Written by Otaku Apologist
I never read the Deadpool comics. I knew nothing of the character until some years ago. He never made appearances in the Amazing Spider-Man in the 90s and early 2000s, the comic that was my main connection to the Marvel universe. After the first Deadpool (2016) movie, and now this movie, he’s quickly becoming my favorite Marvel character.
Deadpool is the ghetto version of Spider-Man. His super power is literally cancer. His cancer turned into immortality after he suffered horrible scientific experiments that aimed at making him a super soldier. His father was never there for him, he’s always lived in poverty. He’s a dysfunctional adult with shady morals, and a weird sense of humor. He’s like Batman but even more psychologically fucked.
The story of Deadpool 2 begins with his girlfriend murdered by some criminals. The plot follows the tropes of a story of redemption, but intentionally delivers the message in a flip-flop manner. Deadpool doesn’t contemplate the dimensions of good and evil, while chasing down the douchebag that shot his girlfriend. He immediately kills him. After the murder, he attempts suicide by incinerating his apartment. Because he physically cannot die, he survives. Soon after, his smoking ruin of an apartment is visited by Colossus who drags his severed limbs to the X-Men mansion. Colossus tries to bring Deadpool into the X-Men family, and teach him the superhero code.
Yeah, Deadpool’s time as an X-Man doesn’t last long. In his very first mission, his trigger fingers land beautiful headshots in the soft skulls of civilians – the civilians in question were evil abusive bastards who hurt children.
Deadpool is sent to a mutant jail called Ice Box. He’s sent along with a troubled mutant kid named Russell. Russell is a 14-years old boy. He’s fat, aggressive, antisocial. He was abusing his super powers, destroyed public property, even threatened to kill his school’s headmaster. This kid clearly has issues, but these issues were amplified by the physical torture he suffered in the institution. Tragically, physical and sexual abuse of minors is an ongoing problem in daycares, schools, churches, and other socially important institutions.
A time-traveler from the grimdark future named Cable, travels back in time to kill the pudgy asperger kid, before he grows into a serial killing mutant monster. See what’s going on here?
Watching the morally screwed Deadpool make every sacrifice to save this kid, moved me emotionally. In real life, kids like these are more often left without care, because they’re so impulsive and self-destructive, nobody has the patience to deal with them. It felt good to indulge in this fantasy, that adults would sacrifice themselves for children they have no blood relation to, when in most cases, even family members and extended family don’t go that far. In many countries, bullied kids are forced to switch schools, no penalty to the bullies.
Kids fall through the cracks all the time, becoming criminals, and killers, while everyone pretends they didn’t see the signs. We don’t want to see them. We feel better when troubled children are out of sight, out of mind, tending to themselves in dark corners of the world plotting revenge against their abusers, and people who ignored them.
When life gives you nothing but pain, your beastly instinct is to make your suffering spread, corrupt, and destroy everything around you. This suicidal energy can have productive, or destructive paths for it. Deadpool 2 tries to champion the high-road, without offering concrete examples of what kids like this should do. Is the message “rely on adults who solve their problems with violence”?
With so many school shootings happening in the west in the past few years, I’m disappointed to see so little understanding for what these kids are going through. If you’ve never been bullied, or otherwise abused in a relationship, you don’t get it. Every neg wears down your mental defenses. It’s death by a thousand cuts. All cases of abuse are enabled by countless passive bystanders who do nothing.
Russell befriends a big bad super villain, to help him exact his revenge on his school. With his super powers, Russell sets the building ablaze, while the super villain distracts the heroes. Russell chases the institution’s balding, middle-aged headmaster down the burning halls, taunting the man to incite the words he used while torturing him. It’s like a ritual killing.
Before the final showdown at the school, Deadpool made a deal with Cable. Deadpool has 30 seconds to convince Russell that murder is wrong, or Cable will shoot the boy. After Cable and Deadpool have brutally slaughtered the entire staff of the school, it’s time for Deadpool to show what he’s learned about the magic of friendship. Standing on broken bones, and pools of blood, he makes a passionate speech.
Deadpool 2 succeeds at the emotional journey, but that’s where it ends. The adults massacre masses of people, while trying to teach the pudgy latino kid a lesson they don’t follow. The blatant hypocrisy is a poignant criticism of adults, who often preach morals they don’t follow.
What’s never addressed in the movie is that socially dysfunctional people often become killers, when they lack means of climbing the social hierarchy. The higher you are in any hierarchy, the greater the resources and social approval. A sense of inferiority turns into violent behavior, when you are denied social recognition, and resources. Deadpool 2 fails at delivering a useful message, because by the end of the movie, the kid still isn’t doing anything constructive with his life. He’s not creating content, or products for others to enjoy. He’s not running a lemonade stance, or coding violent indie videogames. He’s still fat, unpopular, and in very bad company.
Had anyone taught me at school how to make an income from my favorite hobbies, I would have started a business in my early 20s. But teachers at public schools are not creatively thinking businessmen. The super smart, entrepreneurial people are too busy raking millions to take on low-paying public jobs. What you’re left with are weak-willed, average people who can only teach you conformity to the government-controlled socialist system that they are psychologically and monetarily dependent upon.
What I want to teach kids: It’s okay to be aggressive. What matters is that you use your destructive energy, to create things that make other people happy. Because when you make people happy, they’ll give you their time, resources, and their respect. Climbing the social hierarchy is easy in a free market. As a creator, you’re like a central bank: You create currency from nothing.