The Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe TPB hits today, and you can check out my reviews of all four issues in the collection below!
*SPOILER WARNING* *MATURE READERS ONLY*
We're thrown in at the deep end in the first issue of the 4-part mini-series--written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Dalibor Talajic--as The Watcher is observing 'the beginning of the end' of a parallel Earth... We zoom in on Sue Richards, The Invisible Woman, holding a dying Reed Richards in her arms in the Fantastic Four's decimated headquarters. The Thing has already been 'reduced to rocks and dust' as The Watcher informs us that the Fantastic Four will be but the first of many heroes who will fall.
We join Deadpool, who's now just offed The Human Torch, before Sue's invisibility and telekinesis are utilized in an inventively nasty way and she pops Wade's head open.
...But this universe's Deadpool still has his super-charged healing factor--his head promptly regenerates and Sue's not long for this world, either. Just how fast Wade's immortal head regrows is implausible, but this is a book concerned with shock and awe, not fanboy nitpickings.
The scene is set for the end of the Marvel Universe as we know it (kind of), and we now flashback to see how we got here...
The X-Men are committing Deadpool (in costume) to Ravenscroft Asylum, where one Dr. Benjamin Brighton has introduced 'radical new treatments designed to ease troubled minds'... Despite reservations from Wolverine, Professor X believes the help the unhinged Merc with a Mouth needs has surpassed what the X-Men can provide.
Wrapped up in a strait-jacket, Deadpool is left in Dr. Brighton's care, and it's soon revealed to Wade that the Dr.'s motives are less than noble, as 'he' is in fact a robot, piloted by micro-sized professional loser-villain Psycho Man. Psycho wants Wade to be the first of an army he's aiming to assemble to take over the Earth--and so his box of tricks is activated, instigating a 'treatment' in Wade's brain designed to remove the 'incessant jabbering' from the Merc with a Mouth's persona and render him all-killer.
The treatment appears to work--the regular voices in Deadpool's head now replaced with a much nastier one. Score one for Psycho Man? Not so much, because in another moment asking for suspension of disbelief, Deadpool breaks free of his strait-jacket and takes Psycho Man out in a manner that literally stamps the mark of this new, cold-blooded Deadpool.
Deadpool walks out of Ravenscroft, exploding it in his wake, and demonstrates a new spin on his Fourth-Wall breaking abilities when he pays a 'visit' to the still-narrating Watcher...before serving up a threat that sets up what's to come in the next issues of this 4-part weekly series.
Cullen Bunn's writing and Dalibor Talajic's art, together with Lee Loughridge's colors, fit the tone of the book well. They're less cartoony and more sombre than the style that's been seen in much of Deadpool's output over recent years, and for anyone that got into Deadpool during his boom period, when his is line of books included much of him portrayed as a semi-heroic gag-merchant/indestructible whipping-boy in Deadpool Team-Up and Deadpool Corps--this much darker Wade Wilson may come as something of a shock.
With the tone of the regular Deadpool book's recent 'Dead' arc and now this, I'm heartened to find things going back into darker territory, taking Deadpool away from the 'Bugs Bunny with a gun' direction he'd been going in; though I was personally a little concerned when this first issue coincidentally connected with one of the ideas I've been developing while fleshing out my own Deadpool pitch over the last few weeks. Very passionate about this, the last thing I wanted to see was it made redundant. Thankfully my fears were allayed, Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe is something very different.
The one question I had going into this mini-series, which begins with 'our Deadpool' before spinning him off into a new form and reality, was "Why would Deadpool want to kill the Marvel Universe?" His morals have always been wonky, but not bankrupt. That key element is handled well in this solid opening Chapter and I'm primed for the horrors to come...
You can check out my reviews of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #2, #3 and #4 by clicking on their numbers!
And if you'd like to see more shiz from me, I'm now also reviewing for GeekSmash.com, and join me back here on Weds Nov 7th for my review of Marvel NOW! Deadpool #1 - of which you can check out a Preview here!