by Gerry Duggan, Scott Koblish, Nick Filardi and various
Deadpool is celebrating big this week with the release of an oversized anniversary book this week. Simply put, it is a great time to be a fan of the world’s most skilled mercenary and this book is a great example of why people continue to demand more Deadpool. The people demand Deadpool and Marvel delivers with this book being one of two Deadpool titles released this week, the other being Spider-Man/Deadpool #2. This book does deliver Deadpool is all his Deadpooliness alongside his new crew the Mercs for Money and his wife Shiklah. The name Deadpool is now synonymous with witty one-liners, action-packed fight panels, and offbeat story telling. This book does a nice job to meet those expectations while also adding some depth to Wade Wilson and some other characters from the Mercs for Money, who you may recognize from Deadpool and the Mercs for Money.
This book does not disappoint with the creative team of Gerry Duggan and Scott Koblish. The two have a great story telling component that works really well in Deadpool. Duggan knows how to tell a compelling Deadpool story while also adding elements to keep it light. We see Deadpool reflecting on the past while also trying to plan out a future path all the while being pulled away by his responsibilities. Over the last few Deadpool series we have seen Deadpool go through a lot of growth, finding his daughter, dying, becoming an Avenger. Duggan has continued that trend to keep Deadpool from seeming dull. We now see Deadpool balancing a life leading the Mercs for Money, being a member of the Avengers, and also a husband to Shiklah. He has all of that on him and on top of it he is battling some memory issues that cause him to look up some old friends. Duggan shows Deadpool as a happy yet incomplete version of himself. He does not find pleasure in the simple things that used to make him happy like “private time” with his wife or getting revenge on someone who wronged him.
The art of Koblish is spectacularly in your face and is enhanced by the coloring from Nick Filardi throughout Deadpool. There is a brilliant two page spread of a cross-sectional view of the Avenger’s Unity Squad Building in the middle of the issue. There are lots of fun easter eggs throughout the issue in the art that are great for long time Deapool fans. Koblish and Filardi get a lot of credit for keeping the Mercs for Money from looking redundant because a group of super heroes all wearing their own red and black version of a Deadpool suit could be boring or visually overwhelming. They each appear distinct from one another with each having their own distinct take on the outfit. Then, there are the action sequences and panels. A Deadpool book is not a Deadpool book without seeing some gratuitous violence, which this book has with Deadpool using a flamethrower, a gun, and his glued-on amputated fist to beat on all those bad guys. We also get to see Deapool suffer some gnarly injuries; there is a particularly great sequence in an early page that recaps a few past injuries, the best hits of Deadpool if you will. Throughout the issue, Deadpool is struggling between his responsibilities and his own interests and the color in panels to show Deadpool’s mood is great. The action panels have red and yellows to emphasize the action and his anger, but when is alone reflecting on the past or suffering a tragic revelation there is black and greys throughout.
Related Links: Check out our Spoiler Free review of the DEADPOOL MOVIE!
This book was huge and for $9.99 it does deliver in content. Deadpool takes up the first part of the book, but there is a nice addition at the end featuring the Tales of the Mercs for Money. The stories give depth and backstory for Terror, Slapstick, Foolkiller, Stingray, Masacre, and Solo who collectively form the Mercs for Money. Each member gets their own story with their own creative team, and it was a fun addition to see how Deapool is related to these sorted characters. Each of the writers, artists, and colorists got to infuse their own take on these characters, which only helped to show the varying personalities of the Mercs for Money. After reading these solo adventures, it is much easier to differentiate each personality from the group.
When you pick up a giant oversized anniversary issue for a character it has an expectation to be a super celebration of them and all that makes that character great. The first part of the book did deliver on those expectations because we saw Deadpool kill, get maimed, be inappropriate, say crazy funny things, and break the fourth wall. All of this was happening, but the plot and story still moved along and set up the next issue quit nicely. However, the second half the book may disappoint some because it was not ‘Deadpooly’ enough. Sure, Deadpool did pop up here or there, but the focus was on the Mercs for Money and served to further their own character development. The price is $9.99, that is over two times the price of an average sized comic, and it did feature a lot of lower level characters getting more screen time over our main attraction.