Maintaining character integrity is crucial to creative writing. There is a razor-thin line between a character's actions being unexpected and unbelievable.
It is also vital to set a tone for the narrative and to stick with it, only deviating during certain key moments in order to provide emphasis for the situation.
And let's not forget the importance of maintaining the continuity of the complex world that you create.
Except that sometimes doing those things is fucking boring as all hell.
That's why there's Deadpool.
Marvel comics has dozens of ongoing titles. All of them have writers that occasionally have bad ideas that can't fit into their story's continuity. All of those ideas combine to form Deadpool, the Merc with the Mouth.
He's like the Voltron of stupid... or maybe the Captain Planet of inane. The point is, that Doctor Strange, Master of Black Magic occasionally goes poopsies, and no one is going to bring it up but D-Pooly. Comic books are all about wish fulfillment, right? Well, Deadpool is the incarnation of that part of us that wonders why the Hulk manages to keep his pants or what b-list heroes and villains do in their off-time. His inability to die, smart mouth and constant need for entertainment ensure that those of us who follow along are going to enjoy the ride.
The Regeneratin' Degenerate is only able to remain interesting as a font is pie-slinging, cross-dressing, chimichanga-eating gags because he is also the darkest, most deeply disturbed man who ever got a title at Marvel, because:
1. Wade Wilson has murdered hundreds of people. Not out of a misplaced sense of judgement, like the Punisher, but for money.
2. The healing factor that grants his immortality also causes him to be hideously deformed. His whole body is riddled with tumors which resemble 3rd-degree burn scars over 100 percent of his body, that's why he never takes off his mask.
3. He is schizophrenic. There are two complete voices in addition to his own that occupy his mind. They are always watching him and there are often conversations between the three of them.
4. He is fully aware that he is a fictional character. In the whole of the Marvel Universe, only 'Pool knows what's up. He often makes asides to the reader or comments on what's happening in the next panel. If fact, in one universe he takes it in himself to kill everyone in the world so that they can be free of the slavery of being manipulated by writers.
5. He absolutely and completely hates himself. He knows he's crazy, he knows he's physically and ethically disgusting. His unending life has made him forget how much life is worth. This is why he acts out, trying to remember.
In the end, what you get is the unique ability to tell absolutely whatever story you feel like at the moment and no matter what, it's in character. Whether it's Deadpool trying to redeem himself, robbing a bank, stopping a villain, having lunch with a villain, stalking Spider-Man, or TPing the X-Mansion, it all makes sense and it's all fun to watch.
How do you feel about it? Have you even heard of the guy? Don't forget to comment, and don't forget to stop by tomorrow when we'll be discussing "E is for Editing (out my filth)."