Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monetary Value and the Madman- Marvel's Deadpool


Marvel's "Deadpool" has been an interesting study in how someone who is completely insane can work within the framework of a profession that is heavily rooted in monetary value. Deadpool is a mercenary and as such, he exchanges his services for pay. In fact he has shown a remarkable determination to seek payment for everything he does. He refused to help Nick Fury find out Skrull secrets and save the world without getting paid. He refused to fight Wolverine without getting paid. In the first instance, Deadpool could not benefit from being enslaved by Skrulls, yet he still demanded money despite the fact that saving the world was in his best interests. In the second case, Deadpool loves shooting Wolverine but despite the inherent pleasure, cold hard cash was still required for him to do it. Deadpool has shown that he will not engage in a mercenary activity unless he is being paid (or his actions will save his own life).

This consistent desire to seek profitable employment would make it seem like Deadpool's ultimate goal is to accrue money for some definite purpose. This assumption would be wildly wrong. In Marvel's ongoing Deadpool book, Deadpool has used the money that he receives to buy or aquire the following: a chair composed entirely out of C4 explosives, an elaborate death trap involving a monster truck, a warehouse full of tacos, a nuclear submarine (which he then promptly sank in a complete misunderstanding of the concept) and a pirate ship filled with gold.

This brings to light an interesting concept. Deadpool is a mercenary because he needs money to fill a specific need. He doesn't need money for anything traditional (women, large house, fast car, or even an addiction). He doesn't even use his money to make himself a better mercenary or assassins. He uses money to fill his need to be insane. Deadpool needs a steady income to feed lunacy.

It's an economic relationship that is relatively unique. Other characters have been crazy and required money. But the obsessions of these characters usually took a particular form. The Joker needs money to devise insane deathtraps for Batman. The Mad Hatter collects hats.

Deadpool dresses his friend up in a parrot costume and makes himself a peg leg.

It's the free-form nature of Deadpool's insane desires that make him unique. And I hope it continues. I look forward to each month where he decides to buy hot pants and roller skates because he thinks thats how people dress in San Francisco.

Thank you Marvel. Thank you so much.

14 comments:

SevenDollarPen said...

It's a pretty fascinating business model. He can always demand money, even an unreasonable amount of money, buttressed by the fact that his would-be employer knows he would just as well put himself at risk. How does one bargain with an irrational actor? Insanity seems like a pretty sane business move.

Dwight Brown said...

"...Deadpool has used the money that he receives to buy or aquire the following: a chair composed entirely out of C4 explosives, an elaborate death trap involving a monster truck, a warehouse full of tacos, a nuclear submarine (which he then promptly sank in a complete misunderstanding of the concept) and a pirate ship filled with gold."

So I'm unclear on something here; are those all individual items, or did Deadpool really build a deathtrap out of a monster truck, nuclear sub, pirate ship, and tacos? Because if the latter is the case, dude's kind of an overachiever...

Mark said...

I apologize i should have clarified. The aforementioned deathtrap involved a monster truck, tacos, and a chainsaw. Though he also did buy a warehouse full of tacos seperately. What can I say? The man likes tacos.

doktorholocaust said...

What's the point of being one of the world's highest-paid mercenaries if you can't enjoy spending it? I don't think it's lunacy so much as sense of humor motivating Deadpool's more whimsical purchases (like the warehouse full of tacos). he clearly sets aside enough to cover living expenses, ammunition, new weapons, etc, and once all that is paid for, he just enjoys the rest of the money in whatever fashion comes to mind.

Dwight Brown said...

"What can I say? The man likes tacos."

If liking tacos is crazy, I'm not sure I want to be sane.

Thanks for the clarification, by the way.

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