Here we are with a brand new #1 Deadpool comic (legacy numbering is at #316). Yes, reboots and renumbering is the way of the world, but one silver lining is the brand new creative teams. This team consists of Kelly Thompson who has a way with words (dialogue, I mean dialogue) and Chris Bachalo who has a way with monsters (not like what you’re thinking, you’re gross). It’s a series that asks the question, “What would happen to the rule breaking Deadpool if he had to have a little more responsibility and a lot more friends?”
Deadpool is an interesting character who has been written in a variety of ways all of which raise or lower the crazy scale. In this first issue it’s quite clear Deadpool is a little more akin to Joe Kelly’s original version with a lot of crazy, self doubt, and good intentions. Gone are the captions revealing Deadpool talks to himself nearly constantly and instead we have ourselves a somewhat stupid but definitely out there Deadpool. The banter, which is what everyone is wondering about, is strong with plenty of sadness underneath the top layer to add a bit of wrinkles to the character. In the opening pages we learn nobody showed up to his birthday party and he’s quite bad at lying about it even to a stranger who also happens to be a monster bird.
The basic premise is a nice way of messing with Wade Wilson’s life too. It opens with Deadpool being split into two, cuts to a flashback explaining how we got here, and then rides the high of Deadpool learning all about the kingdom of monsters. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but Thompson infuses the book with Game Thrones and other fantasy tropes well. It establishes his new dynamic and even sets up a new sidekick friend. By the end it’s quite clear everything is in order for the narrative to kick into high gear next issue. Oh, one more thing, this feels a bit more adult than other Deadpool comics that came before it. There’s some sexual undertones that are definitely appreciated.
My only gripe with this issue is some clunky exposition and set up. Again, no spoilers, but Deadpool’s sidekick is sort of inserted into the narrative with a heavy hand. Thompson and Bachalo give it the time it deserves so it doesn’t ring false, which is is appreciated. That clunkiness can also be seen with some panel work as there are a lot of closeups. There aren’t enough establishing shots to gauge where characters are in space making the narrative feel claustrophobic and at times confusing.
That said, Bachalo does a great job with the monsters, with Deadpool’s somewhat ragged nature, and a great use of space with layouts. The story seems to improve when Bachalo lays out smaller panels in succession which border a larger panel. The pace and speed of the story is strong and never chaotic in nature. All the monsters look fantastic especially the monsters with tentacles. Elsa Bloodstone also looks sharp and warrior like without any of the sexploitation we’ve seen here and there.
As first issues go this comic is funny, captures the light and comedic nature of Deadpool well, and sets up an interesting premise and situation. This is a fresh take on Deadpool thanks to a wild new situation for him to navigate.