Spoilers ahead for Deadpool: The End #1.
With a healing factor only rivaled by Lobo, it is safe to assume that Wade Wilson cannot be “un-alived.” Especially considering that the regenerating degenerate can return from a single smart-talking atom. Nor should we neglect that little curse of immortality courtesy of everyone’s favorite Grimace cosplayer, Thanos. Thankfully, Joe Kelly is here to show us that there’s more than one way to skin a Deadpool. Every one of Wade’s Leatherface-inspired adversaries with a fetish for topographical maps of Utah will be so pleased.
“That was a plot contrivance cooked up because someone got bored with the status quo!”
Both insane and hilarious, and often insanely hilarious, Deadpool: The End #1 is the perfect “final story” for the Merc with a Mouth. Or, more accurately, it provides the perfect “final stories” for Wade. When the solicitations said, “…there is more than one way to put an end to him…” I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. With this issue, Joe Kelly provides us with several stories detailing Deadpool’s end. Through framing each sequence as an attempt to appeal to a broader audience, he is able to parody everything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to television series finales and the Distinguished Competition.
Kelly sticks the landing in every sequence of this issue. I loved every one of them. Unfortunately, to say much about the endings themselves would ruin your enjoyment. However, I will say that a large portion of this issue’s success is due to Kelly’s hilarious dialogue and clever writing. Some of my favorite sequences throughout the entire issue are the sequences in which Deadpool attempts to murder Death and his pointed mocking of DC comics.
Although the dialogue throughout the whole book left me smiling long after my first reading, the meta-banter between Deadpool and Deadpool-Ex-Machina in the opening sequence in particular stands above the rest. Additionally, Kelly’s ending that mocks the Distinguished Competition is not only funny but also relevant to his views of the industry. Deadpool says, “The real world is enough of a wet ashtray without ‘superheroes’ making us feel worse about ourselves,” and “The word ‘comics’ literally comes from the Latin root ‘comoedia’ which is a story with a happy ending. Screw it. Nihilism is boring.” These quotes imply an escapist view of this medium in that these stories should make us feel better. Although I do appreciate a deconstruction of comic book characters, I cannot argue against Kelly’s view here. I love comics that make me think, but they should also be fun.
Perhaps my favorite part of the issue is the final page. In these panels, Kelly concludes the book by rebuilding what is always broken in Deadpool comics. His advice on the last page is excellent. Not only is it incredibly appropriate for every aspiring writer, but also anyone wishing to take on the Merc with a Mouth.
“I’m the hilarious emperor of Turdville who’s never amounted to more than a licensor’s wet dream, and I get to live forever…”
I would be remiss if I did not mention Mike Hawthorne’s artwork, Victor Olazaba’s inks, and Ruth Redmond’s colors. Their work throughout the entire issue is excellent. Something that stood out to me after a subsequent reading was how their work conveys the tone of each sequence. The scenes that parody the Marvel Cinematic Universe feel, and those mocking the DC Universe are appropriately dark and evoke that sense of brooding. Additionally, the action in the opening sequence is fantastic, and the vibrant colors accentuate the inherent insanity of that conflict.
Ultimately, Deadpool: The End #1 is the perfect end(s) for the character. The success of these endings is due in large part to Joe Kelly’s hilarious dialogue, which will leave you smiling long after reading the book. Additionally, Mike Hawthorne’s artwork, Victor Olazaba’s inks, and Ruth Redmond’s colors do a fantastic job conveying the tone of each sequence.