Thursday, January 19, 2017

Superhero Media: Deadpool - Wade Wilson's War

Just when Deadpool started to get big, I started to be asked by people which comics were the best reading for the character. Thing is, I've never really cared for Deadpool, as I came across him through 1990s X-Men comics and he was just some gag character that distracted from the plot. I was raised on Leslie Nielsen and Mel Brooks films, so the fourth-wall brakes weren't new and shocking for me, just pale imitations of what I already knew. I finally began to like the character when I was loaned some Deadpool & Cable comics; Wade was finally balanced against the seriousness of Nate and both were made better for it. To this day I maintain that Deadpool comics are, at best, 60% worth reading; Wade Wilson's War is not in that percentage. It's not that funny, makes little sense and doesn't add to the characters in any significant way. 

The framing is one of those of the "story within a story within a story" type that rarely turns out as clever as the artist is going for, plus an unreliable narrator means that the narrative may or may not have happened. So it's a book where we're not sure who is telling the story and the story may just be all made up anyway; it's not a bad idea, just probably not ideal for established characters in the Marvel Universe. Yes, part of Deadpool's strength as a character stems from his flexibility, but add in Domino, Silver Sable and Bullseye and the whole thing gets shot to pieces rather quickly. Did Sable really need to be part of Weapon X for this? She's a Spider-man ally/antagonist with an already interesting backstory, seems like there could have been several, much better, choices. I don't like it when writers try to give Bullseye a "real name", Logan got ruined that way, let's not let it happen to too many more comic badarses, ok?

Want to read good Deadpool? Get Deadpool & Cable or Marvel NOW! Deadpool, don't go to this, or start mining Essentials for his first few appearances. I rarely say this, but the pop culture exposure for the character has been a boon; Ryan Reynolds has been good for Deadpool and Marvel and I hope the influence continues for a while. After all, even if I'm not that keen on the character, I'd rather good Deadpool to read than a dull mess like Wade Wilson's War. One for the obsessives and no one else, give it a miss. 

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