Deadpool has had a bit of a reawakening the last few months over at Marvel. Yes, he’s still the wisecracking fool, but writer Cullen Bunn has been crafting miniseries after miniseries of a high concept story that riffs on Deadpool’s desire to kill himself. That desire has lead to Deadpool killing entire universes including ones of the classic literature variety. A new miniseries kicks into gear this week, dead set on Deadpool killing alternate dimension versions of himself…is it good?
Deadpool Kills Deadpool #1 (of 4) (Marvel Comics)
Deadpool’s signature humor requires different levels to be tweaked and tuned in order to make the funny bone quiver. Okay…that sounded oddly sexual. The problem most writers have with Deadpool is that they give him some quirky and comical one liners and not much more. There needs to be visual jokes on top of one liners, plot humor and generally a good sense of the silly. When writers use him more as the mercenary and less as a humor catalyst it always feels like something is lost. Bunn gets this need to add layers of humor and so far his miniseries have good on humorous plots. The nonsensical Deadpool who breaks the fourth wall is doing more than that because the plot calls for it.
Remember kids, never play with a severed head in the microwave. It’ll smell like broccoli for days.
For the most part Bunn succeeds with this issue because he delivers just enough humor while developing the plot and setting up the series. That said, “Just enough” isn’t really a glowing assessment, is it? The issue is humorous, but not laugh out loud humorous, and the balance it spends too much time setting up and not enough time delivering good story here. Of course, when collected it won’t seem that way, because you’ll have the next issue right there to read. But in single issue format you’ll be a bit let down by story’s end.
Fourth wall: broken!
A bit let down isn’t that bad though, because there’s just enough action and snicker-level laughs to keep you interested. If you haven’t been reading the previous miniseries that’s okay, because all is explained and the setup seems to suggest the Deadpool in those books isn’t the Deadpool we follow here. In fact, the comic blatantly point out this is the 616 universe so things actually matter here. That was one detriment of the previous miniseries because you never knew how much you should care. Was it an elseworlds story that’ll be swept away? Now it’s clear the story matters, at least marginally.
Salvador Espin is in charge of art and does a great job. His style is cartoony which gives the book a less serious tone, but he renders background in great detail which helps keep the story grounded. So often artists skip doing backgrounds, which make the comic read like storyboards rather than something more akin to a movie. Here though, it’s all rendered nicely and balances out the cartoony work.
- Great art that’s balanced
- Snickering laughs
- Leans on setup too much
Having read the previous miniseries I can say with some certainty this series seems to be stronger. Obviously Bunn has been working towards something, as every miniseries naturally evolves into the next, and this one appears to be built up on the others rather than a fleeting, “Hey, lets try this idea out” feel some of the miniseries have had. The humor is okay, but the stakes have been raised and actually seem to matter this go around.
Is It Good?
Yes indeedy. This should be a fun ride that’ll hopefully pay off anyone following along through all these miniseries.
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