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Comic Book Questions Answered – What Does Deadpool’s Voice Sound Like?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

A few different people have asked me this question over the years. In the past, we’ve examined WHEN Deadpool started talking in yellow word balloons, but we’ve never explained WHY he talks in yellow balloons, except, of course, for the general “because he sounds weird” explanation that is why all characters with weird word balloons have for why they have weird word balloons (in other words, if you have a different type of word balloon than everyone else, the default explanation is that you sound different from everyone else). So what does Deadpool sound like, then (in the comics, that is – in the movies, he sounds like Ryan Reynolds)?

There are two notable references to what Deadpool’s voice sounds like. The first came in Deadpool #14, the classic issue where we learn about Blind Al’s relationship with Deadpool and…well…Deadpool comes out of it sounding like a total jerk, so I’ll gloss over how disturbing Al’s story about Deadpool is, except to note that she says the following about Deadpool’s voice:

deadpool14

In Cable and Deadpool #12, Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza (who presumably has an excellent idea of how Deadpool was meant to sound like when introduced) has Cable describe Deadpool’s voice thusly…

cabledeadpool12a

cabledeadpool12b

So it sounds like the yellow word balloons denote that Deadpool has a raspy, gravelly voice.

EDITED TO ADD: Reader Nate M. stopped by to note that Fabian Nicieza recently cited 1990s Denis Leary for what he personally heard when Deadpool talked. Leary definitely fits with the aforementioned description.

If anyone else has a comic book related question, feel free to drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

22 Comments

Bobcat Goldthwait.

I always imagined him sounding kind of like Spiderman, maybe because of the wise-cracking? A sarcastic, but kind of friendly voice, really… Ryan Reynolds is actually bang on.

Too late. Now in everyone’s headcanon he’ll talk like Ryan Reynolds. Just like how all Batmen talk like Kevin Conroy.

People Deadpool may sound like;

James Earl Jones
Courteney Cox with a sore throat
Gilbert Gottfried
Carol Channing
Doc Rivers
Jimmie Walker
Donald Trump

“Gravel and gasoline” translates to Tom Waits to me.

I actualy know his voice better as Nolan North’s take.

I’ve always just heard Bugs Bunny’s voice when I read him. It doesn’t necessarily gel with descriptions of it, but it always fit the tone for me (even back before the Kelly run).

I always assumed it was high and squeaky, like he was on helium. But now, he definitely will just sound like Ryan Reynolds in my head.

“Gravel and gasoline” translates to….”what?” to me. I have no idea what gravel and gasoline is suppose to sound like.

Gravel yes, but gasoline provokes more of a smell to me. So I’m lost on the description.

Ryan Reynolds is Deadpools like Kevin Conroy is Batman and Mark Hamill is Joker… i always hear their voices in my head when i read their books.

So…he sounds like Demi Moore?

Whenever I think of Deadpool’s voice, I always think of his voice in the Video Game who I believe was voiced by Nolan North. Even with the new movie, Nolan’s voice just really fits the character very well.

Ryan Reynolds actually has a kind of gravel-like sound in his usual voice. Further proof that he was born for the role.

Ryan Reynolds sounds exactly like what I imagined Deadpool sounding like when I read the Joe Kelly books when I was a kid.

I’m trying to think of other comic book characters who sounded exactly like how I read them. Actually Charlie Cox as Daredevil comes pretty close to how I always imagined him sounding, especially the Frank Miller and Be
ndis versions.

From those two descriptions, I imagined him as sounding like a crispy Robbie Lawler. Especially with that part about it being hollow.

Fabian Nicieza ( along with Reilly Brown and Jordan D. White) was on the February 10th podcast episode of Comic Book Club (Comic Book Club Presents A Deadpool Celebration!), and when asked what/who Deadpool sounded like, his response was the Denis Leary from those early 90’s black & white MTV commercials.

If outside links are allowed:

https://youtu.be/KNJH4mnxywE?t=9m48s

Shelton: I’d go with Daffy the duck, changing intonation and laughing seemingly at random.

I always imagined a gravelly yet weirdly high-pitched voice that’s a mile a minute. Kinda like Ryan Reynolds but a little more rough. I think Reynolds at the beginning of X-Men Origins: Wolverine got it almost right.

You know, a young Dennis Leary might have been a good fit for Deadpool. I can see/hear it.

I think their intent was the process screwed up his vocal cords as much as it did his face and body. So he probably looks like that on the inside too.

I always imagined a gravelly yet weirdly high-pitched voice that’s a mile a minute.

For your consideration: Grover.

Mark Lanegan?

Even as a kid, I always thought Deapool’s word balloons were yellow because of his constant breaking of the fourth wall and awareness of the comic book universe he inhabited. After all, narrative exposition (particularly the old Marvel stuff that would address the reader directly) was usually put into yellow boxes, so I assumed that’s what the aesthetic was rooted in.

His voice simply sounding different is a lot cleaner. Guess I gave them a little too much credit.

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