Despicable Deadpool 300: Discussion

by Drew Baumgartner & Patrick Ehlers

Despicable Deadpool 300

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

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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

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

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

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

There’s No Justice in the Justice System in Despicable Deadpool 292

by Taylor Anderson

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

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If you’ve ever listened to the podcast Serial or watched the Netflix series the Making a Murderer, you are more than aware of the failings of the American justice system. In the case of these two series, innocent people were sent to jail for dubious reasons, but that is far from being the only reason why the justice system should be looked at with a wary eye. There are too many points to raise about this issue here, but suffice it to say, the justice system lacks…well, justice. Not only is this true in our world, but also in the world of Marvel comics, as Deadpool learns when he pays a visit to his old nemesis, Stevil Rogers. Continue reading

Loneliness Kills in Deadpool 36

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. Continue reading

How Lettering Sells the Loss in Deadpool 34

by Patrick Ehlers

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

Comic book creators have so many tools at their disposal for exploring sadness. There’s the acting of the characters, the framing of a panel, setting, color and even dialogue if it comes down to it. Throughout their run with The Merc With the Mouth, writer Gerry Duggan and artist Matteo Lolli have utilized every one of these tools to convey the extreme despair at the center of Wade’s life, and his climatic battle with Preston is no exception. The sky turns red, and all other color disappears, in the abandoned town of Pleasant Hill, setting a strong emotional tone for the battle. The previous issue saw Preston turning off her emotions (literally — she’s a robot and can just mute those things), but Lolli’s insistence on her steely visage actually ends up communicating more about the fatalism driving Wade’s fall from grace. Continue reading

Killing Has Consequences in Deadpool 33

by Michael DeLaney

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

Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli continue to propel Wade Wilson’s emotional journey forward in the face of all of the changes that Secret Empire has wrought. Deadpool 33 is bookended with Wade Wilson dealing with aspects of his Hydra-ruled life, but the substance of the issue comes in the form of a flashback. Continue reading

Selling Out (and Feeling Guilty About It) in Deadpool 32

by Michael DeLaney

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

Writer Gerry Duggan has made me recognize Deadpool as a (misguided) hero with heart. So when Hydra’s new America debuted in Secret Empire, I was shocked that Deadpool was working for the bad guys. Deadpool 31 showed us that Wade’s idolization of Captain America put him down this path. In Deadpool 32 he’s struggling with the guilt of that choice. Continue reading

Deadpool 24

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Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Deadpool 24, originally released January 11th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Spencer: What lengths would you go to to save your family? What sacrifices and compromises would you be willing to make? That’s a question we quite often ask of our heroes (comic book or otherwise), but that question usually implies that a character has some sort of ethics, values, or morals they’d have to struggle about breaking or abandoning in the first place. Deadpool doesn’t really have any of those things, though; what he has to give up to save his family is something far different, but just as important to him. Continue reading