Thursday, 16 October 2014

Deadpool's Art of War #1 Review (Peter David, Scott Koblish)

Deadpool’s in 6th century BC China because he’s Deadpool. He accepts a contract to kill the legendary Chinese general, Sun Tzu, and, after the deed, discovers the book he’s been writing: The Art of War. Jumping back to the present, he decides to sell his version of it to Major Publishing and get rich – but first he has to write it. So begins Deadpool’s Art of War as he decides to put into practice the lessons of the book. His first stop: Asgard, to ignite a war between Thor and Loki. 

It looks like the Deadpool mini-series have begun double-shipping along with the rest of Marvel’s line (the other one currently being published is Hawkeye Vs Deadpool)! Unfortunately, this latest one might be a mini-series too far, if the first issue is any indication. Peter David’s script is utterly boring! I mean, when did Deadpool care about being a writer? Why is earning a million dollars from a book such an appealing prospect when he could earn that from being a mercenary? And what’s so great about Deadpool’s take on The Art of War anyway – he just repeats the obvious lessons in it with Marvel characters added in. 

I really don’t care for Asgard or all that fantasy stuff so when the story went there, my already lowered interest plummeted to rock bottom. It’s classic Asgard with Thor and classic Loki (the sneering old dude not the current One Direction Loki). Deadpool shows Loki how to beat Thor by surprising his group with a hidden army, even though such a laughably simple ploy is bizarrely successful against Thor and his warriors. 

I just hated Peter David’s script. It’s dull and unimaginative and presents a story that isn’t even half interesting. It’s also not funny – Abbott and Costello skits? I don’t need Deadpool to be some OCD jackass constantly referencing pop culture but corny comedy from the days when radio was the hot new thing isn’t the way to go either. 

Scott Koblish’s art and Val Staples’ colours are pretty good. Koblish is the guy who does all of the “lost issues” from the 60s/70s and so on in the main Deadpool title. The art here has that same sketchy, less polished look to suit the old style comics it’s replicating and Staples’ washed-out colours are a good match. The cover’s pretty awesome too. I liked the art plenty and it was the only thing I responded to in this issue. 

Deadpool’s Art of War #1 is a really poor Deadpool comic. The concept is weak, the writing is even worse and I couldn’t care less what happens next. Maybe if you’re a fan of those “lost issues” (which, besides the first one referencing Iron Man’s Demon in a Bottle storyline, were all terrible) you’ll enjoy this a bit more than most Deadpools fans but even that’s doubtful. Koblish/Staples’ good work simply isn’t enough to make this one stand out. I expect this will be popular because for quite a few Deadpool fans, they’ll read anything with the character in it regardless of quality, though, for discerning comics readers, this is definitely an easy one to miss.

Deadpool's Art of War #1

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