Deadpool 2: The most woke superhero film of the year

Shioli Kutsuna and Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead) in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer. via EPK
Shioli Kutsuna and Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead) in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer. via EPK /

Out of all the major superhero films to come out this year, it’s interesting to note that Deadpool 2 positions itself as the most woke and progressive addition to the genre in 2018.

It’s easy to view the superhero genre as a harmless vessel of action and goofy entertainment and nothing else, which it certainly is for some people. When the majority of the film relies on characters of insane power and ability doing what they do best, fighting and cracking jokes, it can wear a little thin on some people. Deadpool 2 is one of the strongest examples of this, with its main character being a literally broken character with an affinity for jokes and murdering criminals. At its core, the character of Deadpool mostly represents the outsider looking in the Marvel universe and heavy amounts of audience interaction.

However, Deadpool may start to be seen in a fairly new light to casual moviegoers after Deadpool 2 as not just a wise-cracking mercenary living in the meta, but as a symbol of representation and inclusiveness in superhero films. As a matter of fact, the entire film can now be seen as such.

Deadpool 2 has many surprises waiting for those who haven’t seen it, but out of all the surprises, the most notable is just how progressive the film is as a whole. It may not be new for Deadpool, but for audience members who aren’t well-versed in comic book lore, it serves as a refreshing addition to a genre that begs for diversity and representation. Just how so? Let’s discuss below!

Some spoilers for Deadpool 2 ahead, so read at your own risk!

deadpool 2
Julian Dennison as Russell in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer. via EPK /

All over the rainbow

Though this aspect doesn’t receive as much focus in the actual film, it’s worth noting the importance in the film’s racial diversity. Sure, we have a white male lead, which is sure to bother some people, but the film’s cast more than makes up for it. From the supporting black character of Domino (Zazie Beetz) to the Indian cab driver, Dopinder (Karan Soni) to the young villain from New Zealand, Firefist (Julian Dennison), Deadpool 2 boasts a large and diverse cast that add their own elements to the film. This is never played up for sympathy points by the filmmakers, giving everyone a genuine sense of freedom to explore their character and/or entertain the audience in their own way.

Not only is the film’s diverse cast free of the preachy atmosphere that can develop from these situations, but that preachy attitude is made a mockery of in its own right. One of the film’s running gags involves Deadpool calling Cable a racist for killing Black Tom Cassidy, a prison inmate whom Deadpool mistakenly believes to actually be black. Though it’s clear that Cable was simply trying to reach Firefist, Deadpool continues on this gag against Cable to jokingly poke fun at the people who genuinely call people out for the most irrelevant actions. Nobody is made fun of for the color of their skin, as each character has enough going for them to speak for themselves. It isn’t incredibly obvious, but Deadpool 2‘s treatment of racial structure is both hilarious and surprisingly forward-thinking in the grand scheme of things.

A victory for the LGBTQ community

One of the most interesting omissions to notice in the long line of Marvel superhero films is the portrayal of a genuine same-sex relationship. No, the Steve-Bucky shipping doesn’t count. Marvel films, despite their long presence in 2000s cinema, have never quite reached as far as including characters in a same-sex relationship. The Marvel universe is already so vast and full of potential, so it’d seem pretty obvious to include anybody with close to any preferences. This is where Deadpool 2 shines, as its inclusion of the LGBTQ community is both sweet and charmingly hilarious.

Deadpool 2
Shioli Kutsuna and Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead) in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer. via EPK /

Firstly, we have the first LGBTQ relationship ever depicted in a Marvel film here, with Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio revealed to be in a relationship fairly early in the film. However, as was the case with its handling of racial diversity, the film opts to not highlight and exploit the reveal for shameless sympathy points. Negasonic Teenage Warhead simply announces it to Deadpool as he visits the famous Xavier school. Deadpool, in true form, is less concerned with the reveal and more confused as to how such a bratty teenager like her could get a date. Just like that, Deadpool 2 both broke a milestone for the LGBTQ community and did so with sharp humor and a tasteful atmosphere. The relationship itself is entirely inconsequential to the actual film, which may be the most progressive way to incorporate it at the end of the day.

A universal lover

When Solo: A Star Wars Story revealed Lando Calrissian to be pansexual, the reactions were a mix of confusion and annoyance. While a space character, especially one who has not lived on Earth, may understandably follow different moral codes than ones established on Earth, the reveal came off a little desperate to some people, feeling as though the film is simply trying to pander, as opposed to trying to serve the LGBTQ community. Though that reveal made headlines as a result, the real kicker for fluid sexuality in blockbuster films came in the form of the universal lover himself, Deadpool.

Deadpool 2
Ryan Reynolds stars as Deadpool in Twentieth Century Fox’s DEADPOOL 2. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox. via EPK /

Deadpool 2 not only contains the first same-sex relationship in a Marvel film, but it includes an openly pansexual protagonist in Deadpool. He begins the film in a relationship with Vanessa, but after her death before the opening credits, Deadpool begins to show other sides of his personality, namely his affinity for the giant X-Man himself, Colossus. Deadpool and Colossus share a surprisingly complex bond, as Colossus shows himself to be a caring teammate who sees the good in Deadpool. Mr. Wilson, on the other hand, is a bit more jaded, but nonetheless appreciative of the support from Colossus, which leads to him hitting on Colossus, never missing a chance to hug and grope him. It’s a bit strange how Deadpool shares more romantic chemistry with Colossus than he does with Vanessa.

But that’s the key term right there: romantic chemistry. Despite the film’s over-the-top structure, Deadpool 2 both acknowledges the fact that DP has feelings towards Colossus and embraces that fact, which leads to several hilarious gags, the funniest being the embrace the two share during the third act fight. Although Deadpool is mostly shown to be attracted to Vanessa, his interactions with Colossus embrace the confirmed pansexuality of the character and serve as a potential kickstarter for future superhero films to contain more fluid protagonists. Deadpool 2 accepts that and it makes for a character that is creatively flexible, leading to limitless new ideas for sequels, should they happen. It takes more to be genuinely inclusive than by simply announcing it; show a respectful and well-written example of it to lead by. Deadpool can love anyone and it’s refreshing to see that being brought to life on the big screen.

Deadpool 2
Photo: Deadpool 2, 20th Century Fox Marvel via EPK.TV /


Deadpool 2, as of this posting, has grossed over $600 million worldwide and with that level of success, it makes it even more refreshing to see such a successful film incorporate all of these themes into the final product. Too often do we see blockbusters queerbait and pander to audiences with promises of representation in order to sell tickets. The film business can be tough, but this trend continues to plague groups in dire need of representation. This trend is something that Deadpool 2 breaks in gloriously hilarious fashion. From a racially diverse cast to sexually fluid relationships, this fun summer film has it all.

Next: How does Deadpool 2 lead into X-Force?

Best of all, Deadpool 2 respectfully depicts all of these groups and elements, refusing to outright pander to the audiences. The film is still true to the nature of Deadpool’s character and story, showing other studios that you can have your cake and eat it too if you play your cards right. While Black Panther boasted a large and mostly-black cast, Deadpool 2 makes sure it’s inclusive to more groups, from the LGBTQ community to foreign audiences wanting to see representation in a big Hollywood film. This is most definitely a Hollywood film, but it’s one that has established itself as a progressive piece of superhero filmmaking, one with a sharp bite, no less.

Deadpool 2 is out now in theaters!