Marvel has been running some of its most popular characters through their Infinite Comics digital-first program, with the most recent title being "Deadpool: The Gauntlet" #1. From the "Deadpool" writing duo of Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan, this comic contains poop jokes, a dig at Paste Pot Pete and a quick scare from Wade Wilson's face under the mask. Yup, this is a typical Deadpool comic, with some of the added "Oooo!" and "Aaah!" the Infinite Comics platform delivers.
The Infinite format isn't used to the fullest here, but it does do a fine job visualizing the healing process Deadpool goes through following bullets to his noggin and chest as well as animating the goofy expressions Deadpool contorts his mask into. Additional action includes a helicopter crashing into the Thames in London, England. Artist Reilly Brown, who handles both the storyboards and the actual line art for "Deadpool: The Gauntlet" #1, teams with colorist Jim Charalampidis in a parody of James Bond opening sequences throughout the credits of this digital comic, which follow the opening scene, just like a feature film.
After the helicopter crash, Deadpool has an encounter with a vampire, which leads to the startling reveal at the end of this comic. Well, it's not really startling if you've read solicits or know a thing or two about vampires, but it definitely sets up things to come in future issues of "Deadpool: The Gauntlet." Posehn and Duggan are as irreverent and comical as ever, continuing to fill the Joe Sabino-created yellow word balloons of Deadpool with comedy and oddity, including a theme song for Deadpool that is sung by the mercenary himself over the faux-James Bond sequence. The humor in this story makes up for the less-than-spectacular plot and the fact that readers are given yet another vampire story.
While more than a few readers might balk at the concept of spending $2.99 for a digital comic, "Deadpool: The Gauntlet" #1 ensures that readers are getting their money's worth. This issue is well-suited to the Infinite Comics capabilities and does a nice job of showcasing those while also describing Deadpool completely for new and old readers alike. This is a fun alternative to a deadwood copy from (mostly) the same creative team that delivers the regular "Deadpool" series. The floppy comic doesn't deliver panels shifting and changing to replicate motion or action, which Brown does wonderfully to the story crafted by Posehn and Duggan. I just wish the story were a little more compelling.