Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Deadpool #27 - Returning to Awesome Form
I know it sounds like I cut some heavy slack to the comics I inherently love, but I can be a hardass when I have to. The last time I reviewed a Deadpool comic I didn't hide my disappointment. I made just as many poop jokes to lampoon it as if it were another shitty Ultimate book, albeit not nearly as severe. Deapool is usually one of those comics you can rely on being entertaining month in and month out. For one to slip up like Deadpool #26 did, someone was either drunk on the job or someone lost a shitload playing fantasy football at the Marvel offices. There's no way around it. The story with Deadpool and Ghost Rider in the last issue sucked ass. It was poorly done, poorly executed, and nowhere near as entertaining as a Deadpool comic should be. It deserved a shitty score and it earned readers the right to be a little skeptical with the next book.
Luckily, Deadpool is one of those comics that can easily redeem itself with a single issue. Since Deadpool is such a wacky and bat-shit crazy character, there's no need for it to flow or remain completely consistent. If it were then that would completely go against the purpose of Deadpool. So for that reason I didn't hesitate to give Deadpool #27 a chance. It promises to continue the strong of miniature crossovers that has been done to death in Deadpool comics. The last one involved Ghost Rider and it sucked. This one involves the Secret Avengers. So does it measure up?
Well it starts off simply enough. Deadpool is trying to buy a burrito with gold at a gas station. Really, if any part of that surprises you then you haven't been reading Deadpool comics for very long. The guy behind the counter looks like a stereotypical Arab the politically incorrect crowd would expect to find working at a gas station. While MoveOn.org sues Marvel and Michael Moore goes into crying fits, it does make for a fairly typical dilemma that Deadpool faces.
Beyond the burrito, it stands to reason that he'll face another typical dilemma at one point. It comes in the form of a robbery that for once he doesn't start. He doesn't seem to notice it at first, as is often the case when faced with the prospect of a burrito. But a bunch of masked men from the Department of Homeland Security showed up behind him and they're prepared to do some "enhanced interrogation" for whatever Bush-appointed crony the CIA and NSA happen to be blowing at the moment.
Guys with guns against Deadpool has only one inevitable outcome and that's a full blown gunfight. Now at this point it's not clear who these guys are and what they're after. They look like any thug the Department of Homeland Security would slap ski-masks on and call "Freedom Fighters," but remember this is a Deadpool comic. Shit has a way of making little to no sense at first. It's made all the more crazy when the soldiers in question show healing factors. That reveals they may be a bit more than typical Bush cronies and it also gives Deadpool an excuse to use high explosives (as if he ever needs one).
It doesn't take long for the gunfight to take another twist. During the fight, Deadpool slips into a secret passage that you wouldn't expect to find in a gas station. Usually a secret passage like that only leads to an oversized porno collection. Instead it leads to something else that will have the far left bitching endlessly. That cashier from earlier wasn't just your typical red-blooded American. He was an Arab selling weapons. Before I finish writing this sentence, Nancy Palosi is writing a letter to the ACLU.
The man tires to play the victim. He tries not to come off as the ruthless Arab terrorists that Fox News can't resist playing clips of every five seconds. Deadpool, assuming he's not a Fox News fan, gives him a chance to explain himself. He doesn't end up getting it because those American shock troopers from earlier find their way into the passage and confront them. The cashier plays coward and hides behind a heavy barrier, leaving Deadpool to do the explaining.
Now it's not too clear what is said, but most of the words come in the form of bullet wounds. Since both Deadpool and the masked soldiers regenerate, shooting each other is about as effective as throwing silly putty. Eventually they start talking with words. The guys in the mask claim to be patriots after the cashiers weapons. The cashier claims NOT to be a terrorist. Deadpool, not known for his reasoning skills, is understandably confused.
They go back and forth. The cashier claims he's the victim. The CIA gave him these weapons and wanted him to sell them in his country. He refused. He wanted to take them and sell them in America where they go for more, thus giving Uncle Sam a nice Cleveland Steamer in the process. The masked men don't buy it. They say he's just a thug selling to other thugs. Deadpool can't decide who is the terrorist. Then the guest stars enter the picture in another shameless crossover. This time it's Captain America and the Secret Avengers, who by most measures are a step up from Ghost Rider.
They take out the masked men and Steve Rogers gives Deadpool a hard slug as well. He doesn't seem to mind. In fact, it triggers some flashbacks to him as a kid idealizing Captain America. For him, it would be like a Star Trek fan getting punched by William Shatner. That fan will never wash his face again.
Since Deadpool is out, Captain America and his Secret Avengers make quick work of the soldiers. This is a guy who took on the freakin' Nazis in a way that Call of Duty fans can only masterbate to. It's not much of a fight to say the least.
Then comes another twist. This time it's the cashier. He finally comes clean. It turns out he's not the innocent victim of post 9/11 bigotry. For once the assholes at Fox News get what they want. The creepy store clerk at the gas station is a terrorist. And not just any terrorist either. He's a terrorist with a giant freakin' robot suit. In terrorist circles, that's like being the guy that had a three way with Hallie Berry and Jennifer Lopez.
It looks like he's setting the stage for an epic struggle against the Secret Avengers. Then in the span of a single panel it ends in a humiliating and somewhat appropriate manner for a Deadpool comic. Deadpool, now fully recovered from Captain America's punch, gets up and casually shoots the guy in the head. Apparently, the terrorists are still way behind the curve when it comes to robot armor suits. They don't understand that not protecting the head of the wearer makes these things about as vulnerable as a compact car in a monster truck show. All it took was one bullet and that was it. America is safe again. Fox News can keep gloating.
There's not much to resolve from here. Deadpool's little save earned him some brownie points with Steve Rogers. For him, shooting a terrorist earns you about two gold stars in the patriot handbook. Deadpool still swoons around him the way Lady Gaga swoons at a gay rights rally. He looks pretty goofy, but he's Deadpool. He does it in a way that's still awesome. Then Captain America does yet another twist and asks if Deadpool wants to work for him. That's like a heavy metal fan being asked to be lead guitar for Metallica. Deadpool's response is to be expected. He makes a total fool of himself, thereby making for the most fitting end to this book.
Going back to what I said earlier, it's easy for one Deadpool comic to make up for a shitty one. Compared to the last issue with Ghost Rider, this was like shit turning to gold. It was worlds better. It didn't let itself get bogged down by the events of the previous book. It didn't try to start some epic new arc. It just told a nice, crazy Deadpool story.
Granted, it was heavy on the twists and politically incorrect in so many areas. If this book was read by Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck, it would be covered in their semen by the end of the second reading. So long as you're not the politically sensitive type, you'll still enjoy this issue for what it offers. It shows Deadpool at his best, being badass and goofy in all the ways that make him so lovably awesome. It also sets the stage for some new stories that have him joining Steve Rogers for a bit. Now it certainly doesn't sound like a recipe for a very successful partnership. It'll be nothing short of a miracle if it lasts more than one issue. But it offers plenty more reasons to get the next issue compared to the last one.
Overall, this was a great rebound from the previous issue. Deadpool remains one of those special comics that readers should always give a chance because it has it's own style that stay entertainingly awesome even if it does make a few missteps. For improving mightily and reminding readers why they love this series, Deadpool #27 gets a 4.5 out of 5. If you love Deadpool, killing terrorists, or are generally a right-winger you'll love this book. Nuff said!