Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn
Artist: Tony Moore
Colourist: Val Staples
Release Date: 11th June, 2013
With Fox’s eagerly-anticipated Deadpool movie hitting cinemas today, my odyssey into the Merc with a Mouth’s back catalogue continues with a look at the first volume of the 2012 series, a series which sees ol’ Wade recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. to deal with the reanimated corpses of the former U.S. Presidents who have been brought back to life by a careless Necromancer. Bring on the nuanced character development, gritty drama and compelling emotional beats, because that’s right folks, it’s Deadpool versus Zombie Presidents time!
God help me…
Okay okay, so there’s undeniably some good stuff here, don’t get me wrong, but it almost feels like Posehn and Duggan have put together a decent (if admittedly goofy as hell) story then went back and tried to cram a gag into every… single… panel. It makes for an exhausting, bloated read at times, where any semblance of story or narrative flow is continually derailed by the unrelenting ‘banter’. I fully realise that critisicing this approach is probably missing the point of Deadpool in the first place, but, well, I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em. It also doesn’t help that everything feels flimsy and superficial for the most part, with the obligatory third act attempt to add a little gravitas to the situation proving to be a bit of a swing-and-a-mass – something of a recurring theme in Deapool comics, I’m noticing.
One thing that this volume definitely does have going for it is Tony Moore’s impressive artwork, packed with energy, humour and lashings of wonderfully over-the-top gore. Moore is clearly having an absolute blast here with the crazy situations Duggan and Posehn are throwing at him, and takes great pleasure in rendering Wade’s various damage, decapitations and disembowelments in stomach-churning detail. His work is enhanced immeasurably by the typically bright and lively colours of Val Staples, who provides a wonderfully ‘Saturday morning cartoon’ vibe to the blood-soaked carnage. Honestly, this is a great-looking book, and even if the writing itself didn’t necessarily work for me, it’s tough not to be impressed by the artistic flair on display.
In summary, this is a fairly difficult book for me to review. On one hand, I have no doubt that Deadpool fans will absolutely love the sheer over-the-top lunacy of this collection. Deadpool battling zombie presidents? Where do I sign, right? On the other hand, there’s no denying that there are some pretty huge flaws in the execution, and while there are some genuinely chuckle worthy-moments along the way – Thor’s cameo in the early pages, for instance, or the depiction of “zombie Regan” – the machinegun joke delivery only serves to highlight just how many of the gags miss the mark completely.
Deadpool fans will undoubtedly love it, but for me, it’s a tricky one to really recommend given the bloated, indiscriminate, throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-hope-it-sticks style. The artwork is fantastic, though. So there’s always that.
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You can buy Deadpool Vol. 1 – Dead Presidents TP from Turnaround Publisher Services, who generously provided the review copy of this title, by CLICKING HERE.