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

August 5th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

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.


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Remender and Moore Care a Lot

December 9th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

It’s been announced today that Rick Remender and Tony Moore — the guys who game us Fear Agent and Frankencastle — are joining forces once again for another ongoing.

Yes, Venom #1 will be released this coming March. Although the host is a secret (from what I hear, it’s totally John Jameson), the alien/human hybrid will be off trying to save the world under the government’s watch. Sure, this is the third time Venom’s worked as a government lackey, but I don’t stop eating pizza because I’ve had it twice before. Here’s a look at Venom-Wolf’s not-slobbering-and-crazy-for-human-flesh appearance.

So, yeah. I’m completely on board.

The real question is what do I have to do to become the guy who writes the “Venom Saga” backup in the first issue?

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Franken-Castle: A Look Back at Rick Remender’s Graveyard Smash

October 7th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Just last week, Rick Remender’s infamous Franken-Castle story arc had come to a close. Never have I seen a more divisive reaction to the character’s developments in all his history. At least with his whole Punishment Spectre-lite run, just about everyone hated it. I thought the whole Frankenstein concept was interesting and fun and I’ve seen many agree with me, but I’ve seen just as many hate it with the fury of a million Nick Furys. My local comic shop for months had a bulletin board with nothing up it other than Punisher #11 with a sign over it saying, “DISGRACE!” I kept forgetting to lovingly lick the covers of whatever Punisher issue I was buying while at the register.

Since Matt Fraction took up the character in Punisher: War Journal, Frank Castle has become more and more involved in the greater Marvel Universe. Outside of Jigsaw being killed off (and then being replaced with another guy taking up the mantle several issues later), not much carried over into Rick Remender’s Punisher run other than his latest injection into the superhero scene. The problem was that the Dark Reign banner put Frank’s writing in a corner. With Osborn and Hood in charge of things, he obviously had to be itching to take care of them, but even as the protagonist, he can’t. There’s far too much plot armor to work through. So how does one write a story about Frank Castle being completely impotent as an unstoppable vigilante?

The first ten issues of Punisher and the one Annual take their time to get to something super-strong. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun bunch of issues, but the first five-issue arc is so closely melted into the second five-issue arc that there doesn’t appear to be much more than wheels spinning in place. There is one piece of interest in all this in the introduction of supporting character Henry Russo. Henry is a young hacker who tracks down Frank and makes himself the third man to take the role of Punisher’s tech-savvy sidekick. I really like Henry and want to see more from him. Thankfully, he’s gotten play in other stories like Deapdool: Suicide Kings and Anti-Venom: New Ways to Live.

Yes, yes. I’ll get to the next We Care a Lot soon. I promise.

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