REVIEW: Deadpool #1 – “Back in Business”

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DEADPOOL #1
Writer: Skottie Young
Pencillers: Nic Klein & Scott Hepburn
Colorist: Ian Herring
Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
Price: $4.99

Release Date: 6/6/18

After Gerry Duggan’s infamous run came to a close last month, the brand-new Deadpool #1 had its work cut out for it. Instead of launching directly into the next big story, writer Skottie Young divides the issue into two separate but connected plots that explain where Wade is now with different artists to boot. Does the tactic work? Let’s see.

Plot: In “Back in Business,” Deadpool disrupts a movie screening to complete a job. Unfortunately for him, the victim-to-be is much stronger than anticipated and “Rocky” ends up giving Wade quite the beatdown before getting taken out via grenade. Thus in “Good Night,” Wade returns to his office to complain to Teenage Negasonic Warhead about how empty these petty jobs are making him feel. What he needs is a big crossover event and a sympathetic backstory to get himself back in the game, but who can he team up with and which superhero’s life can he rip off?

Story: Deadpool #1 definitely begins with a whimper rather than a bang, and the first half of the issue is filler, but it builds momentum by the end. First, it’s very clear that the current iteration of Wade Wilson is modeled after the films – with Negasonic Teenage Warhead in the cast to make the connection more obvious. While this isn’t a problem in and of itself, Young thus far fails to include the pop culture references or general joie de vivre that his film counterpart has. Although perhaps that’s the point: Wade currently feels like a shell of himself because that’s what he is, having just wiped his own mind and returned to factory settings. Whether that plot point becomes relevant to this story or not remains to be seen, but for the time being it means a slow start for Deadpool #1.

In fact, the extra tale of Wade deciding to think up a backstory and proceeds to place himself in the lives of characters such as Hulk, Spider-Man, Superman and Batman winds up deflating the excitement over the looming crossover. And truth be told, of those four parody origins, only the Batman one manages to turn a mildly amusing joke into the potential for an entire new story. If Young can find that snarky tone of the last few pages more often, then he may have something good on his hands. The rest of the jokes, such as Deadpool wearing stuffed animals as underwear, don’t land quite as often. That being said, the banter between Wade and Negasonic is actually enjoyable, suggesting the possibility of a stable dynamic on which to base future interludes between missions.

 

 

Art: Nic Klein’s art has a very gritty look that really emphasizes the back-to-basics nature of Deadpool #1, so it’s almost a shame that the full issue couldn’t make use of him. His attention to detail and work with shadows can make even the most violent standoff appear to have all the grace of a choreographed ballet. It’s a little like watching Mad Max: Fury Road in comic book form, if that makes sense. Meanwhile, the art for the back-up story was a little messier but it still did the trick. Ian Herring provided some solid coloring as well, and his collaboration with Scott Hepburn on the splash page was actually rather striking.

Both sets of art in in Deadpool #1 stand out most during the fight sequences, or other depictions of violence. That’s certainly one of the things that the book is best known for, but the parts containing comedic banter could stand to come across a little livelier. Although it’s hard to say yet whether that’s something inherent about the artwork, or if writing new and different settings would change it up. Maybe when the Guardians of the Galaxy land on Earth and try to work something out with Wade, we’ll see a different side.

Verdict: Deadpool #1 doesn’t give a clear picture of what the newest run will be like, but diehard fans of the movie version may want to check it out anyway. And, of course, those wanting to see Wade rendered by Nic Klein’s raw talent.

Star Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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