It was the Best of Wade, it was the Worst of Wade

August 5th, 2012 by | Tags: , , , , ,

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.

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15 comments to “It was the Best of Wade, it was the Worst of Wade”

  1. When I first heard about this comic, I wasn’t looking forward to it. Now it’s justified all my fears that this is just Wade going around and killing heroes. I really really love Deadpool, I’ve written several posts on him and had discussions for years on why I love the guy, but like most of Way’s run, I’m avoiding this.

    I know Wade can be incredible and scary competent when he focuses, but there’s just some things the guy can’t do. Taking on the Fantastic Four by himself with no amazing pilfered gear? Seriously? These are guys who can fight Galactus. The idea of any and all goodness in Wade being switched off is legitimately interesting, but, this execution doesn’t work for me. You’re going to see characters killed just because it says so in the script; thus, abilities and tactics they should and frequently use are going to be ignored. Also, I’m cringing to see how he’ll handle someone like the hulk. It’ll probably be ambiguous and off panel just like the guys killed in the preview for issue 2. :/

    If this had a twisted version of Wade using LL&L tech and teaming up with a bunch of higher villains, I think it could be fantastic.

    Oh yea and Way is leaving. Ooooooooh happppy daaaaaay! (Oh happy day!)

    Speaking of all this, what are your thoughts on the Deadpool game so far Gavok?

  2. Eh, don’t read these sorts of books anymore, but I liked the idea of invincible Wolverine. Practically every superhero is an Ersatz Superman, and I thought it was a good idea to turn Wolverine into the ultimate Marvel Superman: he can feel pain, a whole lot of it, just the same as the rest of us, but he always, always gets up and keeps going, no matter what. Very 1960s Spider-Man.

  3. When I look at that cover, I think less “Heroes screaming in pain” so much as “Heroes going ‘FUUUUCK, I LEFT THE IRON ON!”

    Also, who is the 3rd one from the left?

  4. So “Duggan” sadly isn’t the creative debut of Hacksaw Jim?

  5. The “Marvel Universe vs…” series IS being continued, in whatever month the current Marvel Previews is for. In this case, it’s “… the Avengers.”

  6. “When our killer comes back from having his head blown up in two panels, what’s the point in caring?”

    This is how you know the medium really is run by the fanboys and the pros have run off to Hollywood… Or died of old age wishing they had some small portion of the money from the ideas they gave Marvel to ease their suffering.

  7. @Ryan Johnson: I think it’s Cable.

  8. @Shockdingo: Liked the trailer, but I’m going to wait for some actual gameplay.

    @Ryan Johnson: Pretty sure that’s Storm.

    @GQ: Can’t be. Wade is Canadian and Hacksaw is way too patriotic to tend to that.

  9. To be fair to Wacker, Tony Moore will be gone after two issues regardless of editor since he can’t manage a monthly schedule.

  10. To me the issue is not so much dramatic stakes so much as that that seems like just an incredibly unpleasant scene for a Deadpool comic.

  11. @Gavok: [IMG]http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l102/Marauder_2006/teamcandawcw4.jpg[/IMG] What was that about Jim Duggan? ;p

  12. You know, I was going to argue that I liked Kills the Marvel Universe, but just like the endless dirge that is Bendis’ Avengers, I’ve read so many terrible Daniel Way Deadpool comics (Like Brian, he claimed today that “I’ve written more issues than anyone!” And I’ll be hard press to name one after the first year that was remotely interesting or wasn’t essentially the same plot) that my idea of what constitutes a good Deadpool comic is so degraded simply “Not written by Daniel Way” constitutes a good Deadpool story.

    Don’t cry for me. I’m already dead.

  13. I read the issue. When I saw the Invisible Woman panel, one thing popped in my head:”Seriously? More than a decade in the business, half of which was spent fighting Doctor Doom, but she doesn’t keep up a force field after killing Deadpool?” I’m sure that issue #2 is going to have a comment about a curséd adamantium sword or something, but it was jarring to see in this issue.

  14. BRAINSTORM: Hacksaw Jim Duggan on a US Agent Reboot, in which John Walker gets replacement 2×4 limbs, and now wields a 2×4 (Made from a branch of Groot)

  15. Gerry Duggan also wrote The Infinite Horizon, the six-issue miniseries which took four years to be completed. In other words, a perfect partner for Tony Moore.