(Marvel Comics, 2013)
Review by Shawn Warner
WRITTEN BY: Cullen Bunn
PENCILS BY: Matteo Lolli
INKS BY: Sean Parsons
COLOR ARTWORK BY: Veronica Gandini
LETTERS BY: VC’s Joe Sabino
Shakespeare, Poe, Kafka, Deadpool. Something has gone horribly awry in the Ideaverse and Sherlock Holmes is on the case. Holmes and his trusted companion Dr. John Watson are on the heels of Deadpool as he leaves a trail of dead bodies consisting of some of literatures most important and innovative characters. Traveling in the Nautilus which he hi-jacked from Captain Nemo Deadpool is being accompanied by Frankenstein’s monster, who now has a piece of Deadpool’s brain in his head. Needless to say this has altered the monster’s behavior and not for the better.
After defeating Scylla and Charybdis, the two monsters of Greek myth, the marauding manglers of mythology move on from the Strait of Messina of antiquity to Paris of 1627. Immediately upon arrival, Deadpool and The Monster are confronted by Alexandre Dumas’ Musketeers. Swords are drawn and bloody battle ensues. The expert swordsmen are no match for the sheer brutality of Deadpool and his macabre man at arms. They quickly make a pile of corpses out of their opponents. Once they lay dead at the feet of Deadpool he realizes that not only has he killed the valiant Musketeers but he has killed the very concept of a team. Hence The Avengers, The X-Men, The Defenders and every other group of heroes that has ever formed a team will never be. Just as the weight of this astonishing revelation manifests itself in Deadpool’s brain he and The Monster are faced with new adversaries.
Sherlock Holmes has assembled his own team to vanquish Deadpool and put an end to his diabolical plot to annihilate the Ideaverse thus ridding the world of heroes. He arrives in a time machine straight out of H.G. Wells’ writing along with Watson; Holmes has with him Beowulf, Natty Bumppo and Hua Mulan. Natty Bumppo attacks Deadpool swinging his tomahawk wildly as he advances. He lands a blow to Deadpool’s chin with the deadly chopping weapon but the frontiersman is no match for the lethal mercenary who shoves him into the sword of Hua Mulan. Bumppo is impaled and killed he dies in the arms of the Chinese warrior. While Deadpool is having a time of it his hideous travel companion has his hands full with Beowulf. The King of The Geats runs The Monster through with his broadsword he then tears an arm from the ghouls cobbled together body. Grievously damaged the twisted creation will not die instead he smashes Beowulf’s face to mush with the weight of his misshapen head. It is John Watson who slays the beast with a bullet to the head. Now Deadpool must face Hua Mulan. With one skillful stroke she cleaves Deadpool’s left hand from his arm however he immediately begins regenerating a new one as he runs for the time machine. Not having the slightest idea how to control a time machine he begins haphazardly twisting knobs and pulling levers. Holmes wastes no time in heroically jumping aboard the now activated time machine. He lands a jaw shattering right hand and Deadpool falls back away from the machine’s controls. He braces himself against the railing of the time machine and delivers a field-goal worthy kick to history’s greatest detective’s face. However Holmes recovers quickly and agilely karate chops Deadpool across the throat. He tells Deadpool that he has caused reality to collapse in upon itself, world upon world, and story upon story but that once he is gone the Ideaverse can heal. With this, he throws Deadpool from the time machine. Holding on to the railing with his still forming hand Deadpool tells Holmes that all he needed to do was plant the seeds to kill these great stories and he wins. If he can come here to the Ideaverse where these great stories were born and burn it down they will never heal, not correctly. It will be like a poorly set bone, crooked and bent. The idea that heroes can die will spread from one reality to the next. His weakened hand begins to tear and break, the tendons, the ski n and bones pull apart and the hand comes off. Deadpool falls, floating through the mortally wounded Ideaverse. The ideas and the ideas that they spawned are dying. Heroes and villains once beloved are now being forgotten. Holmes sits alone in the time machine repeating lines from the greatest stories ever written to himself like mantras. He must remember the ideas to keep them alive.
The final page of this book promises Deadpool Kills Deadpool coming in July. I can’t wait. This was a truly entertaining read. Somewhat Twilight Zone meets Quantum Leap in the Marvel Universe but it works. I really like time travel stories although I’ll admit that it is an easily abused and sometimes over-used plot device, when used creatively and with a unique twist as Cullen Bunn has done here, it can make for a great story. There is no better way to defeat an enemy than to go back in time and erase even the very idea of them from history. This is complete and utter defeat. Cullen Bunn uses time travel as more of a weapon than a vehicle or portal. It is time travel that Deadpool finally employs to eliminate all of his adversaries in one fell swoop. This story spans more than time it spans ideas. The battleground in this story is not the limitless centuries that spread out before us and behind us but the minds of some of the greatest writers of all time. And Deadpool is not interested in meeting these characters for any kind of enrichment he very simply wants to kill them.
I like Cullen Bunn’s work he is very capable of delivering exciting fast paced stories with believable dialogue and smart humor. His work on the Deadpool and Venom titles are prime examples of this. He has built quite an impressive resume among the Big Two as well as with the independents. It was reported in January that NBC ordered a pilot for his book The Sixth Gun which he writes for Oni Press. Filming was slated to begin in New Mexico between March and April of this year. So I think it is a safe bet that we will be hearing quite a bit from Cullen Bunn.
The art on Deadpool: Killustrated was expertly handled by Italian artist Matteo Lolli. The majority of his work has been on Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man. He has a wonderful sense of composition showing the action from unique perspectives. His characters are endowed with an almost limitless spectrum of facial expressions making them come to life and giving them a level of emotion that so many artists lack. I hope this is the beginning of a long and busy career for Matteo Lolli.
So if you didn’t pick up Deadpool: Killustrated in single issues I would whole-heartedly recommend picking up the trade when it hits the shelves. It is definitely worth a look especially when higher profile names have done work on Deadpool that falls miles short of the mark. This hits it dead on.
So until next week, see you at the comic book store.
Follow Shawn Warner on Twitter: @shawnwarner629