Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tell Me A Storyline: Deadpool - Dead

Series: Deadpool
Issues: Vol. 3 #50-54

  I've recently finished Dead, the story took place in the pages of Deadpool Vol. 3 #50-54.  I gotta say, overall I didn't like it.

  The story is coming off the awesome arc with Evil Deadpool (we'll cover that later), someone has come up with a serum that will make our dear Merc with a Mouth mortal again.  By which I mean remove his healing factor and the only thing that enables Wade to hang with anybody, because when you have a mouth like that you need a healing factor to survive the beatings that are sure to follow.  When Wade sees that Evil Deadpool is in fact killed after being injected with this serum he decides to use this opportunity to run into the arms of his lady love: Death.  But of course Deadpool can't go out like any normal person, he has to go out it style, with pizzazz, with gusto, he's got to go out on top.  So Dead follows Wade's plan to die.

  The storyline starts out very promising with Wade proclaiming his love for Death and hinting at the big plan he has to make it happen, including a some what romantic scene between Deadpool and Death herself.  The next issue we get the start of the plan.  To draw out who made the serum he get dupes X-Force into investigating it as a threat to mutemanity while putting Daken (Wolvie's son with daddy issues) on the trail hinting that it could be used to nullify Logan's healing factor as well.  He forces Bob, Agent of Hydra to involve Tombstone (who hates Wade for what happened in Suicide Kings) and Kingpin (who just wants leverage against everyone) so that he can get as many people looking for the serum as possible and draw somebody out that will want to take Wade down with it and when he's mortal he'll reveal the whole plan which will enrage everyone into killing him.

  So we get three issues of great build-up.  We see a side of Wade we've never seen before, motivated, manipulative, focused and dangerous.  The way he manipulates everyone into this plan and manages to line up all the unique personalities like dominoes is awesome to watch because we've never seen Deadpool do something like this.  Deadpool is the kind of guy who probably as a kernel of an idea of a plan we he enters a situation but then mostly flies by the seat of his pants changing it as fast as he needs to to keep people guessing.  Not really a long game manipulator, we've seen him manipulate people before but usually by taking advantage of their selfish impulses rather than their personality flaws.  Then as everything builds to a crescendo and a promises super bad ass conclusion, a real "how will he get out of this one" moment, we get: nothing.

  Deadpool becomes human, changes his mind and runs off with Bob to protect Bob from Tombstone.  Ultimately we get a character moment from Wade.  Wade stops being so selfish and decides to put friends first and help Bob instead of himself.  Great.  We already knew this about Wade.  If you didn't then read Cable & Deadpool or Deadpool vol. 2.  Even Deadpool vol. 3 has similar moments.  Deadpool can act immature and selfish but deep down he's not.  Fantastic.  Daniel Way has done a great job with Deadpool so far, so I really hope that this is just a set up for something great, something new.  What I see right now are the future adventures of handsome, vulnerable Wade.  Maybe by making him both these things he intends to explore the deeper parts of Wades psyche.  Having been so long since he's looked human maybe he doesn't know how to behave when people can actually see him and he doesn't have to wear a physical mask anymore.  Maybe he can take off the physical mask but the emotional one he can't so he now becomes conflicted and awkward.  By making him vulnerable we may see a more careful and innovative side of Deadpool.  He can't use all his old battle strategies anymore, he can't drop a grenade at his feet and let it explode knowing he'll be okay.  Maybe Daniel Way has this all plotted out and it'll be awesome.

  But maybe my ending is better.

  Part 3 ends with Bob stabbing Deadpool with the serum after a confrontation with all the players goes awry (or exactly as planned depending on your viewpoint) this is the pre-battle to get you all aroused for the upcoming huge melee.  Part 4 is where it all starts to falls apart and we have all the parties realize that Wade has to die and part 5 is where Deadpool realizes he wants to LIVE dammit.  Part 4 is where it all falls apart starts to get shakey.  Between Deadpool angering X-Force and revealing his plan we have Bob getting all emo and eventually convincing Wade that he should choose life.  Part 5 is just not good.  We know that Deadpool had to go out as big as possible and every issue built to that last multi-sided fight.  X-Force, The Hand, Tombstone and Daken all aligned against each other and against Deadpool.  We were set up for the melee of the year and then... Deadpool bailed.  Handsome with no healing factor, Wade Wilson ran.  I imagined pretty much anything else and it was a huge disappointment.

  Here's how I would have ended it, and it's easy to say that standing on a great base that was built by a talented writer already made for me.  We have Bob be sad that he's losing his friend and ready to pack up and leave.  Wade is happy that he gets to be with his lady love and we get some scenes of Wade and Death talking and being lovey as he prepares a battlefield (rooftop, docks, Central Park, warehouse district, doesn't really matter).  We keep the last line "Then it's settles... Deadpool dies." but we instead of the full page on X-Force it's instead on a full page of all the factions against Wade.  X-Force, Tombstone and his gangsters, Typhoid Mary repping Kingpin with The Hand and Daken there to take out his dad (who he thinks is vulnerable, originally at some point Wade tells him Logan's fine, we remove that).  That's how we do Part 4.

  Part 5 opens in mid melee, it of course degenerates into a huge free for all with Bob watching from a distance.  All the factions are fighting each other for a piece of Wade while still taking pieces of Wade.  Every time it looks like it'll be the killing blow Deadpool activates another trap that he prepped the battlefield with.  But every close call takes more and more out of him as he slowly realizes what it is to be vulnerable, what it is to be human.  It's total chaos but finally while Deadpool is busy fighting of ex-lover Typhoid Mary and a cadre of ninjas Logan sneaks up behind him and just as Wade finishes Mary we have a full page splash of Wade with Wolverine's claws sticking through his chest.  Next we cut to Wade holding his chest wound.

  "Finally, I... I'm glad it was you Logan." he says as he looks at Wolverine.

  He turns his head away from Wolverine and outstretches his hand toward the reader.  Cut to a big image of Death from Wades perspective reaching out her hand towards Deadpool.

  "It's the big one... I'm coming Elizabeth." Deadpool says as he crawls towards her.

  Then as he makes his way towards Death and just as he's about to be reunited with his lady love he's suddenly stopped.  By Thanos.  Death's OTHER suitor.  Thanos and a dying Wade bicker like boyfriends, saying how much more each loves Death than the other.  Finally Thanos restores Deadpool's healing factor and amps it up to 11 to ensure that Wade will never have another chance with Death.  To everyone else it looks like Wade simply dies.  They all stop and take a moment out of respect for Deadpool before going their separate ways.  They reason they're fighting is gone so they all just walk away.  Seeing this Bob run's but before he gets to far he's stopped by Tombstone.  Because Tombstone wasn't the one to kill Wade he considers it a welch on their deal but because Bob made Wade mortal he'll give Bob a head start before hunting him down and making him suffer.

  Wade wakes up sometime later and is greeted by Wolverine who hung around.  Wolverine and Wade trade barbs and yelling as Wade explains that it was all for nothing.  He will never be with his love ever again.  Wolverine tells Wade about Bob and says if Wade still wants to die that Logan will try his best to make it happen.  Then we end it like Daniel did, Wade breaks down and asks for time to go save his friend and so Wolverine let's him go, giving him 3 days before reporting to X-Force for a mission and possibly another violent confrontation.  Wade questions if that's enough but Logan is firm, 3 days.

  Ultimately it's worth looking at just so you have a base for what's to come.  Hopefully it won't all just be forgotten about with the story moving on like it never happened only to have Deadpool returned to the status quo some other way.  Or you could skip the last two parts.  Everything is golden up to that point and what happens in those last 2 parts isn't anything revolutionary.  I'm not all that impressed by it and it doesn't really psych me up for what's next.  I'm curious about what's next because I like the character but if I was a new reader I probably wouldn't care.  It was a bit disappointing really when you consider everything else it could have been.

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