Chain Reactions | Deadpool #1

It was a tough week here at Camp Chain Reactions, trying to pick from the half-dozen or so first issues that arrived on Wednesday. Luckily there was nothing on the ballot Tuesday that ruled against doing more than one of these roundups each week, so expect to see one or two more before Monday.

Speaking of elections, let's start off with a book that apparently (I haven't read it yet) features zombie presidents: Deadpool #1. Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn tag team on the writing, as Tony Moore and Val Staples provide the art. Do they do justice to the merc with a mouth? Here are a few opinions from around the web:

Kelly Thompson, Comic Book Resources: "Duggan and Posehn take just the right tack for a Wade Wilson book, coming up with an outlandish idea of resurrected former presidents out to destroy America so that they can rebuild it. Dead president zombies on the loose is a concept that effortlessly inserts Deadpool into working for S.H.I.E.L.D., of all places. The result is comedy gold. Duggan and Posehn, in addition to conceiving of a perfect plot for Wade, have a good handle on his energy and sense of humor. Not every joke lands, but the ones that do are great and the ones that don't still make a reader groan good-naturedly. Zombie FDR making jokes about a 'new deal?' This is fun."

George Marston, Newsarama: "I was really hopeful that new writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn - himself the essence of that young, hungry comedian - would capture that feeling of insanity and brevity that made Deadpool a household name to begin with, but it seems like the pair are too intent on matching the 'Deadpool formula' to really add much of their own personality to the mix. Some writers are able to use Wade's insanity, or some would say, 'awareness' to their advantage, but this pair treats it more like a crutch, like it's all the reason they need to focus on the silly dialogue and ignore the concept behind it. In short, they're forcing it."

Jesse Schedeen, IGN: "Oddly, the first issue isn't as overtly humorous as you might expect given the pedigree of the writers. There are still plenty of wacky hijinks and pop culture references, but Wade is a bit more straightforward and even lucid than normal. A lot of the humor comes from puns and wordplay as the zombie Presidents enter the picture. I'd rather see the writers underplay the humor rather than overdo it, but there is that sense that they're still coming to terms with the character and not really cutting loose yet. In general, they stick to the Joe Kelly/Rick Remender school of Deadpool writing. Those pesky dual narrative captions are gone, and Wade's many internal voices are reduced to one loud exterior."

Steve Morris, The Beat: "Moore’s artwork is great here, resisting the urge to make things as cartoony as they could be. His use of timing in the panels is very well done, and he adds to the jokes of the script, rather than takes away from them. He also seems to be taking particular delight in making the book incredibly gory and vulgar, taking all the violence and gleefully making it as over-the-top as possible. The entrance of Deadpool is a particular ‘highlight’ in this regard. It’s crazy, and so clearly done to cause a reaction that it’s a genuine joy to see what depths Moore will take us to next. Not for kids, this. Or perhaps — especially for kids? And of course, the mighty Val Staples takes all this in his stride, with some great flickers and touches of colour as he gives the book a distinctive tone and feel."

Matt Sargeson, Weekly Comic Book Review: "Hilarity is presumably set to ensue, but for the time being Deadpool is landing a little flat. As an introduction to the character for new readers it hits a lot of the important beats – Wade’s healing factor, his outsider status, the character’s irreverent tone – and it probably benefits from a certain distance from wider Marvel continuity. But for a ‘re-launched’ title there doesn’t seem to be much of a break with what came before; if that’s the case, you have to ask why Marvel bothered at all. To grab an easy sales-spike by dropping it into the Marvel Now release package? I guess if that is the ploy, it’s one that’s totally worked on me. But picking up a #1 issue on a whim and sticking with a title for the long haul are two completely different things, and I’ll reserve judgement for now on whether or not Deadpool proves to be a Pull List essential."

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