Everybody’s favourite Merc with a Mouth is back in the pages of Deadpool #1. Well, some of the pages, the others are filled with people dressed like him. There is a good reason for that though, he’s gone and set up a gun-for-hire business where all the employees dress as him on missions.
Yes, Deadpool has returned and writer Gerry Duggan has decided that it’s time to take him global, because we haven’t seen that before. Oh wait, no, that’s what they’re doing with every character as of late. Just looking at the new ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ issues or the title of the forthcoming ‘International Iron-Man’ will show this trend currently plaguing Marvel Comics. Whilst this has actually been a somewhat entertaining trope with Spidey it is a strange way to take the wise cracking outsider that is Deadpool, who has always been most appealing when flying against the grain.
That being said it does make sense that he would put his unique killing and espionage talents to good use by selling them. Of course this isn’t unique either, Red Hood/Arsenal can currently be seen doing just this over at DC and they are arguably doing a far more entertaining job of it at this stage. What does set this apart from similar titles is the addition of these Deadpool-alikes, some of whom provide welcome humour and intrigue in the first issue. A few fall quite flat but hold potential if given more print time in the future, so long as they don’t distract from the main man himself.
Deadpool may have started life as a blatant rip-off of Deathstroke, hence his real name of Wade Wilson being so close to Deathstroke’s which is Slade Wilson, but he has since taken on a life of his own as one of the most popular characters in the entire Marvel Universe. The anti-heroes’ sardonic wit has endeared him to fans and is arguably the sole reason for his meteoric rise to stardom. It is because of this fact that it is rather disappointing to note that the humour in this issue rings dull for the most part. Jokes feel forced and some of the new imposter ‘Pools simply drain the fun from the scene entirely by being so exceptionally unexceptional, and make the books tagline ‘More Deadpool than you wanted’ an unpleasant reality. That isn’t to say there aren’t any funny moments, the actual Wade provides plenty of laughs when he is present. One particularly enjoyable section comes after one of the hired goons flies directly through a window and, thinking that he is dead, Wilson decides to show them how to dissolve a body, stopping only when the not-so-deceased party awakens.
One thing that this comic really has going for it is that the art team have done a truly spectacular job. Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot, and Val Staples combine to create a great looking book with vibrant colouring and excellent characterisation. If the writing can get up to the same level then this could be something very special indeed.
A common problem with the post-Secret Wars books is that they have a tendency to abandon certain character progressions made prior to the eight month storyline gap. Here we once again see that problem as Deadpool’s wife is nowhere to be seen, which makes the previous emotional development seem like it was for nought. Couple that with the troubling lack of humour and tired plotline and this comic falls far short of where it should be, especially with a Deadpool movie coming out very soon. There is potential here for an interesting plot going forward but it hasn’t made for a compelling opener at all.
Score: 2.8 out of 5 Global Expansions.