Sympathy for the Deadpool

“Read what you like.”

If you spend any serious time around this site (and, now that I think about it, does this site have any casual users?) you will notice that those four words above have become the unofficial First Commandment of iFanboy. Whether we’re talking about the latest event or which books to drop, the same basic advice ends up being applicable all the time. Don’t worry about what’s “popular” or what you “need to read to keep up,” don’t follow the herd, and don’t worry about whether anyone likes the same books you do.

Bluewater's Female Force: JK RowlingYou have Bluewater’s Female Force on your pull list? Hey, you’re theoretically learning something. That Twilight manga that looked like it was lettered with Scotch tape was your favorite reading experience of the year? Good for you; life will never disappoint you. You love thumbing through a good horror book full of haunted vaginas? Whatever; what you do to keep from having to share a seat on the train is your business. Plenty of closed-off Big Bang Theory watchers in the general public are judging you just for reading comics at all; never let your fellow comics readers shame you for reading differently than they do.

Boy, that is easy to say, isn’t it? It’s another matter entirely when you feel like you’re walking the earth’s loneliest rain-soaked roads as a book’s sole defender. It is for me, anyway. If you have more confidence in your own taste than I do, vaya con dios, mi amigo.

For example: the other night, I listened in as one of my favorite podcasts did a live streaming episode. As a part of the show, the hosts did a Q & A with their audience in the chat room, and before long the questions led into the increasingly frequent discussion of how Fear Itself is garbage.

Objectively garbage. One of the reasons I love this podcast so much is that the hosts usually use lots of I-statements and try to be as specific and subjective as possible. “This artist’s style has never really been for me” as opposed to “this crap sucks.” For some reason, though, they talk about Fear Itself being garbage the way your biology teacher said things about mitosis. These are the facts. This will be on the quiz.

Where this is coming from, I have no idea. Fear Itself isn’t even the worst book I read this summer (pull quote!) let alone worthy of getting tarred with the same brush as The Sentry: Fallen Sun. Every time it comes up and people start piling on, it bums me out a little more, and during the Q & A I realized that I was having more fun sucked out of me by the discussion than the actual book was giving me. I thought, “Listening to this comic book show is actively becoming a detriment to my enjoyment of these comic books.”

Then I thought, “Oh! Wow, I owe the Deadpool people an apology.”

I have had it in for Deadpool for years, and I have not kept that a secret around here. There was a time when I would proofread my column every week and say, “Oops! Huge error: I forgot the completely arbitrary Deadpool slam that has nothing to do with anything. Edit.” Just because.

Everything about Deadpool drove me bugnutty. Wade and his adventures always seemed heartless and shallow to me, and the nonstop self-referential meta humor built into the character’s DNA could not have felt more lazy to me if each issue were handwritten on a napkin. Mentally, I kept Deadpool in the same box as Family Guy, and that box is not a trophy case, if you take my meaning.

Deadpool and his yellow boxes

Fig. A: not for me.

But millions of people love Family Guy, and Deadpool has stayed in print while dozens of other beloved books have gotten the axe. There has to be something there, whether I see it or not. Maybe I’ve just read the wrong writers, or the wrong arcs. Who am I to tell thousands of people who are Reading What They Like that the book they like is bad? It’s just provably awful not for me, and the gentlemanly thing to do is to consider my words more carefully.

Sorry about the last couple of years.

I guess there are just some things that settle into our craws and start pouring cement. There’s plenty of stuff I don’t care for, but usually that means “I can see why people like that; I’m just not one of those people.” Every once in a while, though, some book or show or celebrity comes along and becomes your white whale. Less “to each his own,” more “I will settle for nothing less than an apology from every fan in front of a roaring bonfire composed of the entire print run.”

No? Just me? I was afraid of that. Sorry again.

Maybe my Deadpool animus and the Fear Itself loathing come from similar places. Fear Itself is decent enough (cover blurb!) but it was promoted as a book that would make the lame walk again, and if you were one of the bloggers covering all those bombastic press conferences the disconnect could get grating. Similarly, hearing a lot of people enthusiastically praise a character you think of as an empty mask can only go on so long before it starts to get to you. I’m reaching a similar point right now with Uncanny X-Force: absolutely everyone raves about that book, but you all need your medication adjusted before you harm someone for whatever reason, it just does not connect with me.

(It’s not because Deadpool’s in it, either, although those parts were consistently atrocious. I clearly just have an incompatible sensibility with some kinds of comic book. Dark Avengers was one of my favorite series when it was being published, and it was your one-stop Sentry Headquarters, for God’s sake.)

(I’m not in a place where I can apologize to the Sentry fans yet. Give me another year or so, you two.)

It may take a while before I rein in my Deadpoolphobia, and I know it will be a while before I can Read What I Like without being affected by the dogpile of criticism. In the meantime, maybe I should try out something nice, safe, and uncontroversial. Is Grant Morrison working on anything right now?

Jim Mroczkowski has also enjoyed several recent seasons of Saturday Night Live. That will stay over at Twitter for now.


  1. That was a very nicely worded resignation letter, Jim. I keed, I keed. I know how you feel. I felt like Connor and I were the only 2 people who enjoyed Morrison’s Batman 5 or so years ago. On the other side, I started reading comics right before CIvil War and thought it could be my gateway into the Marvel Universe. DIdn’t work out for me. It was the only marvel book I was reading and I felt everything was happening in other books, and then the climax took place in Captain America #25. I felt unwelcome there…I think that’s how people feel about Fear Itself. But, to each his own and to you your yours and to me my mine…

  2. I remember you saying something to the affect of: “What should my article be on Monday?” on the ustream show on Friday. I jokingly said you should do a Deadpool article. And today? 🙂

    I’m a fan of Deadpool, if he’s done right. So many of the endless Deadpool comics have been really bad since that era hit a couple of years ago. There were a few good DEADPOOL TEAM UP issues but apart from that the only Deadpool series I liked is Daniel Way’s DEADPOOL (vol. 3). But having said that I am now thinking of dropping the series after reading 42 straight issues. The magic is just gone from what Way was doing from before. Sure it got a bit ‘Family Guy-ish’ at times but Way balanced a lot of the issues with good meta humor and action to not make it a drag. Now I think he’s just run out of ideas and if his next big idea is a riff on Frankencastle then I’m not really looking forward to that.

    But I’m glad you were able to vent some of your Deadpoolism out of your system.

    • I was a big fan of The Circle Chase and thought it was really a good story. I read the Mark Waid mini and part of the Joe Kelly run, but I lost interest. When done right, he can be really funny. I think what we’ve seen is an saturation of DP – it’s diluted his brand, so to speak. And with that you generally see a drop in quality, which is what I think happened.

    • When someone answers, “Write a Deadpool article,” they get a Deadpool article.

      No word on what would have happened if a second person had answered me.

      Is there another comic book web site on the internet that takes requests, I ask you?

    • No one that’s who!

      Also, I could recommend a few arcs of the recent Deadpool run that I think you’ll like and….

      That part of the article was a joke wasn’t it?

  3. Oh and I forgot to add:

    Saturday Night Life is actually starting to get really funny again, in my opinion anyways. There were some clunkers last season to be sure. But there were a lot more laughs that season then I can remember in a long time.

  4. This is why I am really starting to love this site. I hate the negativity that flow through so many other websites. All that negativity is a drain on the enjoyment of comics, and what people like is subjective. I appreciate the overall positive vibe that you guys give off. Thanks!

    • Absolutley. This is the one site that has a positive happy tone. You can like whatever you want, and nobody says “you’re wrong for liking that” And plus, the staff and writers here like comics, and enjoy them. They don’t need to post complex articles to enjoy comics.

    • This is why this is the only comics website I go to. People are very accepting and for the most part, debates are handles rationally and without name calling and nastiness. Who knew something like that existed on the internet? Finding this site a few years ago was a huge joy for me.

  5. You had me. You really did.

    I was in total agreement with the whole Deadpool and Family Guy thing. Hell, I even loathe Big Bang Theory. But then you cried shenanigans on Uncanny X-Force, the book that dragged me kicking and screaming back to Marvel (yes… in some instances I can set aside my hate for Deadpool enough to enjoy the hell out of this book). To me, reading it is like reading a much darker and less sing-songy Chris Claremont-era Uncanny X-Men from the late ’80s.

    I know… I know… read what you like. Which is why, for the most part, I’ve eschewed modern books for back issues of ROM, The Micronauts, and Dreadstar, among others.

    On a side note, your Fear Itself pull quote/cover blurb quips had me laughing.

  6. Thats a really great article Jim. These kinds of “revelations” are really part of the reason why i love this site so much. You guys are really good at taking a step back and looking at the big picture instead of just being that typical opinionated comics site.

    I think the hate on Deadpool is practically a meme at this point. I actually tried reading the first trade of the main series BECAUSE it was getting so much vitriol thrown its way…i wanted to see what the deal way. Of course it was vapid, goofy stupid fun…that was kinda the whole point. Sometimes a comic book can just do that and be good times. It doesn’t have to be some tour de force emotional roller coaster. It doesn’t have to change your life or advance the medium. Sometimes it can just be ridiculous.

    Like you said Jim, its working for somebody to stay in print this long, and its keeping creators employed, and its revenue for shops… and i think on those reasons alone books like Deadpool should get some respect. I do think the “read what you like” really needs to apply to everything and not just the pre-approved cool stuff. The comic book community is so small, there is no point in elitism.

  7. i still swear by Joe Kelly’s Deadpool run, i felt it was fantastic, but most of the new stuff? Yeah, just not for me. But Jim proves an excellent point. Different strokes for different folks.

  8. For the record, I do believe Fear Itself is objectively bad, especially, as pointed out, in comparison to what it was supposed to be, which is the best of what Marvel has to offer.But to the point of reading what you like, you should totally continue to read it, and enjoy it, if you’re OK with it.

    Sentry fans deserve no quarter, however. No, it isn’t fair.

    Finally, I just can’t bring myself to care about Deadpool one way or the other. I have nothing against it, but I’m not gonna read it.

    • Let’s say your two favorite creators were on a Deadpool book, would you try it then?

      Like Chris Samnee draws the issue and Mark Waid wrote it. Or just any big names you normally would buy a comic for.

    • Just because someone doesn’t preface an opinion with I-statements like “I think” or “in my opinion” doesn’t mean that they view their opinion as iron-clad fact. Especially on a review site where more than half of what you read or hear is all really just someone’s opinion. If everyone one had to begin every sentence with “I think” or “In my opinioin” then that would get old and unnecessary really fast. So no need to get butthurt over it Jimski 😉

    • Well, right now Greg Rucka, who I will read in almost any circumstances, is writing Punisher, and I’m having a very hard time staying interested. Because I don’t have any interest in that character either. So, I guess I’d try it, but I probably wouldn’t stick around very long, unless it was super special.

    • I’ll go to Rucka on twitter and tell him to get right on it then. 🙂

    • Agreed with Rucka. I’ve always been first in line to read anything that man has written for years. But like Josh i’m having a hard time getting into his Punisher, i’ll give the third issue a shot but im probably going to drop it. It doesn’t help that i am not the biggest fan of the character either.

  9. It would be cool if Joe Kelly got back into Deadpool full time. He did that ASM issue with Deadpool and it was like he never left the character.

    • This is what concerns me. Everyone who knows Deadpool says that about the Spider-Man issue, and I could not stand it. I think I threw it away.

    • Was it just because it was Deadpool or because it was a random filler issue before a big ASM event?

      Cause that seemed to be the only compliant I saw of it online. That it felt like an obviously rushed issue to get out between arcs. But I found it to be really funny especially with the epic ‘fight’ at the end.

      I guess if you’re not a fan of that issue then you wouldn’t like Kelly’s original run then.

  10. Deadpool was easily the most common non-stormtrooper costume I saw this weekend at Dragon*Con.

  11. Thanks for this, Jim. I’ve been tossing around in my head a letter to the iFanboys on just this topic for a while now, but you’ve said it much better than I could. It is so frustrating to me when someone dislikes a book that I love – even though I know everyone’s taste is different. And its even more frustrating on the show, because sometimes I feel people get discouraged from trying something after it is panned.

    Also, I think there would be a good parallel article on the frustration of recommending a great book to someone who just isn’t interested in even trying it.

    • i get a little frustrated with comic fandom when people trash on things they haven’t really tried. Its one thing to not like a book or character…heck there are lot of big names i don’t care for, its another to dismiss it because its not cool enough.

      Even worse…when the LCS guy judges the books you are buying and tries to “fix you”. “You’re getting that? Really….let me show you where all the good comics are”

    • Also, I admit, I do get a little “told you so” joy when a book i enjoy like “HULK” which had so much hate directed towards it, is discovered to actually be a lot of fun to read.

  12. I just wish that Comic Publishers would make events such as Fear Itself a comic upon itself instead of running through several titles. I wish this for two reasons. 1. If it is an event that I am interested in I don’t want to have to buy several titles that I am not intersted in just to be able to read the entire event. 2. If it is not an event that I am interested in reading then I don’t want it to interefere with whichever titles I am reading. I am not following Fear Itself but I am reading Astonishing X-men and for the last 2 issues it has been part of Fear Itself so I am forced to read a story of which I am not fully aware of what is happening.

  13. Everyone obviously has the right to read whatever they want. The only potential problem with completely relativistic, non-judgmental thinking is that it can kind of lead to an “island of the lotus-eaters” scenario.

    Should everybody be okay with comics that have racism in them? Should we just say “Well that’s not for me” and leave it at that?

    What about comics that only portray religious people (Christians and Muslims alike) as being hateful extremists?

    What about comics that basically reward superficial states of mind? Sure, we all like to “turn off our brains” every now and then, but what if you have an entire medium that basically dumbs down its viewers/readers?

    Justice League #1 contained a ton of clunky sentences. There were grammatical and logistical errors that almost certainly weren’t intentional (“combust into fire”, “I don’t handle easy” [instead of “easily”]). Very few otherwise smart reviewers even picked up on these things. Comics have obviously been dumbed down. They’re not just “for younger readers”; they’re simply not edited well anymore. Even great writers like Bendis and Rucka have put out comics that have objectively wrong grammar in them, sentences that are written incorrectly not for dialogue purposes but simply because the writers and editors themselves don’t really know how certain complicated types of ideas should be written. Is it beyond the pale to point such mistakes out? I don’t think so.

    Basically, I think it’s great to be tolerant of other points of view. But there are certain things that aren’t really all that innocent in those respects. Sometimes these subjective qualities aren’t even recognized by the writers and readers who patronize those works of art. So is it really a good idea to be completely fine with other people’s ignorance? Is it a crime to speak out against ignorance? I don’t think so. I think it’s good that we speak out when we have a reason to. If a comic is sexist, or racist, or if it contains unintentionally “dumbed down” elements, then speaking out against those qualities for being objectively bad in those respects is a good, helpful thing to do. Speaking out that way isn’t the same as condemning books for being “bad” for no good reason.

    But speaking out against ignorance and unintentionally illogical thinking does take courage. It’s far easier to just sweep everything under the rug and say “Oh it’s just not for me”.

    I enjoy iFanboy a lot, but over the years I’ve seen a lot less critical thinking. Even when you guys like books, you don’t really say “why” very much anymore. Or your “why” is based totally on subjective qualities about having a good time reading comics. That’s fine. But really all you’re arguing against in articles like this is that you don’t want people to judge things negatively in the same way that you judge things positively.

    You guys judge things positively without putting in much critical thought beyond “I liked this”, “That was neat”, etc. That’s fine. And you guys don’t like it when people judge things negatively without putting in much critical thought (“This just sucked!” “It made no sense! Awful!”). Also fine. But don’t assume that negative criticisms can’t have critical thought beyond them. It’s true that in many ways all art is subjective. But there are nonetheless certain specific qualities in art that can be judged in a more objective way. If you only want to look at things from the perspective of “Does this entertain me?”, then you won’t see this. There’s more to art than “taste”. Taste is personal. But analyzing art in other ways–looking objectively at how plots are structured, how certain people are portrayed, etc–don’t have anything to do with taste.

    • I picked up on those grammatical errors you point out but interpreted them as being colloquialisms.

    • That’s because that’s what they were.

    • “Should everybody be okay with comics that have racism in them? Should we just say “Well that’s not for me” and leave it at that?

      What about comics that only portray religious people (Christians and Muslims alike) as being hateful extremists?

      What about comics that basically reward superficial states of mind? Sure, we all like to “turn off our brains” every now and then, but what if you have an entire medium that basically dumbs down its viewers/readers?”

      I think people should have a right to make all those books, I wouldn’t like or read any, but I think we should say “Well that’s not for me” if it so bad, then enough people will say “Well that’s not for me” and the book would go away.

    • You make some interesting points Froggulper but if you regard comics as art, which you clearly do, then you need to be aware there is no strict definition of what art is. Infact much of what we now regard as great art was, at the time of its creation, regarded as dross with little to no artistic merit. You can think critically about art and criticise it as much as you like, but it wont remove its intrinsic value to some people, now or in the future. You worry about an “Island of Lotus Eaters”, but that is exactly what art is. The very principle of allowing people to, in a sense, “read what they like” has given us the glory of Western civilization. There is power in such diversity, even the crap stuff.

      Ultimately I see the ifanboy position as a way of affording each user the respect they would hope to receive from, what is effectively a bunch of strangers. ifanboy are not here to tell us what to do, even if it is for our own good. They are facilitating people like you and me in our discussions.

  14. great post, hey i am loving the fear Itself event, although i feel the “Garbage” comment was a bit strong even if i disagree with Josh, it has not stopped me from reading the book. It bothers me sometimes when my favorite podcast bags on something i like reading but that what makes them my top podcast its there opinions , and i respect that, ,but calling someones work as Garbage is harsh, even if you don’t like it try to use some respectful criticism.

  15. I find deadpool to be a stress relief from serious comics plus he kicks butt in x-force

  16. Why do I have the feeling that Rob Liefeld’s tweets on the Deadpool movie will be much more entertaining then the actual movie itself?

  17. Jim, I loved this article. I mean, i always love your articles, but i REALLY loved this one. Very well said. “Enjoy whatever you like and don’t worry about what other people think” is one of my main rules of life. I read comics because I love comics, not because I want people to think I am reading cool comics. I don’t care what the hip, happening kids are reading today. I’m just going to read what i want.

  18. Well said, sir. As has been stated, you say things that are rolling around in my head much better than I ever could.

  19. People should just try to be better critical thinkers, period.

    If you like a comic, try thinking about it critically in order to understand why. After thinking about it critically — beyond considerations of “This was fun” — then what you have to say about the comic will be a lot more interesting.

    If you don’t like something, again, try thinking about it critically. Uninformed, knee-jerk comments like “This sucked!!” are pretty much the most useless things to read.

    But the subheading of this article is:

    ‘”Read what you like” is easy to say, but it’s not always easy to do when even other comic readers are giving you grief.’

    Why is it not easy? If you’ve put critical thought into why you like things, then uninformed dissenting opinions shouldn’t matter to you.

    I’ve always enjoyed Morrison’s Batman run. It’s not perfect, but I loved it. For years I’ve heard many other people saying that it sucked. Did those comments bother me? Not at all. Most of them weren’t informed or intelligent comments. People have the right to their opinions, of course. But whatever. On the other hand, however, I have read a few very interesting negative reviews of Morrison’s Batman work, reviews that pointed out specifically why certain issues of his run were flawed. My understanding of Morrison has increased due to reading negative reviews of his work.

    Not everything is about “liking” or “not liking” something. If you’re interested in simply learning about how art works, then sometimes negative criticisms can definitely shed a light on that.

    I don’t fear negativity, as long as its informed and critically minded.

    • 100% agree with your last sentence. Negative opinions are just as valid as positives ones, as long as they are well thought out and expressed. Unfortunately, a lot of times on the internet that is not the case…

  20. Honestly, I only read comics because my friends do. I don’t really care for any of it. It’s really just peer pressure.

  21. Wait. There are Sentry fans? Who? Why?

  22. Reading through a couple of the comments I can’t help but point out that justified opinions and critical thinking do not make an opinion objective fact. Objectivity does not exist in human experience, too many intermediaries exist between reality and our experience of it. For something that is as intensely subjective as our impression of a creative work, objectivity is an impossible target.

    A more critical, analytical approach and a thorough understanding of the workings and techniques of the form in question do not serve to render an opinion objective. Instead they lend strength, insight and utility to the view expressed. It is the utility piece that is interesting in light of the article above.

    To say simply that “I liked it” doesn’t tell a reader much of anything useful unless they are already me or if they have some powerful pre-existing knowledge of me in relation to the topic at hand. If you know from previous experience that I know what I’m talking about and we share similar tastes, then “I liked it” tells you quite a lot about whether you might like it. If however I am not well known to you because I have not co-hosted a weekly comic podcast for the last half decade, I really need to give you more for my critique to mean anything to you.

    To give a thoughtful and supportive negative review of something is both valid and useful but to simply say something sucked has substantially less value to people who aren’t you. We all should be allowed to express ourselves but to publicly and repeated bash on something without any real purpose and thought behind it is a little rude to those who do not share your opinion. (Which I believe Is Mr Mroczkowski’s point.)

    To likewise repeat the message that something is great without support has no more critical value but it is less rude. I would also say that a place that emphasizes people sharing their appreciation for the things they like is superior to a place where people share their distaste for the things they hate. It is also a pretty rare thing on the internet.

    • This reminds me of something I wrote (damn near a year ago, yikes!) called “What Makes a Review Matter?” ( in which I tried to wrap my head around what the reviewer’s role is, or should be.

    • Thanks for posting that, it is an interesting question that you raise there. And a big thank you for giving me the word “bloviating”.

      We were taught in school, or at least I was, to not put personal pronouns in a position paper. This is probably the correct advice for an academic work but a review is not an academic work; it is vastly different in audience and purpose.

      Roger Ebert has said that a good review is, and I’m paraphrasing here, one that gives him a better understanding or new perspective on a film, not necessarily one that feels the same way about the film as he does.

      It is very tempting to describe a good review, or opinion piece of any kind, as one where the writer states their view and then proves they are right. However, in my view this is entirely incorrect. To me a good opinion piece is one where the writer provides their insight into the topic, justifies that they have a point, and then provides a context or connection for the reader to care about the insight(s) given.

      I suspect that before making the tweet you reference in that article, Bendis had read a lot of reviews that failed to take the last step of transitioning from stating the reviewer’s opinion to giving the reader a reason to care about that opinion. There are a lot of reviews that are just a list of what the reviewer likes and doesn’t like about a book.

      Use of a lot of personal pronouns is common in uninteresting reviews but that does not mean that use of a personal perspective makes for a bad review. In fact, that approach can give the hook needed to bring the reader in, so long as you have an insight beyond thumbs up or thumbs down.

  23. I loved the IDEA of The Sentry. It’s the execution that fell flat.

    This article is perfectly on-point, although I think we’re all allowed our one or two subjective bridges to burn. You think Deadpool sucks, Jim? Then tell us Deadpool sucks. We (well, most of us) get that this is only a personal opinion to which you are entitled and won’t get angry about it.

    Example: I think “Twilight” sucks (the first novel, anyway; never read the others.) But can millions of people who adore it be totally wrong? Well, yes. But far be it from me to begrudge Stephanie Meyers her success because she clearly hit on something… no matter how much it sucks. And is poorly written. And features a pair of completely unlikable protagonists. And displays complete dramatic inertia. And is populated with characters that undergo no emotional change whatsoever. And…

    I’ve forgotten my original point.

  24. I like Deadpool comics. I like comic books.

    I think Fabian Nicieza’s take on the character is definitive, and Joe Kelly’s Deadpool #11 was hilarious (even nominated for a Harvey Award). I like that the Deadpool comics use to show that Deadpool was friends with Bullseye, and that he could beat up Batroc the Leaper and hogtie him with a “ducky lamp.” It’s funny. I like funny things.

    Do I think Deadpool shows up in more stuff than he ever could (like Wolverine), well yes, but so does every other mainstream comic book character. I suspend temporal disbelief because I don’t want such realism that I get the issue of Batman getting a colonoscopy (sp.).

    Personally, I don’t understand why people can possess enough conviction to even dislike a comic book character.

    In conclusion, to each their own.

  25. The fact that so many folks loath Deadpool (that they need to go out of their way to slam him) speaks to the character’s relevance. And the fact that so many people who loath the character can’t explain why they do is comedic. Deadpool is the quintessential anti-hero: he looks good in tights but is fugly when he takes them off. He uses guns and knives and samurai swords when “real” superheros can’t. He breaks the (unspoken) rules and is despised for it (and I thought the dreadful comics code was buried years ago). The character is a very subtle riff on the age-old “heroes are fascists in disguise” critique. Deadpool’s ugliness serves as a metaphorical parody on that criticism of the genre. What I find most enjoyable and interesting about the 1997 volume by Joe Kelly was the “on the verge of hero status” metanarrative. I’m only up to issue #30, so don’t know how it ends, but this has been more intriguing to me than the 2008 volume has been hilarious for the character’s ongoing internal quadralogue (and like others I enjoyed Daniel Way’s writing at the outset, but the story never really went anywhere so I ended up dropping the book). With all this in mind, one of the reasons Uncanny X-Force has hooked me (SPOILER ALERT) was the reveal that Deadpool had been working for Wolverine scouting out all the baddies for FREE (a mercenary who doesn’t cash checks? scandalous!). For me, this ‘hero who isn’t really a hero’ thread is essential to the character (along with the dark humor and all the other craziness). I’ve been as disappointed as any other fan of the character at the way Marvel has attempted to wring every red penny they can out of him. But this too shall pass at some point.

    Thanks for a thoughtful and provocative column.