Althea (Blind Al)

Blind AlBeen pretty busy lately, and there’s one character left from the first trailer(s) for Deadpool: the old woman with shades telling not-so-nice things to the protagonist, the one who criticizes the way he speaks through his mask. She’s Blind Al, and she’ll be portrayed by Leslie Uggams. As for now, nothing is known of the role she’ll have in the movie, apart from the fact that she’ll be an ally of Deadpool (sort of, since she’ll likely to reprise the original relation of love-hate with him), but we can nevertheless see together who she is in the comics.

Blind Al’s past is shrouded in mystery, as different tales from her youth intertwine without any possibility of telling reality from fantasy. Her first name was Althea, but her surname’s unknown; as a young woman during World War II, she was involved with secret services, although it’s unclear for which side she fought: some claim she was one of the first women members of the Black Widow Project, working for the Russians, but it’s more likely she worked with the British intelligence from the very beginning, most likely MI7. For a side or the other, Althea met Captain America during the 1940s, and the two even dated for a while before he got frozen and was believed dead by the entire world (the hero even gave her a love gift she would have treasured all her life). What happened to Al from this point remains largely unknown: she somehow lost her eyesight, but she kept working for the British secret services nevertheless. As blindalcomics1(apparently) a key member of the MI, she soon became a target for many governments, and she started moving from State to State with her team. Once, when she was in Zaire, she was tracked down and faced by a Canadian mercenary, Wade Wilson, who hunted her down to her hideout: Wilson was supposed to kill her, but something unclear happened, and eventually the mercenary killed everybody but Althea, allowing her to escape. Wilson found Al again after he had been experimented on by Weapon X and turned into the deranged mutated Deadpool. For apparently no reason, Deadpool captured Al and locked her in his house, even acting pretty cruel towards her: he forced her to clean and cook for him, and forbade any visit; whenever the woman got him angry, then, he locked her into the Box, a closet filled with sharp objects so that she couldn’t possibly move; he even played terrible pranks to her, taking advantage of the fact that she was blind. Not everything, however, was as it seemed, and between the two of them a weird relationship began.

Al understood quite well that, being locked up in Deadpool’s house, she was safe from the many, many people who wanted her dead, and she became weirdly grateful; she didn’t even mind too much cooking and cleaning for her captor. The Box was never locked, and she could come out of it whenever she wanted, and the worst part of being with Deadpool was being forced to endure his awful sense of humor… apart from the times Wilson’s psychosis drove him to pure cruelty. A couple of years after her kidnapping, Al took advantage of a particularly long mission that drove Deadpool away from his house, and she left. She wanted to visit an old friend in Maine, and she trekked half the country to join him… but when she arrived, blindalcomics2she found her friend tortured nearly to death, and Deadpool waiting for her. The mercenary brought her home again, and this time she knew she would have never been able to escape. However, years passed, and Al realized that she was having quite a positive influence over Deadpool: she started to believe that she could actually change Wilson into a better person, and despite finding more than a chance to escape (purposefully left by Deadpool himself), she chose to stay, trying to “save” her captor. She even became some sort of mother figure for him, acting as a confidante, a friend, a housekeeper, sometimes even as a Greek chorus for the mercenary’s adventures. She even became friends with Weasel, the only other person Deadpool allowed in his house, even if this meant to go against the “no visit” rule Wilson had imposed to her. Blind Al also accompanied Deadpool in some of his adventures. When Deadpool found out she was secretly receiving visits from Weasel, however, he started treating her badly again, to the point that this time the old woman returned his cruelty, provoking his sense of guilt. To make amend, Deadpool finally decided to free her, and brought her to Central Park, leaving her there… only, Al didn’t want to go at all, and she would have fought to earn her “imprisonment” back.

Althea is a mysterious woman, one who has seen and done much, and who has buried her secrets (and her enemies…) in the depths of her memory. Extremely smart, sarcastic and sometimes sweetly cruel, Blind Al is Deadpool’s closest friend, the only one who can stand his humor and also the only person in the world able to win against him in an offense duel. With more experience than years of age (and that says a lot…), Al is definitely more than it catches the eye, a blind woman who sees more than most people, the only person in the world able not only to live with, but also to influence and change one of the most deranged and dangerous men on the planet.