When Gerry Duggan and Briah Posehn took over Deadpool there was a lot of talk about the character being more focused on comedy. Posehn is a stand up comedian and actor after all and Duggan clearly had the skills to bring the hahas. The third volume in the complete collection of their work is out this week and it’s quite a time in Deadpool’s life. The character has been transformed from solely being a mercenary to a fiance (whose wife-to-be is also a demon) with a solid supporting cast of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent friends and… a father!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The hits just keep on coming as Duggan and Posehn’s Deadpool run continues! Ding-dong, the bells are gonna chime, because Wade’s getting married – and everyone’s invited! But the honeymoon won’t last long when the events of Original Sin cast a cloud over Deadpool’s life. Agent Preston follows a trail of revelations from Deadpool’s past that leads her to a huge surprise – he has a daughter! Meanwhile, Wade is up to his neck fi ghting off Dracula’s forces alongside a time-displaced Dazzler…which leaves you free to fl ash back to the grim and gritty 1990s to discover Deadpool’s darkest secret! Plus: It’s trick (arrows) and treats galore when Hawkeye and Deadpool hang out on Halloween! Can they solve a mystery before they kill each other?
Why does this matter?
Much of the standard for Deadpool as we know him today was established during Posehn and Duggan’s run which made Deadpool insane but somehow still lovable and relateable at the same time. He was stable enough to hold down some friends and even attempt to be a good father. It was recently retconned by Duggan himself, but it’s safe to say this is about as complex as Deadpool has ever gotten.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This collection breaks down into three big chunks. The first is Deadpool’s wedding, the second the big reveal of who Deadpool’s daughter is, and the third is all about Hawkeye and Deadpool fighting in a separate miniseries. The wedding events focus on a bachelor party that flies off the rails, the need to team up with Dazzler to kill all the vampires plaguing Deadpool’s wife and the honeymoon from Hell. Customary of this series it’s zany and out of control with monsters popping up as if they’re as common as taxi cabs. A fun chapter involves Deadpool explaining all the women he’s married which are broken up into shorter stories written and drawn by various creators. You have to respect how insane this series got simply because it can’t be that easy for casual fans to jump right in.
The daughter storyline is interesting particularly if you missed it like I did. It involves Deadpool’s best friend Preston discovering the truth and helping to track her down. Given how silly the marriage to a demon can be this element grounded Deadpool and made him a touch more human. He has to care for someone else and loves her deeply, and it shows in the closing chapters depicted here. They are just beginning to form a relationship here though so it cuts off a bit short.
The remaining chapters cover the Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0-#4 miniseries. These are written by Duggan with art by Matteo Lolli and Jacopo Camagni. This duo of Hawkeye and Deadpool works quite well since Hawkeye is more of the straight man and a much less chaotic sort of character compared to Deadpool.
Closing out the collection is the excellent Deadpool Annual #1 written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker. It’s a touching story that’s very silly too involving Madcap (one of the weirdest characters in the MCU).
It can’t be perfect can it?
There are chunks of this book that don’t feel important or hold your interest. The zany chaos can grow tiresome, which is probably why when Deadpool’s daughter shows up the story starts to draw you in. Unfortunately, that subplot ends and will require you buy the next complete collection to fully enjoy it. The addition of Hawkeye vs. Deadpool seems a bit pointless given Posehn didn’t co-write and it doesn’t tie into the bigger character story laid out earlier in the collection. Reading this book in one sitting it becomes clear it’s not a strong cohesive work and instead is all over the place.
Is it good?
There are a few stories here that are quite interesting, but I almost think it’s worth seeking out those single issues than picking this up. Good chunks of this can grow tiresome or seem pointless, especially when the daughter subplot comes into effect. That said, I imagine Deadpool completist will love this collection.