Deadpool is a more multifaceted character than the internet memes and chimichanga jokes would have you believe. In Deadpool #20, we get a glimpse at his sentimental side; can the the Merc with a Mouth use his gift for gab to talk a young person out of taking their own life? Is it good?
Deadpool #20 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? The Marvel summary reads:
Deadpool has it tough sometimes. It can be hard to keep going. But he does.
Why does this book matter?
Gerry Duggan is pretty great, writing quite a few books for Marvel this week (Uncanny Avengers #15 was phenomenal). Duggan understands humor, but also character, which is an element that some folks don’t understand about Deadpool. If he’s not relatable, or sympathetic, much of the humor in the book falls flat. This issue deals with a very serious issue, suicide, and that’s probably one of the most difficult topics upon which to write — especially in comics.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Duggan blew me away with this issue. It opens like so many issues before it – with a hero confronting someone who wants to jump off a roof and end their life – but it goes in a direction that’s incredible. Deadpool basically tackles this very sensitive issue the only way he knows how, and that’s with humor, kicking butt, and trying his damn near best. He knows it might not be enough, but he can sure as hell try.
Suicide is a very sensitive subject and Duggan treats the very serious issue with respect and clarity. That’s saying something when you consider Deadpool takes her to a Broadway musical as a means to stop her from wanting to take her own life. It’s also quite real. I won’t spoil it, but among the wacky ways he tries to distract her he above all has a very honest approach. Duggan nearly made me tear up with the last few pages as well. Deadpool, in very Deadpool fashion, expresses the perfect advice for anyone who wishes to take their own life. It’s poignant, touching, and real.
He does that.
The issue is also funny. Deadpool takes this troubled girl on a bit of a distraction vacation and it’s filled with butt kicking, funny dialogue, and quite a few surprises. It’s basically the night of your life you’d always want hanging with Deadpool (complete with penis jokes and ballbusting).
Artist Scott Koblish does a great job; the layouts are simple at times, and very straightforward, which allow the dialogue and story to take its time to wash over you. The violence is realistic enough to be taken seriously and help the jokes land too. I quite like how Koblish uses blur to enhance the movement as Deadpool headbutts and crotch kicks his enemies as well. When Deadpool shows remorse and understanding you see it in his eyes through the mask too. Really all his emotions are on point and easily read. The girl who’s in so much pain is sympathetic from the start and I think a lot of folks will be able to see themselves in her — which might just save some real lives out there.
It can’t be perfect can it?
An effective, meaningful, and fun one-shot? Yep, it’s pretty damn great.
Here we go!
Is It Good?
This issue makes Deadpool more important and relevant than ever. It’s a one shot anyone can enjoy that will have an impact on people’s lives to boot. It’s a must read because it’s funny, but also because it contains a very important, heartfelt message. Bravo.
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