Deadpool is one of Marvel’s most popular heroes, but with a costume change, fans can see what he would have been like had he remained a villain.
Throughout its comic book history Dead Pool moral compass has always been a bit erratic. He started his career as a villain, but quickly became an anti-hero and then a hero in his own right thanks to his popularity as a character. However, the pages of Deadpool #58 gives fans a glimpse of what the Merc with a Mouth would have looked like had he continued on his original villainous path.
Deadpool is Wade Wilson, a former Special Forces soldier turned mercenary and assassin. After being diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he was recruited by the Weapon X program and implanted with an artificial healing factor inspired by Wolverine. This stopped the cancer in his body, but in return Wade had to perform clandestine and dubious ethical missions for his new masters. Eventually, the healing factor failed, and Wade’s cancer returned, resulting in grotesque deformities all over his body, which would forever be a major trauma for him. Afterwards, Wade was handed over to the mad scientist, Doctor Killebrew, and through a combination of torture, desire for revenge, and his love affair with the entity known as Death, Wade’s healing powers came back. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to correct his physical appearance.
However, in Deadpool #57 & #58, by Frank Tieri and Georges Jeanty, the Merc with a Mouth finds himself once again recruited by the infamous Weapon X Program. This decision returns Wade to the worst version of himself: a mercenary in the service of a corrupt government organization who intends to harm unworthy people. In return for his service, he receives a stronger healing factor that finally corrects his cancerous deformities and a new outfit. It’s through this new costume that fans get a glimpse of what Deadpool might have looked like had he chosen to stick around as the villain.
Deadpool’s new Weapon X uniform is a complete reversal of his classic red and black. Black becomes the dominant color with only a minimal amount of red stripes, notably in the mask. The new suit also exposes his arms, which cleverly underscores Wade’s compromises with the Weapon X agenda. Deadpool has always been one of Marvel’s darkest heroes, but the reverse color scheme shows that he allows his selfish desires to eclipse his heroic impulses. Also, having the sleeveless uniform shows off Wade’s “normal” appearance, and the bare arms remind Deadpool of what Weapon X gave him and what they can take away from him.
At the end of the comic, Deadpool chooses to turn against the program and loses his new healing factor with the costume. However, this small incident gives readers a glimpse of what dead Pool might have been had he never moved on from his mistakes and become the hero – and general fourth-wall nuisance – that most people know today.