This month I reached another depressing comic book milestone. I received my last issue from Marvel Comics for the foreseeable future. It was issue 27 of the latest solo book from my favorite comic book character, the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool. Reading it was a bittersweet experience (which I’ll get to later), but the title was on the bubble for over a year and issues would occasionally collect unread on my shelf for months before I could be bothered with them, which is a sure sign that I’m not really feeling a series anymore.
It wasn’t always like this. Marvel comics used to be good, and Deadpool was the goodest. I discovered Wade Wilson around the time I started getting really into comics as an adult beyond the occasional graphic novel, about ten years ago. Fans will note this was around the time Cable and Deadpool was a thing, but I started checking out his solo run first, eventually deciding to include Cable and Deadpool in my inaugural list of online comic subscriptions.
Deadpool comics were unlike anything else on the market. You’ve got an immortal (Weapon X injected him with Wolverine’s healing factor in an attempt to cure his cancer) protagonist antihero who works almost exclusively for profit as an assassin, is possibly schizophrenic and certainly twisted and psychotic, compulsively talks trash in an almost constant stream, and has a complete disregard for…pretty much everything and everyone. It was a combination of black humor, badass comic book violence, and absurdist satire that regularly broke the fourth wall in ways that most comics would never attempt to do, much less get away with. This character was the inside of my brain in comic book form.
In his heyday, Wade Wilson wielded Mjolnir (sort of) and used it to parody Grey Poupon commercials and deliver a suitable rendition of KISS’ God of Thunder among other fun things. He waxed nostalgic about old-school GI Joe action figures while slaughtering hapless baddies, he found out he wasn’t who he thought he was (maybe) and criticized his own writers for their handling of it, dragon-punched Kitty Pryde (complete with “shoryuken” cry), made out with the incarnation of Death, lusted after Golden Girls, was cursed with the face of Tom Cruise, traveled back in time to a classic Spider-Man issue to offer some harsh commentary, and generally made the Marvel Universe his bitch. Continue Reading »