22. Regeneration – Size Matters

In this episode of the podcast we look back at the 2016 box-office hit Deadpool, directed by Tom Miller and distributed by 20th Century Fox. In this comic book adaption, Ryan Reynolds plays the eponymous ‘Merc with a Mouth,’ sowing chaos, death and (very) adult humour wherever he roams. Deadpool is based on a very successful comic book franchise, set in the Marvel Universe and featuring Wade Wilson as a former Special Forces operative and mercenary who later becomes Deadpool following torture and disfigurement by the evil scientist Ajax (played by Ed Skrein).

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Prior to meeting Ajax, Wilson finds himself beset with liver, lung, prostate, and brain cancer and is given only a few months to live. Desperate for a cure he agrees to undergo a medical procedure with a covert organisation; Wade is then injected with a serum that activates any potential innate mutant abilities that he may possess, and is then subjected to torture to try and activate these powers. Eventually (after prolonged asphyxiation) he develops an accelerated healing factor that cures him of his cancer, but leaves his body and face horribly scarred. Wade vows to seek revenge on Ajax, donning the black and red tactical suit and adopting the moniker of Deadpool in the process.

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For this episode, we are joined by Dr Jim Pritchett, Manchester Metropolitan’s new Lecturer in Science Communication, who talks to us about both the film and the awesome regenerative powers of humans, and in particular the liver. We also talk at length about the amazing salamander and the limb regenerating powers of the axolotl, and find out why it is that humans can’t simply regrow a missing limb. Finally, there are some contentious opinions from Sam with respect to Wolverine (who BTW Deadpool would definitely beat in a fight!)