This article containsSPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
“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 TheTonight 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 →
Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Deadpool 8, originally released March 2, 2016
Patrick: Every couple years, Drew and I end up having a conversation about the “death of irony” or the “death of sincerity” and every time we have it, we’re basically blowing smoke out our asses. Concepts like “irony” and “sincerity” need not be mutually exclusive – in fact that’s where most genre fiction rest: comfortably in both camps. A superhero comic in 2016 wears the trappings of a superhero comic because its creators and its audience simultaneously love and are bored by those trappings. That puts a character like Deadpool in a tricky spot, when it seems like his mission statement is to subvert what is gradually becoming the insubvertible. Deadpool’s popularity almost works against him in this regard – how can you continue to classify him as a misfit underdog if everyone loves him? And then there’s the wildly successful Deadpool film, catapulting audiences acceptance of the Merc with the Mouth to meteoric heights. Writer Gerry Duggan and editor Jordan D. White act as Deadpool’s tonal shepherds in this series, keeping the character’s aims purely subversive, the key difference is that the subject they’re subverting is no longer as broad as “comics” or “superheroes” or “the 90s” – the subject is Deadpool.
Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Deadpool 3, originally released December 9th, 2015.
Patrick: The book responsible for shaping most modern improvised comedy is titled, simply Truth in Comedy. The title comes from the idea that the most honest reactions to unusual stimulus are going to be the funniest – essentially espousing that the truth is the ultimate punchline. That’s surprisingly poignant in a medium that could so easily be — and so frequently is — desperate performers mugging for a laugh. Real, sustainably funny scenes can only come from emotionally honest performances. But the title of the book actually implies something else: that the greatest truths can be found through the vehicle of comedy. I have yet to really come to a meaningful conclusion about why that is, but laughing with a character for long enough makes me sympathetic to them, and forges a connection between them and the audience. Deadpool is a fine case study of this phenomenon – through thousands of gags, and a handful of vulnerable turns, the audience is trained to trust and love him in a way we simply cannot extend to his facsimiles in the Mercs for Money. Continue reading →