Thursday, January 31, 2013

Entry#3: Un-Deadpool Presidents

This entry reviews DeadPool NOW issues 1-4.

Publisher: Marvel
Writers: Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan
Artist: Tony Moore

The Merc with a mouth is back. He’s bad, he’s badass, and he’s got bullets, blades, and attitude to spare. DeadPool is re-launched in new Marvel NOW series, Dead Pool.

So far, the series is four issues into its run. From the very beginning my first reaction was, “I’m laughing so hard I have to put the comic down.” This has happened many times while reading this series. I haven’t read something this funny in…well, longer than I can remember. The humor is fresh, and holds up to a repeating reading. It comes to us courtesy of stand-up comic Brian Posehn. A self-confessed comic nerd, Mr. Posehn is a frequent guest on Chris Hardwicke’s Nerdist show, as well as AMC’s The Talking Dead. Most readers will be familiar with Posehn through his work on the stages of various nightclubs; as a stand-up comic, not a stripper.

This series sees Mr. D-Pool on a mission to search and destroy. Specifically, he’s been recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. to do some dirty deeds, done dirt cheap. Canada’s least-favorite son is out to snuff all the dead presidents. It seems that Mike, a warlock with a severe Braveheart fetish, has resurrected all the deceased commanders-in-chief. The likes of Nixon, Reagan, Ford, and both Roosevelts are out wreaking havoc on our great nation, again! Overcome with an inflated sense of “purifying America,” these suit and tie psychos are jacking things up. Only Wade Wilson…well, actually, every other character in the Marvel universe could have stopped them. But, well, it would be bad P.R. if Captain America was seen putting the hurt on George Washington. It would be just as bad if Iron Man did it (Tony Stark has government contracts). And it would be equally bad if Spider-Man (Peter Parker, the boy next door) were to wail on Tricky Dick. Imagine what Mary Jane would say if she caught him doing that!

As Mr. D-to-the-pool is told, “You’re not the hero we want, Wade. You’re the scumbag we need.”

The comic itself is, at times, a smart take-off on the Tea Party mentality. It confronts the concept that America is somehow irrevocably flawed, and needs to be remade. The comic spoofs, to an extent, the drastic polarization that our country has experienced over the past twenty years. And while it doesn’t go too deep into finding answers--hell, it doesn’t answer anything, except, “How badass is DeadPool?” The comic generates genuine laughs with a smart dose of satire and social commentary. And the writing feels like a screen play, with its fluid motion. Both Posehn and Duggan are superb together. They are writing a comic that is both funny, and action packed. Bringing those action sequences to life are pencils by Tony Moore. His humorous zombie caricatures of dead presidents are sure to both repulse and delight readers! Mr. DeadPool himself moves like lightning on the page. The action sequences practically come to life! They are among the most outrageous and highly magnetic action sequences I’ve ever seen.

Some highlights on these awesome sequences include DeadPool’s duel with Richard Nixon inside The Watergate Hotel! His hunting of Teddy Roosevelt (in issue #2, aptly titled We Fought a Zoo) must be read and seen to be believed. And I won’t spoil the sultry way he takes down J.F.K. Let’s just say, “You won’t look at The Seven Year Itch in quite the same way again.”

There’s also been guest stars from Captain America, Thor, Dr. Strange, and Benjamin Franklin! Yep, Old Ben is going Ben Kenobi, and acting as guiding spirit to Mr. Pool. Some of the funniest moments are delivered in dialog by this most intelligent, and amorous founding father.

I would go on, but I’d run the risk of spoiling the intense humor in this very funny, very entertaining comic series. I should point out that despite the history lesson this is not a comic for kids. Mid-to-late teens and adults are recommended for this one. Also, the trademark fourth wall breaking is there. This is a comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously. DeadPool even recommends listening to Pantera’s classic thrasher Five Minutes Alone while he takes care of business. And if you don’t have that, you can just listen to “whatever crap you want.” In the spirit of fair play, I put on some Pantera during that particular sequence; a battle on the Golden Gate Bridge. Let me tell you, Moore must have been listening to Cowboys From Hell when he drew this. The action is so frenetic, the sequence needs a soundtrack.

I’m giving DeadPool NOW…five dead presidents out of five!

That’s a lot of Benjamins! Um, yeah, he wasn’t a president, I know. But he is on the hundred-dollar bill. Or, as Wade puts it, “That money I can’t afford.”

Review Copyright 2013 Johnny X.


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