Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And Then This Happened

I forgot to buy the new first issue of Deadpool (part of the Marvel NOW! blitzkrieg) last Wednesday, probably because some copies had a special cover that was {ahem} actually blank. This rip-snorting gimmick, I suppose, is for comic conventioneers who want an Original Artist Sketch. But days ago I finally saw the lovely Geoff Darrow (Shaolin Cowboy) cover in which a lizard monster is either ingesting or barfing cats and dogs (I honestly can't tell). Deadpool's there too.

Also known as the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool's the sturdiest creation of industry punching bag Rob Liefeld. Usually, enjoying him requires a high tolerance for puerile puns and gratuitous everything (though he does gain mileage when teamed-up with X-Force or Spider-Man). In this most recent perfunctory relaunch, Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, two writers I don't know from Luke Cage, have been tasked with bringing the funny.

Wait. I do know one of them. Posehn is the gentle behemoth seen in Mr. Show and The Sarah Silverman Program. He absolutely stamps "can't miss" all over this comic! Partnered with the other guy, Posehn steals a page from Peter Milligan's book of Straight Up Blasphemy by resurrecting all of the dead U.S. presidents.

Artist Tony Moore (The Walking Dead) helps, in it up to his sideburns while establishing who and what Deadpool is. "Hey, freak!" says an irate New Yorker to our hero, "You can't just leave this here." DP, having seconds ago cut himself and Thor free from a giant lizard's stomach, replies, "Just roll Deadzilla to the curb. A hobo will eat it." Yup.

Soon, powered by a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent's voodoo, zombie Franklin Delano Roosevelt rolls up from said curb. Deadpool mistakes him for Stephen Hawking. FDR then throws a taxi at him, to which he yells, "Who says you can't catch a cab in New York?" As the fight spills into the subway, where the inevitable stabbing and electrocution happen, we're further treated to, "You have nothing to fear- except me!" not to mention, "Here's a new deal- DIE!"

Had enough yet? Want to know what's written on zombie Reagan's forehead? Moore's manic facial expressions and flair for B-movie wackiness make it all fairly entertaining (though his work is scratchier here than in Fear Agent or FrankenCastle). On the whole, the new Deadpool rests comfortably in the "thank-god-I'm-getting-my-subcriber-discount" category. More importantly, he's the exhaust pipe out of which Marvel's pumps all the meta-idiocy that would ruin other characters. Without his brain-donor charms to call upon, Spider-Man would be stuck half-naked in a nightmare about high school, fighting the Hyno-Hustler...


  1. As an unapologetic Deadpool fan, I'm not quite sure yet what to think of the rebooted series. It has its moments (including Jimmy Carter's cameo in the two-page Presdential reveal), but lacks the overall charm of Daniel Way's writing. I'll keep getting it, though.

  2. To echo our break-room break-down, I'm here for the art.