How Did Deadpool Get His Powers? The Answer May Lie With Wolverine

The X-Men movie universe expands this month with the release of the franchise's first spinoff movie that's not focused on a member of the superhero team. I am of course talking about Deadpool, which stars Ryan Reynolds as the indestructible, smart-mouthed assassin with a penchant for breaking the fourth wall. Deadpool's powers are similar to those of the most recognizable member of the X-Men, Wolverine, in that he has an accelerated healing ability that makes him pretty much impossible to kill. But how did Deadpool get his powers? Pretty much everyone else that's been introduced into the X-Men movies has been a mutant, meaning that they were born with their powers. But judging from the film's trailer, Deadpool wasn't. So what gives?

Deadpool is not a mutant. He was not born with any special powers. Nor was he endowed with powers by way of some kind of radioactive mishap like most other Marvel heroes (Spider-Man, Hulk, Daredevil, etc.). He is a regular guy (well, an assassin) named Wade Wilson who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. In order to fight the disease, he undergoes an experimental treatment that imbues him with his superhuman healing ability, but it doesn't necessarily cure the disease. Instead, it makes it so his cells are unable to die — including his cancer cells — which is why, even though he's basically immortal, his face is forever scarred.

The film seems to follow this process to the letter, but one detail where the movie and comic book version may differ is in who gave Deadpool his powers. In the comics, it's made very clear that the Weapon X program was the organization that experimented on Deadpool. This group has had their hand in altering the powers of a number of X-Men characters, most famously Wolverine. Although Weapon X didn't give Wolverine his healing power or claws, he was born with both, they did bond the indestructible metal adamantium to his bones (including his claws), making him a far more formidable fighter.

Deadpool does not use the term "Weapon X" in the trailer, so it's unknown at this time if the people giving Deadpool his powers are the same folks who worked on Wolverine in the movies. It is worth mentioning though, that the film's main antagonist, Ajax, plays a major part in Deadpool's transformation. In the comics, Ajax fills a similar role, and is working for Weapon X at the time of Deadpool's treatment.

So even if Deadpool never ends up name dropping "Weapon X", the film still depicts the character as a non-mutant who receives a cancer treatment from a shady organization that endows him with an accelerated healing factor that makes him essentially immortal and incredibly ugly. In other words, Deadpool fans are gonna be pleased.

Images: 20th Century Fox;