Today, Scott and Patrick are discussing Deadpool 10, originally released May 22nd, 2013.
Scott: Wade Wilson is a guilty-pleasure Spider-Man. Like Spider-Man, he’s an agitator, a loudmouth smart-ass. And like Spider-Man, you’d root for him against just about anyone. The thing is, you root for them to do different things when the big moment arrives.Wade and Spider-Man join forces in Deadpool 10 and show us up close the major difference between them. Deadpool doesn’t stand for anything in particular, so he doesn’t have to play by any rules. He kills people and doesn’t think twice about it. It wouldn’t look good on Spidey, but it’s a strangely endearing trait for Deadpool.
Michael, recently murdered by Deadpool, is on his way to hell- but there’s a long line, and his demand for an audience with Mephisto doesn’t go over well with the gatekeeper.
Meanwhile, Wade pursues the next name on Vetis’ list, Donald Tru- er, Daniel Gump, a business man with pre-cognitive powers. Atop Gump Tower, Deadpool runs into Spider-Man, who is investigating Gump’s recent interest in the criminal underworld. Deadpool and Spidey team up to fend off a team of mercenaries working for Gump. Gump flees with Lady Stilt Man while the rest of the Mercenaries, along with Spider-Man get stuck in a sea of hot glue spewing out from Trapster’s tanks. Deadpool steals a web-slinger from Spider-Man and hunts down Gump, killing him and destroying Lady Stilt Man’s suit. Spider-Man soon arrives, knocks Wade out and leaves him for the authorities along with the other mercs, warning Wade not to get in his way again.
At this point, there’s really only one thing you can count on in a Deadpool issue: death. Other than that, don’t bring along any expectations, because they will most likely be thwarted. After his death in Deadpool 9, Michael’s fate seemed an obvious focal point for this issue, but his appearance was so brief it almost felt like the writers tossed him in just so nobody could complain that they ignored his plot completely. Agent Preston and Ben Franklin also take a backseat this time around, and there are no developments with regards to the whole organ-harvesting thing from Deadpool 8. As straightforward as recent Deadpool plots have become (Wade finds a guy, kills him), this is becoming one of the most reliably unpredictable titles out there.
I’m willing to forgive Brian Posehn and Gary Duggan’s detours, so long as they churn out issues as fun and funny as Deadpool 10. This creative team is at its best when it relies primarily on the Marvel Universe as the fodder for its humor. Much as they did with Iron Man in the fantastic Deadpool 7 (have I referenced enough previous issues yet?), Duggan and Posehn make the most out of Wade’s team-up with Spider-Man. Current Spider-Man stories are the subject of several jokes, such as Wade’s insistence that Spidey seems like a different person, and Spidey hilariously getting defensive when Wade calls out Doc Ock as the lamest villain Spider-Man fights.
There were even more great lines at the expense of the gallery of uninspired villains Gump throws at Wade and Spider-Man (Wade dubs them “The Blandtastic Four”). The funniest moment for me, however, was Taskmaster’s honesty about his complete lack of interest in being there in the first place.
Artist Mike Hawthorne’s work is very impressive. This issue is mostly one extended fight scene, but it is depicted very clearly, which is quite a feat considering the similarities between Deadpool and Spider-Man’s costumes. Speaking of which, this issue is worth checking out just to see Wade swinging around with Spider-Man’s web shooters. It almost looks natural.
As always, the “Dear Deadpool” page in the back of the book is a must read. This time, the letter that caught my attention was from a grade school kid whose classmates couldn’t guess “Deadpool” while playing hangman because they’d never heard of it. It’s interesting to think about. Sure, Deadpool wouldn’t be on the Mount Rushmore of superheroes. He’s not an Avenger (or, as Spider-Man puts it, “not even the Sinister Six would take you”). Deadpool simply isn’t a household name. But boy, does his personality dominate this comic. Even when Spider-Man shows up it never stops feeling like the Wade Wilson show, and that’s
amazing superior pretty cool.
Patrick, what are your feelings about this issue? I found it to be tremendously entertaining, which is what I’m looking for from a Deadpool comic, but I can see how some readers might be frustrated by the lack of progress in the numerous ongoing plotlines.
Patrick: One of the things I love about Deadpool is that sometimes I don’t know when the series is engaging in parody or simply presenting the ridiculousness of the Marvel Universe and letting me decide if I should laugh at it or not. Stilt Man is a serious villain: he appears in books where the conflict is presented seriously. He’s also one of these guys that’s been revived as something of a half-joke: he’s still a criminal mastermind, but he doesn’t command that much respect. I believe the last time we saw him was in Daredevil 22 – which, it should be noted, was also an issue where the hero teamed up with the Superior Spider-Man. So when Lady Stilt Man shows up in this issue to terrorize Deadpool as he teams up with the Superior Spider-Man, it’s a fun reference to that largely-goofy adventure. Plus, there’s the added nonsense of insisting that her name is “Lady Stilt Man” and not “Stilt Woman” – it’s comic book naming conventions gone crazy!
Scott, are you reading Superior Spider-Man at all? I liked this issue quite a bit, but I suspect that’s partially because I like watching the Doctor-Octavius-is-in-Peter-Parker’s-body thing effect other characters. We’ve seen hints that the Avengers don’t quite trust him or that Sunspot and Cannonball think he’s sort of a dick, but it’s telling that Deadpool notices the missing quips before he senses anything else is wrong with Peter Parker. Deadpool is incredibly fun to read, but this is due — in no small part — to the character actively trying to be fun. Why does Wade steal those web shooters? Because he wants to entertain his audience. And when Deadpool’s got Spider-Man as a guest star, he expects a little help entertaining the readership. I just love that, of all the ways “Peter” has changed, Deadpool mostly just misses the jokes.
The jokes are flying pretty freely in this issue, and a lot of them are Marvel in-jokes, but none of them are so inside as to be missed by a casual reader (unless of course, there are jokes in here that I’ve missed… that could be the case). The bit where Deadpool is listing off the worst Spidey villains is my favorite part of the issue, mostly because Deadpool only selects villains that are relevant right now to make fun of. He lists The Vulture (who appeared just a few months ago in SSM 3), The Rhino (who we’re going to see portrayed by Paul Giamatti in The Amazing Spider-Man 2), and of course Doc Ock, whose right behind that mask. He could have mentioned Green Goblin or Carnage or something, but Deadpool seems to be towing the publisher’s line as much as any editor or writer.
Yes: jokes jokes jokes. I also liked some of the non-joke content here. Scott mentioned that the story runs the risk of becoming stale if each issue is going to follow the find-a-guy, kill-a-guy structure. But there were a lot of little interesting little moments in this issue that would seem at home in much darker superhero stories. We might have lost Ben Franklin to a strip joint, but the ghost bails on our hero for moral reasons – it’s not abandonment for purposes of convenience, but a real character-move based on what we know about him. It also kind of doubles as a comment about the readers enabled Deadpool’s reign of carnage by reading his silly books.
Perhaps we all are to blame for rewarding barbarism with excitement. But then again – how can we not? It should be noted that the strip club Franklin disappears into in the next panel is called Amazing Fantasy – Spider-Man made his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy 15 in 1962.
You know, I had thought that this most recent arc had slackened the pace of its mad joke machine, but now that I’m taking a closer look, I think Duggan and Posehn are simply more careful with what jokes they want to tell. The laughs are still packed in here, but the references are smarter and the situational humor is more character-based than it had been in the first arc. This may be the exact speed at which I likes my Deadpool comics.
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