GN Review -- Dark Reign: Deadpool/Thunderbolts / Andy Diggle, Da
Originally published on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago...
So, imagine you're on this insane suicide mission to infiltrate an alien ship and obtain data on how to kill their leader. You waltz on to the ship, cause mayhem and destruction, and acquire the data. But never mind that it's world-saving information--no, you're doing this because you're being paid an ungodly amount of money to do so. You transmit the data to your contact, no problem...
... and your contact doesn't receive it. And therefore refuses to pay you.
Then some jerk uses the data you stole to kill the alien leader and take all the credit. You know the information you stole was utilized by said jerk. But said jerk is now arguably the most powerful man in the world, and doesn't care that you lost out on a king's ransom when he stole your data. What do you do?
Well, if you're Deadpool, you basically throw sanity to the winds, walk in the front door, politely demand your king's ransom, and then shoot up said jerk's hired help. That's basically the plot for Dark Reign: Deadpool/Thunderbolts, in which Deadpool, who's dead-set on receiving the exorbitant payment he so bitterly feels he's due, goes after the now mega-powerful Norman Osborn, who intercepted Deadpool's hard-fought data. In a hilariously quixotic quest for his money, he encounters one of his hired gun super-goons, the Thunderbolts.
Basics of the plot: Deadpool stole data on how to kill the Skrull queen, which he transmitted to Nick Fury for a big payday. Nick Fury never received the data, and didn't pay Deadpool, who soon afterwards watched Norman Osborn kill the Skrulls' queen, Veranke. Osborn, a madman once infamous as the Spider-villain Green Goblin, is now hailed as a hero and handed the keys to the superhero kingdom, with which he dissolves the
spy agency security department known as S.H.I.E.L.D., forms his own spy agency called H.A.M.M.E.R., and creates several hit squads to serve as bodyguards and tools for his own insane agenda.
Deadpool, of course, is a little upset at missing out on his pay for his part in the queen's downfall, and he's not going to let a little thing like Norman Osborn, sanity, or doors come between him and the payday he so richly deserves. Osborn, of course, feels a little differently--namely, he doesn't give a crap about shorting Deadpool, and puts the Thunderbolts on alert as Deadpool attempts to find him in Avengers Tower. The battle that ensues involves an explosion of one-liners, a team-up with the Taskmaster, and a none-too-smooth attempt to hit on Yelena Belova, all of which leads up to a conclusion that is both corny and childishly satisfying.
I'm not too familiar with the Thunderbolts--and at this juncture don't care to correct this--but I'll at least skim through anything that features Deadpool. I knew he would be going after Osborn for his money, but didn't realize he'd be squaring off against the Thunderbolts. I was a little disappointed it wasn't the Dark Avengers, but you get a before-and-after pair of stories involving him fighting Bullseye, which is also pretty satisfying.
The Thunderbolts, by comparison, are a squad full of chumps. Deadpool basically takes down the entire team in one issue, and the rest of the story involves them trying desperately to take Deadpool down or Osborn will separate them from their heads. Still, the action's not bad, and the dialog, while it won't be winning any awards, still affords you the occasional chuckle.
The humor, however, is what you go into this story for. Here are a few of my favorite such moments:
- Norman Osborn listening to Deadpool talk to his own internal monologue while both crack jokes about Osborn's hair. All Osborn can say is a confused, "Who the hell is he talking to...?"
- Deadpool taking down Ant-Man with a can of bugspray nearly split my sides with all the laughing I did. Not very original, but no less funny for it.
- Basically any attempt at flirting with Yelena that Deadpool made was hilariously awkward.
- Deadpool getting at least a partial payday by stealing Osborn's credit cards and hitting who-knows how many ATMs to draw money against them.
The art between the two titles is good, even if they are noticeably different. Medina's art is more cartoony and flows smoothly, while Dazo's is more realistic and expressive. They're both good, but for different reasons. I'll also say that Francesco "Matt" Mattina's Thunderbolts covers for this story were unbelievably cool. Realistic, vicious and starkly beautiful.
Overall, this is a fun, fairly light read. The premise is simple and straight-up, the action is decent, and the humor makes it quite entertaining. The artwork is pretty good, even as the styles switch between issues. Deadpool fans will enjoy this story, though I suspect the Bullseye stories are even more satisfying all-around. Recommended.