Night of the Living Deadpool #1:
So Obvious, So Good...
In a world overrun by zombie… TV series, movies, comics… in walks our titular hero: Deadpool. The real world has been almost as inundated with undead entertainment properties just as the undead monsters populate those fantasy worlds we witness. And, of course, the saturation of Deadpool in the Mighty Marvel Marketing Department is the legendary scorn of the interwebs and comic book fans.
Now, two properties that many may think have overstayed their welcome have finally united! So, this has to be terrible, right? A simple money grab concocted by the money-grubbing brain dead (zombie) suits of corporate America? Nothing of note to see here…
Unless you want a good comic.
So, bravo, suits, you got my money.
Writer Cullen Bunn gives us a story that is, surprisingly, less self-referential than past Deadpool mini series. In its own way, the return to a more "classic" storytelling style is in it of itself a curveball just as screwy as any panel in Uncanny X-Force where Wade turns to the "camera" and speaks to the reader. If you have read Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe, Mr. Pool can get very Meta about his place in a fictional universe. He addresses the reader directly… a lot.
One would think that "Night Of…" would be full of these asides, chiding the reader for their choice of yet another zombie comic (or yet another Deadpool comic)! But Bunn gives us a rather straightforward story. Well, as straightforward as a current 'Pool comic can get.
The humor is still there; Deadpool not only witnesses all the signs of the coming apocalypse in a great montage, he sleeps through the final days of humanity's control of the planet in a chimichanga food coma after gorging on his favorite food stuffs at an all you can eat joint; and then takes forever to figure out what is going on, but only because he is kind of excited to be the last dude on Earth.
And once the resurrected dead do arrive, they have a bit of twist to them. It's not mind-blowing, but it's different enough and something I don't remember seeing before. (I won't spoil it for you all here).
There is a very distinct stylistic choice in the art. Roman Rosanas depicts our Merc With A Mouth in color… and everything else in black and white. The backgrounds, zombies, soon to be zombies are all done in grey scale. Save for the aforementioned flashback sequence (which is brilliant), the comic is black, white, grey and red.
This obviously makes Deadpool stand out, as if he was designed two decades ago for this very purpose. Everything associated with Wade is always in color: when he swigs a drink at the restaurant, the liquid is green; the blood on his sword is red; the muzzle bursts from his pistols are orange; but the world around him remains dark and washed out. It's a really smart choice, giving "life" to Deadpool in an otherwise dead world.
Rosanas' art fits the city environs really well. His visuals are packed with detail, befitting the closed in feel of the city at large. Action is crisp and easy to follow. And he even gets the slide blowback of the pistol firing right. No one does that anymore. *sigh*
Jay Shaw's cover, with its tiny Deadpool head amidst a tide of the undead, is perfect. Just a chuckle inducer, which is exactly what I think it needed. Almost a "hey, I'm here, chill out guys," bit.
The entire book is handled by some of the better talent that has gotten their mitts on the Merc With A Mouth.
Bunn has been writing Deadpool for a while now, having penned both "Deadpool Kills Deadpool" and "Deadpool Killustrated," and has a great handle on the character. The humor is subtler than some of the zany antics of Wade's past, but it still works. And the story is more engaging for it, too.
If you want to jump into a Deadpool book that has no connection to the greater MU, or no need to "catch up," then this is the book for you. Or, if you just want a good comic, then this is still the book for you.
Just don't tell the suits they won, eh?
Kris Koller works at Earth-2 Comics Northridge, 8967 Reseda Blvd. in Northridge, California, always happy to help you find the book you're looking for. You can also venture into Earth-2 Comics at 15017 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks.
As always, look to your local comics shop for the books discussed here on Fanboy Planet -- Earth-2 in Sherman Oaks and Northridge, The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, Illusive Comics & Games in Santa Clara, Hijinx Comics in Willow Glen would all be great places, and many do mail-order business.