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.