Looking back at Joe Kelly's Deadpool run (Blog)

#1 Posted by Reignmaker (2366 posts) - - Show Bio

Looking back at Joe Kelly's Deadpool run

Relevant trades: Deadpool Classic volumes 1-5

Significance: Many people cite Deadpool as Joe Kelly's greatest work. Indeed during a horrid 90's era when some of Marvel's worst stuff was coming out, Deadpool acted as a bastion of quality among several lackluster titles. It was funny, but dark. Action-packed, but smart. Strangely enough, the book didn't sell very well. Still, it is widely regarded as the phenomena that kick-started Deadpool's enormous popularity. Many die-hard Deadpool fans also argue that it is this run that offers us the most authentic look at the character.

Deadpool Classic Vol. 2 trade paperback

Good: Wade Wilson is a complicated individual. With a terribly scarred appearance, the dude looks like someone went to his face with a football cleat. Needless to say, this mercenary's need for a mask is obvious. Kelly does a marvelous job exploring the many layers of this flawed character without spelling everything out for the reader. In many other big-name books, the supporting characters are more interesting than the bland superhero with his name on the cover. In Deadpool that is never the case. This is the Wade Wilson show and it's all about the entertainment. The Dead Reckoning storyline, which occurs near the end of the run (in issues 23-25), is particularly satisfying.

The art in this series is also quite good. Many people are familiar with the works of Ed McGuinness. This is where he got his start in mainstream comics. Frankly though, I was more impressed with the works of the second artist - Walter Mcdaniel. His work just clicked for me. He had this awesome blend where realism met the more cartoony look of McGuiness' pencils. Case in point, see the work below. Why this guy hasn't gotten more jobs within comics is a mystery to me.

DP & Bullseye...could there ever be a more badass team-up?

Bad: In short, the villains suck donkey balls. T-Ray, the archenemy of D'Pool in this run, is probably one of the more lackluster villains that I've seen. He's just this big, unimaginative albino that seems to take pleasure in creating pain with his uninspired array of dark magic. While he certainly presents a challenge for D'Pool, their confrontations aren't that engaging.

Typhoid Mary brings a little more to the table, but her psychotic personality just isn't that original. She was much more interesting in the early issues where her personality seemed to jump between different personas. After that, she becomes just another comic book "bad girl."

Best Street Fighter reference ever!

Longevity: Since it's been a while, one must ask whether the book still reads well by today's standards. I think we've all picked up one or two "classic" stories that were supposedly great reads, only to discover that they were complete snooze-fests by modern standards. Fortunately, I don't think Deadpool falls into that category. I will say that much of the pop culture references are obviously based in the 90's. So if that's a little before your time, you might not see the humor in some these pages. Overall, the overarching story is quite good and provides a satisfying payoff. A great beginning to a well-loved character.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Taking a swig without even removing the mask. Maybe it helps the flavor, or maybe he's just that desperate.

#2 Posted by The Lobster (1698 posts) - - Show Bio

Joe Kelly's Deadpool run is the holy bible of Deadpool stories. Nothing has come close to topping it yet. I've already written a blog why more people need to read it.

Great review, I'm glad to see more people are out reading it. When Comicvine did the poll asking the best Deadpool run, I was shocked when Daniel Way's run topped this. That's just downright sad.

#3 Edited by k4tzm4n (39484 posts) - - Show Bio

In short, the villains suck donkey balls.

Yuuuuuuuuup. Also, very happy to see you tackle the entire volume.

#4 Posted by DEADPOOL (2905 posts) - - Show Bio

Joe Kelly's Deadpool was the quintessential Deadpool and should be the material that all other potential Deadpool writers should familiarize themselves with. Joe Kelly took this great character that other writers did a great job setting up, such as Fabian Nicieza and Mark Waid, and then really pushed Deadpool to his logical potential as a complex and fascinating comicbook character, making him dark and gritty while also fun and humorous.

#5 Edited by longbowhunter (8511 posts) - - Show Bio

I just got rid of most all of my Deadpool comics. Made sure to keep the Kelley run though. That and Remender's Uncanny X-Force.

#6 Edited by kadeemtheking (11 posts) - - Show Bio

um... T- ray and typhoid were great villains @_@ Typhoid manipulated him into having intercourse while he was drunk in Iowa while using a shape-shifting device to look like the woman he felt he loved and went to guidance for and didn't tell him till after they woke up the next morning.. that's pretty villainous, especially considering all that happened to them up into that moment, and T-ray... OK maybe a bit lackluster but for your "introduction to your first real villainous dude" in a comic series he fit the bill rather well to let the reader gain familiarity with DP, and not only that but they were SUB PLOT villains, to an overarching plot, in which I'd call a guy who removes free will from countless planets a pretty deep villain... After I read the entire arc of the LL&L(L) series (which are issues 000 to 025) I literally clapped my hands in approval even though nobody was around saying "bravo deadpool"... this process lasted all of 5 seconds in which I quickly went to the bathroom to urinate.... followed by taking a nap, ironing my pantaloons, throwing away said pantaloons, and reading issue 26.

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