By Al Ewing, Salvador Espin, and Rahzzah
Finally, You Are Deadpool #1 gives the readers the chance to create their own adventure with everyone’s favorite merc with a mouth, Deadpool. This is something that warrants an 85-page book; this one is a biggie. Now, with a Deadpool title there are certain things one comes to expect like fourth-wall breaking, violence, maybe some Mexican food, and snarky clever dialogue. While you will get some of those things, this is not your typical Deadpool book; there is no partner or team-up that provides the straight man for humor to ensue. Instead, this book is just a choose your own adventure, which can seem a little overwhelming at first, but then you remember it’s a Deadpool book and realize you don’t have to follow all the crazy rules to enjoy the book.
Writer Ewing is really putting a lot of effort into the levels of Deadpooliness in this book; like this book is super detailed and his effort is for sure recognized and appreciated. However, this book did not need the level of detail and intricacy it gave us like ‘turn to this page for Deadpool to do this one thing’ or ‘turn to this other page and he will do the other thing’ – like, it was a lot. It can get confusing, turning one page to another to see what happens, trying to remember what page you started from to go back to. Ugh, it was challenging at times. Especially navigating this literal page-turner on a digital copy. This concept is much easier using the actual book; you can leave a finger in the last page as a book mark in case you do not like your selection. Maybe this whole book from Ewing was just a clever ruse to push buying paper comics over digital. Pretty tricky, Ewing.
Okay, let’s talk about the fun art we get in You Are Deadpool #1 from Espin. The art felt like classic Deadpool, with the mask detail a little softer than we have seen of late; the black is done as soft circle as an example. A lot of Deadpool art after the movie really tried to duplicate the mask in the film, with the black almost as a half-moon shape. Other than that, we get the great muscular body type with few glimpses of his gross scarred face. The art, much like the writing from Ewing, does not take itself too seriously. It is a bright, fun, slightly violent romp with tons of Deadpool silliness to satiate your inner badass. The communication and collaboration between Ewing and Espin to create this book as a readable piece, whether following the create your own route or just reading it straight through, was impressive. The book does read from page 1 to page 85 straight through, or you can follow the instructions and have a different story. That shows effort and true teamwork between these two.
The cover from Rahzzah is pretty impressive, first of all to choose a yellow background is pretty atypical in the comic book world. Yellow is one of those colors that does stand out on a comic shelf, but it also kinda looks bad like there are more soothing colors to choose from. However, if you are picking up a Deadpool comic, there’s little chance you are looking for a soothing story. Apart from the bright cover, there are so many fun details Rahzzah has incorporated to draw you in as a reader. It looks at a first glance like a regular Deadpool cover, but upon further inspection it looks as though Deadpool’s face has been cut out and an “insert your face here” sticker has been placed instead. Then, above the title a “You Are” has been added in what appears to be old fashion printer paper – you know the kind that has the perforated edges that were fun to tear off? Anyway, it gives the impression Deadpool made this cover himself, in a half-assed effort to make a create your own comic cover. So, that aspect was also really smart and pulled off very well.
You Are Deadpool #1 is exactly what to expect from a create-your-own-Deadpool comic; fun, quirky, kinda violent, and confusing at times. Overall, the question that comes to mind while reading and re-reading this book is if this is really necessary? It is a lot of work, and Deadpool is super hot right now so you can’t blame Marvel for putting out Deadpool title after Deadpool title, but is this the breaking point? After so much saturation of a character in various media forms, it can diminish the importance of the character. Deadpool will begin to feel less special and significant if he is just overused to no end. Granted, the idea of a “Create your own Adventure” comic is pretty cool, and if you’re going to do it, who better than Deadpool? Yeah, it is worth a read to see how Marvel pulls this off, but it is also the start of a slippery slope of Deadpool being overused to the point of non-relevance.