The “Point One” initiative has barely started at Marvel, and already I’ve lost track of what it’s supposed to be. As announced, it was supposed to provide stand-alone issues, written and drawn by the ongoing creative team, which would segue into the series proper as a way of picking up new readers. As executed, we seem to be getting a lot of stand-alone stories which are actively as divorced from the main series as possible, and quite frequently featuring a different creative team entirely.
Case in point: “Deadpool” #33.1, which is written by regular series writer Daniel Way, but drawn by Bong Dazo, an artist who has only a sporadic association with the series. And appears only a third of the way through a three part arc about another topic entirely. Call me a stick in the mud, but perhaps the best place for this issue would have been just before #32, when it could have launched the character (and any incoming readers) into a new arc? Just a suggestion.
But as much as I like to, we’re not here to play Fantasy Marvel Editor. What about the comic itself?
As it is, it’s a decent example of a Deadpool comic, in which the merc-with-a-million-books is hired to evict the Wrecker from a residential building. Cue over-the-top violence, some moral ambiguity and a few larger-than-life characters. It’s exactly the sort of story the character was built for, and Way is clearly having fun with it. You could hand this issue to anyone and say “here, this is what Deadpool is about” and they’d understand it, but the problem here is that they probably won’t feel the need to ever come back again.
I have to admit, Way’s humor doesn’t always click with me and, at times, the three-way monologue (between Deadpool, his narration boxes and his split personality inner-voice) looks like a mess where it’s supposed to be a device for delivering jokes. Similarly, the choice of villain is a bit odd, with Way having chosen one of the Marvel Universe’s less sympathetic characters and giving him a total personality transplant to fit the story when any one of thousands of other villains could have fit the bill just as well.
Dazo’s art is bombastic and showy, and thus suited to the tone of a book like this. There’s a madcap energy to every panel that you can’t help but find infectious, and the little touches he adds make some of Way’s weaker jokes spring to life. It’s not faultless, but it does the job and more.
Whether or not the issue convinces you that “Deadpool” is a series worth reading is debatable, but as comic in its own right, it’s not bad. In fact, perhaps the best thing I can say is that if you only read one Deadpool comic this year – or indeed, in your life – then this one should undeniably suffice. Maybe that’s enough.