Shameful declaration: I’ve never read a Deadpool comic before. I know that amongst many folks within our fine community, the character is quite beloved. I’m not oblivious to Wade Wilson though. I know well and good that he’s a merc with a mouth. He’s got Wolvie’s healing power, Spidey’s tongue, and no moral compass to speak of. I know he loved to break the fourth wall at will. I also know that seemingly from issue to issue, Wade can bounce between zany-kooky, and serious-as-a-heart-attack. So, suffice to say I didn’t exactly come in cold. Issue #16 of Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan’s run is as erratic as the titular hero. Hee hee. Tit. Get it? I can totally make those jokes during this review. In fact… thanks to Poolie, I think I can go hog wild and not even get into trouble.
Like I could literally spend this second paragraph not talking about the book at all. I could talk about something else. Like did you know I went to Baltimore like two weeks ago, and when I came home, suddenly my bed wasn’t comfortable anymore? Worse than that, I totally pulled something in my clavicle area. My whole neck / shoulders / chest hurts like a panda choking on bad bamboo. You know, I have no idea if that’s even a fair metaphor. I have no idea if a panda choking on bad bamboo really hurts. Like, for all I know, Pandas have amazingly powerful neck muscles, so like… that bad bamboo would just get pulverized in their powerful throats. But I digress. I’m in pain. I thought you’d like to know that. See? A whole paragraph, and I didn’t even mention that Posehn and Duggan’s Deadpool #16 moves their ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’ arc a step further. Chimichangas for all!
And now? I’m gonna get all serious. OOOOoooooOoooo. Deadpool #16 picks up with Wilson imprisoned in a North Korean prison / lab of doom. Seems Wade’s been used to donate organs for a good long while. It stands to note that when your donor can regenerate the lost organ with his healing factor, it makes you realize the moral implications of how selfish Wolverine really must be. Well, the evil Butler has found a way to fuze X-Genes to Deadpool organs in order to make super-soldiers for the supreme ruler. The only downside? They oogly. They get that from Wade, I suppose. And just as Deadpool himself breaks free of his prison, Butler informs him that if he leaves prematurely… he won’t ever reunite with his new family. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn!
Riding along for the wacky ride through dark metallic dungeons and crazy science-stuff is S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Preston. In order to conserve ink and coloring, Agent Preston is just a voice (and occasional control) in Wade’s mind. As I’ve not been following the book prior, I assume there’s some nefarious reason why. I’m even sure that the reason is entertaining and amazing. But as presented? It’s boring. Milquetoast. By-the-book. That book by the way? “Boredom” by Snoozy McBeenHereBefore. He’s Scottish. Deadpool #16 trudges through its pages with barely a shred of bounciness. The only joking that exists sits squarely in the first page or two. After that? Everything is “Van Damme”; serious to the point of banality.
I don’t know who writes what exactly between Posehn and Duggan. It’s tempting to assume that Brian handles the funny Deadpool stuff, and Duggan takes sloppy seconds in order to make the book have some sense of plot and movement. But I wouldn’t suggest that. I wouldn’t even hint at it. I might mention it though. Maybe in a hushed whisper. Please reread that second sentence above in a hushed whisper. There you go. See how fricken’ witty I’m being? Well, this issue is devoid of any of that. Instead, the script calls for Agent Ho-Hum to banter almost entirely to herself, while Wade sulks. Nothing like having yet another emo superhero on the shelf kiddos. Coming from this book? I’m not mad about it. Just disappointed. See what I did there? I went all “Dad” on their ass. Booyah.
The title page declares “Deadpool”. The inside cover is funny. It made me chortle a bit. And then everything comes crashing down. We’re faced with a Wade Wilson who may have hit one of those “you cut to my core. Damn you!” moments. So, instead of a fast-talker, we just get a cold assassin. Now, given that I heard the first arc of Posehn’s run involved Zombie Ex-Presidents? I’m underwhelmed. The book reeks of sophomore slumping to me. When you take away the ha-ha-has from Deadpool, you’re reading Deadshot, or Deathstroke, or any other ‘Merc kills people and maybe has a soul’ books. Meh. The issue sloshes through with a doe-eyed Nightcrawler-clone who frees Deadpool long enough to find a captured Wolverine and Captain America. Assume the next issue will deal with that fun.
Marc! You fool. You’re almost out of space, and you’ve not even mentioned the moody, detailed art! I know, me, but well, the art wasn’t bad. Or good. It was just there. So, that’s it? You’re just gonna gloss over the kinetic and gruesome figure work? You’re not going to mention the smart use of backgrounds and sparse color to add tension to the uncluttered layouts? Nope. Well damn, son, that’d cold. I’m sorry, me. But I’m not in the mood anymore. I got “Deadpool #16” in hopes of lightening the air in my dreary life. Instead I got a mopeyPool, a boring mental sidekick, and a devastating revelation that may or may not be true. And if it is true? I still won’t care. Cause I was looking for a laugh, and instead got an issue of DeathStroke.
And Bessy? I don’t like DeathStroke.