Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn’s epic run on Deadpool continues in the collected format with the fourth volume of Deadpool by Posehn & Duggan: The Complete Collection. This time around: Zenpool, Ben Franklin’s ghost and misadventures with Deadpool’s wife, Shiklah.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The end of an era for the Merc with the Mouth! And it begins with Wade Wilson getting his Axis handed to him, as he gives up violence and finds peace as Zenpool! But what good will that do him when the inverted X-Men wreak havoc? Then, the good folks at the Roxxon Corporation bring you a special educational story about gamma fracking! The late Logan is mourned! Deadpool takes on Omega Red, goes tomb raiding with Shiklah and faces every last vengeance-seeking terrorist of Ultimatum! Learn what Wade was up to during the Infinity Gauntlet, and witness Deadpool’s, Insufferable Pals! And, as the last days of the Marvel Universe draw near, it’s finally time for Deadpool to die!
Why does this matter?
This is a collection that shows how versatile and ever-changing Deadpool can be as he acts as a pacifist, father, hero of the people, and even dead. It’s also the fourth volume in a run that may go unmatched as far as developed ongoing supporting characters.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This collection has a lot of different Deadpools at play here. Writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn push this character as if they’re never truly happy with him in his state of mind. He has moments where he attempts to be a good father, literally becomes split into pacifist and killer, and must contend with his wife. Deadpool’s life is probably more complex than ever during this run and it shows, which makes following the character’s story all the more interesting.
One of the most interesting story arcs in this collection involves Deadpool attempting to do the right thing and stop Roxxon from stealing from the people in the Middle East. This requires him to turn on those he said he’d help and do some murdering, but it’s for the greater good. This arc also involves Omega Red, who has quite a few tussles with Deadpool along the way. Duggan makes these interactions work by adding a bit of humor involving Deadpool’s wife but also making Omega Red seem complex and human.
This collection also opens with the Death of Wolverine: Deadpool & Captain America one-shot that should interest anyone who has been reading “Hunt for Wolverine”. In this story Cap and Deadpool seek out the only known Logan DNA sample. Funny enough, this was the plot behind Adamantium Agenda and it ends in an interesting way forcing Deadpool to make an executive decision.
Rounding out the collection is the Mrs. Deadpool & the Howling Commandos “Secret Wars” miniseries. We reviewed the issue way back in 2015 and it has a good monster-mashup gusto.
Art throughout is fantastic with Mike Hawthorne leading the charge on multiple issues. It seems all the artists have a knack for comedic timing and visual comedy. Salva Espin has a cartoony style that works quite well with the character and it’s a marvel to see how these artists express Deadpool’s emotions through the mask.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue opens around when Wolverine died, spins out of Axis, and ends with Secret Wars. Needless to say that adds some chaos to an already chaotic journey breaking the story away from what Duggan and Posehn intended so as to fit into the Marvel events. That can give the book a pace that’s filled with speed bumps that seem unrelated to the bigger journey they’ve taken Deadpool on.
Is it good?
This is a good collection that shows off how versatile Deadpool’s personality can be. He’s a father, pacifist, killer, and do-gooder revealing he’s not just a comedy superhero, but a whole lot more.