Deadpool’s questionable mental health has always been an important facet of his character. Foolkiller #4 delves into some of the myriad problems he faces, using Greg Salinger’s Foolkiller (and his usual brand of harmful humor) as a conduit.
This post contains spoilers for Foolkiller #4.
Wade Wilson’s got his usual problems: being a “schizophrenic deviant with a face like rotting cottage cheese, carnal desire for anything that can poop, and a deeply held belief that I’m living inside a comic book.” Y’know, normal things. But something’s off, and Deadpool realizes he could really use some help from an old friend: psychologist and serial killer Greg Salinger, aka Foolkiller.
The two strike up a deal in Foolkiller #4. If Wade gives Greg some advice on how to be a better vigilante, then Greg will give Wade a pro bono therapy session.
The first topic at hand is how Deadpool is supposed to recreate Greg’s Foolkiller into someone worthy of a franchise. Maybe Greg’s girlfriend would be willing to be killed by someone to give Greg a tragic backstory. Every good vigilante needs a good tragic backstory.
Greg’s been feeling the pressure, which is understandable considering his patients are his targets — really bad people who have done really bad things. Deadpool understands that pressure.
“I’ve gone from a fringe act to being treated like I’ve had some huge mainstream success,” Deadpool says. “I just can’t put my finger on what it might be.”
Everyone in the world suddenly knows the Merc with a Mouth after his 2016 hit movie starring Ryan Reynolds’s spandex-clad ass. It’s an ass — and a franchise — that comics Deadpool would undoubtedly be proud of. But the movie has Deadpool busier than ever. He’s popping up as a guest star in Marvel comics everywhere, acting as the demented sugar on top of every hero and bad guy’s latest aside. Foolkiller is just the most recent example.
Greg actually delves into some cool commentary about using the word “crazy” in response to Deadpool’s mental illness, and about the dangers of using depression and schizophrenia as fun character quirks. Of course, no one really believes Deadpool that they’re all living inside a comic book universe, but Greg goes with it to encourage Wade to take his own trauma more seriously.
Greg has Deadpool face some of his issues with a series of exercises: talking to a woman without insulting or objectifying her, not excessively arming himself, hugging a practice dummy (he kills it instead), and complimenting himself without his usual self-deprecating humor.
But, they ultimately decide that Deadpool is, like, kind of okay. A lot of people would disagree with Salinger’s final say on the matter, as he’s not so well himself, but Deadpool seems happy about it.
There’s some other stuff throughout the issue too — like a real plot to continue Foolkiller’s story arc and some relationship problems for Greg. But, just as Wade points out, there’s nothing better for numbers right now than a Deadpool cameo.
Foolkiller #4 is now available in comic book stores.