Thursday, 6 February 2014

Deadpool, Volume 3: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Review (Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn)

Oof. This is where the joke wears thin. 

My favourite issue of the series so far has been the “Demon in a Bottle” parody in Deadpool #7 where Deadpool went back to 1980 or thereabouts and visited Tony Stark who was in the midst of his alcoholism. It was genuinely funny and drawn in the style of Marvel comics back in the day which was an inspired choice. 

Probably due to the success of that issue, Duggan/Posehn have tried it again here, doing a two-part story set in the 70s when Power Man and Iron Fist were a New York-based crime fighting duo and have plonked Deadpool (with an afro – that, I did like!) in between them. It’s just filled with bad jokes – mostly puns really – and Deadpool talking “jive”. The running joke is Deadpool thinks they’re a team and Power Man doesn’t. Um… ok. This was the point, for me, when Deadpool stopped being funny and became plain irritating. 

As weak as those two issues were (and was the reason why I stopped buying the single issues), they were at least trying to funny and in keeping with Deadpool’s whacky character. The five part story, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, is a miserable trawl through a turgid, decidedly unfunny, and completely uninteresting arc. 

Since the series began, some weird people have popped up now and then, drugged Deadpool, chopped off some limbs and/or stolen some organs, and disappeared – but why? We find out here they’re part of the Weapon Plus program who’re in North Korea and are doing nutty experiments in creating their own invincible mutant army. With the help of other superhero experiments, Captain America and Wolverine, Deadpool goes to North Korea to bring down the Weapon Plus program and liberate the few surviving mutant experiments, only to discover a terrible secret from his past. 

It’s not that Deadpool shouldn’t have drama or that the character shouldn’t grow but the direction they took him in here was just awkward. When Deadpool was supposed to be heartbroken I was rolling my eyes – it just wasn’t convincing for this character! And when you take away the jokes and/or madcap attributes a Deadpool comic has (like breaking the fourth wall, referencing current events, doing meta-things), it becomes a very generic superhero comic. Deadpool and co. go in, break some stuff, then leave. It tries to be emotionally powerful and fails. 

If you’re not going to be funny, then at least be interesting, and unfortunately this book is not that.

Deadpool Volume 3: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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