Healing Factor – A gift or a curse?

(Deadpool vs Wolverine image by Name-Changer)

I’m assuming at this point most people have seen the Deadpool movie. If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing, and go see it. Seriously it’s great. If for some crazy reason you still haven’t seen it, I am assuming you have at least heard of the guy? Wears a red suit? Makes jokes while chopping off your head? No, not Santa Claus…..

Well whether you have heard of him or not, there is a lot more to the merc with a mouth than his witty banter and katanas. He actually has a deadly and advanced form of cancer. His cancer coupled with his amazing regenerative ability keeps his body in check. His regenerative ability is very rapid and powerful, healing from almost any injury. This ability alone would act like a cancer, eventually killing Deadpool. In fact, the Skrulls once tried to clone Deadpool, an act that had messy results.

Deadpool’s cancer is a degenerative one, destroying the cells in his body, which alone would obviously kill him as well. It’s the combination of the two which cancel each other out, and give him his devilishly good looks. As his cancer kills his cells, his regenerative ability creates new ones. Deadpool’s body is constantly destroying and creating cells without ever taking a break.


You might think that Deadpool is a special case, and that there are plenty of other mutants with regenerative abilities, one in particular. Well what if I were to tell you that a Healing Factor isn’t as great of a power as it is made out to be. In fact, there is another mutant who would be completely different if his regeneration wasn’t balanced out by something else that is killing him. Can you guess who it is?


Wolverine was born with regenerative abilities as well, that and a pair of bone claws which he can extend and retract at will. Both Wolverine and Deadpool had both been experimented on and altered during the Weapon X Program. During this program, Wolverine had an incredibly strong material called “Adamantium,” grafted to his bones, a process which most likely would have killed him, if not for his ability to regenerate.

For those of you who have seen The Origins of Wolverine, or have read the comics, there have been times in which Wolverine was left without his Adamantium, so why wouldn’t Wolverines regenerative abilities cause the same rapid cancer-like growth that Deadpools does?

There are two factors involved in this:

The first is that Wolverines regenerative abilities are natural and his own. Deadpools regenerative powers were actually those of Wolverines that were implanted into him while the two were part of the Weapon X Program. Where Deadpools healing is out of control, Wolverines healing is in check…….for the most part. I’ll talk more on that in a bit.

The second factor is that the Adamantium inside of Wolverine is always poisoning him. Adamantium itself is not poisonous. In fact, there are many others that have Adamantium augmentations and are perfectly fine, such as Bullseye. But it is Wolverine’s Healing Factor which makes his Adamantium toxic to his body. The cells in Wolverines body reject any unknown and unwanted substances and objects. When Wolverine is shot, his body will push out the bullets. The Adamantium is grafted to his skeleton, meaning his body cannot push it out, making it toxic. This means that Wolverines regenerative ability is working around the clock, never taking a break, at trying to destroy this nearly indestructible material. So similar to Deadpool, his Healing Factor and Adamantium poisoning keep each other in balance.

So backtracking a bit, Wolverines healing factor is natural and mostly in check on its own. Without his Adamantium keeping it in balance, his regenerative cells would not grow out of control as they would in Deadpool, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect him.

Magneto once ripped the Adamantium off of Wolverines bones and out of his body. Wolverine was left with extensive injuries, enough so that it slowed his healing factor for a while. Check it out:

“Around this time Professor Xavier, Beast, and Heather Hudson conducted experiments on Wolverine. These showed that Logan’s mutation was actually ongoing, and whilst his healing factor and senses would accelerate it would also cost him his humanity- for it would slowly change him into a bestial, wild, animal-like creature. It also turned out that the presence of the adamantium slowed his mutation process down; his healing factor treated it like a foreign substance in the body and tried constantly to expel it (Marvel Wiki).”

His natural healing abilities also result in his memory loss, which occurs after traumatic events in his life. Without his Adamantium, Wolverines body will continue to mutate, making him feral, and will eventually change him into some sort of animal.

You can learn more about Wolverine here: http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Wolverine_%28James_%22Logan%22_Howlett%29 and Deadpool here: http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Wade_Wilson_%28Earth-616%29

What are your thoughts? Does the ability to regenerate still sound like a power you would want to have? Let us know in a comment below!

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