As superheroes go, Deadpool is not the most inclined toward heroics. He’s a foul-mouthed mercenary who started his career as a ultra-violent villain. Since his shift to being a 4th-wall breaker, he still hasn’t been portrayed as a particularly good guy — even when he’s been shown to have a good heart somewhere under that costume and arsenal.
Content warning: Discussion of suicide and violence; Spoilers for Deadpool #20.
But late last year in Deadpool #20, writer Gerry Duggan and artist Matteo Lolli put that challenge before the merc with a mouth: a young woman on a ledge who’d lost all hope. And Deadpool handled it with his usual irreverence.
He talked her out of creating an inconvenience for him:
He took her to brutally beat some criminals:
And he involved her in a few other major crimes, just for kicks.
But at the end of the night, he does what Superman doesn’t. He accepts that a pep talk (or crime spree) from a superhero can’t fix depression. It won’t address the issues that brought that young woman out to his rooftop. So he takes her to people better equipped to help her stay alive.
It’s a great lesson, delivered from an entirely unexpected source. Dealing with hospitals and emergency services can be scary, especially when you’re coping with serious mental health issues. But if someone’s life is in danger, a sympathetic ear is a start, but it’s not a solution.
If you or anyone you know is coping with a mental health crisis and needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or your local help line. They’re there to help you get through it. But if your life or someone else’s is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number, or get to an emergency room.
Deadpool isn’t usually much of a role model, and you probably shouldn’t take a friend to do crimes when they’re feeling down — but in this, at least, he had the right idea.
You can see the full story in Deadpool (2015) #20, available digitally at Comixology.