Review: Deadpool #1 + #2 / Artist: Tony Moore / Writer: Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn / Publisher: Marvel / Release Date: Out Now
I had a great idea for this review. I was going to interview the Merc with a Mouth himself, Senor Wade Wilson about his new book, the direction it was taking, and how he felt about the whole MARVEL NOW! initiative. It seemed like a good idea. A good plan.
I obtained his agent’s contact details through perhaps less-than-legal methods, and arranged a time to have a live Q&A web chat. It was set up as a web chat at the agent’s behest, as he simply couldn’t guarantee my safety otherwise, and he couldn’t afford another lawsuit.
So I logged on at the appropriate time, and began firing away with my questions: “Mr Wilson, Wade, how does it feel to have Gerry Duggan & Brian Posehn, two men known primarily for their comedy, take the reins of the new Deadpool NOW! Series?”
A short time later, after the obligatory ‘x is typing’ chat status (which he somehow changed to “Deadpool is a-murdering a-keys”) the man know in some unsavoury circles as Weapon XI replied.
After that, every question was answered with a link to his Wikipedia page, where he would constantly edit his ‘First Appearance’ tagline to show “Your Mom’s vag canal”, “Rick’s Cabaret on 5th”, or “ScarJo’s erotic fantasies”.
Looks like I’m on my own then.
I originally wanted to review Deadpool #1 when it was released last month. The fact that I didn’t, or rather, couldn’t, should speak volumes. #1 was an exercise for the writers, a re-introduction (“It’s not a reboot; because I said so” – Wade in the back pages of #1) to the character for first time readers, and an attempt by Marvel to push this ever lingering fringe character up to the main stage. Posehn and Duggan threw a plot right out of left field, straight off the bat (what – two baseball analogies?!) pitting the Regeneratin’ Degenerate against the resurrected and zombified former Presidents of the United States. Sounded baller.
And in all honestly, it succeeded as much as it failed. There were constant zingers that although funny, seemed way too on-the-nose and a little lazy for Wade’s sense of humour. Simple, even. And inevitably, there were some jokes that may have gone over the heads of a British audience not as familiar with the character flaws of the Zombie US Presidents; but that’s not really anyone’s fault – it’d be like having John Prescott show up in Captain Britain and not having him punch a mongoloid in the crowd.
Issue 1 focused on Wade’s recruitment by S.H.I.E.L.D to take down the marauding Presidents on the d/l (after another Marvel favourite turns it into a spectacle), a directive Amanda Waller – sorry Agent Preston, wants completed as quickly and painlessly as possible. This budding relationship was actually the part I was most interested in going forward – Deadpool has always worked best when he has another character with strong conviction, other than himself, to play jokes off of. Gah, I miss Hydra Bob.
So I’ve just finished the follow-up, and thought I might offer my thoughts on it.
Issue #2 takes the positives and negatives of Issue #1, and in all honestly, takes a decent step in the right direction. The writers seem a lot more comfortable in writing Wade’s internal monologue, due in part to the presence of Benjamin Franklin’s ghost – Wade’s new spirit guide. The new relationship proves to be a dynamic addition and will no doubt become a fan favourite if it continues.
The majority of the action focuses on Deadpool hunting Teddy Roosevelt within the confines of the Los Angeles Zoo – and is simply brilliant. Brilliant enough in that I don’t actually want to write too much about it, I’d rather you just go in with a clean slate. What I will say though, is that this is the realm in which Posehn and Duggan really excel – the puns are quick and the quips are rapid. The Teddy Roosevelt character is as engaging and outrageous as Wade is, and his reaction to being punched in the “President’s Cabinet” is nothing short of genius. The only thing I could offer in way of improvement would be for you to imagine Roosevelt as the Robin Williams version.
But by far the most exciting aspect of the first two issues of the relaunch, is the art of Tony Moore and the colouring of Val Staples. The pair work in tandem to infuse the story with a vibrant and tangible texture, heightening the reality around it. Moore does a particularly fantastic job with close-ups and facial expression, and though Deadpool spends a decent amount of time sans mask (especially in #1), the slightly updated costume looks great. Again, enough cannot be said about the pairing of these two.
On the other side, the plot seems at least on the surface, to be paper thin. I am already wondering by the end of Issue #2, just how far Posehn and Duggan can stretch the arc. It shouldn’t really matter in a Deadpool book, but its longevity makes me nervous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really tuning in to Deadpool for a narrative full of philosophical debate or to have my ideologies challenged, I’m tuning in for sophomoric humour and pretty visuals.
Which, to be fair, it has by the bucketloads.
So, I guess, yeah. A mixed bag. You’re certainly not going to be let down by the first two issues of Posehn and Duggan’s run on Deadpool – but it’s hard to shake the feeling that they haven’t nearly reached their potential on the series yet. Maybe Issue 3, if they can infuse the plot with a little more substance, will be that turning point for them.
Oh, Wade is back online now. And, yeah, no I can’t say that. Ok ok. He wants me to remind you that the last Wolverine movie sucked balls, so much so that he actually refused to sign off on it. Partly because he was dead set on his role being brought to life by the reanimated corpse of Joseph Merrick.
Wade’s a bad man.