Friday, October 07, 2016

Getting What He Wants, Losing What He Needs

One of the recurring problems for Deadpool is he gains acceptance and friends, only to lose them. Somehow, some way, Wade will wreck what he's worked hard to achieve. Usually it happens by him behaving in a selfish or unthinking matter. Now it's happening because he's actually trying to be a hero.

I've wanted Deadpool to get some respect, or at least understanding from the heroes of the Marvel Universe. He's wanted to be one of them since at least part way through Cable/Deadpool, but he's frequently rejected in what are staggering double standards. Sure, the X-Men will let repeated would-be world conquerors like Namor and Magneto hang out with them, or people will huge body counts like Mystique or the Juggernaut, who rarely express regret for their actions, and often revert to full villainy before long. But Deadpool can get lost. Spider-Man will extend understanding to Harry Osborn over his mental problems, support Sandman in his efforts to reform, be on the Avengers with Wolverine (who has a body count bigger than some wars), but can't tolerate being around Deadpool. It was frustrating.

But the worm had finally turned. Wade is on an Avengers team, put there by Steve Rogers, before Rogers became a HYDRA mole. He seems to be winning over teammates like Rogue and Quicksilver, and seemed to have made friends with both Logan and Nightcrawler before that. And, his brief, self-described pity party in issue 18, he's really committed to trying to be an Avenger. Provided an HQ, funded the team, dedicated to finding the Red Skull and retrieving Xavier's brain. None of that erases his morally questionable actions from the past, but he's at least making an effort to be a proper good guy.

So naturally, everything else in his life is falling apart. Funding the Avengers cost him his Mercs for Money (though it seems he's just going to hire more). His friend Michael sacrificed himself stopping an assault on the Monster Metropolis, and Wade had to stand there and watch. His daughter doesn't call him "dad" any longer. Her adoptive mother is pissed at him, his wife is fed up with him (maybe?) All the friends and loved ones he'd made over the previous volume of his book are falling away from him. Wade hasn't - and maybe can't - manage the juggling act Peter Parker and a lot of other heroes have mastered, where they can do the hero gig, but still be there enough for the people they care about that they don't alienate them entirely.

The saddest part of it is, Deadpool knows it's happening, but he can't fix it. He doesn't really want to be alone, but he thinks being around him is bad news, and he doesn't want those people to be hurt. So he tries to watch over them from a distance. Obviously that isn't working, and it's unclear if he can bring himself to change his approach, or if the situation is even salvageable. I have to think that if Wade made a real effort to be around for Eleanor and Shiklah, things would improve, but I think he's convinced himself being an Avenger is what he has to do, and everything else is getting left behind.

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