caption “With great power, comes great irresponsibility.” If that seems a little unusual for a superhero movie, then… well, that’s Deadpool for you.
The character was introduced in 1991’s New Mutants #98, created by future Levis commercial star Rob Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza. Originally little more than a wise-cracking gun for hire — an early nickname for the character was “the merc with the mouth” — his true comedic potential was unleashed a number of years later when he received his own monthly series written by Joe Kelly, who’s since become part of the Man of Action collective responsible for the Ben 10 and Generator Rex series for Cartoon Network.
Under Kelly’s hands, Deadpool was a parody of superhero comics in general, with the character becoming a hyper-violent Bugs Bunny trapped in a world full of X-Men and other superheroes. He recognized he was in a comic book, which allowed him to bypass the traditional laws governing superheroes: he could go back in time to meet Peter Parker’s Aunt and Uncle before Spider-Man was around, or address the reader to berate them for reading his comic in the first place.
Such attitude won the favor of the comic book faithful, and Deadpool became Marvel’s biggest breakout star in years. He’s since featured in a number of series, including Deadpool Team-Up, Deadpool Corps and Deadpool MAX (That latter being a short-lived adults-only version of the character), with a number of other creators becoming involved in guiding his destiny. Currently, comedian Brian Posehn co-writes the monthly Deadpool series, although the character himself is about to be killed off… not that such a setback is likely to keep him down for too long.
Reynolds’ 2016 movie won’t be the first time Deadpool will have showed up on the big screen, nor even the first time Reynolds will have played him; the actor first took on the role in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, although the version of the character in that movie bore little resemblance to his comic book counterpart beyond his name. Next year’s movie will be more faithful, Reynolds has promised, with the feature having been in development for more than four years before being finally greenlit late in 2014 following the leak of early test footage.
Whether or not any movie could come close to matching the self-referential insanity of Deadpool’s comic book exploits remains to be seen— just finding some way to replicate the character’s multiple personalities offering contradicting narration might prove problematic — but if there’s one thing that fans can take from Reynolds’ Friday-morning tweet, it’s that this clearly isn’t going to be a movie that takes itself seriously. And that, at least, is a start.