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Is DEADPOOL a Rip-Off of DEATHSTROKE? || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync

Is DEADPOOL a Rip-Off of DEATHSTROKE? || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync

Scott: Alright, Let’s reply to some comments. Mhm Mhm. Okay, sure. What the? [suspenseful music builds] [phone rings] Hey, Ricky. What’s going on? Ricky: Deadpool! DEADPOOL!!! [suspenseful music builds] Deadpool. Scott: Fine, I’ll do a Deadpool video. Welcome to Comic Misconceptions, I’m Scott and I’m finally going to fulfill my promise
from one year ago when I said this: Past-Scott: First things first. To everyone
asking for a Deadpool video, we’re working on it.
Present-Scott: Really just trying to make Past-Scott more accountable these days. Plus,
you all have been vaguely asking me for a Deadpool video since the dawn of time so why
not now? One aspect of Deadpool that has popped up a lot and has been treated as fact is that
he is a blatant rip-off of a DC character Deathstroke. But, what if he wasn’t? Alright,
let’s back up here. First, a little background on these two characters and as I always do,
I will over-generalize their respective histories and link you to videos in the description
where you can find more info on them if you so choose. Deathstroke, originally Deathstroke
the Terminator, was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez and premiered in New Teen
Titans #2 from 1980. He can be summed up pretty fairly as a genetically enhanced super solider
turned assassin/mercenary named Slade Wilson who fights using a combo of blades and guns.
Deadpool on the other hand was created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza and premiered
in New Mutants #98 from 1991. He can be summed up pretty fairly as a genetically enhanced
assassin/mercenary named Wade Wilson who fights using a combo of blades and guns. Hey! That’s
like the same thing! It’s clear that these two share more than a few similarities right?
One of the big differences being their personalities, of course. Deathstroke is more serious whereas
Deadpool is pretty… the opposite of that. So now we get to the main question again. Was
Deadpool really truly a rip-off of Deathstroke? Well let’s look at the evidence for that
argument. First and foremost I think we can all agree that the similarities are way too
crazy to be a coincidence right? Unfortunately that’s not really evidence. It’s improbable
sure but not impossible strictly speaking, for Rob Liefeld to come up with a Deadpool
character completely separate from Deathstroke. What evidence do we actually have? The biggest
source I have found is this interview with Fabian Nicieza the other co-creator
of Deadpool in Classic Marvel Figurine Collections #56 from 2008. In the last section of the
magazine, Nicieza reveals the behind-the-scenes of the creation of Deadpool. He explains and
I quote “All I knew at the time was that he was a lethal killer and super-agile; sort
of a cross between Spider-Man and Punisher. So I called Rob up and I said… ‘This guy
is Deathstroke from Teen Titans!’ and he laughed and said, ‘Ah, you caught me.’
And we both laughed since we both loved Teen Titans, and had already discussed that Deadpool
was going to be the ‘throwaway character’ out of the three that were being introduced
that issue”. He goes on to say a bit later in the interview quote “I named him Wade
Wilson because that was out little in-joke that made him a third cousin on his mother’s
sister’s uncle’s cousin’s side to Slade Wilson, Deathstroke”. That seems pretty
straight forward and has certainly been quoted and cited enough around the internet that
it caught on as the official story. I mean, it comes straight from the mouth of one of
the co-creators of Deadpool. Case closed! Right? Well, not exactly. At many, many different
comic cons Rob Liefeld has held panels where fans basically just ask him a lot of Deadpool
questions. A lot of the answers are pretty eye-opening. Getting straight to the point,
whenever fans ask if Deathstroke was an inspiration for Deadpool, Rob always seems to reply very
clearly saying absolutely not. Links for three videos of different panels that has happened
in and an article written about one of them in the description if you want to go take
a look for yourself. Combining information from all the different panels put together,
Liefeld explains that the creation of Deadpool was really inspired by Todd McFarlane. McFarlane
was drawing Spider-Man at the time who we all know is a masked character Liefeld was
drawing New Mutants with a bunch of characters who didn’t wear masks. Liefeld tells a story
of how McFarlane used to taunt him about how he’d have to spend a lot of time getting
the faces and the hair and the eyebrows lined up and all that stuff while Spider-Man was
just a big oval, some big eyes and it allowed McFarlane to work a lot faster. So when the
opportunity arrived. Liefeld created his answer to McFarlane’s Spider-Man and not just the
character who was masked, but a character who was almost always masked. With Spider-Man,
you’d still have to draw Peter Parker’s face occasionally, but with Deadpool, he’s almost
perpetually in his costume and mask. Liefeld pitched Deadpool as bad Spider-Man with swords
and guns and he based the name off of the Clint Eastwood movie, The Deadpool from 1988.
Audio from The Dead Pool (1988): -The dead pool is just a harmless game. -Sounds pretty
sick to me. Scott: He goes on to explain that Wolverine
was also a big inspiration. When a fan asked why he made Deadpool’s main power healing,
Liefeld replied quote “Because I was literally copying Wolverine.” He elaborates on the
connection to Wolverine by talking about Deadpool’s proposed backstory as a Weapon X wash out
that other writers expanded upon later. So with Rob Liefeld’s story, we have a problem,
an inconsistency. One co-creators said Deadpool was based off of Deathstroke intentionally
while the other plainly says that he wasn’t. So, what’s the answer? Perhaps the easiest
explanation here is that someone is just misremembering, right? Radiolab did a fascinating episode
about memories that I’ll link to below. In it they talk about how every time you remember
something, you’re literally changing and altering that memory. This means that the
more you reflect on old memories, the less accurate they actually become. I love how
Stan Lee puts it whenever he starts telling stories from his past experiences.
Stan Lee: I have said this so often, at so many places that for all I know it might even
be true. Scott: Kind of a little self-deception. You
tell a lie so much that it actually starts to become true for you. That’s not to say
that either person said out to purposely spread a lie, but rather that both could whole heartedly
believe what they are saying is the truth. Even though they contradict each other. But
do they? I mean are these two stories from Liefeld and Nicieza truly mutually exclusive?
Giving each side the benefit of the doubt, we could piece together a combined story that
might make sense. (that guy) talks about how both he and Liefeld were both big fans of
Teen Titans at the time so maybe when McFarlane was teasing him about Spider-Man, Liefeld
started crafting Deadpool and subconsciously was drawing inspiration from Deathstroke.
When Nicieza heard about and saw Deadpool for the first time, it was obvious to him
that he seemed a lot like Deathstroke and so he probably would have brought it up to
Liefeld who then could have immediately recognized that, “Oh yeah, I guess he is. Hmm, you
caught me”. What do you guys think? Is Deadpool and intentional rip-off of Deathstroke? Was
it accidental and subconscious or was it completely and totally an unrelated coincidence? Let
me know you thoughts in the comments. And if this is your first time hanging out with
us here at Nerdsync, we do weekly comic book videos that expand your understanding and
enrich your comic book reading experience so hit that big sexy subscribe button, so
you don’t miss out on anything. Once again, I’m Scott, you can find me on Twitter and
Instagram. I will see you right here on Friday for a Tie-in video and more things you thought
you knew about comics. See ya! Ricky: Hello? Gosh it is hard to find a good
Deadpool nowadays.

100 comments on “Is DEADPOOL a Rip-Off of DEATHSTROKE? || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync

  1. This is as bad as people who claim Moon Knight is a cheap batman

    The people who make claims like this haven't read the comics or know the characters

  2. I always thought that Deadpool was a ripoff of Freakazoid(Steven Spielberg). both are fourth wall breaker ,both have includible ability ,and both got their powers from freak Accidents (weapon X and The Internet).

  3. This is unrelated to the video but i just want to say your channel is absolutely phenomenal, from the editing, quality, entertaining yet very professional tone. Really good stuff.

  4. The Question IS " Who is Deathstroke a Rip Off Of??". All media takes from other sources to make a New. Music is the best example. A lot of it sounds the same sometimes. So is Deathstroke just a version of a Highwayman from the 16 century( they used guns and knife for robbery)????

  5. He's a parody, not a rip-off. There is a difference artistically between parody and rip-off but the parody sucks.

  6. I'm no expert but my understanding was that deadpool only became goofy later on, and was indeed serious and your everyday generic badass merc we see from everyone ever in the 90's and thta his comedic side didn't come till later.

    If he was silly from the start, and please correct me if he actually was, then I'd say "yes, he is not a rip off, he is a parody" which i classify as a different thing.

    But if he was indeed the serious gritty standard 90's badass i was told he was in the beginning…then yeah, i'm gonna say rip-off. his name makes it too obvious. virtually same name, similar outfits, both of their business names having to do with the act of not being alive (death/dead)..oh and incase i didnt mention THEIR NAMES ARE BASICALLY THE SAME

    but yes, if he was silly from the start, then its just a parody and no harm no foul.

    Besides, hasn't DC done a reversal and made a DC parody of deadpool? so even if he is a blatant rip off, i dont think theres bad blood about it.

    Then again, if they got mad about every single rip off…they'd just sue eachother endlessly forever hahaha.

  7. I think a better video would be why he's grown so popular and there is so much hype to him. He's cool but he isn't that cool to me just an opinion though.

  8. I feel like they made a one off silly version of Deathstroke that was far cooler and more well received than they ever could have thought. At this point if they say out loud he was pretty much stolen that seems like DC could sue. Even if not if my claim to fame was a caricature ripoff I might begin to see it differently over time.

  9. One more Thing: Deadpool wasn't such a Goofy character as he is now when he first appeared but far more serious (and thus a lot more like Deathstroke). So, yeah, I think he is an intentional rip-off. I don't think that this matters all that much though. Deathstroke is also a rip-off of the Taskmaster (both created by George Pérez who basically copied himself). So what. 😉

  10. Given Liefeld's habit of ripping off characters (Badrock, etc.) and artwork, I wouldn't trust his recollection as far as I could throw it.

    I'm sure Bedr…BADrock's "Yabba-Dabba-DOOM!" phrase just sounded close to the Flintstones' own trademarked work.

  11. Liefeld has always been a ripoff and he knows it. He loves to take credit for other people's work. The fact is that Fabian Nicieza was more instrumental in the creation of Deadpool than Rob ever was. Also, Joe Kelly is the one who gave DP his most iconic and famous traits. Liefeld is only cashing the checks.

  12. Hes a ripoff of deathstroke…. Of coirse he admittef it when deadpool was planned to be a throwaway character…. Now that hes got a fan base its oh deathstroke was not an inspiration for deapool…. Sounds funny to me. Deadpool sucks deathstroke is way better.

  13. I mean, even if Deadpool was a complete rip-off of deathstroke, it's not like the deadpool creators are going to say "YEAH! We totally ripped-off a character from DC, you know our main competitors!" Of course they are going to say otherwise, that's why I'm not fully taking their denials about it. The "coincidences" are too strong and based on that interview you quoted first, it's clear even theyare self-aware. That doesn't say that I think ALL of Deadpool was a ripoff, maybe "ripoff" is too strong a word to use – but inspired in some ways by Deathstroke? Yes, I do think Deadpool was.

  14. The only thing in common Deadpool and Deathstroke is the name slade wilson and wade wilson, and if him is a rip off is better 10 times than deathstroke

  15. I wanted to rip my eyes out when I read a comment saying “Deathstroke copied Deadpool” like do your research lol

  16. SL ade Wilson
    W ade Wilson
    Same mask.
    Both genetically modified.
    Both swordsman who also use guns.both assassin's= not copied

  17. Well I think that the part of Deadpool that the one guy made was based of of Spider-Man but the part that the other guy made was based of of Deathstroke.

  18. Well maybe if they ( Hollywood) decided 2 do a Deathstroke live action film first then there wouldn't be a debate about who ripped off who

  19. Deadpool is more a spin-off than a rip-off.
    I think Deathstroke and Deadpool are very awesome characters.

    They should share a universe…

  20. I’m guessing death stroke was a visual and blatant rip-off on the surface but the character itself was not.

  21. Originally he acted a lot like deathstroke. You could say he was a "parody" of sorts. However, his character has changed a lot over the years and I think it's fair to say that they are both good characters in their own aspects.

  22. And then in the Teen Titans Go movie the Titans make a joke about how Slade looks like Deadpool. We've come full circle boys!

  23. Each’s story is true for their part in the creation of the character, one parodied Spider-Man, the other deathstroke, so it is kind of deathstroke crossed with Spider-Man

  24. Red Hood is believed to be a Winter Soldier rip-off, but there is no need that hate either. I don’t get why people dislike Deadpool because of the Inspiration, keyword, that Deathstroke had given.

  25. I don't think the evidence is in conflict. the most plausible timeline is clear
    1. come up with character kinda like spider-man, with certain desired powers and tools and a full head mask
    2. realize he's basically like Deathstroke
    3. make his name obviously like Deathstroke's, both real name and not, embracing what you've done
    4. continue with making his costume similar to Deathstroke's

    also, that 'I tell this so often it might even be true' is self-deprecating Jew humor, not necessarily admitting something is a lie.

  26. If you look at many of the characters Rob has 'created' (badrock/thing, bloodwulf/lobo, heck, cable even bears a striking resemblance to character in a Megaton comic where Rob got his start) the answer should be obvious.

  27. That being said, you can't just say that's what you did without a legal storm of if there were copyright infringements. It's sadly why some pieces of beautiful homage art need to be called parodies whether they are or not.

  28. Yeah. I think it was intentional. Rob just doesn’t want to be sued in case Warner Brothers starts getting desperate .
    I do feel it is important to point out that Rob Liefield is among the most successful untalented person working in the comics industry who accidentally made a good character .

  29. Man, where do I even start with this? You all know his personality. It’s clear that Deadpool is a dirty, funny, 4th wall-breaking mercenary, and with that being said, it makes sense that he would be a parody. Making fun of Deathstroke by using a completely different personality than Deathstroke himself. Deadpool, according to Rob Liefield, was inspired by Deathstroke. But he was meant to be a parody, as I said earlier. A character really not meant to be taken seriously. As the years passed since his first appearance, he grew more and more different compared to Deathstroke. His origins as a child are kind of dark, ( and I’m pretty sure Deathstroke didn’t have that happen to him as a kid) and Deadpool has a COMPLETELY different personality than Deathstroke. Sure, they were both in the military, but Slade, when he was injured, was told they would create a new breed of super soldier or something like that through training. On the other hand, Deadpool, after he was diagnosed with cancer, left the military, and only underwent the Weapon X program because he hoped it would cure him, and they did that by have needles poked right up Main Street and everywhere else you could imagine and had him thrash around in pain in water. Also, I think Deadpool can teleport, and Slade definitely cannot. So, in conclusion, I think Deadpool isn’t a rip off (okay, fine, I get the Wade-Slade thing and the appearance) but other than that, they are absolutely not similar at all. I’m going to get a shower of Deathstroke fans coming at me, so bring it on. DON’T TOUCH MY CHIMICHANGAS OR I SHOVE MY BEST BUD WOLVIE A FIREARM AND HE’LL SHOOT A SCHOOL SUPPLY RIGHT UP YOUR VERY OWN, SPECIAL MAIN STREET.

  30. As unlikely as it soundslike I have had ideas I run by friends and they tell me it's been done. That's how somebody suggested Fight Club to me. Rob is pretty sloppy about reskinning other characters, so deliberately or not, it happened because of Deathstroke.

  31. If Deadpool indeed is a rip off of Deathstroke, I'll just quote Gong Fu Zhu: if you rip off someone else's work, be sure to make it better!

    Deadpool is sooooooooooo much better…

  32. I know I'm late to this but it's very easy to answer-Deadpool is a combination of Deathstroke, Spider-Man, and Wolverine on purpose and intentionally done by the artist as a parody joke way of getting back at Todd McFarlane. It seems to me alot of comic artist manipulate the narrative on how they actually created a character to make them seem more creative and further distance themselves from possible lawsuits lol

  33. Fell like he wasn’t suppose to be like Dethstroke at first, but when someone pointed it out and say, “yay, your right a bit” that means him being a rip-off of Dethstoke wasn’t an idea, and maybe was turned into a with Deadpool name that he did look like Deathstoke.

  34. …. didn't understand the last scene… does he mean finding someone to dress up as Deadpool? a version of Deadpool? a pool full of dead creatures? a pool MADE of dead stuff? or a pool filled with liquified dead stuff?

  35. If he was you could say deadpool is the comedic and more enthusiastic version of deathstroke whos.. more like an edgelord and is always serious.

  36. wait is death stroke really named slade wilson. I don't know much about DC but this sounds like a joke lol

  37. honestly this is a very interesting debate, especially since even the newer writers make nods to this "fact" in canon (I.e sabertooth in volume 34 of the 2013 deadpool run), which honestly just makes me think of Marvel's whole fluid time theme (y'know, from the Ultimates comics where they turned Galactus good) where a large enough event in the present makes ripples into the past. Either way this was a fascinating thing to learn as always with your videos.

  38. Liefeld made a career copying everything… In the end deadpool is a stupid non sense character suitable for teens, Deathstroke is a better character.

  39. Considering that afterwards Liefeld went to ripoff Wolverine, Namor, The Thing, Sabertooth, the X-Men, Wonder Woman, Lobo and the Hulk, there's very little doubt that he also ripped off Deathstroke, and the writer confirmed it.

    I believe this article speaks for itself.

    The funniest part is that Liefeld then ripped off Deathstroke again and even Deadpool himself, just look up Cabbot Stone. And he also added a bit of Cable to spice it up.


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