Deadpool is one of the most versatile characters. He can reference literally anything, fight heroes and villains, and be hurt in any way imaginable and still keep on walking. Writer Skottie Young is clearly aware of that and it’s especially obvious after you read a few of his issues. Deadpool literally goes after Santa Claus in the second volume out today and the title “Good Night” refers to a brand new Batman-style character. See, he can do anything — including fight a character that’s three shades away from copyright infringement!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Deadpool finds himself in the middle of a twisted rivalry between two competing amusement parks! But it’s not all fun and games when one pernicious porker procures a plethora of…dang it, I can’t think of a synonym for “big honkin’ weapons” that starts with “P.” It’s a carnival of carnage! Buy the ticket, take the ride!
Why does this matter?
Collecting issues #7 through #12 this trade paperback has an eclectic mix of stories. It opens with Deadpool attempting to kill Santa Claus, moves on to him trying to kill cartoon characters, features a noir detective story, and then closes with a three-issue arc featuring a new character named Good Night. It’s a mix!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s quite clear from the start Young is writing a very different Deadpool. Gone are the captions featuring Deadpool talking to himself back and forth. It’s a far simpler take too with his ensemble popping in, but not taking over. Deadpool is back to being a mercenary after getting his mind wiped, yet Young continues to weave in Deadpool’s daughter here and there. It’s a more violent and harsher look at Deadpool rather than the over the top slapstick with an incredibly complex plot. Young even makes reference to Gerry Duggan’s run via Deadpool who tells the audience straight up this isn’t that. You have to respect this take because it’s so far removed from what we’ve seen with the character for so long.
This collection also has a very good mix of stories. The first two involve a slapstick job for Deadpool to take on, but both have a deeper meaning. Deadpool gets some help from his daughter when he goes after the cartoon character he’s trying to kill while with the Santa Claus story Deadpool admits killing Santa is a bit much. The detective story takes things in an entirely different direction with Deadpool joining forces with Jessica Jones to find his heart. It’s rendered in a dark-toned way with some inside jokes about noir detective stories. Finally, the inclusion of Good Night is a great success. You basically get Young and Scott Hepburn’s take on Batman if his parents were taken out by Deadpool. You can imagine how frustrating that’d be for Good Night.
The art is divided between Nic Klein for the first half and then Scott Hepburn for the second half. Hepburn is joined by color artist Ian Herring. The switch between artists isn’t too jarring since Hepburn takes over for the Good Night portion fo the book and it’s filled with gore and violence. Klein gets to wow us with the stylized detective story and the Santa Claus story both of which are beautiful in far different ways. Regardless of artist, the creative team does a fantastic job giving Deadpool’s world a layer of grit and grime that suits his personality.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Maybe it’s a factor of taste, but this series never really makes me laugh. There are funny ideas, and even a silly Lost fan theory, but this version of Deadpool is more of a sad sack who is a touch incompetent rather than a funny dude. Maybe that’s the point, but it’s more Looney Tunes slapstick than laugh out loud funny.
Is it good?
I had a good time with this series thanks to its changing things up on the regular. Each issue is unique in its own right and the introduction of Good Night is a clever idea even if it’s a wild one. Deadpool “Good Night” is the perfect superhero book for the ADHD fanbase.
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