Deadpool’s mind is so horribly twisted that anyone who dares to look inside runs the risk of going mad themselves…including Professor X. Because of his unique powers, Deadpool possesses a mind unlike any other in Marvel comics, containing disturbing visions and terrifying secrets about the nature of the universe no mortal (or even immortal!) was ever meant to know. When Charles Xavier attempted to see inside this Pandora’s Box of grey matter… what he discovered was so horrific, it quite literally killed him.

In Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic,  The X-Men have had enough of the Merc with a Mouth, so they delivered him to Doctor Benjamin Brighton in an attempt to cure his insanity. Dr. Brighton, in actuality the villain Psycho-Man, attempted to brainwash Deadpool into becoming his own personal henchman and sought to remove Deadpool’s inner voices (appearing as the white and yellow boxes of text that frequently appear in Deadpool comics). Unfortunately, he succeeded: the voices are replaced by a single red text box that drives Deadpool to “free” everyone from the world of comics the only way he knows how: by killing them all.


Deadpool quickly amasses a body count in the hundreds, dispatching heroes in vindictive ways. He over-stretches Reed Richards, reduces the Thing to a pile of rocks, explodes Luke Cage from the inside, and eventually makes his way through the X-Men roster, getting the attention of a furious Professor X. “I’m sorry, Wade…I’m shutting your mind down,” he says – but upon glimpsing Deadpool’s true motivations for killing the heroes, he’s reduced to silence, and eventually catatonia. In an instant, Xavier becomes one of the very few characters who has seen the world through Deadpool’s fourth-wall-breaking eyes, which means he’s finally discovered the awful truth that Deadpool knew all along: that his world is not real. It is simply a product for our (the readers’) enjoyment.

While other characters in the Marvel Universe break the fourth wall on occasions – such as Loki and She-Hulk – it is Deadpool himself who runs the concept to its logical conclusion. The Deadpool of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe (nicknamed “Dreadpool” by fans) is an absolute nihilist for whom nothing matters, and seeks to liberate others from the endless cycle of conflict inherent in the narrative of comics. “All the senseless deaths…the resurrections only to be killed again…the unrequited loves…the hero’s journey is about pain!” Thus, Xavier must have seen not only Deadpool’s revelation that the universe isn’t real but his dark thoughts concerning his physical and mental suffering: is Deadpool’s pain real if he himself is not?

Professor X has seen terrifying sights before; the fact that Deadpool, of all people, is the person who snapped Xavier’s psyche shows exactly what horrific mental demons Wade Wilson deals with every day. Despite the bleak nature of this specific comic, an optimistic ending takes place in the sequel Deadpool Kills Deadpool, in which “Dreadpool” is killed by his mainline continuity counterpart – but not before educating his murderous double. “I get it. You had a rough life. You know who else had a rough life? Everybody! If we’re so high and mighty…why don’t we fix it? Y’know…without killing everybody? Why don’t we dream up a better life?” Deadpool’s lesson is clear: one’s pain mustn’t be revisited on others. In a twist that not even Professor X could see coming, Deadpool is perhaps the character best suited for telling stories about mental health and the power of positive thinking – no matter how existential his comics become.

Power Girl Returns as a Hero in DC’s Universe