CABLE DEADPOOL #50
What did the
My friends, Marvel needs this book.
I first stumbled across “Cable & Deadpool” in the midst of Civil War. I was a relatively new comics fan who had some familiarity with the X-men (and Cable) and was just learning to decipher the ins and outs of the Marvel Universe via a convoluted and inconsistent crossover. And then I read the C&D Civil War tie-ins, which pulled off the impressive feat of skewering the hell out of the registration debate, and taking it seriously at the same time. I still maintain that Cable’s breakdown of the pros & cons of registration and the initiative was by far the best discussion in any of the comics; and when your big crossover is relying on the half robot guy from the future who lives on a floating spaceship and thinks he’s Jesus to inject balance and insanity into the debate. . .well, that’s a symptom of a larger problem, but I digress.
After reading that brilliant run of Civil War issues, I borrowed the series from a friend and read 1-34 in a single afternoon. I couldn’t believe what an ingenious, funny, original book I had found. C&D’s popular image is as a humor book, and a showcase for Deadpool, and this is definitely true; Fabian Nicieza has an almost frightening bond with that character and his brilliantly demented way of seeing things. But at it’s best, this has also been a thought-provoking book that really pushes at the boundaries of this fictional universe. Particularly, the “Burnt Offering” arc (collected in the second trade of the series) stands beside Joss Whedon’s “Gifted” as the only story I know of that really took the possibilities of the expansive, forward-looking worldview left in the wake of Grant Morrison’s X-men and ran with it. Better, really, than Morrison ever managed to.
Sadly, the book I loved really ended with issue 35, which is probably still my favorite single issue to come out since I started reading comics. Once the editorial powers that be sent Cable back to play with the X-men, Fabian and company gave it the old college try. He kept writing the best Deadpool ever, and the art on this book kept being bright and inventive and fun. But it never quite felt like the same book, and when Cable “died” in a crossover with Mike Carey’s X-men, it was pretty much official.
So I’m cheating and writing about the whole series in a review of issue 50. But that’s because the last few issues, in which Fabian shared the chores with artist/co-plotter Reilly Brown, have shown a resurgence of what I loved about the book in the first place. Issue 50 is the perfect culmination. Just as Fabian set Cable loose in the post-Morrison/pre-decimation Marvel U, and then turned those crazy kids loose in Civil War, this issue drops Deadpool into the middle of an all-star Avengers/Symbiotes battle in the streets of New York (hmm, sound familiar) and lets him have one last whirlwind tour. (Also, no small matter, Reilly gets to draw just about everybody who matters on the Avengers side of Marvel, and if this is his audition tape, I hope it works). I was smiling and wiping tears away through the whole perfect issue. Then I smiled more through all the back matter, which makes it clear how much of a labor of love this book was for everyone involved.
I say the Marvel Universe needs this book, because I see the Big Event Overload coming, and I want to know where I’m going to go for the dead-on but affectionate skewering I know it’s going to deserve. I need a book that invites me to laugh at this world and to love it at the same time, and issue 50 reminds me of how, for so long, Cable & Deadpool has been that book.
Art: 5 - Excellent