Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Deadpool Corps #4 - Galactic Insanity and Awesome

For the past few months, everything has been so damn serious in the X-men comics. While everyone else is enjoying the lighter side of the Heroic Age, the doom and gloom lingered a bit longer around the X-crew thanks to Bastion and his army of genocide loving douche-bags. That meant if you wanted to read an X-men comic, you better make sure you had some prozac and weed handy because they weren't going to make you smile. Even though the crossover has ended, there still aren't a whole lot of lighter moments to enjoy for those who have even the slightest inkling of a sense of humor.

Enter the Deadpool Corps. This is a book that's entirely structured around the concept that it isn't serious. In fact, it's utterly insane. Like all Deadpool books, the plot is so outrageous it can only come from the twisted mind of someone doped up on enough LSD and DMT to melt Jimi Hendrix's guitar. And just like Jimi Hendrix it's been pretty awesome so far. So for those looking for a slight reprieve from Second Coming, how does Deadpool Corps #4 measure up? Well it definitely is crazier than a sack of ferrets as Deadpool has so often been described.

For those of you who haven't kept up with this iteration of Deadpool, he's gathered a few parallel versions of himself that include Lady Deadpool (just Deadpool with boobs), Kid Deadpool (Deadpool as a brat kid), Dogpool (see the name for the obvious), and floating Head zombie Deadpool (okay, they don't get points for originality). With this corps of Deadpools they're supposed to travel through the farthest reaches of space Star Wars style and save the universe from a dark threat. Now why Deadpool of all people is being enlisted is somewhat unclear, but his insanity and unconditional devotion to tacos could be a factor. Whatever the case, it's already led him and his crew to some pretty fucked up encounters of the nth kind and it continues in this book with an encounter against some dinosaur-like aliens (again, no points for originality).

The fight is pretty awesome and it's just a prelude to another fight. Deadpool and his crew are trying to fight their way to this alien creature they call The Eyeball who runs a smuggling ring. He (or it if we're going to be sensitive to the alien crowd) is supposed to point them in the right direction for their next mission. It's a little fucked up to comprehend, but it still makes about as much sense as any Deadpool comic (ie none at all). By the time they do fight their way to The Eyeball, they encounter one last alien thug and this one looks like something right out of a Mortal Kombat game. He fights like one too because Deadpool gets worked over pretty good by most Deadpool standards.

Lady Deadpool and Kidpool don't fare much better and it gets pretty ugly. The fight scene isn't as well-choreographed as the one with the alien velociraptors, but it does end in a twisted and fitting sort of way. Rather than man up and fight to the last breath in a heroic stand, the Deadpool takes this thing out in a way that is perfectly sane by their standards. That is to say Dogpool and Zombie Head Deadpool land the freakin' space ship on him. Yeah, it's about as awesome as it sounds. But hey, it works doesn't it?

With Goro-light out of their way, the Deadpool Corps finally confront The Eyeball and wouldn't you know it? The name is basically an accurate description of the character. He's one big eyeball with a bunch of tentacles. Is there zero room for originality in this comic? It turns out this eye is the kingpin of crime in this part of the galaxy. It's just like Wilson Fisk, only not as fat and not quite as awesome. It goes onto explain that it does control a huge smuggling ring, but there is one smuggler among all others that it has no control over. This smugger is known as the Broken Blade (finally some originality!) and he/she/it/whatever the fuck it is will be able to give them some answers.

The Deadpool Corps then venture to a space port known as Caligula Station. That sounds like a promising name, calling something after a batshit crazy Roman Emperor who made his horse a high ranking official. It sounds like home for a guy like Deadpool. When they enter the station it looks like the equivalent of a mall, except with aliens. It doesn't look like a very exciting mall though. That doesn't stop Lady Deadpool from getting all excited. Queue angry feminist protests because while Deadpool goes off to investigate, she and Kidpool go off to shop. Only in a Deadpool comic could that make a lick of sense.

Now alone with the zombie head and Dogpool, Deadpool begins his investigation for the Broken Blade. He doesn't have to look very far though. The first place he looks is a place called (and seriously, I'm running out of originality quips) the Broken Blade. It's this rough-looking alien bar that seems like a cheap knock-off of Mos Eisleys in Star Wars. Only Deadpool has to make a much bigger scene when he arrives. That includes him announcing to everybody that he is looking for the Broken Blade and will kick anyone's ass who stands in his way. It's not just crazy, it's insanely ballsy.

Something that stupid really shouldn't work, even in comics. But this is a Deadpool comic. Insanity gushes out here like a BP oil rig so when someone makes a pigheaded, foolhardy, insert whatever other depiction of sheer crazy act here it has a strange way of working itself out. And guess what? This is no exception. Not only does the Broken Blade show up, but the Broken Blade turns out to be a hot alien check with a striking resemblance to Domino. Yeah, there probably isn't a number for mathematicians to compute that properly calculates how fucked up and awesome that is.

Deadpool and the lucky lady fight only briefly. It isn't much of a fight. Not a whole lot of hitting and bruising. It's just some fancy acrobatics. Then when Deadpool starts discussing The Eyeball, things get a little more serious (at least as serious as they can get in a Deadpool comic). Miss Broken Blade invites Deadpool up to her bedroom to discuss these matters privately. I think it goes without saying just what that entails.

So while Deadpool is getting his rock off in an alien babe, Lady Deadpool and Kidpool are doing their shopping. It's a remarkably cute/disturbing moment between an insane kid and an insane woman with oversized boobs talking about aliens and shoes. It almost makes you want to coo. But while they're enjoying their little mall run, some alien guy in a trench coat that looks like he has a face entirely composed of horse piss shows up and makes an ominous call to his superiors. It seems someone is finally looking to hit the Deadpool Corps in a way that isn't painfully underwhelming.

Back with Deadpool and his lucky lady, they finish their intergalactic coitus and discuss their next move. Apparently, this Broken Blade character is an outcast from an assassins group known as the Black Daggers (very cool name for once). That apparently didn't do it for her so she decided to fight her way out. And for anyone who tries to leave the Black Daggers, they're labeled with the shame of being the Broken Blade, hence the name. It's a remarkably serious story for a remarkably un-serious comic.

Once the origins are explained, Deadpool tells her what he needs from her. She can not only provide him with information for his next move, but help him smuggle a cloaking device to make sure his ship can navigate silently into the shit he's sure to encounter. It sounds like a pretty sweet deal and he gets to see her naked if that isn't enough. Apparently insanity can still attract the ladies, even if they are alien.

So with Broken Dagger now on their crew, they follow her to her ship where she then flies them off to their next locale. While they are making their leave, the piss-faced alien from earlier shows up again and makes another long-winded command about exacting their vengeance on the Deadpool Corps. It's not as ominous as it could be though. Considering all the alien agendas Deadpool has faced thus far, there is nothing to set this one apart. It ends the book on a bit of a weak note, but the addition of the hot alien chick does help.

So where does that leave this book? I usually give pretty high marks to Deadpool comics because whoever is lucky enough to write them usually has a hard time making them anything less than awesome. Deadpool is one of those characters who doesn't need a certain writing style to be good. He just needs an insane plot with insane action and he's good to go. Victor Gischler has been pretty solid with the Deadpool Corps to this point, but this issue still suffers in a number of ways.

First off, the action is pretty weak. Most Deadpool comics are defined by how bloody and insane they are. This one had next to none of that and the fight scenes, what few there were, didn't distinguish themselves. Second, there's the lack of originality. While names like Broken Blade are cool, the Eyeball really just seems too lame even for a Deadpool comic. Plus there's the whole space mall scene with one too many Star Wars references. It's nowhere near as awesome as it could be and certainly not as awesome as it should be.

It's still awesome in other ways. A hot alien check with a decent back-story definitely adds some zest to an otherwise sour plot. It rescues this book from being too great a disappointment. It's still not one of the strongest when it comes to Deadpool titles and because of that I can only give it a 3 out of 5. I've enjoyed the Deadpool Corps books so far, but they still lack the more sincere insanity of the ongoing Deadpool title that has him playing a bigger part in the Marvel Universe. This series is almost over and it certainly has been memorable thus far. But it's starting to fade a bit. Luckily, Deadpool always has a way of making his titles entertaining so I'm definitely on board for the conclusion to the Deadpool Corps! Nuff said.

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