Marvel Comics
Dreamwave Productions

Comic review

Deadpool has always seemed to me to be one title that should have excelled. You've got a smart-arsed mercenary in a Spider-Man-esque costume, who's got next to no morals and likes to kill stuff. But somehow the title has never really worked.

Well I say never, but the first Deadpool team were great. The comics were very funny, the art was great in a stylised kind of way, vibrant colours, lots of action and the plot was just picking up when they all left.

Who knows why this was, I suppose it's because sales weren't picking up too well, but then again, after #1 Marvel never seemed to push the title. Add to that the fact that no-one really knew who Deadpool was and you've got yourselves a poor comic sales record.

Then Deadpool went through a real bad patch. So much so that I even considered dropping the title, but as I'd collected them from #1 I struggled on. Now I don't know why but certain teams seem to think that the way to get the sales up and give a title that creative push is to give it a nonsensical obscure story-line that baffles even the most ardent readers; like that's going to pull the audiences in.

Anyway, after much messing around, and even Deadpool's death (possibly Marvel's decision to scrap the book?) and subsequent resurrection, he's back, and with a new, all-star team behind him.

This book can only be seen as a new beginning for me, which in all fairness was possibly the only way to go. I certainly wouldn't have liked to have trolled through all the appalling back issues of 'Deadpool in space' and getting a curse from Odin to get a face like Tom Cruise, and then trying to continue the already piss-poor storyline.

And that's exactly what this team haven't done, well to a certain extent. I mean they were probably told what happened, decided it was all shit and did their own thing. Either that or Marvel told them it was all shit and to do their own thing anyway, and they were like "Phew! Well I'm glad you guys said it first!" No, if ever there was a time to start reading Deadpool it's now.

Just a word about the team first; the new writer is Gail Simmone (I've not heard of her before, but I'm sure she's done cool stuff) and Udon Studios, who did the 'Avengers Assemble' title for the recent Marvel Mangaverse series - which to my mind was the sexiest looking title of the bunch - with the artistic help of Alvin Lee from Dreamwave Productions.

So that's the visuals taken care of then, and Marvel have decided to Manga-up Deadpool a little. Well let's face it, any title given a good Manga-ing over instantly raises it's status among the other titles on the shelf. But Deadpool seems somewhat deserving, not only because he uses a katana (sometimes two) but it also seems to fit the type of comic this is.

Anyway, we start the issue off with a bit of a flashback to one of Deadpool's stories. I say flashback, but it's not a flashback to any previous title - like I say, this title seems to have washed its hands of any previous attempts - this is just a personal flashback to a hit Deadpool had to make which involved four feuding crime lords.

Anyway, the whole thing is that the hit was a bit of a blunder - Deadpool fell through the skylight, but somehow managed to kill all four crime bosses and escape (whilst getting shot in the butt).

This remarkable story is now his claim to fame, and in the present time Deadpool has adoring fans, sexy women hit on him, and he has his own underground mercenary business, DP Inc.

The story goes on and Deadpool gets a phone call about an extremely high-paying job to pull off in Germany. He has a pretty long waiting list, but Deadpool - being somewhat blinkered by money - ditches everything and heads off, with his newly hired biographer, Ratbag the tramp, in tow.

He gets to Germany, he storms the castle with the weapons provided, but getting there he realises something's not right - no one appears to be bleeding. Deadpool has been duped. The guy who hired him was one of the crime-bosses cohorts, who's had it in for Deadpool since the night of the hit, and here's his chance.

The guy is a neural-hacker - he hacks the human brain - and Deadpool has been infected. His memory is slowly being erased and so he's beaten and sent back to his office with an insulting note pinned to his chest. And it looks like this is just the start of Deadpool's problems.

The new Deadpool is fantastic with the art and style excelling beautifully. The writing, although not as funny as the first few issues, is still humorous, but more importantly of all the title feels solid. That may not make much sense, but if you've read any of the other issues you'll know what I mean.

I expect great things from the title with this team; I can only hope they keep going for a long time yet. I also congratulate Marvel for making a good decision with regards to Deadpool, and still being able to see it's potential as a quality book. If you've never read Deadpool before then now is the time to start reading, you won't be disappointed.

david twomey

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