This is the first of, maybe, several features about the Marvel NOW! initiative. The company pairs Deadpool, the merc with the mouth, with the comedy mutant, Brian Posehn. This was too good of a match to start with. Helping him navigate through these adventures is his co-author of the Image Comics The Last Christmas, Gerry Duggan. The stories have been chock full of unbridled insanity, keen self-awareness, and ridiculous humor: the main ingredients for Deadpool. Oh, and there’s violence. [exuberant clapping commences]
In the first six issues, DP slays sentient zombified ex-presidents as an agent of SHIELD (albeit not on the books). The POTUSAs are convinced that the only way to save the country they (at least some) have founded is to destroy it. With help from the ghost of Benjamin Franklin and the SHIELD necromancer that revived these monsters, Deadpool tracks them down and eviscerates them in comic fashion. The Walking Dead‘s Tony Moore was an inspired choice as artist for this arc. The unsung hero of the series is colorist Val Staples who does a lovely job of bringing vibrancy to all the different styles.
Issue 7 is a mock inventory issue, drawn by Scott Koblish. It looks like a comic from 1984, the year it takes place. The only thing is that DP wasn’t created until 1991. Koblish does a great job of mimicking that older style while Posehn and Duggan basically dub over it. They treat it like MST3K for comic books. Excellent guest spots from Iron Man, Cable (with a little Doc Brown twist), and Peter Parker as well as some righteous comeuppance for Flash Thompson. It also starts a new arc featuring a demon disciple of Mephisto.
Issues 8 and 9 continue from there and aren’t quite as good as the ones previous except the very thinly veiled (practically invisible) shot at almost exactly Aquaman, “a guy with the dumbest power in the world”. The moment of killing him is one a lot of comic fans have dreamed about doing themselves. It’s maybe the best single page in the series so far. The bit with the SHIELD agent’s (her name is Preston) spirit that inhabits his head can sometimes be fantastic, others annoying. It is kind of cool in that there is a voice in Deadpool head that isn’t one of his own.
The latest issue, #10 is the best complete book of the bunch. It features a team-up with the current Spider-Man (Otto Octavius). There’s so much to love here in the dialogue alone. The putdowns of the villains they fight are spot-on. Also, Taskmaster’s role in the fight is just awesome. It helps to know his relationship to Deadpool from back in “Dark Reign”. For that, you should really read the Thunderbolts crossover graphic novel. This sets up a wonderful adversarial stand-off between Spidey and DP. Hopefully, since this is Deadpool after all, Agent Preston and Peter Parker can somehow have a conversation, despite just being trapped in the minds of their respective psychopaths.
The first trade paper release of the series, aptly titled “Dead Presidents”, will be released Jun 11.