Gerry Duggan’s run on Deadpool is coming to a close this week, so what better way to cry in your soup than with the latest trade. Collecting #292-296, readers are offered a story of Deadpool taking out targets but not liking it one bit. One could say this is a sad series — not just for readers who have loved it, but for Deadpool too.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Deadpool has a lot of unfinished business in his inbox, and he’s determined to take care of it before…any sort of bad and permanentish thing happens to him. Revenge on Stevil Rogers? Settling things with Rogue? Oh, and doesn’t he still need to kill a few more folks? It’s time to get Wade’s affairs in order. You know, just in case…
Why does this matter?
Collecting five issues with art by Matteo Lolli (and one by Scott Koblish) this collection serves as an ending to the horrible thing he did during Secret Empire. It effectively sets us up for the clean slate he’ll be given for when Skottie Young takes over. This collection also houses the variant cover story that ran across 20 issues which you can’t find anywhere else. Unless you find all those issues and rip the covers off and staple them together as they are here. Not an easy feat!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a relatively easy trade paperback to jump into, though it does drop you right in with Deadpool killing a seemingly innocent person Stryker requests to be killed. The first few pages help remind us what Deadpool’s bigger mission is so that the following issues make sense. The main thrust of this story is about Deadpool burning bridges, be it the fling he had with Rogue, saying goodbye to Madcap, or the respect he had for Captain America. There’s also an excellent chapter focused on Deadpool talking to evil Captain America (or as Deadpool calls him, Stevil) that allows Duggan to effectively put his perspective on the whole “Hydra taking over the world” angle (and the fascist uprising). Though short, it comes with an ending that bookends well with the first chapter. Reading this gets you in gear for the final four issues.
The highlight in some respects is the variant story which is collected here for the first time. This story involves integrating the UPC scan code as a character in each page. It’s quite the insane story written by Duggan and drawn by Koblish. It’s the type of Deadpool story that turns the wacky up to 11 and it involves an afro-Deadpool, Doctor Strange punching out guys who move in on his girl, and ghost Ben Franklin getting his love on. It’s so over the top it’s hard not to love it.
The art throughout this volume is good with a clean look that suits the dialogue-forward narrative. The visual gags work well–like how Deadpool paints a ridiculous saying on his helicarrier or how he rides a horse over Madcap’s body–and the emotions exhibited by Deadpool are spot-on.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The main story is five issues, so it is a bit short. It also drops you into the story a little late so you’ll need the last volume to fully understand why Stryfe is in this at all. I’d also wager one of the most profound and entertaining scenes, between Deadpool and Stevil, is going to require you at least slightly know what happened in Secret Empire as well as Deadpool’s tie-in. Seeing as how I know what is going on I enjoyed this little yarn thoroughly.
Is it good?
A good story that is stronger if you’ve read the before and the after (wrapping up today with issue #300). That said, this collection contains the bonkers variant story and has some highlight moments for Deadpool who may not be his usual funny self, but continues Duggan’s excellent run on the character.