All good things come to an end, and that includes Kelly Thompson and Gerardo Sandoval’s King Deadpool. The last trade paperback for the series came out this week in comic book shops, housing Deadpool (2019) #7-10. This title likely suffered due to the pandemic — the two issues that proceed this volume were released in June and July when shipping and lockdowns affected sales — which is too bad since the first volume was pretty great. This last volume contains two stories, the first being a mega battle between Elsa Bloodstone and Deadpool against a Bone Beast, and a King in Black tie-in one-shot. Both involve goopy black monsters.
This collection juggles a few things well, including the growing romance between Bloodstone and Deadpool. It’s an intriguing idea Thompson introduced in the previous volume and it has a good amount of conflict since Bloodstone kills monsters and Deadpool is the king of them. As their interest in one another builds, Bloodstone throws Deadpool into a battle that directly threatens her life. It allows Deadpool to be a valiant knight of sorts but also shows his kindness while being his usual wacky self.
Though this is the end of Thompson’s run, it’s clear as day she writes a good Deadpool. From his riffs to his various jokes, Thompson understands the character. She even breaks the fourth wall in creative ways and ends the book fully admitting the title is ending early and that’s part of writing comics. It’s a fun nod to the tragic nature of stories ending too soon and gives the somewhat abrupt ending a pillow to land on.
It’s also nice to see Sandoval on every issue with Chris Sotomayor. The identity of the book is as much theirs as Thompson’s, and together they deliver the in-your-face and larger-than-life style. From Deadpool fighting a Bone Beast queen as big as a building to Elsa carrying his head around, to a crew of monsters Deadpool takes with him to fight Knull, there are a lot of visual ideas that work. Deadpool is over the top and the art shows that every chance it gets.
In the grand scheme of things, however, this collection is rather one-note. There isn’t a lot of complexity in fighting Bone Beasts, for instance, and sadly the romance between Deadpool and Elsa isn’t allowed to go far enough to really matter. Since the book was canceled it’s clear there was more planned that we’ll never get to see. This collection reads like a fun action romp with some interesting ideas that never get a chance.
King Deadpool Vol. 2 is a fun read, but it’s an ending that cuts short bigger plans never fulfilled. That said, the audience for this isn’t going to care all that much since they are here to see Deadpool get limbs removed, slice monsters, and be a kooky fellow. It accomplishes those things and more, making it an entertaining respite from your everyday life.
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