T.J. Miller’s Problematic Presence in ‘Deadpool 2’

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

Deadpool has always occupied a unique position—or rather positions—within the Marvel superhero canon.

When he was first introduced as a one-off villain in 1991’s New Mutants #98, the lethal assassin formerly known as Wade Wilson appeared rather derivative, boasting the tactical suit, guns-and-swords arsenal, disfigurement, and regenerative healing abilities of DC’s Deathstroke (aka Slade Wilson) spliced with Wolverine’s Weapon X backstory. But after surviving three knives in the back courtesy of Domino, the Merc with a Mouth evolved into a strangely compelling—and complex—antihero: a pansexual enfant terrible whose fourth wall-breaking wisecracks mask his deep psychological scars.

During his childhood in Canada, Wilson was molested by his mother while his father was away (as revealed in Deadpool MAX). When his Dad found out, instead of reprimanding his wife, he beat young Wade senseless. The child was soon banished to a foster home, where his new mother figure also molested him. After transforming into a self-described “testicle with teeth,” Deadpool is sexually assaulted by the villainous Typhoid Mary (who poses as his infatuation, Siryn, in the crossover event Deadpool #13), further exacerbating his intimacy issues and scattershot memories, while serving as the catalyst for a roaring rampage of revenge.

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