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DC's Version Of Deadpool Just Got A Major Suicide Squad Upgrade

Contains spoilers for "Multiversity: Harley Screws Up DCU" #2 from DC Comics

DC's version of Deadpool just got a major upgrade to try to kill his usual ally. In "Multiversity: Harley Screws Up The DCU" #2 by Frank Tieri, Logan Faerber, and Ferran Delgado from DC Comics, Harley Quinn's adventures in a much darker universe than her own continue. After accidentally jumping into a machine that sent her to a world where Starro has successfully taken over the DC Universe after the Justice League and its greatest heroes were wiped from existence due to Harley's time-traveling, one of her usual friends turns against her. 

In the issue, Red Tool, DC's satirical take on Deadpool, leads the charge in trying to stop Quinn from disobeying the command of Starro, who has nearly the entire population of a different Earth under his psychic control. Unfortunately for Harley Quinn and her doppelganger — much like in James Gunn's "Suicide Squad" where Starro served as the main villain — many people, including her usual team of antiheroes, are stuck with star-shaped face-huggers. As a result, Red Tool gets a Suicide Squad upgrade that makes him an even more dangerous threat against Harley — but she is prepared to fight back against him.

Red Tool is a direct spin on Deadpool, who copied another DC hero

Introduced in Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmioti's iconic "Harley Quinn" series, Red Tool is a blatant parody of Marvel's Deadpool. Wayne Wilkins (not Wade Wilson) is a vigilante who wins a trip to go back in time after learning that in the future, people thought Harley was responsible for killing Batman. However, upon landing in the present day, Wilkins soon realizes he needs a job and works at a home and garden center to pay the bills. After running into Harley and being brutally mutilated in the subsequent fight with her and a mob chasing her, Wayne ends up in a special hospital where he is embedded with pain blockers while his body is reconstructed. He emerges a costumed hero not entirely dissimilar from Deadpool, getting enhanced strength and durability, among other abilities. Red Tool's infatuation with Harley Quinn has put them at odds, but the pair have mostly sorted it out, and he's popped up in future stories.

However, Red Tool was likely a direct response to Marvel using elements of Deathstroke to create Deadpool. When Deadpool first appeared in "New Mutants" #98 by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, he was essentially just a ripoff of the DC Comics villain. He had a similar costume, name, weapons, and role as a mercenary. In his first few Marvel appearances, Deadpool wasn't the same hero fans know today, as the Merc with a Mouth didn't break the fourth wall or quip at nearly the same rate as he does now. While Liefeld has dismissed the idea that any inspiration came from Deathstroke for Deadpool, Nicieza has gone on record saying he gave him the Wade Wilson name in reference to Slade Wilson, Deathstoke's real name, because of his original similarities. With Red Tool, DC went super meta.

Red Tool's upgrades aren't enough to defeat Harley Quinn

Red Tool's two attempts to defeat Harley Quinn and make her (and her freedom fighter doppelganger) join Starro's army go horrendously wrong. In his first fight, Red Tool and his fellow Starro-controlled forces confront the Harleys in a sewer, leading them to get beaten with a bat. At the same time, the Harleys believe they've killed the Deadpool parody after he seemingly dies in a similarly gruesome fashion to his fellow soldiers. But, on the surface, Red Tool's healing factor is revealed to keep him alive as he later tries to kill the Harleys with a gun. Thankfully, they escape from Red Tool and travel back in time to try to save Superman and fix the mess Quinn caused. Unfortunately, their plan is likely to be hindered by Starro and his minions with the immediate reveal the villain has conquered time and is on their trail.

Red Tool and the evil versions of Harley Quinn's usual allies will likely continue their chase for the Multiverse-breaking Harleys, as their next destination appears to be Krypton. With Starro commanding his every move and his original powers still intact, taking down Red Tool will be a significant challenge, especially now he can jump through time thanks to Starro's planning in the reality he controls. The Multiversal starfish villain in a timeline without the Justice League isn't just a threat to the world he's already conquered but a major threat to the DC Omniverse as a whole. 

Readers can see Red Tool get a Starro power upgrade in "Multiversity: Harley Screws Up The DCU" #2 by Frank Tieri, Logan Faerber, and Ferran Delgado from DC Comics, which is in comic book stores now.