Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan
(p) Tony Moore
Am I the only one disappointed with this series?
I’ve been looking forward to the ‘Marvel NOW!’ Deadpool pretty much since it was announced. At the time, I was blowing through my friend’s complete Uncanny X-Force collection, and found myself growing to like Marvel’s most comedic character (besides Howard the Duck, of course). So when the news dropped that alternative comedian Brian Posehn was co-writing along with Gerry Dugan, I was pumped. I’ve been a big fan of Posehn’s stand up for quite some time, so I figured putting him on Deadpool would be a comedic treasure trove just waiting to be consumed.
Boy, was I wrong.
Posehn and Duggan try so hard to make Deadpool #1 funny, that it completely misses the mark. It’s not just a one- or two-time thing — the entire issue is bogged down by forced humor. The dialogue hovers at an awkward position between ‘comic book campy’ and relatable vernacular, the plot is flimsy at best, and the tertiary characters are devoid of personality.
Let’s start with the man himself. Wade Wilson (a.k.a. Deadpool) as written by Rick Remender was (is) one of the funniest, wittiest comic book characters to ever grace the pages. Deadpool as written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan is flat and boring. “Just roll Deadzilla to the curb. A hobo will eat it,” is one of the many one-liners that’s supposed to evidence Deadpool’s witty charm…or maybe his deadpan style? It’s not clear at all. And the line is really unfunny. “Are you hitting on me, Captain Porn-Stache? I’ll be fine in a minute” is a response from Deadpool after a fireman displays concern over Wade’s wellbeing. In no way do the fireman’s words provide foder for innuendo, so the joke falls painfully flat. Overall, Wade simply doesn’t have the same flair for comedy that he did in Uncanny X-Force and that’s a real shame, especially considering the creative team.
Next, let’s talk about the plot. Deadpool is recruited (in one of the loosest senses of the word) by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Preston to assassinate the resurrected, zombified corpses of all the past Presidents of the United States of America. Agent Preston is supposed to be relatable because she’s nervous, somewhat inept, and overweight. Unfortunately, Posehn and Duggan don’t give Preston any character development beyond a offhanded comment about it being her birthday and how she’s upset no one remembered. Sure, that’s a generally universal human story, but it’s not enough to make a character interesting at all. The Presidents themselves are probably the best part of the issue, and that’s only because it feels like Posehn and Duggan really did ‘let go’ with them in terms of craziness. FDR is raging in his wheelchair down the middle of Manhattan (before screaming “Here’s a New Deal — DIE!”), and a glowing, ranting George Washington is one of the funnier interpretations of our first POTUS I’ve seen.
Deadpool #1 is seriously underwhelming. Already, I’ve seen multiple 5-star reviews for this issue and for the life of me, I can’t understand why. The only explanation I can imagine is that Posehn’s position on the title preceded itself — everyone expected it to be really funny, so it just is really funny. And unlike other series, Deadpool suffers so much more because it fails at providing the one thing it’s supposed to offer that other titles can’t — humor.
Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan