Although comic series last for decades and often span hundreds of issues and dozens of stories over the years, there are some arcs that stand out from the crowd and remain especially significant among fans of sequential art narratives. It could be a story that changes everything in its own universe, a tale of such quality that everything before and after seems to pale in comparison, or just a defining moment for a beloved character. Over the next couple months, I’m going to be breaking some of these down for you.
This week, I’m going with that last one and exploring the ultimate motivations of one of Marvel’s up-and-coming superstars, the one and only Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool. As I’ve written before, I’m not super pleased with what Marvel has done with Wade Wilson ever since he broke out as a mainstream favorite after his loathsome big screen debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, major roles in video games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and an obnoxious number of appearances across the entire comic universe. Wade has long been Marvel’s funniest character, but only in recent years has he become an actual joke.
So right now, I’m taking us back to the late 90’s to revisit Deadpool’s classic heyday and Joe Kelly’s Dead Reckoning storyline that served as a culmination of Wade’s attempt to put his ways of greed and murder behind him and become a true hero. It’s an arc that had a long buildup, a huge payoff, and in so many ways defines Deadpool not just as a zany comic relief character, but as a twisted but well-meaning antihero who uses humor as a defense mechanism to salve the wound of his own hopelessness. There will be spoilers.
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