Black Panther vs. Deadpool 1

by Michael DeLaney and Drew Baumgartner 

Black Panther vs. Deadpool 1

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

Michael: How do you think Marvel editorial goes about creating another “Vs” mini-series? Is there a quarterly mandate they must fill? Is it a writer’s repurposed series pitch? I suppose there must be some sort of demand since they keep making them, right? In spite of that I must say I was pleasantly surprised by Black Panther vs. Deadpool 1, a book that accurately depicts the tones of these very different characters without compromising either one of them. Continue reading

Deadpool 1 Honors the Past and Embraces the Future

By Michael DeLaney

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

“Honor the past, celebrate the present and embrace the future.”

Traditional

Gerry Duggan’s Deadpool is dead, long live Gerry Duggan’s Deadpool! Duggan wiped the slate clean for future Deadpool creators by having the Merc with the Mouth wipe his own painful memories from his mind. Surprisingly, Skottie Young makes note of this mind wipe in Deadpool 1 — both in dialogue and in the opening credits pages.

Deadpool is still breaking the fourth wall, still has a big ego, and in light of his memory loss, he’s just going to have to assume that his recent comic book run was “pretty big.” Continue reading

Luck vs. Skill in Domino 2

by Drew Baumgartner

Domino 2

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

Is privilege just luck that we don’t recognize as luck? The failure to recognize the benefits afforded by our race, gender, class, nationality, or any other number of inborn factors in our lives? That is, a privileged person is a lucky person, but specifically one that misattributes their luck as merit or skill. This helps protect Domino from coming off as too privileged — she absolutely recognizes how lucky she is — though Gail Simone and David Baladeón take pains to make it clear that she’s not that lucky, and that much of her success is ultimately attributable to her skills, too. Continue reading

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

Becoming Part of the Adventure in You Are Deadpool 1

by Spencer Irwin

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

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You Are Deadpool isn’t the first attempt to turn a comic book into a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Not only is Deadpool — the irreverent, fourth-wall crashing, meta-joke of a character — a perfect choice to star in this kind of story, but creators Al Ewing and Salva Espin find inventive, intuitive ways to not only put readers into Deadpool’s shoes, but to make their choices, skills, and even luck truly have an effect on their adventure. Continue reading

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

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

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