Marvel’s Best Hero Is A DC Ripoff

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Deadpool was already one of the most beloved Marvel characters after his first film came out. But now the Merc With a Mouth is feeling the pressure: after multiple box office disasters, Disney is hoping Deadpool 3 might be the cure for superhero fatigue. It’s worth noting though that when it comes to originality, Deadpool isn’t exactly a unique idea.

Deadpool = Deathstroke


The string of critical and commercial Marvel failures has prompted more than a few comparisons to the failed DC Extended Universe, and there’s an irony there that we think Deadpool would love to break the fourth wall and point out.

In reality, this beloved Marvel character is actually a ripoff of the DC villain Deathstroke.

Too Many Similarities

Once you start seeing the similarities, it becomes impossible to ignore them. For example, Deadpool’s real name is Wade Wilson, and Deathstroke’s real name is Slade Wilson.

Even the superhero name of this Marvel character is a “dead” giveaway: the word “dead” is obviously linked to “death,” and “pool” makes us think of swimming (like backstroking) through the water.

Beyond the names, there are other major similarities between the Marvel hero and the DC villain. Deadpool, like Deathstroke, often works as a mercenary for hire.

Each of the characters is an expert at using guns to take down their foes. Beyond the guns, each character likes to take out a sword when they want a more intimate (and much bloodier) fight.

Actually Original?


Interestingly, different Marvel voices have expressed different opinions on whether Deadpool is a shameless ripoff of Deathstroke.

For example, Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefield appeared in a YouTube video and made numerous claims (that may very well have been tongue-in-cheek) that the characters are very different because of surface-level differences that mostly revolved around differences in their costumes.

With that being said, the moment that Liefield first showed his design to fellow Deadpool creator Fabian Nicieza, the other man instantly responded with “This is Deathstroke from the Teen Titans.”

Marvel Knows The Truth


In some cases, other Marvel writers have made comments on the similarities between Deadpool and Deathstroke, often to humorous effect.

For example, in Deadpool #34, the titular hero teams up with Sabertooth, and the two eventually go out for beers. But when Deadpool calls Sabertooth “a Wolverine rip-off,” the mutant villain replies “Tell Slade I said hi,” implying that even Marvel and its characters realize how much Deadpool is a rip-off of a beloved DC character.

Deadpool Still Winning

deadpool christmas

The greatest irony is that despite Deathstroke’s early fame, the rip-off character Deadpool has become a cultural force to be reckoned with. He’s headlined multiple solo films and is about to become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, officially.

Deathstroke was arguably at his most popular as the second-season Big Bad on Arrow, but general audiences haven’t really seen (or cared about) him since he popped up in the post-credits scene of Joss Whedon’s Justice League.

Deathstroke And Deadpool Together?

deadpool 3 ryan reynolds

At this point, what’s done is done: Deadpool may be a complete rip-off of Deathstroke, but years of comics, movies, and even video game appearances have shaped him into his own very unique character.

He is beloved by fans all over the world, and we’re looking forward to seeing if he can stick the superhero landing with Deadpool 3.

We just have one request for Ryan Reynolds and crew: can we please, please get an onscreen cameo featuring Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke where he calls Deadpool out for stealing his identity?