Deadpool 1-3

deadpool 1-3

Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Deadpool 1-3, originally released November 7th, 21st, and December 5th 2012, respectively.

Mikyzptlk: Hello fellow Retcon-Punchers! I’m writing about multiple issues for the first time so I’m really hoping this doesn’t turn into a train-wreck. But do you know what isn’t a train-wreck? The first three issues of Deadpool! (Oh no, what a horrible transition…it has begun). Anyway, I’d like to start by giving you all a quick rundown of my history with Wade Wilson AKA Deadpool. I haven’t read too much Deadpool I’m sorry to say. Mainly a few trades here and there from time to time. The only consistent thing about my Deadpool adventures is that they’ve all been scripted by Daniel Way. I’ve enjoyed Way’s version of Deadpool (especially the use of multiple voices). Way’s Deadpool was always good for a laugh and newcomer Brian Posehn (I love this guy!) certainly doesn’t disappoint in that arena. Best of all, Posehn is delivering one of the few Marvel NOW! books that I’ve read that truly feels like a jumping on point for new readers.

But before I get into all of that, let’s do some recaps.

Issue 1:

It begins with an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent looking dude. He’s describing how he feels about the current state of the U.S. of A and it’s clear that he’s not too happy about it. He figures who better to fix our country than its greatest leaders. Oh, just one thing though, these leaders have the unfortunate ailment of being dead. Fortunately for them, this guy is a necromancer so it’s totally cool. He decides to bring back Harry S. Truman but the outcome isn’t exactly what our necromancer was looking for.

Truman has a "New Deal" for America. Wait...was that Truman? Whatever.

Fortunately for our misguided necromancer, Captain America swoops in to save the day. You know what? I’ll just let the Daily Bugle fill you in.

If REAL newspapers had headlines as funny as this, I'd read more newspapers.

That angry dude is an angry S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who considers the whole “dead presidents coming back to life and threatening to destroy the country” thing an embarrassment. He tells Agent Preston to take care of the situation “quietly” and that somehow leads us to Deadpool. Meanwhile in New York, Deadpool comes up against a reanimated (and totally evil) F.D.R. After a hilariously action packed fight scene, Deadpool takes out F.D.R. just in time for Preston and the other agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to show up. She offers Deadpool a mission to seek out and destroy the rest of the undead presidents in exchange for a few million bucks. Later, Deadpool crashes a deadman’s party featuring a slew of ex-presidents. Wade gets a few one-liners in but doesn’t notice evil Lincoln standing behind him. Uh-oh.

It's like poetic or something.

Issue 2:

Well I was going to recap this issue myself, but to be honest with you, I’ve got a word-count to consider so I’ll just let Li’l Wade get you up to speed! Plus, he’s totally adorbs!

Issue 3:

That help comes in the way of none other than Doctor Strange! He tracks down the necromancer who started this whole mess and teleports himself, along with Deadpool and Agent Prescott, to where the undead presidents are hatching some kind of plan. Another brawl ensues but Doc Strange takes our necromancer out for a date to the Astral Plane. Strange finds out that the necromancer is actually Michael ( a quality name), and was born with the ability to bring the dead back from the grave. Back on the Asphalt Plane, Deadpool and Prescott are getting their butts handed to them before Strange returns with a sword, newly infused with a kind of magic, that slices and dices the undead in a most effective way (just ask zombie Nixon). Even with the current battle won, Washington is still on the loose and it turns out he plans on raising even more dead folks in order to overrun the country. It’s a good thing we have Deadpool though right? RIGHT?!?

I’m really enjoying this series so far. Posehn has been one of my absolute favorite comedians for years now and this book is filled to the brim with his humor. Not only are Posehn’s jokes solid, but he has Deadpool making SO MANY pop culture references that it’s an absolute treat. And since Deadpool is a part of the pop culture realm, he’s not immune either. Just check out this scene.

This TOTALLY happened.

The editors note tells us to “LOOK IT UP,” so I did. And since I’m such a nice guy, I’ll share my findings with you here.

Gross? Gross.

For even more, click here! There are seriously a TON of other things that I’d love to mention here but I just don’t have the time! Instead, I’ll just say that the great thing about Deadpool is that there really isn’t a limit as to how ridiculous you can get with the character both with humor and action. It’s obvious that Posehn knows this as well and it’s making for some good comics. Additionally, it’s clear that Posehn knows funny, but he also knows storytelling. The plot is clear and straightforward and every bit as ridiculous and fun as Deadpool is.

Tony Moore is the artist of the series and I really don’t think a better artist could have been chosen to match Posehn’s scripting. His style is so perfectly suited for Deadpool’s high humor and insane action. Not only that, but Moore’s level of detail is so incredible that I found myself scanning each panel just in case I missed something. The best example of this is the following where Deadpool has just taken down NOT-Godzilla.

You've got problems? Deadpool has solutions!

Many panels later, after Deadpool has taken down a dead prez, we get this scene.

Now THATS good eating.

It’s so subtle that I almost missed it, but I laughed out loud when I saw it. Those scenes were taken from the first issue and they really helped to establish what kind of book this would be. For long time fans of Deadpool it may be obvious that his book would be a comedy, but for readers who may be picking it up for this first time, scenes like this make it clear what to expect. Which leads me to my final point. Out of all of the Marvel NOW! books I’ve read so far, Brian Posehn has written one of the most accessible books of the bunch. Many of the other Marvel NOW! titles rely heavily on past events, such as the recent AVX, that I wonder how effective this “not-a-reboot” really is. I know that Marvel NOW! is not intended to be a reboot like DC’s The New 52, however it’s clear that the initiative was intended to be a jumping-on point for new readers. In that sense, I feel that Posehn’s and Moore’s Deadpool may just be the most successful.

Drew, even though I tried not to, I still managed to go beyond my allotted word-count and used WAY more pics than I was supposed to but, the thing is, I just couldn’t help myself! There are so many great panels in these issues though, that I’m sure you have your favorites too. Unless, of course, you weren’t a fan. So, what say you Drew? Did you get as much out of this as I did or do Posehn’s jokes fall flat for you? Lastly, did you think this was a good jumping-on point, like I did, or did my previous knowledge of Deadpool just make me think that it was?

Drew: Mik, you’re absolutely right about this being a great introduction to Wade. Of course, the way Posehn and co-writer Gerry Duggan have been approaching the character, any of these issues would serve this purpose. There’s a kind of classic, “you only need the three-sentence, pre-title intro to know what’s going on” vibe to this title, which gives each issue an sense of fun frivolity, which totally matches the character and his situation.

Hearing the premise of this arc — that Wade would be hunting down and killing the resurrected corpses of all of the dead presidents — was silly enough to pique my interest, but that tongue-in-cheek approach defines this title from the top-down. Wade himself doesn’t take anything too seriously, and at times is spouting jokes every panel.

Wade cracking jokes in a car

They’re not always good jokes, but Wade’s persistence is kind of endearing — I’m totally willing to accept that he would tell a LOT of bad jokes while fighting. That lends Posehn and Duggan an air of ironic detachment from the really bad jokes, but it also makes it feel more okay to laugh at them.

Of course, many of the jokes are good, and — as Mik pointed out — quite clever. By issue three, those clever bits have begun to cohere into a strong through-line for this arc. Take, for example, the setting of the Presidents’ first scene in issue 3. In the previous issue, Washington was burned, and cried out about his wooden teeth. This title has the cartoonish, Wile E. Coyote flexibility for nobody to ever mention it again (as they do for the duration of issue 2), but look at where the Presidents find themselves plotting their next move:

George Washington goes to the Dentist

Never mind the additional Deliverance reference of the name of the Dentist’s office — this is a title willing to spin its jokes into plot-points. It reminds me of The Venture Bros. in the way it reveals its affection for its characters in its commitment to even it’s goofiest one-off jokes. (I’m sure the presence of Doctor Strange, acting with all the grandiose pompousness of Dr. Orpheus — a character designed as a send-up of Doctor Strange — helps solidify this in my mind).

It’s that affection that really makes this title a gem. It would be too easy to make fun of Wade for being kind of an idiot who cracks bad jokes all the time, but it’s clear that Posehn and Duggan don’t want to just take pot-shots. More importantly, this doesn’t feel like its meant to make fun of the people who actually enjoy it (a danger whenever irony is added to the equation). As dumb as this title gets, it’s never disdainful of that dumbness, and routinely rewards our patience with it. This title is not for everyone — perhaps the best metric is if two Ghostbusters references in three issues sounds like too many or just right — but I’m enjoying the heck out of it.

For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page.  Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore.  If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to DC’s website and download issues there.  There’s no need to pirate, right?


71 comments on “Deadpool 1-3

      • There was a “one does not simply…” joke in there, followed immediately by a very clear set-up for a “…and don’t call me Shirley” joke that never actually comes. I can really see why somebody might find this intolerable, but it’s perfect for me.

    • Look at this poll: I remember you’re a big fan of Ted Kord, so I suppose you’re going to vote him. I’m wavering between him and Renee Montoya. I love Renee because she was starring in one of the most beautiful series ever written (Gotham Central), but I also would love to see an interaction between the old Blue Beetle and the new one. Not only because I love when old and new are combined, but also because, when something similar happens in Gotham (former Robins meet each other quite often), it’s always an intriguing situation.

      • It’s Wally West for me. No contest! Though I’d go with Renee and THEN Ted after that. Even though I LOVE Ted with all of my heart, we have enough dude characters in comics as it is. You could use the same argument against Wally, but him and Kyle Rayner absolutely define the era in which I entered comics in so I have to go with him.

        • I voted for Renee. The poor Jackson King is getting less than 1 %: of course he can’t stand comparison with the characters you mentioned, but I like him – as I like anything concerning Wildstorm. Thank you for your reply! : )

        • You’re welcome! Renee is definitely a good call. We need her back. She’s such a unique and powerful character. I’d love to see her back as just Detective Montoya. I didn’t really like her becoming a superhero. I thought she was more interesting on her own. If we could get Crispus Allen back too and then get a new Gotham Central book going (written by Scott Snyder?) then I’d be happier than a pig in…well, you get where I’m going with this.

        • I would be so happy to see Gotham Central (or something similar) coming back that I would exult even if it comes back with Liefeld writing, drawing and inking it.

        • Hahaha! Liefeld makes that effect to a lot of readers. It’s so unbelievable that DC ACTUALLY let him write, draw and ink a title all by himself, and all this happened just a few months ago.

        • DC was clearly smoking drugs when they made that decision. And it seems to me that they still are with firing Gail Simone AND Karen Berger. It’s insanity I tell you!

        • It is obvious that DC is a Wonderland for us readers, but a hell on earth for creators, because a lot of them are running flat out from DC.
          I’ve always had the impression that DC is an industry, while Marvel is a family, and the recent departures from DC are confirming my thoughts. Thank you for your replies! : )

        • I agree, it’s really sad to think that it’s a terrible work environment when so many great things are coming out of it creatively. I really think most of the drama comes from the New York office too. They shipped all of the new blood like Geoff Johns and Jim Lee over to LA and left the old cranks in the NY offices. Hopefully they won’t end up running everyone off.

      • Sometimes it bothers me that comic book universes are always a game of addition and never a game of subtraction. The very second you strip something away (from either Marvel or DC), the questions is always “when is ______ coming back?” Don’t get me wrong, I get the same giddy thrill at seeing a half-forgotten character re-asserting themselves. But every time you bring back Renee Montoya or Wally West, you crowd the field and make it even harder for a new idea to squeak in.

        • “Comic book universes are always a game of addition and never a game of subtraction” In my opinion, it depends on the fact that each character, even the most hateful one, or the less known one, has a fan base, so, each time one of them gets discarded, there will always be someone waiting (and asking) for his return. For example, it is clear that most readers don’t give a damn about Blue Beetle and Grifter, or their solo series would have gone on, but I wholeheartedly love them. Thank you for your reply! : )

        • Yeah, but this also speaks to the weird expectation of infinite content. I’m not asking when Cheers is coming back or when LOST is coming back (AND FUCK ANYONE CONSIDERING BRINGING THEM BACK). I care deeply about those characters and their worlds, but nothing’s stopping me from revisiting their adventures.

      • They can take Aqualad off of that list since Garth has already been teased for an upcoming issue of Aquaman 🙂 I voted Steph Brown, but it was a tough call between her and Ted Kord… Wally West, Donna Troy, and Renee Montoya get honorable mention

        • You have a great taste. Let’s get some votes for the poor Jackson King, let’s ask our friends to choose him, he deserves more attention. Thank you for your reply! : )

        • Yeah, I voted for Steph too. I’m only lukewarm on her as Batgirl, but Tim desperately needs someone to hang out with that isn’t a Teen Titan. Maybe Spoiler can make a return? (Hell, at this point, I’ll settle for her being Batgirl in Bangladesh if they’ll just confirm that she still exists.)

        • I would like to have her as Robin again if the worst were to happen with Damien, and let me tell you… the collective solicits for the Bat-family #18’s have me feeling VERY worried since “tragedy” is mentioned mutliple times across multiple issues and this would land just a few issues shy of Morrion’s last Batman, Inc.

        • I remember a scene involving Batman and Stephanie Brown as Robin. She tried to kill a mobster, and Bruce told her something like “That punch would have been lethal, if I hadn’t broken his nose before.” Do you remember to which issue this scene belonged to? If you don’t, can you tell me the issues where I can find Stephanie Brown as Robin, so that I can limit the area of research? That scene really remained engraved on my memory, and I would like to read it again.

        • Sorry, I don’t know offhand exactly what issue you’re referencing, my recollection of the specific issues is vague – but she was only Robin for a short while around 2004… Starting in Robin #126 according to Wikipedia and then her arc as Robin ends during the War Games crossover that same year. Editorial actually didn’t have any intention of making her the permanent Robin, it was just to temporarily increase her importance before they wrote her out of continuity (this was later reversed, of course, and we got the Batgirl run). I think it’s disgusting that the boy’s club that is DC editorial didn’t see any sustainability for Steph as Robin – with four male Robins running around its about damn time for a long-term female Robin and, while she is an awesome character, I think Harper Rowe’s electrician-based skill set indicates its not going to be her

  1. My problem with this title is that Deadpool’s not actually supposed to be straight comedy. I’ve loved the character for years, ever since the first issue of his original ongoing by Joe Kelly, back in 1997. As funny as that series was – and Deadpool saved the planet at one point by playing Rochambeau with Captain America, so clearly, it was legitimately funny – that comedy was balanced by a real sense of pathos – right after the Captain America scene, Deadpool was torn by whether he was really doing the right thing.

    Deadpool is an inherently tragic character. A lot of people don’t get that. Especially people who are mostly familiar with the character from Way’s awful run (easily the worst run the character has ever had, and I’m including Deadpool Corps in that). They think he really is supposed to just be bad jokes and violence, with any drama being superficial and temporary, rather than being a vital part of who he is.

    If you want to know how Deadpool’s supposed to be written, read Rick Remender’s take on the character in Uncanny X-Force, particularly In the first 18 issues. Better yet, go back and check out Joe Kelly’s run.

    I’m sick of Deadpool as a clown. It’s time for the character to go back to being a miserable, broken shell of a man, who uses humour as a defence mechanism, to hide the pain he feels.

    • Maybe the worst run he’s had as a solo/lead character, but nothing could be worse than his original Liefeld appearances in X-Force. Agreed, though, about Joe Kelly absolutely owning the character

    • Hey Xpert! I totally understand that you have your personal preferences with Deadpool as we all have our own preferences for our characters. If you believe that Kelly’s Deadpool is the definitive version of the character then I can’t argue that, nor would I want to. Nor do I want to defend Daniel Way in any way either. I’ve personally met and partied with the dude and I think he’s a total D-bag! That aside, he does have his fans and I’ve found his Deadpool to be pretty entertaining stuff myself. With that said, I’m personally not a proponent of the argument that creators should only write “definitive” versions of characters. First off, what is considered a “definitive” version of the character? Is it how they were first written? Is it what version of the character became most popular? Is it more subjective than that or is it something else entirely? There have been so many “definitive” versions for so many characters that I think it’s impossible to say what’s what. Take Superman and Batman for example. They’ve change SO MUCH throughout the decades that asking the question of “which version is definitive?” would generate a ton of different responses among fans.

      I honestly think that what it boils down to is what version of said character were you first introduced to. Look at Blue Beetle. When he was first introduced he was a dude named Dan Garret. Years later he was rebooted into a guy named Ted Kord. And if memory serves even that character got tweaked (at least in tone) when Keith Giffen took his character over in JLI and made him more of a comedic character. That is the version that I first “met” and fell in love with and to me, he is the “definitive” version of the character. However, if you ask someone who’s only watched Batman: The Brave and the Bold or Young Justice, they might tell you that the “definitive” version is Jaime Reyes!

      So, again, I’m not disagreeing with you in any way for disliking a completely comedic Deadpool but I am saying that I think this kind of thing is all a matter of opinion and personal preference. Additionally, there is room for both “versions” of the character on the shelf too. As you said, Remender wrote a more serious version of Deadpool in his X-Force book while Way continued with his comedic Deadpool so there should be room for everyone to be happy! All it takes is for the next Joe Kelly or Rick Remender to take reign of the character once again.

      • I can’t disagree with what you’re saying about preference, but if you look at his complete history in comics back to the early 90’s, then Kelly has a pretty strong claim to Deadpool. Deadpool was a really lame Deathstroke ripoff before Kelly brought the gallows humor and fourth-wall aspects to the character and transformed him into the incarnation that people know and love

        • I dunno, I’m kind of with Mik in thinking that there can’t really be definitive versions of comic book characters. Part of the reason I love comics so much is that the characters can support so many drastically different takes. I get the impression that house style carries a little more weight at Marvel than it seems to at DC, but still, Waid’s Matt Murdock is very different from Miller’s. To me, even the creator of a character can’t lay claim to them once they’ve shared writing duties (creatively — I’m not talking about copyright here). Like, I get that Bob Kane created Batman, but I don’t think that means his version of the character is definitive.

          It’s interesting that the capacity of comics characters to support such diverse takes could cause an argument over the soul of a character, or which versions are appropriate for different reasons. Is Batman supposed to be campy? Dark? Realistic? I think the capacity to be any or all of these things is inherent in the character, so while I may have my preferences, it’s weird for me to think of a character as supposed to be written a certain way.

        • Yeah, I get all of what you’re saying. Actually I think that Deadpool’s creator, Liefeld, has probably the least to do with anyone liking the character. I don’t think you can have a single, definitive incarnation of the character either – even in long runs with the same creative team the quality of issues will vary. But I do think that there are certain characters that, when you think of them or their success, they cannot be separated from their history with the writer(s) that made the most lasting impression. In this case Deadpool wouldn’t be a humorous character at all (unless you count his stupid villian quips in Liefeld’s issues) if Joe Kelly hadn’t completely changed the nature of the character. To this day that is the aspect of the character that he is most known for.

          I don’t think you can separate Superman from Curt Swan, who did thirty years on the book but those thirty years were right in the middle of his publication history – there’s no “got there first” aspect to it, he just put his stamp on the character through quality and longevity.

          DeMatteis and Giffen on JLI.

          Levitz and Giffen on Legion.

          And, yeah, Miller and Jansen on Daredevil.

          Does that mean I think that those are the only good or true characterizations of the property? No. But it is my evaluation that those runs have had the biggest impact and influence on the character and that you can’t ignore their influence. There may be a lot of decent or even great runs on those characters, but to really become part of a character’s publication legacy you usually need to either add something new that is so beloved that it changes the way the character is portrayed from that point forward OR you have to do what has been done before, but refine it and do it at such a high quality for such a long run that your stuff simply can’t be forgotten

        • I think this gets a little messy, since it’s tough to parse characterization from the trappings that surround it, from kinds of stories the hero might encounter, to overall tone of the book. In this way, we might think of editors as playing a bigger role in the definition of a character than the writers. I think your point that it depends on the character is a good one — I’m way more versed in the history of Batman than any of the others you mentioned, which has gone through pretty radical changes over the years of tone, trappings, and characterization, so I’m not really equipped to talk about all characters in this way. Still, what does it mean for a writer to have the kind of influence you’re talking about? How should other writers approach the character after those character-defining runs?

        • That’s exactly my question too. Even if a writer does do something definitive with a character, does that mean that any writer who follows MUST conform to the previous writers definitive efforts?

        • Well Batman is a good a subject as any. It’s hard to say a specific thing that a writer should do to evolve the character and become part of the legacy, but I would generalize it to changing the character in way that all or most future writers retain the new element, or they continue what came before at such a high quality and length in run that the run becomes a kind of comic book “no hitter”.

          With Batman, Bob Kane and Bill Finger created a fascinating character for that period in time and a truly solid, timeless origin as a foundation. You couldn’t do that version of Batman in these times, it needed to be refined and eventually redefined over the different periods of comic history. But in the Batman legacy there were a lot of solid people that I loved (Moench, Brubaker, Rucker) but they aren’t among the people who actually DEFINED Batman for their time period… though all three may sneak into his legacy based on the “no hitter” concept since their quality was so strong and their lengths in run were decent for modern times.

          But among the people who actually define him as a modern character, I would say it began with Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams – that more realistic take on Batman has been retained by nearly every single creative team that came after. Frank Miller later refined the more realistic Batman by adding the grimmer aspects. I think most people would agree that any attempt now at the older, campier Batman would be a de-evolution of the character

        • Honestly, I think the answer all boils down to preference again. When a writer like Denny made his mark on the character, it was such a commercial and critical success that I think it was simply the preference of the writers and editors that proceeded Denny to continue to evolve his version of Batman (while adding their own influence of course).

          Waitaminute. Didn’t Denny become an editor after his Batman run? I smell a conspiracy. 😛

          What I’m saying is, Denny made an absolutely historic mark with Batman. But even then, writers and editors didn’t have to follow suit with the character. They simply preferred to because of the quality and success of Denny’s work.

        • Sure, nobody has to write anything they don’t want, but when you veer off of that course then one of two things are going to happen – either your style of writing the character will be dismissed by the next guy on the job or that alteration will continue in his history beyond your run. Like Joe Kelly, Denny O’Neil can claim that honor. Not many writers on any character can. With Batman, what I’m interested to see is the lasting effects of Grant Morrison’s run – he has made a a real coctail by absorbing long-forgotten elements of camp and introducing new elements left and right; he’s ignored the natural course more-so than any noteworthy run in recent history and if there is going to be a new step in Batman’s evolution this is going to be teh source – the tricky thing with assessing the legacy is that only time will tell. Also, Morrison’s style would be nearly impossible for other writers to imitate in order to carry it on, so what elements will remain and what will fall by the wayside? Snyder’s run has an equally rabid fanbase but his style isn’t much different than others before him, I consider him to be VERY Dini-like… I think it’s his quality and length of run that will cement his place in Batman history and not any particular evolution in the character. In fact I believe he’s kind of overwritten certain Joker elements instated by Alan Moore that arguably de-evolve his origin and basic concept in the modern lore (I doubt this will have a lasting impact since Nolan’s Dark Knight actually reinforced the Moore origin elements and has had a more widespread influence on pop culture)

    • I just feel like I’m not getting this sort of post-modern comedy from any of the other books I’m reading. Yeah, Dial H may be making some meta-jokes, but Nelson will never turn to the camera to give an editor’s note of his own, only to have the ghost of Ben Franklin ask who he’s talking to. So I’ll make the case that this take on the character is vital in that regard: we don’t see a character like this anywhere else.

      • Agreed! The only DC character I can think of who broke the 4th wall was Ambush Bug, but he was rarely ever used and WAY less popular than Deadpool. He hasn’t been around in the New 52 and I’d be pretty surprised if he ever made his debut. As for Marvel, I think that She-Hulk was the only other character to break the 4th wall but I don’t think she’s done so in years. That kind of thing isn’t really ingrained her her character like it is with Deadpool anyway so I feel good in saying that at this point it’s really unique to that character.

        That said, are there any other Marvel/DC characters who have broken the 4th wall? There’s got to be right?

        • Well, Deathstroke did in a Teen Titans Annual, that’s what Joe Kelly was originally lampooning when he reinvented Deadpool

        • Shit, I guess it wasn’t a New Teen Titans Annual… I am having the hardest time trying to track down what this issue was – it was either an Elseworlds or there was something weird about it where the whole issue was trippy and Wade breaks the fourth wall. I swear I am not making this up, so a No-Prize to the person who figures out what the issue is I’m thinking of… I’m 80% sure it’s an annual of one book or another but of course Googling Deathstroke and Fourth While just brings up a litany of Deadpool comparisons

        • Okay, this is probably what I was thinking of (a quick Google reveals it to be Superman/Batman Annual #1), but this was something that was just DC firing back at Deadpool instead of a pre-Deadpool example… I swore I had remembered one from the 80’s but it’s probably just a failing memory from too many damned comic books!

        • I mean, it depends on what you mean by breaking the fourth wall. Babs voiceover frequently addresses an audience, more or less explicitly. But as far as people that will — in the company of other characters — turn to the readers and say something directly to us, I think your list is comprehensive.

          And while I’m digging Deadpool doing it, breaking the fourth wall is extremely gimmicky. If you have too many people doing it, then the reality starts to crumble.

        • Good point, honestly, I don’t consider VO’s to be a break. Event though it does make me wonder who the hell they are talking to! To me, a break is when they look at the camera and give you the ol’ winky-wink. I think that Deadpool doing it is fine because it’s such a part of who he’s become, but you’re right in saying that its overuse with other characters would start to detract from the overall integrity of everything in the Marvel U.

        • I’m pretty sure Rick Jones had “comic awareness” for a little while, but I didn’t read the comic that bit appeared in, so I don’t know the details.

          One of Squirrel Girl’s squirrel companions did it, too, in a GLA Special. But do those really count?

          I would also add that it’s possible to have fourth-wall-breaking, post-modern meta-humour without making the character entirely comedic. That’s my problem with the Posehn/Duggan take on Deadpool – there’s no depth to him. He consists entirely of violence and jokes. (Also, a few too many of the jokes are simply references. Contrary to what Family Guy would have people believe, simply referencing something is not, in itself, a joke.) Deadpool, to me, simply does not work as a character without the tragic element. I have no interest in “OMG he’s so wacky and zany seriously look at how CRAZY this is LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!11one”. Especially when it’s constantly trying to draw attention to how silly and zany it is – weird humour works best when it’s deadpan. That’s what made Monty Python work. Posehn and Duggan come across as trying too hard.

        • The only time the reference-a-palooza bothered me was when Dr. Strange did the GOB “it’s an ILLUSION” joke. Otherwise, I totally buy that Deadpool has that sort of personality that has to constantly be making references to whatever. I think this take on the character works best when he is the sole purveyor of this kind of chaos. If he exists in a world that sorta hates him (as he certainly seems to), then I think there’s more room to explore just what it means that he’s so shallow and reference-heavy. Maybe I’m overly-optimistic to expect this, but I trust Posehn.

        • Yeah, Deadpool does always have to be making jokes. To mask how miserable he really is. I’ll be honest, I don’t have faith in Posehn and Duggan to really get into the darker side of Deadpool. I think they want “Deadpool the Clown.” Same as Way did.

          I will say that I’m glad they dropped Deadpool’s boxes. Way’s use of them was awful. It was a sign that he was a flat-out bad writer. Rather than have Deadpool make actual jokes, Way would just have him argue with himself for cheap laughs. It was stupid. Man, is there anyone who actually LIKES Daniel Way’s writing? Everything I’ve read by him has been either mediocre or downright bad.

        • It’s funny how much history with a character influences our expectations so much. You clearly love the more tragic elements of his character, and really miss it when it’s not there — it feels shallow and dumb to you. I have absolutely no prior experience with the character, and I found the light, goofy tone really refreshing. To me, the thought of him being this brooding, tragic anti-hero sounds like ham-fisted “darkening” that’s all to common in comics today. I don’t mean to say that that’s actually what those stories are like, just that it’s funny how quickly we can get used to “our” version of the character. Honestly, i’m really liking this title because it’s so goofy, but I can totally understand why it might feel like a slight to see your favorite character reduced to comic relief.

        • I’m with you Drew, both in the sense that I enjoy a lighter Deadpool and that my personal experience (or lack thereof) with the character helps me to enjoy this version. There are so many options for brooding characters out there, but there really aren’t many options for those who have an insanely quirky sense of humor, are essentially unkillable, and can break the 4th wall at will. This guy is insanely versatile and clearly works on different levels for different people. This is just one interpretation of the character and if Posehn and Duggan to go darker with him in the next issue I wouldn’t be surprised if it totally worked. Damn, I never thought I’d examine Deadpool this closely or for this long!

        • Man, I’m so glad I’m not the only one cold to Family Guy. I don’t mean that as an insult to anyone who likes it, my wife watches it all of the time.

          And there is a lot of “comic awareness”, as you aptly put it, in relation to Earth Prime in the old DCU. Superboy Prime even read comics about what was going on in the DCU and eventually visited the DC offices to threaten the staff while banished to Earth Prime. One of my favorite comics is “I Flew With Superman” from Superman Annual 9, and it’s a great example of meta storytelling done in a totally non-humorous way, I actually find it kind of moving as a longtime fan

        • I love Superboy/Superman Prime. His comic awareness is special though – he’s more like the kid who’s reading the Neverending Story – he effectively gets sucked into the narratives he’s reading. (Granted, he also has superpowers and Earth Prime ends up being just a comic booky as any other DC ‘verse, but I still like the concept.)

  2. Am I the only one who never expected this level of discourse on a Deadpool write-up? History lessons and questions as to what or who really defines a character — this is neat.

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