Fountains of Wade: There’s Too Much Deadpool and I’m Fine with That

July 18th, 2010 by | Tags: , , ,

There’s a lot going on in the world of Deadpool. The guy has like a million different comics going on at the moment with Deadpool, the soon-to-be-ending Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool Corps, Deadpool Team-Up, the miniseries Deadpool: Wade Wilson’s War and some other miscellaneous appearances. He’s been revealed as a new character in the long-awaited Marvel vs. Capcom 3, where his quirks include Moonwalking, beating his opponents with their own life bar, doing a Shoryuken, yelling, “YOU PRESSED THE WRONG BUTTON!” when losing and getting tentacle raped by accident via Morrigan Aensland in the opening cinematic.

He also, as recently revealed, is going to have three more comics coming out. One is Deadpool: Pulp, which is in the alternate universe decade-specific retelling spirit of the Marvel Noir series. All I know is that the Jae Lee covers are completely stellar, so that at least has my attention.

The second comic is Deadpool MAX by the team of David Lapham and Kyle Baker – a team that’s been making several comic fans weep in frustration. Isn’t that right, Mr. Brothers?

Then again, I’ll weep in frustration too if the interiors are done in Baker’s current ugly-as-sin computer generated art that makes me pray for the day when his trial copy of Poser finally expires. Come on, man. I know for a fact that you’re better than this.

Even more recently announced is Uncanny X-Force. In the wake of Cable’s death and the revelation that Cyclops put together the latest version of X-Force, Wolverine decides to keep the black ops dream alive himself with an even more secret team made up of Wolverine, Archangel, Psylocke, Fantomex and Deadpool. Deadpool and Fantomex in the same book? I’m completely there. It’s rather interesting how the recent arc in Deadpool’s core book where he joined the X-Men for all of several hours foreshadows this development several times over.

Oh, and Deadpool’s dimensional counterparts are going to be getting their own one-shots, so add that to the pile. Plus that Deadpool #1000 issue.

With Deadpool everywhere, I think it’s about time to get past the groaning and joking about how Deadpool is everywhere. I know I’m just as guilty as everyone else, rolling my eyes when they revealed a third on-going series, but I’ve long reached the state of acceptance. Why? Because most of the time, I’m enjoying the spread shot of Deadpool they’ve been handing us.

Why is he so popular? I guess when you look at it, the guy is the fun aspects of Spider-Man, Wolverine and Snake Eyes merged together. It’s interesting how he no longer shares too much of the same appeal that Deathstroke the Terminator brings outside of being a hired killer. I feel one of the reasons his sales are able to stay stable are that overall, his comics are different enough to get by. Call him one-dimensional if you’d like, but he can certainly go in many directions with that dimension.

Let’s take a look at what he currently has on the market.

Daniel Way’s Deadpool is the core series. More often than naught, it’s the best Deadpool book Marvel has to offer, but it’s been lacking a bit in recent issues. I’ve had harsh things to say about Way before in terms of how he wrote Venom, but I feel he knows Deadpool perfectly. He’s been writing him well since his first Wolverine: Origins appearance, even though he did give us the double narration and hallucinations that have gotten very old. At least the latter part of that has mostly been phased out.

The core series is supposed to be where Deadpool experiences his more legit character development. It’s certainly had its moments, but right now he appears to be spinning his wheels, as if taking a breather from moving forward. Normally, that would be fine. Sometimes comics need to spend a few issues telling of adventures that barely fit into the big picture. Unfortunately, the oversaturation of Deadpool has made this more and more of a negative. The stories themselves are fine on their own, but as of now, they seem to be buried by all the other available comics with nothing to show for itself.

A good example would be that White Lightning issue where Deadpool dealt with a corrupt sheriff’s department. It was a decent issue, but was the most forgettable in the crowd of his recent appearances. That should not be the case for the character’s core series.

Next up is Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth the second on-going and the comic that will be finishing up as of this week. This one was on the border in terms of me dropping it, but it kept being just good enough to keep going month after month. Victor Gischler’s stories are fun and goofy, even with Bong Dazo’s overuse of cheesecake in the art. The feel of the series has been extremely lacking in seriousness compared to Way’s comic, which makes for a good alternative. It’s enjoyable enough that if there was only one on-going for the character, this 13-issue run would have made for a nice year-long diversion. Deadpool’s first solo run has certainly seen worse.

But why is it ending? To make way for Deadpool Corps, which is already finishing up its first arc. Well, second arc if you count the Prelude miniseries. Also by Gischler, Corps is shown to take place directly after Merc with a Mouth but was probably released months early to capitalize on the Green Lantern hysteria. Prelude to Deadpool Corps was a complete mixed bag, ending with the awful final issue, thanks to the aforementioned Kyle Baker CGI art.

I should hate on this comic on principle. After all, it’s a ridiculous concept and Rob Liefeld is on art. And yet… it’s completely won me over. In terms of the art, this is the perfect comic for Liefeld. Most of the Deadpools have no facial features whatsoever and the other characters are aliens. He can do whatever the hell he wants and the characters will look fine. Hell, he even draws Dogpool well! The latest issue has featured a female humanoid named the Broken Blade and even she appears decent for Rob, outside of one or two shots.

The story itself is a lot of fun if you give it a try. Each character is goofy in his or her own right, but there are little tics that separate them. Headpool is accepting in the fact that he’s the most worthless member of the team. Kid Deadpool comes across as underappreciated. Lady Deadpool has a couple feminine stereotypes, but is the only one truly on regular Deadpool’s level. What really holds the comic together is the back and forth feel of the straight man.

When Deadpool is in X-Force, you know that everyone else is going to play the straight man to his antics. How does that work in a team that is all Deadpool? Easy. They are the straight men against the universe and vice versa. As being inhabitants of Earth that we would identify with, they share the confusion over the strangeness that is cosmic Marvel. Yet the aliens they deal with are just as disturbed by the Deadpools and their erratic behavior. It goes both ways.

Deadpool Team-Up is another comic that I had a bad feeling about, though more after the first couple issues. Van Lente’s Hercules crossover was a great way to start things, but it started to go downhill fast. I started to get the feeling that they only used Hercules as a good launch issue and then allowed it to falter and stand merely on Deadpool’s name. Basically, Team-Up appears to be Marvel’s current mystery box series, much like Marvel Comics Presents and What If v.2. While established writers and artists can do stories for it, it’s also a good way for newer guys to write and draw comics that have a better chance of being read by the public.

Luckily, as a whole, the series gets better. Of the eight existing issues, here’s my list from worst to best:

8) US-Ace
7) It! The Living Colossus
6) The Zapata Brothers
5) Satana
4) Ghost Riders
3) Hercules
2) Frankencastle
1) Captain Britain

So what, you might be asking, separates the US-Ace issue from the Captain Britain issue? It’s the underlying feeling of what that writer was going for. Rob Williams was given the assignment and decided, “I have a good idea for a story involving Captain Britain and Deadpool that I’d like to share.” He did have a good idea for a story and it was fun shit all around.

Stuart Moore’s comic was blatantly, “A Deadpool Team-Up issue? Beautiful! Now I can write a US-Ace story (with special appearance by Deadpool) and it’ll get everyone talking about how US-Ace NEEDS his own on-going again, but this time with me as the writer!” The comic literally has Deadpool drop out of the sky as a plot device and the very last panel is Deadpool singing about how great US-Ace is and how the readers should email Marvel about how they should give Moore the series.

Same goes with Benson tossing in the Zapata Brothers (supporting characters in one of his Moon Knight arcs) in an excuse to get them more exposure. At least his story had a little more kick to it.

We’re a couple issues into Duane Swierczynski’s Deadpool: Wade Wilson’s War and at least on this one I can say I am not a fan. The comic is about Deadpool explaining the concept of Weapon X at a big senate hearing dealy and going into his backstory. His flashbacks are mainly about how he, Domino, Bullseye (who looks like Too Much Coffee Man) and Silver Sable were doing merc work in the 80’s. Yes, not only are these other guys retconned into being projects of Weapon X, but they’re fucking old. Domino and Silver Sable are looking pretty spry for a couple ladies in their 50’s.

The idea is there that he might be making all of this up (making it an inferior version of Bullseye: Greatest Hits), but a third party who knows a lot about Weapon X is able to back up Deadpool’s claims to a superior, albeit with a version that makes Wade appear like a comical pussy. A pussy wearing Spider-Man undies. Shit, how old does this make Peter Parker then?

I simply don’t get what this comic is even about outside of a bunch of needless retcons that may or may not be sticking by the last issue and will be ignored by subsequent writers anyway. It isn’t even funny. The only gag I can even remember from the last issue is Deadpool unmasking in public to reveal a Michael Jackson mask on underneath with another Deadpool mask underneath that. Then he starts beating up guards for no reason while singing “Poker Face”. I don’t get it.

It’s because of this mini that I found myself compelled into picking up X-Men Origins: Deadpool, also by Swierczynski. The one-shot is based on Deadpool telling pieces of his life story to a screenwriter who wants to do a Deadpool movie. Predictably, the whole thing is a thinly-veiled joke about how bad X-Men Origins: Wolverine was, ending with Deadpool watching the horrible mutation of his life story on the big screen, which ends up being a hit regardless. People who read Deadpool’s core book would probably question why there would be such support for a Deadpool movie when he’s currently scorned by the world for being a turncoat for the Skrulls.

But ignoring continuity is Swierczynski’s deal in this comic anyway. That Skrull thing could be seen as a nitpick. I can accept that. I don’t for a second think that Swierczynski should have to read every single Deadpool comic in order to write an issue about Deadpool’s origin. That would be ridiculous. I do, however, think it would probably be a good idea to read the comics that – *gasp* – deal with his origin. No references to Dr. Killbrew or the Attending or how he originally escaped Weapon X. A bunch of generic scientists gave him his powers, tossed him in a cell and he beat up a guard to escape. What’s weird is that he did at least read a handful of random Deadpool appearances for the sake of referencing, like Deadpool -1, for one.

I’m not going to even go into his take on Wade’s daddy issues, since that’s a retcon that overrides another retcon. I might end up crosseyed. But the bottom line is that Nicieza and Way’s depiction of Wade’s childhood is way, way more compelling than what Priest and Swierczynski came up with.

As for the rest of Deadpool’s recent appearances? I don’t have too much to say about all of it. I know he appeared in Moon Knight’s series recently, but I’ve lost interest in it so long ago that I haven’t even bothered. And you should probably know by now that I have no interest in getting anywhere near World War Hulks. Unlike others, though, I enjoy what Deadpool has to offer in Doomwar, where he acts as T’challa’s x-factor to throw off Dr. Doom’s mind games. Between that and Uncanny X-Force, it’s refreshing to see the Marvel Universe properly incorporate him into itself instead of treating him as the jokey guest appearance of the month.

Oh, and while I’m going farther back than I should, there was a Shang-Chi one-shot that came out almost a year ago that’s worth checking out for Jonathan Hickman’s story about Shang-Chi and Deadpool taking part in a motorcycle death race that includes taking a break to eat the most delicious hotdogs ever. It’s a batshit insane little black and white adventure and I can’t recommend it enough.

So things are looking pretty good for the merc, once you ignore that he lost two of his best friends over the course of one Wednesday. As long as I keep enjoying them, I’ll keep picking up his comics. Except Wade Wilson’s War, unless hearsay says it’s gotten better.

But really, with so many series going on, is it too much to ask that he’s given something resembling a rogue’s gallery?

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21 comments to “Fountains of Wade: There’s Too Much Deadpool and I’m Fine with That”

  1. Now you’ve got me thinking we need a Deadpool/Too Much Coffee Man crossover.

  2. If it makes you feel better, all the “X-Men Origins” books have been like that. It’s like someone read to each respective writer the SparkNotes version of the character’s origin, and told them to fill in the blanks. I read the Nightcrawler one, and it retconed even the stuff shown in Giant Size X-Men. And I don’t mean “oh, there’s something you didn’t know” retcon, but rather “No, no, no! This happened completely different!” recton.

    Also, Wade Wilson’s War is Marvel Knights mini, so it’s not in-continuity.

  3. I don’t think Wade Wilson’s War is a retcon attempt. It’s got the Marvel Knights tag and, to the best of my understanding, none of that stuff is supposed to be in continuity. I honestly can’t say whether I enjoy it, yet, though. Maybe if I re-read the first issues, I can say one way or another.

  4. I don’t get why Marvel Knights strictly means it’s not in-continuity. There are a ton of Marvel Knights books (and even MAX books, such as the Hood) that are part of Marvel continuity. Magneto: Testament, the Sentry, Daredevil vs. Punisher, Punisher vs. Bullseye, Marvel Boy, etc. Yes, a lot of the books are definitely out of continuity, but there’s nothing stated (so I’ve seen) that dictates Wade Wilson’s War one way or another.

  5. Where on Youtube can I find Deadpool beating a guy up with his own lifebar? I’m having trouble finding that and I’d like to see that very much.

  6. Great article! I’m a longtime Deadpool fan, and am glad he is getting more exposure, I’ve written about Wade’s finer times and writers. (also I referenced the Top 70 Deadpool moments that originated on this site) I don’t mind extra exposure, but with X_men Origins: Deadpool, that made me write a review and also begin to reflect on the downsides of overexposure. I’ve often had arguments with people who’ve said Wade is a shallow character, this and some of the present inconsistencies add to my overall fear that Deadpool’s extensive appearances will damage his character. With more books, more writers are getting their chance to give Wade their own spin on him, the problem is not getting his humor right, but rather getting his character, personality and history right.

    I’ve seen Wade get a ton of character development over the years, he’s shown that he’s not some 1 dimensional gun for hire like when first created, but he grew as a character, gained friends, and became well rounded. Now my fear is that writers who don’t know how to write him will forever forget Killebrew, Ajax, and Typhoid Mary moments, and just throw him into random situations, take a crack at random humour and try to either collect an easy paycheck (since these books have a large audience) and/ or try to do the US-Ace promotion stunt. I don’t to lose those great days of when Wade would have a balance of crazy crap and a developing story. Though I’ve not read Way in a while, I did really like the meat suit against Bullseye.

    In the end, after reading your article, I’m less worried and still optimistic. With things like the Game of Death mini (Punisher, Spidey, Outlaw, and Daredevil) and some pretty awesome moments, I’m convinced that things wont completely go to pieces. Here’s hoping Uncanny X-force is fun. 🙂

  7. That Deadpool: Noir comic sounds interesting, I may have to pick it up later.

  8. The biggest problem with Wade Wilson’s War (aside from the lame frat boy humor, YEA BOIIIIIIII!) is that they waste Jason Pearson drawing Senate hearings for half the book.

  9. @Gavok: I was hoping to get a screenshot, but that works as well. Thanks!

  10. The overexposure wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t so over the top and *someone* at least nailed his old personality.

    As for Wade Wilson’s War: I messaged Duane Whatisface on FB and he says it’s non-canon/MK title when it first came out because none of it made any sense.

    Way however, is devolving the character into a walking idiot. Hell, Alex Alonso is all for it saying DP is a mixture of “The Punisher and Bugs Bunny”, which is about as off base as Wolverine is an Albino Humpback whale attempting to find himself on a tour of the US.

    I get why some people liked the Bullseye bit, the T-Bolts crossover, but Way’s writing is way too bland and outright contridictive at points.

    Hell, the reason he got rid of the teleporter (with no explanation, it just disappeared off panel with Bullseye) is because “it’d be too easy”, but for now Deadpool is super rich and bribing everyone whenever he needs to get away with a quick deal.

    Like the complete switch in personality all you want, but he can’t write something with a plot. He can’t even get Deapdool’s history right. Weasel calling Al “Blind Al” directly? The Box crap? Weasel suddenly being smart enough to replicate Iron Man tech and not alert Tony Stark? Or even better in the Hit-Monkey arc: He was ‘declared dead’ by the docs. And at “Spider-Man’s funeral” no big names showed up? No Osborn and Hammer agents to collect the body?

    For a guy trying to ‘put Deadpool in the center of the marvel universe” he seems to just say “Hey it’s a joke-based comic book so fuck continuity but HEY CROSSOVERTIME!” and that’s about it.

    The worst part of it besides the bad and go-nowhere-writing? He doesn’t get Deadpool. When Spider-Man confronted DP about the aspects/Wade’s desire to be a hero? Deadpool suddenly forgetting all he learned from Kelly’s run up until the final issue of Cable & DP? His whole acceptance of what it is to be a hero and what it takes?

    Nope, forgotten.

    Way is pretty much the Michael Bay of comics: Shallow, empty ham fisted writing, with monster trucks, explosions and really really stupid jokes piled on top to make sure nobody notices there’s nothing going on underneath.

    Gischler’s at least had the humor down, even if the story did drag on forever. The wit, the pop culture references, the occasionally stupid (but for a point) type thing. Hell, Way writes DP filling a pool with pancakes and trying to fire a gun with his feet because…because it’s funny? Because it’s something an ‘insane’ person would do?

    It’s almost as bad as his run on Ghost Rider making the Ghost Rider secretly an Angel. Blah.

  11. @Capo Del Bandito: I don’t share your passion for Way hate, but I’m a little more open to your opinions than I was last time you went on a rant here. I don’t so much hate Way’s writing, but his run is starting to crack apart for me and it really needs to do something impressive soon.

    You’re completely right about the schizo writing. I think on its own, the X-Men crossover is a great story. I think on its own, the Spider-Man crossover isn’t bad either. But having one right after the other (at least in that order) doesn’t work. Deadpool is noble as hell in the X-Men story, but he’s suddenly working at a different angle, as shown when Spider-Man scolds him at the end of the arc. Now I’m not even sure Way knows where he intends to go with this.

    I’d like to hope that Way was fully aware of the plans to include Deadpool in X-Force when he wrote the X-Men story. It’s set up so well there. Much better than, “Nate was my buddy, so here I am.”

    Oh, and you’re also spot on about the Box part of the House storyline. It was such a badly used callback.

  12. I really liked the first issue of WADE WILSON’S WAR. It’s a really good comic for a person who’s just getting into Deadpool. Of course it’s preposterous that Domino keeps getting younger when the stories indicate how old she should be. In X-Force recently, she looked to be about early-30s, but in her first appearances (as Vanessa and as herself), she looked like a hard late-30s at least. Separate issue.

    The second issue of WADE WILSON’S WAR wasn’t as entertaining from my perspective. I was first most impressed by MERC WITH A MOUTH, and feel sad that it’s ending. That basically leaves DEADPOOL, the Daniel Way, as the only comic that I really feel compelled to read that stars the uni-present anti-hero.

    I’ll definitely read the first Uncanny X-Force, but the concept is appalling to me to start with. It’s unlikely that I’ll walk with that one.

    My take: over-exposed, yes; but only one ongoing title actually worth the dollars and attention (after MERC ends this week).

  13. That shang-Chi oneshot was a thing of glorious insanity.

  14. If you can’t see the humor in Deadpool killing people while wearing a Michael Jackson mask and singing “Pokerface”, you need to stop reading Deadpool. As is, I’m tempted to visit a {brr} comic book store and buy as many copies of his adventures as possible.

  15. Why is he so popular?

    A genre-savvy, fourth wall breaking snarker who tells stupid jokes from the 90s who can’t be killed no matter how much you wish he would be sometimes?

    He’s the internet.

  16. Great article, Gavok. I agree that Way’s run is cracking apart. I used to be one of the biggest Way boosters/defenders, and the first 18 issues of his run have been great, but Carlo Barberi’s terrible artwork combined with him writing Deadpool as deep as a kidde pool is crushing me. The jaw-droppingly awful conclusion to Origins isn’t helping either. For god’s sake, he put Romulus in the Darkforce Dimension. Which couldn’t hold SILVERMANE!

    Like you, I’m not sure Way knows where he’s going with this. His Deadpool is indistinguishable from all the other Deadpool books on the rack, and if there’s one flavor, before long, people get sick of it. There’s got to be room for a more serious take on the character in an ongoing.

    And Hit-Monkey is just a lame concept. What, he only kills “bad” people?

    Wade Wilson’s War I’m enjoying, because I think it’s just meant to be silly and an excuse for Pearson to draw. X-Men Origins I absolutely despised for the same reasons you did. Fucking daddy issues- try HARDER, comics writers.

    I couldn’t disagree more about Deadpool Team-Up– I thought Williams’ issue was the worst of the run… until Lapham’s Satana story, which made Wade come off as borderline retarded. I love, love, LOVED the Stuart Moore U.S. Ace story. I didn’t much like the Franken-Castle story either (though that was more the artwork). In fact, if Frank Tieri and James Asmus weren’t writing two upcoming issues I would have dropped it.

    Deadpool Corps is funny, Merc With a Mouth ran out of ideas. Though with DC, I can’t help but get the sneaking suspicion Gischler wanted to do Alan Grant-style Lobo (The worst kind of Lobo!) and settled for this instead.

  17. I would love to read some Deadpool eventually, but I have no idea where to start.


  18. Start with Classic Vol. 1

  19. Yeah, they’ve released trades of “Deadpool Classic”. The first trade isn’t especially fantastic (it has his first appearance, his first two miniseries and Deadpool #1), but the trades that follow are pure gold.

  20. @Dan Coyle: Wait, the Satana team up had Way “Borderline retarded”, but Way isn’t writing him that way with the gun-foot-shooting bit? Or the pancakes in the pool? Or the sudden lack of him not knowing what it means to be a hero?

    Also: The Darkforce Dimension is also holding Captain Marvel/Photon/Genis-Vell. If it can hold a being of ultimate reality altering power, I guess it can hold Romulus?