The Inevitable in Despicable Deadpool 299

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

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“Always do this. Tell the audience what you’re going to do. Do it. And then tell them it has been done.”

Stan Laurel via Jerry Lewis via Conan O’Brien on Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show

Conan went on to explain, “If anyone knows what the hell he’s talking about, please tell me, because it’s been ringing in my head for years.” It’s a strange piece of advice, especially to be passed down through a line of comedians. Comedy is based on the unexpected, right? But there’s another kind of humor that comes from obviously broadcasting what’s about to happen and then delivering on it. It’s a kind of dramatic irony — the audience knows what’s going to happen only because of their superpower of being an audience. Despicable Deadpool plays into the dramatic irony of the title “The Marvel Universe Kills Deadpool,” and quietly asserts that the creative team intends to deliver on everything it’s been setting up for the last three issues. Continue reading

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Dialogue and Internal Monologue as an Introduction in Domino 1

by Spencer Irwin

This article containers SPOILERS. If you have not read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

First issues have an almost impossible amount of work to do. They have to introduce (or reintroduce) the lead character, their supporting cast, their unique perspective, the series’ premise, and they have to do it all within 20 pages. Every creative team has their own unique approach to this task, and for Gail Simone and David Baldeon in Domino 1, that approach largely comes down to dialogue and internal monologue. Continue reading

Expressive Lettering Fills in the Gaps in Despicable Deadpool 298

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

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“All that people care about is the look. There’s figures on this: 70% of what people react to is the look, 20% is how you sound, and only 10% is what you say.”

-Eddie Izzard, Dressed to Kill

Here’s something that’s true about comics: it’s a medium full of speaking characters that we will never actually hear speaking. By Izzard’s math, that means there’s a full fifth of a character’s essence we’re never really going to get through images and words on the page. As Deadpool pulls out all the stops to finally achieve suicide-by-mercenary, so too does the creative team pull out all the stops to express the height of his desperation. All the usual gears are spinning perfectly: Gerry Duggan’s writing is as simultaneously tight and chaotic as ever, and Mike Hawthorne’s impeccable layouts convey an almost grueling understanding of the setting of this issue-long brawl. But I want to focus on that elusive final 20% — “how you sound” — with Joe Sabino’s excellent lettering in this issue. Continue reading

The Deadpoolian Doctor of Star Wars: Doctor Aphra 18

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The relevance of the antihero has risen and fallen numerous times over the past couple of decades. With the mainstream introduction of Deadpool, we have a new mold that mashes antihero with that of lovable scoundrel. Since her arrival, Doctor Aphra has been more of the lovable scoundrel type, but with Star Wars Doctor Aphra 18, Kieron Gillen, Simon Spurrier, and Emilio Laiso lead her into Deadpool territory. Continue reading

How Camera Angles Raise Stakes in Despicable Deadpool 297

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

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Superheroes have an insane amount of mobility. Whether they’re fwipping around on spider webs, or flying through the air, or just brooding on a gargoyle on top of a skyscraper, there’s always a sense that the whole city is laid out before them. Artists can achieve this effect with dynamic camera angles, revealing the city below, and hopefully inducing a touch of vertigo in their readers. Despicable Deadpool 297 shows just how effectively Mike Hawthorne can use those same techniques to sell a change of setting and raise the stakes in Wade’s non-stop-slay-a-thon Continue reading

Culminating Repercussions in Despicable Deadpool 296

by Drew Baumgartner

Deadpool 296

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Are reverence and irreverence mutually exclusive? Linguistically, we might understand these words as opposites, but practically, we recognize that they coexist all around us. This is especially true in standup comedy, a field that both finds humor in what we take seriously and takes what we find funny very seriously. It’s no coincidence, then, that Gerry Duggan’s Deadpool run has had such a rich mix of reverence and irreverence, adopting some of the “sad clown” stylings of his comedic friends and collaborators, lending an otherwise goofy character real pathos. Indeed, one of the most distinctive features of Duggan’s work with this character was in crafting a tragic (but nonetheless joke-filled) backstory that could lend itself to reverence. With issue 296, Despicable Deadpool aims to cash in on much of that reverence, drawing on everything from Duggan’s earliest work with the character to some of his most recent. Continue reading

The Perfect Team-Up in All-New Wolverine 31

by Patrick Ehlers

This article containers SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk.

While reading All-New Wolverine 31, I realized that I have been measuring Deadpool team-ups by how good of a foil the other character is for the Merc with the Mouth. I like Deadpool with Captain America because their differences are obvious and legion. I like Deadpool with Logan, because while they’re both immortal murder machines, Logan sees the tragedy in his existence, while Wade somehow twists that into comedy. I like Deadpool with Spider-Man because there’s a sort of one-ups-manship there: “you think that’s goofy, Pete? WATCH THIS.” All-New Wolverine 31 presents a new kind of pairing: Deadpool and a character who is excited to learn from his example. Gabby’s not a foil, but their relationship is basically perfect. Continue reading

Disposable Supporting Characters in Despicable Deadpool 295

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

In the world of popular fiction, there’s a very low risk of the main characters — or the most recognizable ones — dying. We know that our protagonists are safe in any given story, so there’s a higher likelihood that any supporting cast member will meet their end. As entertaining and touching as Despicable Deadpool 295 is, I can’t help but feel that it’s just another story where the characters we like stay safe while the nameless ones die off. Continue reading

The End of Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan 5 Isn’t About Her

By Patrick Ehlers

Deadpool vs Old Man Logan 5

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The damsel in distress is creaky, well-worn trope. It’s an obvious and immediate call to action, and an easy way to assert both the heroism and the masculinity of our heroes. But, like, it doesn’t really really explain the motivation of our adventurers, does it? Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan presents the recurring issues of two immortal warriors as a kind of “we need to rescue / we need to deal with Maddie” quest. But whatever her deal is, and whatever she really needs, is totally secondary to how Wade and Logan deal with the problems that keep cropping up in their lives. It’s a depressing reminder of how stuck both of these guys are. Continue reading

It’s Important to Use Your Words and Not Your Fists in Despicable Deadpool 293

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

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At work, my coworkers and I had a professional development meeting where we learned how to handle conflict with each other. It was basically a class on how to be a decent human being and how to express your feelings without terribly offending someone else. While the class seemed a bit puerile, I have to admit that it is important for people to be able to handle their conflict well, otherwise minor problems can become big ones. Given that superheroes deal with conflict almost by definition, you would think they would be able to handle it well and without the need of professional development classes. As Despicable Deadpool 293 illustrates, however, there is nothing further from the case. Continue reading