Your favorite is problematic: Deadpool

Deadpool is a problematic character in many ways; he is violent, abusive, ignorant, intentionally offensive. Put within context many of his problematic behaviors are almost justifiable but I see no reason to do that because it undermines the reality of his character, it undermines the reality of people who relate to him. People who can relate to a character who is physically and mentally disabled, who has undergone a lifetime of abuse including rape, who has been isolated in every conceivable way.

Is it a given that people who share this type of existence will be violent, abusive, ignorant, and intentionally offensive? No. Can it be said that society fails these people so completely that sometimes the only alternative is to be violent, abusive, willfully ignorant, and intentionally offensive? Yes.

I love seeing people use excerpts from the Deadpool series to explain to their followers what their life is like. Posting a scene in which Deadpool is crying in the hospital, begging to be let go, and simply adding the comments “I have been there” goes a long way to helping your privileged followers understand a little bit of what your life is like.

I don’t love seeing people minimize the problematic things writers have had Deadpool do or say because the person feels a secondhand guilt as someone who relates so closely to the character. You can love and relate to Deadpool while disavowing some of the things he has been written to do. His life may have led him to unacceptable places or conclusions and you and I both know your life has driven you to unacceptable places and conclusions. The answer is not to justify, it’s to do better. And isn’t that always what we see Deadpool do in the end? Trying to do better? Even if it’s only his version of better.



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