This article containsSPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Drew: Five years into this run, pointing out that Deadpool is a Sad Clown would be lazy analysis — not only has that point been well established, but the series itself has managed to explore it so thoroughly, reducing the character’s emotional journey to a two-word summary couldn’t possibly do it justice. And yet, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to begin this piece than embedding Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown,” not because of a shallow similarity between the content of these two works, but because of some profound similarities in how they treat that content. The lyrics describe a narrator who puts on a good face in spite of his profound sadness, but the music doesn’t betray that sadness for a second — it sounds like any other Motown hit (though that bouncy bassoon that maybe hints that this song is about a clown). By this point in the story, Wade Wilson has completely dropped that fascade of silliness, but just like the instruments in “Tears of a Clown,” the series itself maintains that clownish exterior. Continue reading →
Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Deadpool 45, originally released April 8th, 2015.
Taylor: At the risk of sounding trite, a funeral is an event where people come together to celebrate the life of someone who has passed on. Even though most funerals are more somber than celebratory, the very nature of the event is to recognize someone who has died and to give those who remain closure. The much heralded Deadpool 45 is the issue where Deadpool dies and in many ways it acts like a funeral for Deadpool, even before the man himself has died. It offers closure to those who have read the series the past couple years and also reminds us just how much we ware going to miss the Merc With the Mouth, even if we know he won’t be gone for long. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Greg are discussing Deadpool 30, originally released June 11th, 2014.
Patrick: As I get older, I realize that I have to consciously fight my growing instincts to make Dad Jokes. My father, who we called by his first name, Lyle, was quite the connoisseur of these terrible, punny, embarrassing jokes. Nine times out of ten, not even Lyle thought they were funny, but his mugging for laughs at laughless lines elevated the experience to pure anti-comedy bliss. To give all Dad Jokes — and by extension, my baser humor instincts — the benefit of the doubt, their intent is never to be revolutionary or make you think or anything quite so sophisticated. Where a good joke relies on subverting our expectations, a Dad Joke plays into out expectations so hard that the refusal to be subversive is, in a way, subversive. But forget all of that: the Dad Joke is comforting because Dad is saying it. Deadpool 30 leverages our comfort with these kinds of jokes to distract us while getting to the real subversive business — developing, ironically enough, the identity of Deadpool’s daughter. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Greg are discussing Deadpool 29, originally released May 28th, 2014.
“…I’m happy, too.”
“Hey, don’t use the ‘h’ word around me. It ends the fun quickly.”
–Shiklah and Deadpool, Deadpool 29
Spencer: As a medium, comics seem to have a problem with happiness — and quite often, as DC especially has proven, they specifically have a problem with characters being happily married. The above quote comes from the very first panel of Deadpool 29, and is spoken as Wade and his new wife lie together in bed. It’s a remarkably prescient statement from Deadpool; life itself seems to go out of its way to make sure Wade can’t ever be genuinely happy, at least not for long. Wade and his new bride have been disarmingly happy together so far, but with the honeymoon over and real life (aka the larger Marvel universe) reasserting itself, it seems like only a matter of time until the “fun ends quickly.” Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Deadpool 27, originally released April 9th, 2014.
Spencer: We all have that one friend whom we love dearly, but who’s clearly a huge jerk. What’s fascinating about having a friend like this is what happens when they fall in love and/or get married. It’s a strange thing to experience; there’s joy at seeing your friend happy, but there’s also a bizarre feeling of unease and dread. Can this last? Is it for the best? Should you warn their boyfriend/girlfriend about what they’re getting themselves into? (Pro-tip: Don’t do this). As sad as it is to say, there’s this odd feeling that maybe the whole thing is just a very bad idea. This is the situation Deadpool’s friends find themselves facing in Deadpool 27. Yes, Wade Wilson is getting married, and it’s exactly as strange as it sounds. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Greg are discussing Deadpool 25, originally released March 12th, 2014
Patrick: In high school, I did theatre. Like a lot. Acting, directing, writing, set building, lighting, sound, Vice President of the Drama Club — I was a damned theatre rat. It was great, I loved it and built my whole life and identity around it. But I was also kind of a jerk in high school. At the height of my jerkishness, the director of our theatre program told me that she used to think I was funny, until she realized I was just mean. Which is a harsh thing for a teacher to say to a child, but I’m sure I was asking for it. I was socially destructive, and alienated all of my friends in that world. It was the nuclear option: I had hurt too many people to stay in that circle. So I bailed — on my hometown, on theatre, on all of those people that used to be my friends. Was I acting out of self-preservation or was I protecting my friends from further exposure to my toxic attitude? Deadpool 25.NOW shows Wade’s world melting down around him in the most predictable way, as the Merc with the Mouth is unable to find peace in resolution. He too bails, and whether its a selfless or selfish act is heartbreakingly ambiguous. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Deadpool 23, originally released February 12th, 2014.
Drew: I like to think that I’m an open-minded guy when it comes to art, but I’m actually proud of the fact that I’ve never seen any of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer’s films. Frankly, the commercials alone embarrass me enough to scare me off. That’s not an embarrassment of prudishness — I can make dick jokes until the cows come home — but of intelligence: the grasping, desperately hackneyed pop culture references those movies are built on bring me closer to tears than laughter. Unfortunately, that brand of humor has dominated parody films over the past two decades, leaving only a few exceptions — like Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy — that even attempt to respect either the genre it’s sending up or the audience’s intelligence. Deadpool’s tendency to break the fourth wall has long made him the most likely source of parody in the Marvel universe, and that parody lived up the its potential for depth in the recent “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” arc. Unfortunately, this arc finds ‘pooly once again aiming for yuks in the cheapest ways possible. Continue reading →
Today, Greg and Drew are discussing Deadpool 22, originally released January 8th, 2014.
Greg: I was first introduced to the Austin Powers franchise as a kid, and immediately gravitated towards the big, broad aspects of the comedy. The accent, the teeth, the catchphrases, the physical set pieces — this is the kind of stuff that absolutely slayed 9-year-old Greg (who am I kidding, this scene will always work for me). On a recent rewatch, however, I noticed one joke that whooshed right over my head. The name of Powers’ secret agent boss is Basil Exposition, and his purpose in the film is to, well, spout exposition, the bits of narrative business necessary to understand what is technically happening in a plot. It’s a fun bit of satirical lampshade hanging, yet it nevertheless serves its actual purpose — get all the boring stuff out of the way to leave plenty of room for fun. Deadpool 22 has the unfortunate task of dealing with this, yet executes it rather gracefully. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Scott are discussing Deadpool 21, originally released December 18th, 2013.
Spencer: Is Deadpool simply comic relief—a comic book Daffy Duck—or is he a deep, dark character, using jokes to mask his pain? We’ve had heated debates about this in our comment sections in the past, but the truth is that Deadpool is both, yet Deadpool is also neither; he exists on a spectrum that can slide anywhere between those two points. In their Deadpool run thus far Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan have explored both extremes, but now—after Wade’s all time low in “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”—we find a Deadpool who has become much more tragic, yet still retains much of his typical humor. I’ve taken to calling him “Grumpy Old Man Deadpool.” Continue reading →