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This Deathstroke vs Deadpool article is an argument dating back nearly 30 years. DC’s Deathstroke is an unstoppable hitman with a healing factor, swords, a mask, and a price. While Marvel’s Deadpool is an unkillable hitman with a healing factor, swords, a mask, and a price.
Clearly, someone had to change, or they would always just be a copy. Deathstroke had been around since the beginning of 1980 and had a more substantial fan following.
So Deadpool’s arrival was met with groans. He was very much a response to Slade Wilson’s character, Deathstroke. Even the Wilson name was used. It was not received well by Marvel fans, either. Most of us read both, as it is.
To survive, Wade Wilson needed to become somebody unique. He needed a history, a personality. Deadpool needed not to be Deathstroke light. He got what he needed.
The Merc with a Mouth found his footing when he decided to turn anti-hero and break the fourth wall down completely. Deathstroke fans can cry out that Deadpool is a copy as loud as they want to, but it is true no more.
Slade is a brooding force of Australian intensity. Deadpool is as far away from that as a person can get. Personally, I am a big fan of both.
Slade pushed Dick Grayson to become the Nightwing he is today. Upon their first meeting, he handily defeated Batman! It feels so cool when he does the right thing(a rare occurrence)! Deathstroke gets you excited when he enters a fray. Hell, even his live-action iterations hold this weight.
Deadpool makes me laugh endlessly and has a subtle depth to his “humor in the face of tragedy” style of comics. While he may be a badass and a wisecracker, he’s also simple in his desires. He’s relatable. Like him, it is, in my opinion, easier to laugh than to cry. I love his writing for this.
As similar as they may appear, these two forces of violence are polar opposites in personality. They give readers different emotional journeys when they enter a story.
Even if they often enter for similar reasons. That is, they were hired to do a job. This is because they are, respectively, the greatest mercenaries of their brands.
Now, it’s time for them to fight.
My Bottom Line Up Front
I will explore their history and compare their victories as well as their defeats. I’ll dive into what drives them and what they would bring to this solo encounter.
I’ll scrounge up the depth of their skill sets, their powers. This argument has created controversy for decades. As a writer, I need a solid foundation before I put a claim down on a winner. But, a claim will be made.
Their Main Differences
While both mercs have an impressive, back-from-the-dead healing factor, Deadpool takes this card. Deadpool once recovered after being pummeled into meat pudding, Slade would not survive this.
Swords and guns may not stop the two, but expect this fight to be ultra-violent. Meaning in the late game, Deadpool takes advantage due to healing.
- Edge goes to Deadpool.
Oh, these two are experts with pretty much every weapon. Hand-to-hand, however, I have to give the edge to Slade. Deathstroke has fought the very best martial artists in the world without a weapon on him time and time again and held his own. Deadpool? He has not had the same luck.
While a great fighter, he has had his but handed to him by the best martial artists in the Marvel Universe each time he’s been in a fair fight.
- Edge goes to Deathstroke.
Wade Wilson is a strong man. That’s it, though. He is only a man. He has excellent strength thanks to his healing factor and training, sure. But Slade Wilson has superhuman strength. For context, Deathstroke has ripped a plane door off with a single hand. If Deadpool tries to overpower Deathstroke, he will fail.
- Edge goes to Deathstroke.
Deathstroke prefers to go in for the kill as efficiently as possible. He occasionally sets up elaborate games to torture and confuse his prey. Slade may be the best at planning between these two. But his great mind commonly takes a backseat to his pride in the heat of battle.
In contrast, it is in the heat of the moment when Wade Wilson is at his best. We’ll explore this more later, but the conclusion here is surprising. With both of them being good at early strategy, being fast on their feet and adapting on the fly will play a significant role.
- Edge goes to Deadpool.
Not Quite Heroes
Yes, Deadpool is kind of a hero. Yet, he is far from a pure character, not only starting as a villain but even doing his share of evil throughout his hero run. In many of those instances, he knew he was doing wrong and did them anyways. He doesn’t see the world in black and white.
He sees it more in a sort of “trying” sense. Trying to make the best of it while it tries to take the best away from you. There are few people Deadpool won’t kill, even if it saddens him. Deathstroke certainly isn’t on that list.
In this, he and Deathstroke can be considered similar. Only Deathstroke does not consider himself a hero. He knows what he is good at, likes what comes from it, and is willing to be paid to do it.
Before he was Deathstroke, he may have had a sense of nationality, wanting to do his best by and for his country. Held a strong sense of honor. Not anymore. There are very few lines he won’t cross, but if he meets one, he will risk his life for it.
Showing that deep in his dark soul, perhaps Slade Wilson is redeemable. It doesn’t matter, though. You’ll never get that deep.
This is not a battle of heroes. This is a battle of killers.
It’s easy to say Deadpool’s popularity has skyrocketed since Ryan Reynolds knocked his role out of the park in the first Deadpool live-action film.
Even Deadpool’s comic sales went up thanks to the exposure! The Merc with the Mouth has seen less love in animated fashion, but it hasn’t stalled his reception to mass media. The popularity of Deadpool is at an all-time high. That does not mean love for Deathstroke isn’t high.
Deathstroke is so popular in the comic and DC that he has been included in prominent roles in every live-action ‘Universe’ DC has started. In the Arrowverse where his excellent portrayal and character work lead to arguably Arrow’s best season.
In Titans, he was the prime villain throughout a season and defeated an entire team of superheroes more than once.
A live-action Deadpool would likely win overall based solely on popularity. Luckily, I’m writing this, and I like both of them. So this will be as fair a VS article as I can manage. Popularity be damned.
Let’s get to the meat of their history.
Let me give a quick shoutout to Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. A non-canon series of Marvel comics in which it is shown how Deadpool could murder every well-known Marvel Character. While this is not canon, it deserves a light on it.
I want readers to know Deadpool is considered quite good at strategy by his writers and fanbase. A fair display of his ingenuity in murder, it doesn’t and won’t count towards his feats.
Hired to Kill Wolverine
One of the most beautifully graphic arcs in Marvel history is when Deadpool is hired to kill Wolverine. Sure, it turns out to be a ploy by Wolverine to lure out his son, but Wade Wilson did not know that. For him, this was the ultimate test of his skills, and he went through hell to complete it.
Every weapon and trick in the book (some never written) was used by the Merc with the Mouth to take down the Canadian Superhero. When Wolverine somehow emerged into a berserker rage, a mode beyond most mortal’s abilities to wound or stop him, a planted cry for help in a burning car snapped him out of it.
It was a rouse by Deadpool, who knew what would be required to calm the rage. As soon as it worked, the Merc regrew his fingers and fired a bullet from the bottom of the jaw, blasting Logan’s brain to bits.
Did Wolverine revive? Yeah, he’s Wolverine. Still, this is important for our VS battle. If Deathstroke is in the Marvel Universe, his biggest foil is the 5’3″ X-Man with claws. Deadpool showed he could recover from gruesome damage, think on his feet, and work around being outclassed in close combat during this fight.
Revenge on Sabertooth
Another example of a fight against a monstrous opponent who heals. Deadpool and Sabertooth had a nasty falling out when Wade learned Sabertooth had killed his parents.
Deadpool had never been so focused. Every move and choice was meant to hinder the stronger, faster opponent. He was successful. Tying Creed between vehicles to rip him apart but not before planning to inject him with a serum. Wade was sure this would cancel out his healing factor, killing him for good.
Deadpool showed cunning, resourcefulness, and tenacity against a stronger opponent with the same mutant healing. Not only that, he displayed a high intellect in his search for a way to kill someone that wouldn’t die.
To be fair, Sabertooth tried not to fight him for the most part, but eventually, he did, brutally, defend himself. Deadpool still found a way.
Like Deadpool killing the Marvel Universe, Deathstroke nearly pulled off a similar feat…only in his case, it was canon.
Deathstroke had a client that was being targeted by the Justice League. Yeah, the best of the best in the DC Universe, and Slade would have none of it. He just straight up went for the throat.
Member after member, Slade put down the entire Justice League, even the Flash, predicting his movements and timing his strike. The fastest man alive got played and put down by the best mercenary in DC.
Still, after taking them all down, his old foe Green Arrow rallied them back to defeat Deathstroke, so this victory cannot count as a true win. Nonetheless, it is very impressive, and I will take it into consideration when the Final Verdict falls.
The Teen Titans
Have you read the Judas Contract arc of The Teen Titans? Well, it’s worth your time. It’s freaking amazing. One of the key things to note, Deathstroke takes down the entire team.
He does it, for the most part, without even touching them.
He outsmarts, outplays, and plans the demise of each member based on their habits. He works around their behavioral responses and controls the war with wits and manipulation.
This battle shows that while Wade may think in advance, it won’t help him against Deathstroke. While Deadpool may be full of quips, no one is better at working his enemy than Slade.
This is the second case of Deathstroke taking out not a single enemy but an entire team. More specifically another of DC’s best teams.
Did you know that DC and Marvel used to often do crossovers? Well, I’ll link this one for you. Because yes, here is another example of Deathstroke doing something insane. He hasn’t just handled DC’s best teams. He handled Marvel’s.
During a crossover where Darkseid wanted the Pheonix Force, he hired and sent Deathstroke after the X-Men. While eventually, they rallied, initially Slade Wilson, the best mercenary an overlord has ever paid, defeated and captured the entire team.
Deathstroke was able to decipher powers and answers for those abilities within days. It isn’t looking good for Deadpool.
Let’s check out the defeats.
Deadpool VS Martial Artists
I’m tossing in two heroes with similar combat styles to Deathstroke. Black Panther and Moonknight.
Why? They both beat the crap out of Deadpool in their encounters. Moonknight technically twice.
Moonknight cut him to shreds in a fair contest. It can be stated that Deadpool got distracted, perhaps because this wasn’t a paid gig. Usually, when his reputation isn’t on the line, Wade Wilson can be a little mindless. He can also be mindless when he knows losing is just an inconvenience.
Black Panther was a better fighter and had an answer for all Deadpool’s attacks. In Wade Wilson’s defense, T’Challa has been a pretty protected character despite not having a vast amount of powers and rarely loses in comic book canon.
Still, Deadpool is quite beloved, and this fight was a decent affair in which Deadpool was forced to retreat. Black Panther promised if they fought again, he would find a way to kill him.
They haven’t fought again.
Deadpool VS Super Strength
Hulk, who he has outsmarted in combat for his own purposes, has ripped him to pieces in every fair encounter. At one time, even crushing his head completely, Deadpool did regenerate from this.
Thanos as well. Oh, did Thanos brutalize him! He did this without the infinity Gauntlet. I read an article recently stating Deadpool could kill Thanos if he didn’t have the power of infinity.
Well, that writer could have done a little more research. In rare scenarios, anyone can kill anyone, but when Deadpool VS Thanos happened, Thanos brutalized the Merc with a Mouth. No stones required.
This is important because while Deathstroke has lost to Wonder Woman and Superman, two comparable enemies to Hulk and Thanos(without the gauntlet), Deathstroke could actually handle the hits. Even holding his own for quite a bit against Superman.
Deathstroke VS Critical Thinkers
Let’s go right down this list of Deathstroke’s most common losses and who they are against. It’s a one-word answer.
Dick Grayson as Nightwing, specifically. Also, Tim Drake and even a few times Jason Todd. Though Todd, only as the Red Hood, and he doesn’t always beat Deathstroke.
While I have praised Deathstroke’s ability in combat, he has lost to an inferior fighter and a weaker human in Tim Drake on more than one occasion.
The eventual Red Robin, the one who would bare the moniker ‘The Detective’ after Batman. Tim Drake outthought and, therefore, out-maneuvered Deathstroke in his victories. Using his surroundings and his wits to enhance his skill in battle. Something Deadpool is good at.
Not to mention, in one-on-one combat, Deathstroke has not defeated Nightwing. Dick Grayson has had Slade’s number nearly every time. A few occasions where this isn’t the case are always rectified within the same arc. In Slade’s defense, a truly angry and determined Nightwing has rarely been defeated in solo combat.
Deathstroke VS Talia Al Ghul
Talia is a trained assassin who specializes in blade combat. She inherits the League of Assassins(sometimes) from her father, Ra’s Al Ghul. She bares the child of Bruce Wayne, Damien Wayne. She is one of the most dangerous women on the planet in the DC Universe who doesn’t possess superpowers.
Talia and Deathstroke have a lot of history; with it, they have garnered reasons to hate one another. Talia especially wanted Deathstroke dead. In a masterful fight, Deathstroke was defeated. Grabbing his blade after taking several hits, she ripped open his innards with a nasty move, seemingly killing him.
Deathstroke did not instantly heal, nor continue to fight after this fatal wound. This got me thinking, so I did a little digging into his healing potential once more.
I learned from my research that Deathstroke can not heal even as quickly as Deadpool. While Slade can fight with bullets and swords piercing him and recover from burns…organs getting ripped out put him off the shelf.
More so, it seems destroying his brain would kill him outright. Deadpool can survive these. This is going to play a big factor.
Let’s get these two warriors into a fight.
Here’s the brass tax: If Deadpool was hired to kill Slade, Slade would likely get killed nine out of ten times. If Deathstroke were hired to kill Wade, Wade would die nine out of ten times. So, let’s skip past that argument and set them in a fair fight with their blades.
I will remove the immortality placed upon Deadpool by Thanos, as it is no longer part of the Mercs canon. This means if he faces death’s door enough times during the fight, he will not recover.
I will not allow either to set traps prior to the fight, but if they manage during the battle, fine. When it comes to tech, Deadpool often uses a teleporter and decked-out sidearms for optimum effect. Slade? A wider array of traps and guns always spec’d for his enemy’s abilities.
They would never willingly enter a fight without some extra stuff, but I think they would end up on even grounds if they had these. The first to slip up wins. That is as 50/50 as a VS battle has ever been.
Deathstroke has shown to be insanely accurate with his traps, explosives, and similar gadgets. Deadpool goes overboard just in case he misses, or they escape. It’s an acceptable tactic, but for a man that can heal from fire damage, it won’t do much to Slade.
Deathstroke’s use of electrocution and more tactical explosives would be more effective. Upon noticing the regeneration, Deathstroke would be okay with incapacitating Deadpool and securing his body parts in bags after dismembering him. The odds change if we allow them to lay traps and set up for the fight.
If both have time for planning and prep, I give this fight to Deathstroke eight out of ten times.
But that’s not what this VS battle is. This is Deathstroke VS Deadpool in the center of a hypothetical arena with their swords, base powers, and nothing else.
It would be brutal. Deathstroke would land far more strikes and slam and beat Deadpool around. Deathstroke may be personally immune to all the quips and wit, but Deadpool is skilled enough he would be doing damage.
Deadpool would be healing bones and flesh wounds as Deathstroke would slowly become overwhelmed by injury. Deathstroke will likely realize he needs to take limbs off, as even disemboweling Deadpool doesn’t slow him much. However, Deadpool is an excellent study.
As the fight continues, Deadpool would be more familiar with his opponent’s style and adjust his technique accordingly. This is something Wade Wilson excels at. Hanging bait for his enemy so he can strike.
Deathstroke would utilize his strength and begin making heavier blows; he would become more methodical. This means Deadpool’s healing factor would be put to a serious test. Staying conscious would become absolutely needed for victory.
Deathstroke would begin to feel confident. All the while, Deadpool brilliantly plays the cocky victim. Pretending he wasn’t losing while allowing Slade to build an ego. The trap would be set.
As flesh and costume lace the now blood-stained ground, Deathstroke takes one arm off. That moment is the end of the fight.
When Deathstroke sliced the left arm clean off the Merc, Wade’s sword would pierce the skull of Slade.
Deadpool will recover, but Slade Wilson is dead.
I give this fair contest to Deadpool seven out of ten times.
In the end, in a fair contest, it is the better healing factor and quick-thinking that comes into play.
Thank You, Faithful Readers
It’s a controversial one, and in all honestly, I can see Deathstroke taking Deadpool out if it was a random chance encounter. At least leaving him unconscious or left for dead. But I’ve had enough attacks via fourth wall Deadpool for one lifetime. So, the chips have fallen as they are.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to check out many more of our VS and character pieces of comic characters from all over comicdom.
Farewell, True Believers.
Question: Who came first, Deadpool or Deathstroke?
Answer: Deathstroke appeared around 11 years before Deadpool.
Question: Is Deadpool a copy of Deathstroke?
Answer: Officially, no. They are very different now, at least. If you compare the initial skills and names, Slade Wilson is a hired mercenary in an orange and black outfit that uses swords and heals. Wade Wilson is a hired mercenary in a red and black costume that uses swords and heals…you can come to a reasonable conclusion.
Question: Have Deathstroke and Deadpool ever fought?
Answer: Unless you count a death battle on youtube, not really. They met in some crossover events but never fought. There was also a brief parody of Deadpool written into Deathstroke #40 worth checking out.