by Patrick Ehlers
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Despite writer Gerry Duggan’s insistence on filling out the supporting cast of Deadpool over the last five years, Wade Winston Wilson is a solitary creature. He’s his own worst enemy and his own best friend. Issue 36 shows a Deadpool at the end of his rope, pushed to an unfathomable level of isolation. This is where artist Matteo Lolli truly shines, showing Deadpool as a man apart from those he once called friend and family.
On his own, Deadpool is at least able to function on the terms that we expect. He’s a merc, right? Success can be pretty simply defined by whether or not he’s able to take out his target. And he does — one bullet to end Hydra Commander’s life.
The staging here is basically perfect, as even in a moment of redemptive killing, Deadpool is utterly alone. We don’t even have the subject of his hit in the panel, just the omnipresent darkness of the hallway. I love this detail of the open door in the background. Not only does it sell the perspective, but that vanishing point also introduces a cool blue color to the palette of the page. Deadpool is black and red, echoed by the blackness of the dark room and the redness of muzzle flare, but that blue is representative of an outside world that is slowly becoming inaccessible to Wade.
Of course, things only get worse when he does try to engage with his family. What remains of the Preston Family wants nothing to do with him since he killed Emily and endangered Ellie. Deadpool offers the only resource he believes he has — a sack of cash — but is rejected. What follows is an impressive collage of rejection imagery: Deadpool eats a cold hot dog straight out of the fridge; Stryfe calls from a Christmas he missed with his daughter; even his struggle to burn the Preston house down through totally grounded and realistic means harkens to real self-destructive loneliness and depression. Deadpool remarks early in the issue that “my life is over” and if his life was only ever the connections he forged, he may well be right.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?
This was a really good review. I really thought this was an excellent ending to this chapter in Deadpool’s life. Sure it wasn’t happy, but it is what to expect from Deadpool, comedy and tragedy. Makes me all the more excited to pick up Despicable Deadpool next month. How about you?
I’m always excited to follow Gerry Duggan’s Deadpool. With the series reverting to its old numbering, I wonder how much Duggan and Scott Koblish will treat this as something of a reboot. Duggan has been carrying his own mythology forward for sooooo long – Deadpool’s daughter was teased in… maybe that second ‘inventory” issue? It’s been building on itself so such a specific way that I wonder if he needs a hard reset to make the series approachable to new readers.
Just about every deadpool arc in the last 3 years has started off looking like it was a self-contained story, but they all end up looping around to Deadpool’s baggage with his new chosen family, which all stemmed from the first 20 or so issues of Duggan’s run. The first arc of Despicable Deadpool is called “Deadpool Kills Cable,” which sounds like pre-Duggan material to me.I trust the team, but man, I wonder if what comes next will have this same magic recipe.