Dead presidents? Dead again. For real this time. Deadpool snuffed those zombie bastards; only took him a “measly” six issues to do it, too.
Before we can move on to the next story arc however, the creative team has tossed us a nice comic book bone to gnaw on. A throwback issue — one that takes us back to the “late ‘70s/early ‘80s.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Deadpool back in the day. Deadpool Vol. 1 #11 from Joe Kelly’s run most notably comes to mind. Deadpool went back to the 1960’s, disguised himself as Peter Parker, mingled with Harry Osborn, Mary Watson, and the rest of the gang; gut-busting hilarity ensued. Deadpool #11 wasn’t just one of my favorite Deadpool issues — it’s one of my favorite comic books of all time. So naturally, I’ve got a throbbing excitement boner heading into Deadpool #7. Is It Good?
Deadpool Vol. 4 #7 (Marvel Comics)
Our tale from long ago begins in the Daily Bugle. J. Jonah Jameson discusses possible newspaper headlines with the rest of his crew. All while everyone ignores a little guy called Peter Parker:
These were the days when Spider-Man/Peter Parker was quite possibly the biggest punching bag in the history of comic books. No money, girl troubles, sick aunt, erectile dysfunction, radioactive Spider-AIDS. Yeah, I made those last two up — but name the problem, this guy had it; a motif certainly not lost on Posehn and Duggan.
Parker’s bad luck continues outside the building when he happens upon resident bully Flash Thompson parking his whip in a handicapped spot:
Mild-mannered Parker might not be able to do anything about this travesty. This looks like a job for the Amazing…
You guessed it: Deadpool. Sporting a zeitgeist medley of a costume — replete with every corny-ass accessory from yesteryear: Flowing cape, Wilt Chamberlain headband, George Perez pirate boots, and tacky DP chest logo. (Did I miss anything?) Gotta admit, dude actually pulls it off with panache:
As you can see, Scott Koblish kills it with the retro art-style.
Deadpool swipes Flash Thompson’s car and causes Peter Parker to have a sudden epiphany when Thompson berates him for not doing anything to stop the regeneratin’ degenerate:
And here’s where my major gripe with the humor in this issue lies; don’t get me wrong, panels like the ones above are funny and everything — just a little contrived and incongruous. The reason the humor worked so well in Deadpool #11 was because Kelly made Deadpool and Blind Al the anachronistic fishes out of water ridiculing everything around them.
Sure, Peter Parker got disparaged. And disparaged good. But that was only because it was Deadpool holographically disguised as him.
That’s just Deadpool being Deadpool. All the historic characters of the time period stayed consistent with their behavior, however.
That is, not just anyone was making fourth wall breaking, self-deriding commentary or acting out of character for satire’s sake.
The double act in comedy doesn’t usually work if both guys are dead wood or both guys are the unorthodox, funny man. Another example: Why did Han Solo work so well in the original Star Wars trilogy? Because he banged a princess? Well, besides that. Because he was the smug bastard with a sly remark for every occasion. (Being Harrison Ford might have had something to do with it also.) This bad-ass demeanor juxtaposed against those of the other characters (Luke’s incessant bitching, Princess Leia’s solemnity) is what made for such great entertainment.
Now imagine everyone on the Millenium Falcon has Han Solo’s demeanor. Everyone’s doling out sardonic witticisms and tittering like blazed Salacious Crumbs at their own cleverness. Sounds great, right? Nope. Because then what exactly would set Han apart from the rest of them?
That’s kind of like what we have here. With everyone shitting on themselves it diminishes the significance of Deadpool doing the shitting. Wait, that didn’t come out right. I understand everything need not follow the formula that from Deadpool #11’s time traveling exploits to be good, but the way they’re presented here definitely cheapened the effect for me.
Getting back on track: A demon named Vetis introduces himself and presents a deal with our motor-mouthed merc: Tony Stark is drunk. While he’s drunk, there is no Iron Man. Deadpool’s job? Keep the man shitfaced. Wade accepts in exchange for a Laser disc factory once the job is done. Good stuff.
Deadpool makes his way to Tony Stark’s pad after an amusing grocery store encounter that parodies the not so subliminal product advertisements from vintage comics and some eccentric sleuth work.
The exchanges that take place between Stark and Wilson are top notch. Tony’s wallowing in booze-laden self pity and Deadpool’s there… to convince him to drink those worries away.
”Beer, the cause and solution to all of life’s problems.”
- Retro art style by Scott Koblish is right on the money.
- Fun times.
- Characters from the past acting inconsistently or out of character for satire’s sake.
- Self-admitted filler issue.
This is all capped off by one of the highlights of the issue. I won’t spill the beans, but let’s just there’s an extremely satisfying team-up. Sort of. Posehn and Duggan need to play Stark and Wade off each other more like this in the present day. This seals it.
Is It Good?
I’m pretty indifferent to the purchase, really. The issue’s definitely a fun ride, but the incongruity of the humor (especially in Peter Parker’s actions) put a big damper on it for me. If I had never read Deadpool #11 by Joe Kelly, I would have enjoyed this issue a bit more perhaps, but such is my curse. It features some moments of Deadpool comedic bliss, and I know it’s just a filler issue to tide us over until the new story arc next issue, but overall I’m just a shade above disappointed.