Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review # 148: "Deadpool vs. SHIELD" and "The Wedding of Deadpool"

Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan have been gradually pushing "Deadpool" back into Joe Kelly territory. Wade is still funny, but there's less emphasis on his humour for the sake of a corny joke and a lot more placed on his continued insanity.

To be honest, it's refreshing. Deadpool is at his worst when he's nothing but a clown. The strength of the character comes the fact that he's not just crazy in a funny way. He's crazy in a dark, twisted, damn near evil way. But damn it, he is trying his best to be a good person. How long can he keep the dark voices in his head from telling him what to do?

That is the heart of "Deadpool vs. SHIELD," as Wade and company try to get the mystically-displaced Agent Preston into a new body. Despite it being a major plot point throughout this run, you can take it or leave it, including the customary throwback issue - this time to the 60's - which is likely the worst of the series trademark that has come so far. Possibly because of Kelly's legendary "Amazing Spider-Man" riff did it so much better, but also because the 70's and 80's ones were just of a higher quality. The real fun is what happens to Wade after - for better or worse - Preston is out of his head. He gets into a bar fight with Crossbones of all characters that spills into the streets. It is both hilarious and disturbing, which - for Deadpool - is as freaking great as it gets. He may be crazier than ever.

To further this point: Wade gets married. To an out-of-nowhere character, no less. On top of that, we find out he's actually been married several times. "The Wedding of Deadpool" is equal parts fan service and character analysis, as it goes from era-to-era with practically every writer who has scripted the Merc with the Mouth. There are some notable names on that list from Mark Waid to Gail Simone to Fabian Nicieza to Victor Gischler to Daniel Way. The vignettes about Wade's many wives are of a consistently high quality, and it's cool to revisit Deadpool's different incarnations. Also, there's FINALLY a Blind Al cameo which is my favourite part of the book.

As a bonus, in the trade, we find out what the hell the "white" voice was that occupied Deadpool's head for several years and why it left. The answer involves a Thor and Luke Cage dance routine. SOLD!

I'm eager to see where Deadpool heads next and to discover what the ultimate endgame here is. I have a sneaking suspicion that we aren't getting a rosy ending.

Rating(s): 7.5/10 ("Deadpool vs. SHIELD"), 8/10 ("The Wedding of Deadpool")

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