Thirty some-odd years ago, Deadpool was created not as a multi-million dollar franchise, but as a low-level adversary in New Mutants #98. Now, to celebrate his anniversary, Deadpool is getting an anthology anniversary issue with some of the most important creators who helped shape him. Featuring eight stories, Deadpool Nerdy 30 is a good time as each creator celebrates the character in a variety of ways.
This one-shot anthology opens with a story by Joe Kelly and Gerardo Sandoval playing into the violent nature of Deadpool and his fast-talking self. It’s rather nonsensical and so short it doesn’t make much of an impact, but for a book-opener, it brings plenty of the chaotic energy you’re about to read.
Next up, Skottie Young and Aaron Conley play around with many time-traveling Cables. It’s more of a Cable story than a Deadpool one, but we do get to see how baby Wade Wilson enjoys a few explosions. Conley’s art is cartoony and fun.
Kelly Thompson, Kevin Libransa, and Bob Quinn reveal Wolverine and Wade Wilson teamed up long before Wade became Deadpool. It’s a cute way to show how Wade was always a fast talker who is quite good at commenting on the things around him. The art style is strong, maintaining a sense of normalcy and calm even though a battle is taking place all around Wolverine and Wade. One might even liken Wade’s look to that of Peter Parker, which is a connection that suits his witty banter.
Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza and Patch Zircher tell a tale mostly inside Deadpool’s head thanks to being stuck in a prison cell. Zircher draws one of the grossest depictions of the character you’ve ever seen, which connects well to the healing factor focus Nicieza takes. The story is a nice walk down memory lane of Marvel and how Deadpool sticks out and is unique.
Gail Simone and Michael Shelfer go hard with a Stilt-Man tale that leans into Stilt-Man’s little “stilt-man” in his pants. It’s the most juvenile story of the bunch which is an important aspect to capture in Deadpool. You’ll laugh the hardest at this tale and there are a few familiar faces thrown in too. Shelfer maximizes the drama in the short tale with some great points of view on the action.
Daniel Way and Paco Medina go for a more serious tale involving a guy who worked for a drug lord. It captures the moral imperative of Deadpool despite his love of guns and violence. Medina’s clean style is evocative of so many classic Deadpool stories and suits this one-shot very well. It also calls back to a classic tale and has a clever lunatic concept reveal for Deadpool’s behavior.
Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, and Scott Koblish carry forward their plot involving Deadpool’s daughter. Using Deadpool’s inability to die, the creators explore how he might reflect on life if stuck inside a coffin for a long time. This tale reminds us of the sentimental side of Deadpool and how he’s grown quite a bit thanks to having a daughter and living a long life.
Finally, Rob Liefeld and Chad Bowers wrap up the book with a fourth wall-breaking tale. Deadpool is very much aware of his origins, right down to his pouches. It’s a nice way to cap off the book with co-creator Liefeld. It’s like a spiritual cleanser.
As anthologies go, this is an okay collection. Each story is so short there’s not a lot they can do, but there are at least three stories worth reading. Deadpool Nerdy 30 #1 is a celebration of Deadpool and in that, this book works splendidly, capturing the different aspects of the character. It’s a reminder after 30 years Deadpool isn’t just a one-trick pony.
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