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The Deadpool-Thanos-Death Connection: Marvel’s Weirdest Love Triangle

“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

William Shakespeare once famously wrote those words about his two famous star-crossed teenaged lovers. But he was wrong. Dead wrong. The greatest, saddest, and all-around weirdest love story ever told took place in the pages of Marvel Comics, and it involves three of the unlikeliest candidates around: Thanos, Deadpool, and Death. Yes, Death, as in the physical embodiment of shuffling off this mortal coil, which usually takes the form of a beautiful, cloaked woman with a skeleton for a head.

With Deadpool hitting theaters on Friday, February 12 and Valentine’s Day a mere two days later, love is in the air. A very strange and slightly murdery type of love. So, in the spirit of the season, today’s episode of The Dan Cave is all about the sordid love triangle between Deadpool, Death, and Thanos, as well as what it would take to see it play out on the big screen.


Wait, what?

That’s right. Deadpool didn’t just romance Copycat (who you’ll see in the film played by Morena Baccarin); Marvel’s Merc with a Mouth has had a number of lady loves over the years. Today, though, we’re concerned with the only one who happens to be the cosmic embodiment of mortality. Deadpool first encountered Death during his torture sessions at the hands of Dr. Killebrew and Ajax at a secret Weapon X facility in Canada. During these “treatments,” ol’ Wade came so close to kicking the bucket that he actually saw Death looming over him, keeping watch. As he spent more and more time straddling the line between this world and the next, Deadpool found himself falling in love with his skeletal sentry. Fortunately, his feelings weren’t unrequited.


Okay, but what about Thanos?

I’m getting to that, geez. Deadpool wasn’t the only one vying for Death’s affections—oh, no. Long before Wade Wilson came on to the scene, Marvel’s Mad Titan sought the bony hand of Death for himself. In an effort to impress her, Thanos seized control of the Cosmic Cube and used it to bend the universe to his whims, but he was ultimately defeated by a coalition of superheroes including Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell, to be precise) and the Avengers.

Later, wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos planned to present the undead apple of his eye with a bouquet of souls, harvested by using the Infinity Gems to extinguish stars, thus murdering billions of people in the process. Again, he was thwarted, as he would be time and time again by the likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Avengers, and pretty much everyone else in the Marvel Universe coming together to stop his sinister schemes.


So, what about the triangle?

If Thanos couldn’t have Death, no one could; it was the one thing that Thanos could not and would not abide. When he saw that Deadpool was putting the moves on his crush, Thanos decided to intervene in a decidedly drastic way: he cursed Wade Wilson to eternal life. Well, he didn’t do it himself. The nefarious sorcerer T-Ray (who has his own bones to pick with Wade Wilson) cursed Deadpool using a cosmic artifact given to him by Thanos. As a result, Deadpool was unable to die, which prevented him from joining his lover in the afterlife. He could be decapitated, dismembered, maimed, liquefied, you name it—his body would always reform and he would return to normal. Well, as normal as Deadpool can be.

And it gets worse, for all of you on Team Deadpool in this battle. Eventually, Thanos’ uniquely immature style of courting paid off dividends when Death admitted she had feelings for the purple-faced villain. The pair even had a baby together: a monstrous entity known as the Rot, which they later had to destroy. As far as Wade Wilson is concerned, this should all be one gigantic red flag. Then again, Deadpool pretty much cosplays as a red flag on a daily basis, and the heart wants what the heart wants, so who am I to judge?


As for whether or not we’ll see this play out in the movies, you’ll have the watch the video above. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t look good for our three star-crossed lovers.

Are you #TeamDeadpool or #TeamThanos? Who should play Death in a movie adaptation? What’s your favorite fictional threesome? Let us know in the comments below.

Images: Marvel Comics

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Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. You can follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).

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