It’s been a pretty big week for Deadpool. We got the release of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #1 by Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic. I had some hope on the miniseries due to the crazed and intense screams of the heroes on the cover, which made it seem like an offshoot of sorts of the Marvel Universe vs. Punisher series and its Wolverine prequel.
Sadly, the story has zero to do with that and is merely an exercise in having Deadpool murder all the Marvel superheroes singlehandedly. That on its own has potential if done right and I rather like the explanation where Psycho Man – disguised as a psychiatrist – accidentally unlocks a more powerful and sinister third voice in Deadpool’s head that sets him off on a mission of bloodlust. Without the kill count, this would make for a good story arc for the main series. It certainly would have worked better than the “Deadpool gets committed” story they tried about a year ago.
The basic concept shares similarities with two Marvel comics. One is Garth Ennis’ Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe (naturally) and the other is What If: Wolverine: Enemy of the State by Jimmie Robinson and Carmine Di Giandomenico. The Punisher one is about a world where Frank Castle feels that the superheroes caused his family’s deaths and he hunts them down one-by-one, succeeding until realizing the error of his ways and offing himself. The Wolverine one is based on Logan staying programmed by Hydra and going on a killing spree against superheroes with the organization’s help. He kills a whole lot of them until Kitty Pryde sacrifices her arm (and seemingly her life) to put him down.
Neither comic is perfect, and the Punisher one is definitely something Ennis wrote with his free hand, but they both succeed in making the killers worth caring about. For the Punisher, we care about him because he’s our protagonist and he’s only human. He isn’t invincible and only through experience, smarts and luck – not to mention the convenient incompetence of his enemies – does he make it out alive. Suffice to say, he does come close to death several times. With Wolverine, we care about him being a viable threat. Wolverine is already a scary murder machine on his own, but with Hydra backing him, they’re able to teleport him when he’s in trouble. Not only is he a ruthless killer who’s almost impossible to kill, but you can’t even contain him. When Spider-Man webs him up, he teleports out of it and then stabs Spider-Man to death. He theoretically can be stopped, but it makes sense that he’s killed every major superhero… especially since I think this is when Thor was out of the picture.
I bring this up because of a problem with the Deadpool comic. A major problem from the opening scene that took me out of the issue. The opener shows that Deadpool has inexplicably killed Reed Richards and turned Thing into gravel. Invisible Woman finds him decapitating Human Torch. She does the correct course of action and creates a force field inside Deadpool’s head. With a painful scream, his head pops like a pimple and he’s left with an empty neck. His body collapses, partially sprawled over Torch’s corpse. Sue turns her head ever-so-slightly to the right to look at Johnny’s body and we’re given a silent panel of her staring down.
Then THIS happens in the very next shot.
I’ve always hated how healing factor characters have grown too over-the-top. It used to be that Wolverine could be killed with a sliced open throat, but then they did that story where he survived having his entire body burned down to a metal skeleton. And you know what? Bad as that was, at least it took hours for him to regrow his entire body. Deadpool once spent several issues in a wheelchair because he got hit by a car. In the miniseries Suicide Kings, there was a cliffhanger where his head was sniped open by the Punisher and as stupid as that was that he’d survive having his entire head turned to red goo, at least it took hours for him to recover.
When our killer comes back from having his head blown up in two panels, what’s the point in caring? Where’s the hope? Even a Friday the 13th movie has hope. If you can cut Jason’s head off or something, you can survive… even if it’s until the pre-credits scare. Freddy Krueger is more compelling a villain because he at least has a hands-off zone in that he can’t get you when you’re awake. What’s stopping Deadpool from killing the Avengers and the X-Men and whoever else? Nothing because he’s overly-competent and unstoppable.
This is why I could never bring myself to care about the Final Destination movies. If Death wants you dead, then you are going to die. Sorry, there’s nothing more to it. You aren’t going to chain the Grim Reaper to the bottom of a lake so you can live another day. Run all you want, but you are going to die, especially if that’s the point of the movie. All you’re going to get is some wacky blood and guts and, thank you, but I can do without if that’s all you got.
Luckily, for every action there’s an equal or opposite reaction. In this case, despite a bad comic, we’re given some great comic news. Daniel Way leaving Deadpool has been known for months, but just the other day, they made an announcement about who’s replacing him.
First off, Tony Moore is probably my favorite artist these days, just slightly edging out Bachalo. That in itself is awesome, even though he’ll probably only last a few issues before moving on, as is wont to happen in current Marvel (viva Wacker!). It’s the writers that have me smiling even more.
Brian Posehn is known as “that goony guy with the glasses, you know, from that thing on TV.” One-fourth of the Comedians of Comedy, I’ve been a fan of his work for years. Gerry Duggan I know little about, but I do know of the one comic that he and Posehn have worked on together many years ago and that fills me with hope on this turn of events.
With Rick Remender on art, the two co-wrote the Last Christmas for Image back in 2006. Since its release, I’ve regularly ordered copies into my Barnes and Noble every holiday season, always watching as it sells out right around the final days before Christmas starts. In a comic that’s much like a more whimsical flavor of Eric Powell’s the Goon, it deals with Santa Claus existing during the post-apocalypse. It’s a violent and hilarious story of ridiculous situations and explosive redemption with a strong supporting cast and that in itself is exactly what I want in a Deadpool run.
Meanwhile, Rob Liefeld complained about how Deadpool is always given D-list talent in light of this announcement. Wow. Coincidentally, that’s how I feel about Deathstroke’s current comic. Well, not so much D-list as D-graded. With a mercy curve.