Because they both came out on the same day, the side-by-side comparison between “Deadpool” #21 and “Prelude to Deadpool Corps” #4 illuminates some problems with the main Deadpool series. While Victor Gischler overstuffs his comic with jokes and gags and manic energy, Daniel Way plays things a bit slower here. It’s still a Deadpool comic. It’s still an irreverent and often nonsensical view of the Marvel Universe. But it’s one that features less gags-per-page than its Corpsian counterpart.
And that’s the problem with “Deadpool” #21. That and Hit-Monkey.
The frenetic pace of “Prelude to Deadpool Corps” probably would become just white noise and annoying chatter after a while if it were extended into an ongoing series. If this “Deadpool” comic employed such pacing and laugh-a-minute absurdity, it would probably grow tiresome. But when this single issue is placed next to Gischler’s issue, this one doesn’t seem as strong. It reads like lesser Deadpool. Watered-down. Less energetic, less funny, yet still as insubstantial.
The plot of this issue goes like this: Hit-Monkey (the hitman who’s literally a monkey!) has been after Deadpool because that’s what Hit-Monkey has been hired to do — assassinate other assassins. Deadpool can’t get the best of the little hairy guy, so he does what any right-thinking schizophrenic maniac Loony Tunes superhero would do: he pretends to be Spider-Man and then he pretends to be dead and then he changes into his Deadpool costume and hides inside the coffin while waiting for the guilt-striken Hit-Money to show up so Deadpool can pop out and blast him.
Because Hit-Monkey would be sad that Spider-Man accidentally died in the crossfire.
And because this comic doesn’t even try to make any sense.
It’s not all that funny either. But at least it’s more J. Scott Campbell-influenced artwork (this time from Carlo Barberi) just like the “Deadpool Corps” prelude. So I guess that’s good.
This issue also ends with a lesson learned, and a bit of insight into Deadpool’s character on the final page. If that’s what you’re looking for. But like most everything else about this issue, it falls a little short. It’s not enough.