Huge news broke earlier this week when Ben Affleck confirmed that Deathstroke will show up in Justice League before becoming the main villain in his standalone DC Comics adventure The Batman. And right away, some of the less initiated fans, who aren't so familiar with the comic books, began confusing Deathroke with Deadpool. Now, Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld has released a new video that explains exactly how these two characters are very different.
If you haven't read any of the comic books that feature either Deadpool or Deathstroke, sure, it might be easy to confuse the two. Marvel's Wade Wilson is an anti-hero assassin, as is DC Comics Deathstroke. And Liefeld has even written for both characters in the past. Deathstroke even has a smilier sounding name in both superhero alter ego and behind the mask, otherwise known as Slade Wilson. Many believe that Deadpool is just a 'curbed' version of Deathstroke, but Liefeld thinks that is utter nonsense. Speaking with Nerdy Pop, Rob brought some very different character defining traits to everyone's attention to help tell these two fan-favorites apart. And in doing so, he made it very clear that he has always held an affinity for Deathstroke.
"I love Deathstroke. I've loved Deathstroke my entire comic book collecting career. He's a great character. He deserves to be loved on his own merits."
Though Deadpool seems to be a cheap knock-off of Deathstroke, it was Wade Wilson, not Slade Wilson, who found success on the big screen first. And audiences might wrongly think that Deathstroke is trying to ride this wave of popularity, even though he appeared in the comics first. Slade Wilson was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, first appearing in The New Teen Titans (vol. 1) #2 back in 1980. Deadpool wouldn't show up for more than a decade later, first appearing in The New Mutants #98 in February 1991.
Liefeld hopes that fans on either side of the fence can put an end to any arguments about how similar the two characters are. And offers some huge distinctions between the two, though they're almost more humorous than anything else. He points out that Deadpool is a lot sleeker, and more 'ninja-like' than the very beefy Deathstroke. Also, Deathstroke wears chain-mail, which Deadpool does not. He also sports jagged gloves and an eye-patch. Their vast age difference is also of concern. Deathstroke is an 'old man', while Wade Wilson is much younger. The most important difference is that Deadpool is black and red, while Deathstroke is blue and orange.
Many fans believe that Deadpool, with his snarky attitude, is actually the perfect counterpoint to Deathstroke, who is much more serious. Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza claims he noticed the two characters' similarities right away, when Liefeld was pitching the character. But the two collaborated to make their character the sort of antithesis of Deathstroke. Since their creation arrived in the comics, both characters have gone through many changes at DC Comics and Marvel. Even if Deadpool was a straight-up rip-off at the time of his creation, he has since gone onto become his own thing, with the box office prowess to prove it. And now it's Deathstroke that might suffer on the big screen because of that.
At this time, the actor behind Deathstroke's mask has not been revealed. Many believe it is Joe Manganiello who is playing the character, but that hasn't been confirmed. It isn't known how big or small a role Deathstroke may play in Justice League. You can watch the full video where Rob Liefeld breaks down all the differences here.