Let’s take another look at Ye Olde Longe-Boxe with the first four issues of the 90s Deadpool run! Yay…..
OK, so the first thing I want to say is that I have found people on the internet who swear this is the best run of Deadpool ever. Those people exist. I mean, look at this banner of images from the run:
Christ. Deadpool looks like, well, like Rob Liefield designed him. Hm. I mean, that’s sort of true, right? Along with Fabian Nicieza, Liefeld is indeed Deadpool’s creator. Let this be proof that even one’s creator can’t get in the way of one’s greatness (take that, Bob Kane, God, everyone else out there! Ha!).
Right, right, seriously though. Deadpool was originally another of those fucking 90s shit-heads everyone loves to hate. He had pouches on pouches, muscles on muscles, and at one point in issue one he emerges from a bar booth with so many weapons strapped to him it would have been impossible to be sitting in the position he was in moments before, in the other panels. Somehow these 90s assholes carried weapons between the creases of their muscles or some shit, I dunno.
Like a shitty SF movie or game, we begin with information that serves only to make the convoluted plot make sense: Black Tom Cassidy is in some sort of prison, being eaten alive by a tree virus (seriously), and he’s requested Some Guy to be his doctor. The Juggernaut breaks in to free Cassidy, who in turn insists the doctor come with. The doctor’s files include a dossier of Wade Wilson. Hey, isn’t that the main character?
Five pages of this prologue and then we finally get the see the main character – who is scaring bimbos in a bar by uncovering his fucked up face.
OK, Mark Waid, I’ll give you this one. The prologue was stupid as fuck, since we still don’t actually know what’s going on, and the explication Banshee delivers later works just as well without the fluffy five page beginning, but if you have to have a BS intro, then cutting to Deadpool just fucking with the muggles is the way to go. Oh, and then some more Liefeld-esque assholes crash in, blow the bar to shit, and freeze Wade to immobilze him. Banshee breaks him out (remember when any X-Men related character had to have at least three other X-Men characters in their comics? Yeah, me too, and it was still going on last week I think – oh, also, Deadpool #1 features Black Tom, Juggernaut, Banshee, and Syren, so that’s four!). Deadpool tries to hit on Syren, and he gets a hand cut off. Fade to black on his bleeding stump failing to regenerate. That’s pretty much that. Issue one, wrapped up. Hurray!
So what’s the problem here? Aside from the goofy, too muscly-art, that is? Well, it’s half an issue! Cut the prologue, -5 pages. Keep pre-fight comedy. Reduce fight, -1 page. Reduce explication, -1.5 pages. Second fight, keep it, the result actually matters. What are we down to? 14.5 pages left? OK, so not half, but close enough.
That gets us up to issue two, in which we see a too-long flashback of Banshee, back when he was an Interpol agent, fuck up a mission only to be saved by Deadpool (because Banshee’s mark had a hit out on him). Black Tom, back in the present, sends Juggernaut after Deadpool, but gets pissed when he finds out Siryn is with him. I guess Tom and Banshee/Siryn are related or something? Meanwhile, Deadpool regrows his hand himself, somehow, after he wakes up. To get around doing something fucking interesting with the art, the comic instead has Siryn put Deadpool’s glove on the stump for no fucking reason. He regrows the hand into the glove, which totally wouldn’t push it off or anything. They banter some more, Siryn tries to take off Deadpool’s mask, which makes him mad, then the action scene starts back up.
I want to give Mark Waid credit for making me laugh once, even if it’s a pretty old joke. Shen Siryn tells Deadpool he fainted, his reaction is the traditional “I didn’t faint? Old ladies faint! I blacked out!” Oh, and then a few panels later Siryn’s face looks like a horse’s. That’s probably not a joke, but it happened, and it’s kinda funny. I presume the artist was trying to make her look different than every other lady superhero, which I appreciate, but – well, look, I don’t mean “horse face” as in ugly, I mean seriously her mouth looks like she could eat an entire apple and then kick the walls of her stall.
I think in that previous sentence Siryn’s face is kicking a stall. I’m leaving it, it works.
OK, remember the flashback I mentioned earlier? It’s “too long,” I said. It’s three pages long. Guess what it means with that feels too long to a reader? Probably it should have been reconsidered. Basically it’s there only to deliver some explication – Banshee’s partner got fucked over by Interpol for botching the mission as well, even though he had nothing to do with it. He’s a private eye, and Banshee (in the present) has asked him for some leads to deal with the, well, the current plot.
Naturally the former partner shows up on the last panel of the comic with a gun and a bunch of other guys with guns. I have no idea how a washed up Interpol agent / drunken, loutish private eye got a platoon of guys – save only in this comic, as in any other comic with the genetic imprint of Rob Liefield’s writing in it, platoons of guys with guns are on every street corner, in the parking lots of Home Depots, waiting for a suburban white guy to roll up and offer them fifty bucks to shoot up a liquor store or warehouse or whatever fucking backdrop the latter half of this comic is set in.
OK, it’s a plot point that they’re in a smelting chamber, because Deadpool drops Juggernaut in a vat, but really, aside from that it’s blank color swatch backgrounds and pipes hanging around everywhere.
So this accounts for the first two issues, and I think the first half – I’m not sure if this was a mini-series of four issues or if I just only own the first four issues of the series, so basically you’re getting another post and then we’ll do something else because I’m out of comics here.
Next time! Will Deadpool ever survive Guys With Guns? Will Siryn’s face stretch out, curiously like Black Tom’s? Does that mean she’s a villain? Will Banshee ever, ever be interesting?
(The last one’s no, by the way. Dammit I loved him when I was a kid, trust me, my disappointment is being honest with you here).