REVIEW: “Deadpool Kills Deadpool” #1

(Marvel Comics, 2013)

Review by Shawn Warner

WRITTEN BY:  Cullen Bunn
ARTWORK BY:  Salvador Espin

This is the final entry in the Deadpool trilogy or should I say ”killology” that began with Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe and then the carnage continued in Deadpool: Killustrated. The premise tying these mini-series together is Wade’s desire to remove himself from existence, since he cannot be killed for the most part; it has presented him with a rather unique and vexing dilemma. Let me begin by saying I love Deadpool and have for quite some time but I am by no means a fan of his creator Rob “What’s a background?” Liefeld and I am equally no fan of over exposing a character to the point of having 6 on-going monthly titles like Deadpool did just a few short years ago. The damage the quality of material suffers is sometimes fatal, even with Deadpool’s regenerating ability. However thanks to some great writers, some veterans of the character and some new recruits, most notably Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn and of course, Cullen Bunn,  Deadpool is alive and well in the post Marvel Now era. When the character is written correctly by a writer who really gets him, reading Deadpool is one of the most fun things I can think of (I know that speaks volumes for the exciting lifestyle I live but hey we are here to talk about Deadpool not me) in fact Daniel Way’s seminal run is something I often go back to re-read and he is doing a fine job of using Deadpool to amazing result in the current Thunderbolts series. So when I see multiple Deadpool titles again on the racks I don’t feel the same trepidation I felt a few years ago because I believe that the character is strong enough to carry his own solo monthly on-going series, a mini and be part of a team book all hoisted upon the shoulders of three incredibly talented creative teams.

The story begins with Wade taking out his first victim, Headpool, Deadpool’s own decapitated floating head from the Marvel Zombies series, by tossing him in the microwave. Salva Espin’s art is first rate throughout the book but he really shines on this opening sequence. The panels depicting Headpool’s demise as the mounting heat in the microwave causes him to explode are hilarious. Espin’s style is a perfect fit for Deadpool going back to his work on Daniel Way’s series he brings a dynamic energy that bursts from the page. It is that energy that this book begins with and maintains for the duration of the story. Cullen Bunn’s story has the speed and impact of a shotgun blast. Bunn has stripped away any unnecessary pop culture references and obvious one-liners and what remains is a more stream-lined effective humor that is just a touch more sophisticated and far funnier than the Family Guy-ish skit style pieces that have made it into some of the previous Deadpool books. The humor here enhances the story it doesn’t hinder it or become the point of any given scene it is merely one of many effective elements that make this a satisfying and engrossing story.

Later in the book Deadpool (of Earth 616) is battling the huge robotic Ultimatum when the Deadpool Corps makes their initial appearance. For those who may not be acquainted with “The Corps”, they are a group of Deadpools from various realities, timelines and/or dimensions created as a not-so thinly veiled jab at the Green Lantern books of the same time, featuring the afore mentioned Headpool, Lady Deadpool, Dogpool and Deadpool Noir to name a few. They arrive aboard the majestic ship The Bea Arthur to warn Deadpool of his plan to wipe himself from existence. Their point is driven home when Deadpool flies in dressed in an all-black pieced together uniform flying on what looks like a Goblin Glider that has been decked out in Deadpool’s colors, to carve a bloody chunk out of The Corps. Deadpool Noir is the first to die. In the course of battle Deadpool is impaled with a chainsaw by his ebony clad namesake who, while doing so mind you, puts an end to Dogpool with a blast from a rather large hand-held anti-regeneration energy canon. But as we know all too well, you can’t keep a good ‘Pool down, not for long anyway, and The Merc with All the Mouth returns the favor as our Deadpool makes short work of killing the killer Deadpool. At this point the surviving Corps members coax him to board The Bea Arthur and make good their escape. As if the events thus far were not mind-blowing enough, Wade’s already fragile psyche is further jeopardized when none other than The Watcher, who is waiting for him on board, tells him that he is the progenitor of all things and that is why the crusade to obliterate existence must begin with him.

This series is off to a thrilling start. All the ingredients that make a classic Deadpool romp are there; over the top action, grizzly violence and hilarious quips. Cullen Bunn continues to show he has a handle on this character by writing some of the sharpest dialogue to date. He gives Deadpool that archetypal voice that we have come to love whether it is in his head or out loud, he really nails it. The plot is just psychotic enough and it is written at break-neck speed, the action is pulsating, these pages are alive. The bar has been set high by this impressive first issue but I have faith in Cullen Bunn to deliver a consistent and equally impressive conclusion to this series.

Salva Espin gets so much out of his facial expressions that you forget Deadpool is wearing a mask most of the time. He twists and squints and conveys a full range of complex feelings from behind that mask of his. Espin’s work is augmented to further dazzle the eye by Veronica Gandini’s colors. Her work is vibrant and gives a depth and complexity to Espin’s already fine pages. Over all Deadpool Kills Deadpool is an enjoyable and fun book. It is full of the kind of action that keeps pages turning and smiles widening, I anxiously await the second book. So with that my friends I would give this one a firm 4 out of 5 and my unreserved recommendation and always I will see you next week at the comic book store.

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Follow Shawn Warner on Twitter:  @shawnwarner629

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