Pick of the Week
What did the
Art by Tony Moore
Size: 32 pages
So this is pretty weird right? I mean, it’s a sign of the end times, if ever there was. If I had any sense of drama or romance, I would just walk away now, never to be heard from again. I have made Deadpool #1 an iFanboy Pick of the Week.
The truth is, I never really had anything against Deadpool. I just never really cared all that much. Funny superhero comics are a tough category for me, because most of them aren’t. There’s “funny to comic book readers” and there’s “funny”, and too often, they’re not related to one another. I enjoyed Deadpool in Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force though, because Rick is actually funny. So as we approached this reboot (renumbering, whatever), the creative team gave me pause. On scripting duties, you’ve got Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn. Duggan is straight up funny, and not a bad comic book writer by any stretch. Brian Posehn is one hell of a comedian, and by no means a comic book poser. If anyone’s going to make Deadpool palatable, this duo has a shot. But wait, there’s more! Tony Moore is doing art for the book? I’m in. I’m just very much in. Moore is the perfect guy for action and comedy in comics. He’s not the guy to do (silly) super serious superhero moments, but he’s also too good to just be a gag cartoonist. His pages are full of fun visuals that bring me back to EC Comics and the best Mad Magazine strips. If there’s going to be a Deadpool comic book, what more can you ask for?
This is where things get even more subjective. This story is about the dead ex-Presidents of the United States, and Deadpool must re-kill them. As a guy who makes a habit of reading books about our dead ex-Presidents, my curiosity was piqued. Instantly it became clear that I wasn’t the only one who was a bit of a presidential nerd. The opening act is magical. A scraggly SHIELD agent reads some incantations, and resurrects Harry S. Truman, who is back for some revenge. Why did he do it? No idea. They get that out of the way. There are a bunch of ghostly Chief Executives around, and that’s the point. Captain America shows up (Why? How? Who cares?), and fights with Truman, who is spouting some absolutely delightful dialog, and ends up decapitating him with his shield. Then Deadpool ends up in a fight with Franklin D. Roosevelt, still wheelchair-bound, who proves to be quite a bit tougher than you’d guess. It kind of goes on this way. There’s not really much of a point, and there’s a loose story, and none of that matters, because it’s fun to read, and I like jokes about past Presidents. And there’s more coming next time.
I did mention Tony Moore, right? Because he’s the secret sauce of this whole thing. Duggan and Posehn are clearly having fun with this, and it’s all well and quite good, but what really puts this over the top is the manic genius of Moore. I just love looking at his renditions of these characters. His Captain America is fantastic. His cartoon renditions of the Presidents are even better. He gets the overarching characteristics of these famous faces right, and they fit into the world of the rest of his drawing, while still looking authentic. There’s a two page spread where Deadpool bursts in to Independence Hall in Philadelphia (home of the 2nd Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783, and later the Constitutional Convention in 1787), where the dead Presidents, and Carter, have convened to get kind of dirty. Anyone with a thing for history can just stare at the page and pick out the faces, and enjoy the hell out of it. And yes, they went for the cheap Taft joke. Can you blame them? Besides that, the tone is right, the action is fun, and there’s nothing to indicate that you should be taking this at all seriously. Chester A. Arthur certainly isn’t.
So, am I a Deadpool convert now? No. This is a fun story. If the next one is fun, I’ll keep reading. That’s the challenge of the series, but one would imagine that this team is only going to get better going forward as they find their feet. Could I become a Deadpool convert? I absolutely could, and all it takes is the right creators.
LBJ has a beer hat.