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DEADPOOL REVIEW-APALOOZA

 

This little movie called Deadpool came out in February and pretty much blew everyone's expectations of what it was going to be out of the water. I quite liked the film and realized, "Hey, I actually haven't read much Deadpool in my life." Now, almost two months after the film's debut, and thanks to the wonders of AmazoneBay and comiXology, I've read quite a lot! So, if you're like me and were looking for some Deadpool comics to read, but didn't know where to start ... well, this set of reviews should help you out.

I started at the beginning and worked my way through some collections leading up to the release of the Marvel NOW series in 2012.

In the beginning...

 

DEADPOOL CLASSICS VOL. 1

Deadpool Classic Volume 1

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This volume collects some of Deadpool's earliest adventures. Beginning with his first appearance in New Mutants #98, then Deadpool: The Circle Chase, followed by Deadpool: Sins of the Past, and ending with the first issue of the 1997 Deadpool series. Whew! Lots of story in here by a number of creators. While I did enjoy reading this book, it was more for the nostalgia factor. These stories are definitely dated and firmly set in the 1990s. What really shines here is the art. You've got quite a few '90s heavy hitters here, including Deadpool's Daddy, Rob Liefeld, early art from Joe Maduriera and Ian Churchill, and the start of (arguably) Deadpool's defining penciller, Ed McGuinness. The stand-out story here is the Sins chapter, as it's written by Mark Waid and does a lot to fill in Wade Wilson's backstory and supporting cast. Prior to these stories, Deadpool was very much a villain: kidnapping people, torturing and smacking around women ... not very redeeming traits. Marvel moved away from this as the character's popularity grew. Again, a fun read, but nothing more than an intro to a character who's evolved quite a bit since these tales.

 

DEADPOOL: MISSION IMPROBABLE

Deadpool: Mission Improbable-

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Here we get the first five issues of the seminal Deadpool run by Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness. While many consider this Deadpool at his best, I'm not so sure. Kelly and McGuinness definitely up the fun and zany characterization and move him away from his "grim and gritty" '90s roots. That didn't really work for me so much. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but it was almost a little too zany, like Bugs Bunny in a red suit. Deapool takes a trek through the Marvel Universe, trying to reclaim his hero's soul after his healing factor gets bogged down. He runs into lots of characters, including the Hulk. Like I said, a fun read with some chuckles, but nothing that made me think "BEST DEADPOOL EVER!" This is where we see Deadpool move away from being a mercenary and more towards anti-hero.

 

CABLE & DEADPOOL: IF LOOKS COULD KILL

Cable & Deadpool Volume 1: If Looks Could Kill-

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Deadpool's had a long and tumultuous relationship with Cable ever since his first appearance in New Mutants. The Cable & Deadpool series attempted to combine the two popular mutants into one title when both their series' had ended. I dug the artwork by Patrick Zircher and Mark Brooks (who doesn't?), but Fabian Nicieza's story left me a bit ... meh. Honestly, I couldn't get into this book and don't recall much of the details. It takes place during the "Messiah Cable" days and tells the story of Cable and Deadpool reluctantly teaming up to prevent a catastrophe started by the One World Church (something about changing people's skin color, I dunno). The story was over-the-top and was heavily steeped in understanding exactly what Cable had been going through at this time. If you were making your way through Deadpool runs and wanted to skip something, this would probably be it. 

 

DEADPOOL BY DANIEL WAY VOL. 1

Deadpool by Daniel Way: The Complete Collection Volume 1

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One day, the writer of Wolverine: Origins, Daniel Way, decided to include Deadpool in one of his story arcs. Deadpool is paid to kill Wolverine, but finds out later it was all a ploy and there's a lot more to the situation than he anticipated. Something clicked in this tale. Way found a take, a voice, for Wade Wilson that no one else had taken before. Not zany, but pure madness. Extreme violence mixed with emotional and mental disturbances always make for fun reads. This then lead to Way being given his own Deadpool series, smack dab in the middle of the very popular Secret Invasion crossover, where Deadpool plays a crucial part. We then jump headfirst into a brutal crossover with the Thunderbolts featuring the beast Deadpool fight of all time: Deadpool vs. Dark Hawkeye (Bullseye). This is probably my favorite book of the batch; this is my Deadpool (if there is such a thing). Non-stop violence, multiple voices in his head, taking the healing factor to its limit, and laugh-out-loud moments. If there's one Deadpool book you need to pick up, it'd be this one.

 

DEADPOOL BY DANIEL WAY VOL. 2

Deadpool by Daniel Way: The Complete Collection Volume 2

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Deadpool's a pirate! Like a real pirate- sailing the high seas in search of booty! And that lasts about two issues, but makes a great cover. This volume focuses on Wade's attempts to be a hero. He's really trying, and takes a trip to the Mutant haven of Mutopia to join ... the Uncanny X-Men! Unfortunately, they want nothing to do with him and high jinks ensue. After showing those X-phonies what he can really do, he decides to try his luck elsewhere, journeying to the Burroughs of New York to train with the one and only Amazing Spider-Man! Who also wants nothing to do with the Merc with a Mouth. What's a sad merc to do? Go to Vegas, find your old pal Weasel, and don a giant suit of armor. Sure, why not? This is a fun trip through the Marvel Universe and you're riding shotgun with Deadpool. Also: witness the first appearance of Hit Monkey!

 

DEADPOOL BY DANIEL WAY VOL. 3

Deadpool by Daniel Way: The Complete Collection Volume 3

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Way seems to lose some of his footing on this title as he makes his way to the end. Deadpool's bizarre infatuation with death is starting to get a little old. The only reason he wants to die is he can't? This is something that can be handled over the course of one arc, not 50 issues. But I digress. This volume is a little all-over-the-place. First, Deadpool heads into space to take on a Lobo-esque adversary and adventure. Upon returning to Earth, he finds that people he once called friends, like Blind Al, Hydra Bob, Taskmaster, and Weasel, are now trying to kill him for screwing them over one too many times. Once Wade makes his way through that drama-fueled nightmare, he finds himself battling the Hulk again, and ends up in an insane asylum under the care of one very nutty professor. Yikes! But, the tail-end of this volume features possibly my favorite Deadpool story of all time: Deadpool vs. Evil Deadpool, an antagonist comprised of all of Deadpool's discarded body parts over the years. Brilliant! Honestly, it'd make a killer sequel to the film, you hearing me, 20th Century Fox?!

 

DEADPOOL BY DANIEL WAY VOL. 4

Deadpool by Daniel Way: The Complete Collection Volume 4

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And as we close out the Daniel Way run, we see this is where the writer started to get bored with the character. It's still an entertaining read, but something feels off. Way wraps up the entire "Deadpool wants Death" subplot by taking away Wade's healing factor. Of course, this makes Wade now want to live! And just like that, we've brushed aside a subplot dangling over our heads for 5 years. It's interesting seeing Wade's direction in life change once he can no longer rely on his ability to regenerate, but Way doesn't dig in quite as much as I expected him too. Plus, it's the first time we see Handsome Wade Wilson, rather than "old avocado" Wade Wilson. The story does wrap up, albeit a bit lazily, with many of Wade's old enemies teaming up to kill him (in two separate story arcs), but I can't say I was a fan of the ending. It's shocking, jarring, and unexpected, but left me with a bad taste. Very much worth reading, though.

 

UNCANNY X-FORCE BY RICK REMENDER

Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender Omnibus

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Oh man, I would give this book more than five stars if I could. I know, I know, "This isn't a Deadpool book". But he is part of the team and is a prominent member, more prominent than I expected going into this (plus I prefer his gray X-Force uniform to his normal red duds, yeah, that's right!). This book is a beast and is now out of print, but you can get the two collections that comprise this behemoth. Rick Remender writes a love letter to the X-Men comics of the early to mid '90s. This book contains over 37 issues of content, so breaking it down is rough. Apocalypse is featured heavily throughout this book, as are Archangel, Psylocke, Wolverine, "Age of Apocalypse" Nightcrawler, and Fantomex. Remender breaks down the reality behind violence and vengeance, what we all thought was so cool about our heroes that kill ultimately comes back to bite all of them ... and the world. This book brings together the most violent of X-Men and sends them on the most violent of missions, only to teach us at the end that violence gains us nothing. I've never read a series that is so strong throughout, never missing a beat, and then comes full circle after this many issues. Deadpool or not, this is a remarkable story and collection, and any X-Men fan worth their salt needs to be reading it. What surprised me most is that Remender somehow was able to make Deadpool the soul of the team, and it worked. That's forever endearing. There's a whole slew of artists and styles that worked on this run (the standouts being Jerome Opena, Mark Brooks, and Rafael Albuquerque), so there's definitely something for everybody. Go pick these up right now if you haven't already. 

 

Yeesh! That was a lot of reviewin' and I could sure use a chimichanga. Hopefully you found my trip down Deadpool lane to be enjoyable, and hey, maybe you learned something. If not, no worries, there's plenty of great comics listed here for you to read!

 

What's your favorite Deadpool run or arc? Let us know below!

 

More Deadpool on MightyVille:

SVCC 2016: DEADPOOL Film Panel

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: January 6, 2016

DEADPOOGLE - A MightyVille Editorial

 

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