Deadpool's Original Powers Prove Only Robin Williams Could Do Him Justice

No character does fourth wall breaks and pop culture references like Marvel’s Deadpool, giving him something in common with beloved comedian Robin Williams' Genie. With snappy remarks and winks toward the invisible audience only he seems to be aware of, Deadpool certainly stands out. While these traits have largely led to verbal jokes in the live-action movies, Deadpool’s comic counterpart’s early transformative abilities could give the Genie of Disney’s Aladdin a run for his money.


Several Marvel characters have used image inducers over the years, though most notably Nightcrawler and Beast of the X-Men. Inducers create a hologram to help disguise whoever is wearing them, though they can't take the user beyond the limits of an "average" human being. An inducer is an almost watch or bracelet-like device, made to be worn and removed at the person’s leisure.

Related: Deadpool's Forgotten Secret Power Can Create Mutant Super-Soldiers

Early on, Deadpool has an image inducer practically plugged into him, allowing him to disguise and change his form with ease, much like the beloved blue animated Genie made famous by Williams. Deadpool being Deadpool, of course he has tons of fun with it. He shifts his physical form to match whatever film or character he’s referencing, amusing himself though it isn’t as funny to the people around him. While Marvel eventually shifted from Deadpool's use of the image inducer in the comics and ignored it entirely in the movies, it shows how important pop culture was to his abilities rather than just his personality when he was first introduced.

2 Images
Deadpool using image inducer in Deadpool #57
Deadpool #57 Deadpool using image inducer

This sort of rapid-fire pop culture physical transformation is best remembered as one of the Genie’s abilities. He can go from doing a Vegas-style show one minute and then Rodney Dangerfield the next. Of course, there would be no Genie, as audiences know him, without Williams. The comedic genius and improv master he was, Williams helped create the character with his voice-acting recordings. The animators and Williams worked together throwing ideas at the wall and making the most of his gleeful takes. The animators played with what Williams gave them, which took the comedic character to a whole new level, breaking apart the fourth wall in the process.

It is hard not to picture how perfectly Williams' referential style of comedy would play along with Deadpool’s pop-culture-heavy abilities. Going from one voice to another and playing to the audience everyone else is unaware of is both of their fortes. Williams' comedy and quick-witted jokes could very easily be heard coming out of Deadpool’s rarely seen mouth. One can only look at Deadpool’s original powers and imagine what might have been.