Probably the biggest thing I have been stressing in my past reviews of Deadpool is the character’s pansexuality and whether or not the movie would portray him accurately. I was extremely dubious that any hint of Deadpool being queer would make it into the movie, but to my pleasant surprise, his sexuality was at least hinted at—though I wouldn’t exactly call this movie a win for queer comic book fans.
I have heard some people claim that it is especially difficult for bi/pansexual people to be represented in movies and TV shows because they have to be shown with more than one partner in order to truly represent that. This is especially hard to fulfill in comic book movies, where our usually male hero almost always starts off with a female love interest that fans expect to be in the movie. I’m sorry, but I’m not buying this theory, especially not after watching shows like Shadowhunters, which had no issue establishing Magnus Bane as bisexual right away. All it really takes is referencing a past love interest or showing the character flirting with people of various genders. The Deadpool movie wasn’t going to give me Deadpool in a homosexual relationship, because Vanessa, aka Copycat, was going to be featured in the movie as his girlfriend. But I hoped against hope that we would still see Deadpool making interested comments about men and women and maybe even a reference to a past male relationship. I was extremely worried that no attempt at showing Deadpool’s pansexuality would be seen at all. However, while there was nothing overt, the movie did seem to code Deadpool as queer.
Deadpool often makes sexual comments about the men in the movie (and even some not in the movie, like Hugh Jackman). Deadpool also is on the receiving end when he engages in anal sex with Vanessa in the movie (to celebrate International Women’s Day! Yay!) and while hetero couples can and do like anal sex, it at least shows that Deadpool is open to it. However, he doesn’t necessarily seem to enjoy it—later in the movie he refers to the prostate as the on button, so perhaps the previous scene was just his first attempt with anal sex? Whatever the case, the movie leaves things unclear. Add to this things like his RENT t-shirt, Bernadette Peters coin purse, and discussion of Robin being in love with Batman, and we have evidence that he likes some stereotypically queer things—but because all these things are just stereotypically “gay”, it doesn’t mean that a character is queer. So sadly, everything could be easily brushed off as just “silly Deadpool” if the studio wanted. We’ll have to see if the next movie explores his sexuality or continues to leave things ambiguous.
There is some hope for the next movie, however. If you stayed until after the credits there was no teaser for the next Deadpool film, but rather Deadpool himself appears and tells the audience that Cable will be in the next movie. If you don’t know who Cable, aka Nathan Summers, is, he is the son of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey—well, a clone of Jean Grey, it’s kind of complicated story. Anyway, Cable is also a time traveler who knows how shitty the future turns out and is constantly trying to fix things in the past to make a better future. Deadpool and Cable ran across each other a lot in the comics and eventually the two were given their own comic book. There are a lot of moments between them that makes things seem like the two could be interested in each other. Assuming Vanessa will be in the next movie and still Deadpool’s girlfriend, it might be unlikely that anything happens between Cable and Deadpool unless the movie goes along the lines of a polyamorous relationship or at least a threesome. It will be interesting to see where the writers take Deadpool and Cable’s relationship, and if we’ll finally get more than just hints at Deadpool’s queerness.
Though the Deadpool movie did better than I expected when it came to at least hinting that Deadpool is queer, there is one area that the movie did pretty poorly in and that’s trans issues. The only thing I was truly upset about as far as queer issues go was the transphobic and sexist comment that Deadpool threw at Angel. Angel is a villainous female character with super strength who is working for our main villain, Ajax. At one point when Angel grabs Deadpool roughly by the throat, his response is to say she is too strong to be a woman and that he’s “calling wang on that one”. It was the only part I didn’t laugh at. I didn’t care; it wasn’t funny. Most of the jokes in this movie were either delightfully raunchy or subversive, but neither of these was the case when it came to this joke. It was inappropriate and a poorly timed joke that I did not appreciate, no matter how brief the moment was.
I say that the movie did better than I was expecting when it came to queer issues, but I went in expecting that Deadpool would be straightwashed, so the bar wasn’t really that high to begin with. Deadpool has the potential to be the first leading queer character in a Marvel movie, so I certainly hope that future movies will do better and continue to raise the bar when it comes to queer representation.