Friday, July 19, 2024

Deadpool #2 Review: Quippy Pansexual Disaster

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Remember Deadpool 1? Better hope so because issue 2 jumps right into the heart of the action. 

Deadpool #2 cover
Deadpool #2
Alyssa Wong
Martin Coccolo

The majority of the issue is a fight between Deadpool, Doc Ock, and our new villain the Harrower as Doc Ock and Deadpool try to kill each other while the Harrower prioritizes keeping the symbiote safe. Remember how she’s growing Carnage in Deadpool? Carnage creates two more arms that Wade uses in conjunction with his normal arms making him look Spiral-esque. As I Mentioned above we’re thrown right into the action but this is a Deadpool book so he catches us up along the way. 

I think using fourth wall breaks is one of the best ways to narrate but battle quipping narration is really what separates what makes a good or great Deadpool book. The difference between a first person narration as a character goes through their inner thoughts and a fourth wall break telling the reader what the character wants the reader to know is a line that not many can write well. And speaking of not writing Deadpool well, as I was reading this issue the first time I got horrible news: Rob Liefeld is going to be writing a five issue Deadpool series coming next year. 

Besides homophobic comments, demeaning newer creators, and generally not knowing what a human body looks like; Liefeld’s Deadpool is not the one that people enjoy. The man will be the first to tell you that he (co)created the character but Wade did not become “The Merc with the Mouth” until later. Besides; how can Wade talk through those clenched teeth Rob? The larger issue of 90s nostalgia absolutely kneecapping current comics is not something I want to get into. I personally have no love for the shoot-em-up guns and swords style that was so prevalent(My 90s x-men is Generation X thank you very much). 

Deadpool #2 art

To bring this back to the latest issue of our ongoing, this is a very bloody comic. It has body horror imagery, stabbing and swords, and general symbiote violence but it didn’t make me roll my eyes like it so often does. Wong’s Deadpool walks the line between the 90s action hero and the quippy pansexual disaster perfectly. 

The surprise guest star here is Wolverine villain Lady Deathstrike who was assigned as Wade’s partner for the mission of killing Doc Ock but Wade had been too distracted by his crush to notice that. Deathstrike and Deadpool face off against the Harrower and Ock accompanied by a fun anecdote from Wade about going to Cancun with Gambit. Deathstrike and Deadpool narrowly escape, both injured, and the villains decide to work together to get back at them. 

Wade ends the issue collapsed in the doorway of Valentine, the mission handler who had been assigned to his and Deathstrike’s audition into the cabal of big bass called the Atelier. We see Valentine standing over Wade laid out like a corpse on their kitchen island with their knife-finger up and shadowy figures coming from below. A text page tells us that they lied to their bosses about not having any contact with Wade. 

Deadpool #2 art
i’ve probably had worse first dates

There’s a lot to like about this book. The team-ups, the hot lady mad scientist, the fact that Wade and I have the same pizza order. Wong has a voice for Wade that feels so correct. It wasn’t until my third or so read through that I realized that their Deadpool writing reminded me of another favorite character of mine: Taskmaster. Taskmaster is generally more well-liked than Deadpool and I believe this voice that is a little less edgy is an improvement. Wade is still himself, raunchy jokes and sidebars still intact, but Wong’s Wade feels more comfortable and mature in a sense. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again; Wong gets extra kudos from me simply because it seems that they are writing Deadpool’s pansexuality with care for the first time in his publication history. 

There’s a lot of potential for this story as well. The premise hooked me and I’m willing to ride it out even though I don’t know anything about symbiotes (and I’m afraid to ask). The focus of the story is not the symbiote, it’s on the bodily autonomy and response to it. It’s honestly a bit of a heavy topic for a Deadpool comic but the story doesn’t weigh the character down.

Both issues have had me wanting more when many of the comics out now feel like a chore. Endless tie ins and events make a self-contained storyline feel like a breath of fresh air. It feels nice to look forward to comics again.

Images via Marvel Comics

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