A lot of people were excited about X-Force in DEADPOOL 2. In fact, the trailers did a really good job of hyping up X-Force. People were collectively losing their minds about some fantastic casting (Zazie Beets, Lewis Tan, and Terry Crews) as well as the idea of some pretty cool characters, like Shatterstar and Domino, getting a bit of spotlight.

And then, *SPOILER* the movie killed them all off. After the time spent on a hiring montage, after the hyped up trailers, and the fandom hype, we see everyone in X-Force meet various grisly fates. The only characters who walk away from the carnage are Deadpool himself (of course) and Domino. While the joke and irreverence felt like the typical comedy for the franchise, something about the whole set up felt… wrong.

Was it worth it to kill off almost all of X-Force just for a joke?

Death in Comics: The Dos and Don’ts of Murdering Characters

X Gon Give It To Ya

The Deadpool franchise has appealed to comic book fandom heavily for two reasons: the franchise is actually a really good comic book adaptation and stands as a franchise that has given us a surprising amount of representation. The franchise seems to be really aware of its fanbase and what kind of crowd it attracts, as well. In fact, the reason the creators gave Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Yukio, in DEADPOOL 2, had a lot to do with the creators being aware of their LGBT fanbase.

Deadpool 2
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

This awareness means they likely knew exactly what crowd they were catering to with the introduction of a big-name gay superhero such as Shatterstar. On top of that, people were also excited for Bedlam, portrayed by Terry Crews, and the choice to cast Zazie Beetz as Domino. Fans were willing to get pre-emptively excited because there’s a strange sense of trust in the Deadpool franchise. While the franchise itself is based on being funny, it’s been surprisingly kind to minorities.

Meet Cable: The Infamous Character From DEADPOOL 2

It’s not a huge stretch to say people were expecting the film to treat X-Force relatively well. A lot of excited fans fixated on Shatterstar specifically — for understandable reasons. Shatterstar is a pretty well-known gay character. His presence moved DEADPOOL 2 up to having the most LGBT rep we’ve had in a Marvel movie. In general, people were pretty hype. Then the movie tore that to pieces… literally.

Nobody Speak

There is, of course, the argument that DEADPOOL 2 isn’t a serious movie. To put it lightly, a lot of people will argue that it’s not that deep. The issue isn’t the joke itself, though. The joke made me chuckle, actually — especially with the few fun details, such as Vanisher’s electrocution giving us a quick Brad Pitt cameo. That said, it’s a joke that has a cost. Meaning it has to be considered more carefully than, say, a throwaway piece of funny dialogue.

This specific joke was dependent on killing off characters. The Deadpool comics are no stranger to killing off characters for gags, either… but they typically limit themselves to minor characters. The issue arises with the fact that DEADPOOL 2’s joke killed off some pretty notable characters. Characters that people were excited about. Characters that had potential. Those stakes are a bit high for just a joke.

Deadpool 2
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

That’s what makes me worry about the payoff. Should a joke have such drastic consequences? It simply doesn’t feel worth the comedy to kill off so many characters that had potential. On top of that, it feels uncomfortable to have a gay character that fans were really excited about getting eviscerated on-screen after only getting a few lines.

Sorry For Your Loss

One of the big problems is that the movie could’ve used X-Force for better things that a gory joke. For the plot of DEADPOOL 2, I do think it was better to have them out of the way. However, there’s plenty of jokes that could’ve gotten them out of the way that didn’t involve killing them off. This is especially true considering the future X-Force related things that have been hinted at.

The Only DEADPOOL Essential Reading List You’ll Ever Need

With Bedlam and Zeitgeist, they’re both characters with interesting powers. On top of that, it’s pretty common knowledge at this point that Terry Crews is a great addition to… basically anything. Terry Crews has the ability to bring forth both the comedy and action that the franchise thrives on. Zeitgeist, on the other hand, is enough of a loser that I found myself surprisingly fond of him — the way I’m fond of, say, Weasel.

Deadpool 2
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Shatterstar brings forth the most potential for the universe, for a bunch of reasons. Firstly, he’s an alien — that inherently brings in the possibility of space shenanigans. On top of that, he’s specifically from Mojoworld. The introduction of Mojoworld and its ruler, Mojo, would present a lot of interesting plots for the franchise to play with.

Mojo is a villain who specifically forces people (usually the X-Men) into twisted television shows — usually requiring gladiatorial combat.mIn general, the team seems like a good fit for not only interesting plots but humorous situations.

Fighting Dirty

I think it’s important to keep this in mind: if DEADPOOL 2 hadn’t killed off X-Force, we’d have a team with an openly gay superhero, and a team with more than one black superhero. Well — the “hero” bit is debatable, but they are our protagonists. There’s also the fact that the franchise has tried to place itself in a sphere of being feminist. In their efforts to raise money for LetsFCancer, Deadpool is set up not only with plenty of pink room decorations, but a pillow that says “feminist.”

Cinematic Universe or Franchise: DEADPOOL 2’s Effect on X-MEN

It’s not fair for the franchise to reap the benefits of calling themselves feminist without putting their money where their mouth is. The creators clearly know they appeal to fans because of the idea that Deadpool (as a character and as a brand) cares about women, LGBT people, and people of color. In some ways, they have backed this up with evidence — adding the character of Yukio and casting Zazie Beetz for Domino.

In other ways, they’ve dropped the ball.

Deadpool 2
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

I think killing off all of X-Force felt insensitive in light of the franchise trying to seem progressive. It feels almost like a bait-and-switch towards their audience, especially their LGBT audience and audiences of color. Even more so considering that they had Lewis Tan and Terry Crews film extra scenes for their characters for the trailers.

It feels a bit like being punished for being excited about a gay character, or a black character. If this franchise is going to posit itself as progressive, it can’t be making jokes at people’s expense like that.

Maximum Effort

Now, despite the fact that I’m upset as a fan, I’ll admit that creators don’t have to be ruled by what makes their fans happy. It just seems a bit disappointing considering the Deadpool movies do seem to care about their fans’ happiness. Still, you can never please everyone, and that’s just a fact of media. Mostly, the gag with killing off X-Force just seems out of line with the way the franchise usually looks after its fandom.

Deadpool 2
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The bigger problem, to me, is that it seemed like a poor writing decision. There were ways to get rid of X-Force for the duration of the film without killing them. Wade Wilson is petty enough to set up a plan that sends everyone to the wrong location so that he can have the spotlight. All of these super-powered people getting held up by minor inconveniences (Bedlam seems the type to stop and help every old lady across a crosswalk…though maybe that’s just because of Terry Crews’ portrayal) is pretty chuckle-worthy too.

The Extreme 90’s Origins of DEADPOOL 2’s X-Force

The movie definitely has higher stakes if most of X-Force is out of the way. That said, getting them away from the main plot doesn’t make it necessary to kill off the characters. The line-up of characters opened the possibility for a lot of fun, and it’s a bit disappointing to see that thrown aside for a joke.

Not to mention, the choice to make this one joke has eliminated some of the possibility for a lot of other jokes that would fit into the team dynamic. Overall, it seems like the decision to kill of X-Force has more cons than pros, especially considering it was just done for a joke.

If I Could Turn Back Time

Then again, all of this could be completely irrelevant in the future. Comics have a tendency to retcon things. There’s no reason to believe that won’t apply to the films as well. In fact, the entire after credits scene was about Wade retconning everything possible using Cable’s time travel device. Out of the montage of Wade “fixing” things, we’re shown that he at least rescued Peter from the carnage…though what happened to the rest of X-Force is up in the air.

Deadpool 2
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

There’s also the fact that Wade kind of created a time paradox by saving Vanessa, which would mean that none of DEADPOOL 2 ever happened, anyhow. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that this won’t lead to some Final Destination-esque situation for Vanessa. With these things to factor in, it’s hard to say whether X-Force is still actually dead.

However, canon is what we see, not what we can speculate about. The only person we know for sure that Deadpool saved in canon is Peter. Until another movie (or trailer, although I’m a bit untrustworthy of trailers now) comes out, we have no way of knowing for sure what’s going on with X-Force.

It’ll be comforting to get X-Force back, for sure. However, until then, I’m going to stay critical of what DEADPOOL 2 decided to throw away for the sake of a few laughs.

2 Comments

  1. Victoria Leigh Olson

    June 1, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Hi! From what I understand, Domino’s power works by “stealing” all the luck from everyone around her. So, Deadpool probably didn’t lead X-Force into a deadly situation; it’s just that they only had bad luck left.

    Reply

    • Yahawah

      June 2, 2018 at 5:29 am

      Can’t be true coz in comics she was an integral part of the team for a long duration and over that time they were successful. In fact her luck power is strong enough to confer people within her sphere with a luck bonus.

      Reply

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!