Deadpool is not a comic I normally read, because it’s always hit or miss for me. The writing has to be spot-on or it just doesn’t work. It would be like trying to imagine any other actor playing Deadpool in the upcoming film. Timing, style, subtle humor, and the ability to go from irreverently funny to twisted in a flash are requirements to make this character come to life. Personally, as a writer I couldn’t pull off Deadpool and I’ve read a lot of issues where other writers couldn’t either. I’ve seen him crop up from time to time in X-Men and Wolverine titles, and sometimes he’s amazing, and other times an annoyance, depending on the writer. So, I figured with the ‘reboot’ of the Marvel Universe I might give him a shot again and see how it goes. Warning: There are some spoilers ahead, I usually avoid them but I can’t adequately describe my impression of this book without giving some away.
What’s the first word that comes to mind, reading issue #1? Confusing. The first couple of pages start out like a Deadpool comic, but quickly you find out the Deadpool you are seeing isn’t Wade. Before long you find out that all the Deadpools in the issue are actually someone else and it isn’t until a little over half way through that you find out why. The premise of the current run is Deadpool, the real one, has opened a mercenary business to help fund the Avengers. So far we have seen a small hint that the last part isn’t actually true, but to do what he claims Wade has been branding himself. To keep up with demand, and keep his brand in tact, he hired a team of not-quite stable people to dress as Deadpool and travel around the world helping people. Thankfully each Deadpool is slightly different in appearance, so once you’ve seen them all it’s a bit easier to tell who is who…until the guy masquerading as Deadpool, to kill Deadpool, shows up in later issues. Like I said, confusing.
The writing is good. It’s not the best I’ve seen of Deadpool, but it’s definitely good. While each member of his troupe is a little different in their dialogue, they each have a quirk that comes out, and fits with the theme of the book. Most of the time it’s easy to follow, but I think it suffers from too many ‘main characters’ and doesn’t get to the meat of the story fast enough. If I hadn’t subscribed, this might have been my only issue, but as it stands I would wind up getting three or four before I could cancel so I’m willing to give it a bit more leeway just in case it picks up with the actually meat of the story. This issue is more of a showcase for the other Deadpools, showing you what they are doing all over the world, and coming together at the end for a meeting of sorts so you can see them all in one room. Right at the end we get a taste of the story to come, but it’s still very confusing, and I can say after a couple issues down the road it doesn’t become very clear anytime soon.
The art in the book isn’t anything to write home about. It’s not terrible, but not memorable either. If I saw this artist draw anything else I probably couldn’t tell it was him. His details are good, and form and action in panels are well done. Proportion, costuming, and all that are very good. There’s just nothing that makes him stand out from any other artist out there, and that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes an artist develops a unique style that doesn’t always work with a title and it can be more of a distraction, or their style can actually look more like a cartoon than a comic book, which we do have in some of the other post-secret wars releases. It’s more of what I would call safe, which is standard fare for most Marvel titles. The artist is young though, with only a few titles under his belt, and already has good skills so I can see potential for great things to come down the road.
Now, something I don’t usually do, but I have to talk about the progression of this series. I’m a few issues in already (because I didn’t stay on top of these reviews like I wanted) and Deadpool and Marvel already have a strike against them, and it’s a big one because it wasted my money. Issue 3.1, seriously, what the frack Marvel? For those who haven’t gotten it yet, don’t, unless you can read Spanish that is. Yup, the entire issue, except the last panel, in Spanish. I suppose they are trying to make some point, but the only point I got is that four dollars of my money was thrown away. Remember me saying I have a subscription? That means if I didn’t take it, my comic shop, one guy who can barely manage to keep the lights on thanks to all the cancelled titles last year, would have been stuck with an issue. So here I have an issue of Deadpool I can’t read, unless I sit down with a translator that I don’t have time to use. Thanks Marvel, but four dollars is still a good bit of money for me. That’s lunch for a day, or a gallon of milk and change for a couple apples, or gas to get me to work and back, and back again. I’m already on the fence with Marvel, but that was like poking me with a stick while I’m trying to balance. Not a good move.
Final thought? It’s decent. Decent enough to buy? I’d say if you’re a Deadpool fan you might like the book, then again you might hate it depending on how you like your Deadpool. It’s honestly a risky purchase, but probably worth giving a shot if you have the money to spare. If your comic buying is limited by budget, I’d probably avoid this one as I’m already considering cancelling my own subscription. I wish I could be more decisive, but I’m not even sure I really like it enough to keep reading so I can’t say for sure either way, more of a buy at your own risk sort of deal.