Deadpool, Wolverine and the Joke of Badassery

I saw just enough of DEADPOOL to decide it’s another thing I can safely skip. If at my age you haven’t developed the ability to detect signs you’ll hate something without having to sit through it for two hours, you’re just not paying attention.

What is unique about this sort of ‘anti-hero’ wiseass stuff? In 2017, this has been the rule since at least DIE HARD and LETHAL WEAPON in the 1980’s, and was already a major genre trope in the 1970’s. It’s all from the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry school, which was unique in its time (and of course, there were decades of similar wiseass heroes before).

Here’s what’s so ‘badass’ about Deadpool: He drinks and swears and casually kills people. Wow. That be badass.

I like characters who aren’t bland good guys. I like anti-heroes and outsiders. But we don’t really have those sorts of characters much anymore because they’re genuinely troubling. Such a character today, to challenge its audience, would have to spit on Bernie Sanders and The Resistance (remember, Harry Callahan fought FOR law and order). That’s just one avenue for anti-heroes to travel–one could be anti-Trump, but then he’d have to be anti-Obama, too, to be genuinely edgy.

Deadpool isn’t edgy–he’s ‘edgy,’ having the ornaments of Badassitude but he supports the reader’s beliefs and comforts him. Being “edgy” means you have completely unrealistic brutality with wiseass comments tossed in. Like jokes in horror movies, this blunts the actual pain and suffering involved in violence. How ‘edgy’ can the fans of this be if they can’t handle representations of violence that depict the real impact of real violence?

Wolverine was considered a brutal character when he appeared in the X-Men; for YEARS there was a controversy over him killing a guard in one panel of an X-Men comic. Now we read over-the-top praise for LOGAN because it’s R-rated and can show him being really violent. But other than showing bloody ‘kills,’ what is the value of a brutal comic book hero? He’s also got the out all of these “badass” heroes have, which is he protects a young girl (who has Special Powers). How badass is a guy who protects little girls from the ultimate safe villains, Evil Government Baddies?

In the new trailer, Deadpool uses a murdered, bleeding man as a pillow while he talks ‘wacky’ stuff and an old radio hit plays. That’s not badass, that’s not anti-heroic. That’s the kind of shit that inspires people who are piling up the bodies in the urban areas no one cares about now that the election is over.

This is some seriously weak cookie-cutter stuff pretending to be satire.

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