Daniel Way and Paco Medina’s “Deadpool” #1 provided a nice enough start for this new series. The first issue had the amusing image of Deadpool disguised as a baseball mascot. His anti-Skrull antics, while not hilarious, were compelling enough. But even with a twist ending in which Deadpool offers his services to the Skrulls, the first issue wasn’t good enough to encourage me to recommend it.
Issue #2 is better.
I don’t want to say that it’s as good as a Deadpool comic can possibly be, because I think a character is only limited by the imagination of the writers and the artists, but since Way and Medina clearly want to make this not a good comic, but a good Deadpool comic, I would say that it’s a surprisingly good example of that — admittedly small — genre.
Deadpool’s called “The merc with the mouth,” but he’s really a Looney Tunes character placed in the Marvel Universe. It’s his enthusiasm toward violence and his puckish sense of humor that characterize him, much more than his verbal gags. Obviously with any superhero comic book, there’s some suspension of disbelief, but Deadpool works best when that suspension of belief is pushed to the edge of the breaking point — and just when you’re about to throw down the comic as an example of juvenile stupidity, you chuckle (at least on the inside), and admit, “okay, that was pretty funny.” Deadpool’s absurdity saves his comic from the icy touch of logic.
That type of approach is fully evident here in issue #2, as the Skrulls use Deadpool’s Energizer bunny DNA to enhance their own army. When Deadpool convinces the Skrulls to let him train his Skrulltastic clones, the wackiness ensues. The training sequence is a lot of fun — violent, juvenile fun, just as you’d want from a Deadpool comic — as he pushes the Skrullpool army towards insanity. The best bit comes after he tricks them into chopping their own hands off and tells them to hang on to their severed body parts in battle and hope that they’ll get reattached some day. “That’s why it’s good to have lots of spare pouches. The more pouches the better. . . right, Rob?” Deadpool’s metafictional comment is just another layer to his firmly established insanity, and I’m just a sucker for jokes about superhero pouches, apparently.
Deadpool decimates the Skrull army from within, using his chaotic illogic, and this issue ends with yet another twist, which I won’t spoil. It’s not much of a surprise when it comes, on the final page, but it puts the first two issues into better perspective in an instant.
I’ve read plenty of Daniel Way comics, and I can’t say that I’ve ever been a fan of his work, but his “Deadpool” is worth reading. It’s a gleefully mad romp through the more ridiculous fringes of the Marvel Universe.