Deadpool Existentialism = Metacidal!
I know what you are thinking. You saw that slogan on the cover, "Butchering Stories From Literature's Finest Authors!" and you thought, "This is stupid." Am I right? Well, let me attempt to turn you into a believer throughout this review because this is Deadpool in the cynical, smart, and badass way that I love him!
The slogan and title are actually a little misleading. This isn't a mini-series that just makes the title character run around acting silly in other forms of literature. This is actually a continuation of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. This takes that idea of Deadpool racking his brain over his fiction-based existence and takes it to another level. Convinced yet that this is worth your time and money? Well, keep reading.
This is classic Deadpool writing here ladies and gentlemen. Cullen Bunn knows how to write just the right amount of witty, the right amount of smart tongue-in-cheek humor, and the perfect amount of snarky remarks so that the character doesn't come across as forced. The dialogue just happens so naturally here that it is far from the shallow, hollowed-out version of the character that Deadpool has developed into in recent years. Take Posehn and Duggan's current series, for example. Deadpool's humor in that book is just so cheesy and juvenile that it reads like a bad sitcom; it almost makes you think there should be a built-in laugh track in the book, just like a terrible parody. In this series, the character's dialogue is done in a way that makes Deadpool seem smart as well as edgy, which is how he was originally written and should have always been written. Here, he's less like a clown and more like an actual highly-skilled assassin who just happens to know how to tell a good joke or two.
The art team in this book hold their own as well. I love how Matteo Lolli is drawing this mulitverse. Each panel has so much detail from the backgrounds, to the technology, to these famous literary characters, to how well Deadpool's costume looks. The colorist, Veronica Gandini accents his art so well with her great use of contrast. The scenes in the Marvel Universe are colored in a vibrant and deep way, like a comic book should look, and when we get to the scenes in the classic literature universes, she uses more faded colors to give us a classic, old-timey feel. It's just fantastic.
Really, the only bad part about this book is how Marvel decided to market it. This isn't just what the cover might lead you to believe. I feel that a lot of customers are going to pick up this book and have no idea what in the world is going on. Fans who are trying to get into Deadpool for the first time are definitely going to be lost if they aren't already familiar with the idea that Deadpool breaks the fourth wall and understands that he is in a comic book. This is an issue #1 so it is supposed to be a good starting point but I feel that this book really only makes sense if you are already familiar with the character and/or have already read Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. That being said, there is a small recap within the title page, but I feel that that alone may not necessarily be enough.
This book has such a great concept and really delves into a side of comics that only the specific character of Deadpool can explore. This may be one of the most unique books that you can find on the stands these days, that I can guarantee. This is taking the character's strengths and applying it to a storyline that highlights what is so great about Deadpool. The comedy is great here, the art is superb, and I'm so happy that Marvel is continuing this zany, outlandish, and ridiculously creative plot.
If you are a long time fan of Deadpool and feel that he has turned into somewhat of an even bigger clown in a way that is far from what the character started out as, then this book might be more your flavor. Deadpool isn't just some lame joker who can't do anything seriously. He knows how to really take care of business and he just so happens to choose to do it in a fun way. This book strays far away from the buffoonish, parody-of-the-character that recent creative teams have turned the title character into, and brings back this edgy, straight-up badass that we all know and love.
I know that for newcomers, this may not be a great introduction. But once you get a feel for what this character is all about, don't forget to come back and check out this book. This issue could have done a better job to accomodate people jumping into this storyline for the first time but that doesn't detract from how great of a job this creative team has done here.
4/5 stars. For now, this is my Deadpool book until the current ongoing finally sorts it all out. I can't recommend this book for newcomers to the title character, but for everyone else already onboard the Merc with a Mouth train, this is a definite must-read.