There’s a tool that writers often employ to lull readers into a false sense of security before springing a surprise and blowing their load. This is sometimes called the switcheroo, and from the way Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again reads, it looks like writer Cullen Bunn’s setting us up for some intrigue.
Bunn is laughing to himself because of how many steps ahead of us he is. He’s spread out the story of DKTMUA over five issues and seems content with taking his readers for a ride through what seems like familiar territory. Sure, after your first read, it might seem that this would be one of the few times where we can truly judge a book by its cover, because of how wacky the story. You’ve got Wade slaughtering a spectrum of A, B and C-list characters punctuated with his smartass quips about pop culture and the trademark fourth-wall breakage. But then you realise that you’ve read this kind of thing before and there just HAS to be another level to it. Bunn wouldn’t just give away the entire plot in the first issue would he? Let’s just put a pin in that for now.
This book was a pretty fun read, much like the first Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe series which showcased a wistful depth of character not often seen in the Merc with the Mouth. Based on the writer’s mature approach to that book, we’d be safe to expect something along the same lines in volume 2, and the signs are pretty good. Wade’s wide-ranging personalities and malleable insanity feature heavily, and we see him to a degree as a sleeper agent awaiting their cue a la Captain Hydramerica, or a cylon, or even an android host who hears that “these violent delights have violent ends.”
There was a point where things didn’t seem like it was a Deadpool-driven story because of all the focus on the long cast of characters, but then again one could argue that having all these personalities is akin to having a multiple personality mental condition, which is pretty much a Deadpool trademark. Bitter overweight and untalented cynics might decry that this is a rehash of a past mini-series, but despite all the keyboard warrior spirit they exude they forget the golden rule of Deadpool comics – lighten up, Francis! This is all about the banter anyway and there’s more smart writing than you could shake a katana at.
The keener amongst you will know that the axis of evil that appears towards the final pages of issue 1 will not be as easily decapitated as the paper dolls on the cover. So we’ll have to see how Bunn resolves this fun web he’s begun to weave. Speaking of covers, I think fans of Kaare Andrews like yours truly would’ve been thrilled to see him return to do some more epic work like he did last time around, but there’s no sign of him just yet. That’s not to say that the work of penciller Dalibor Talajic, inker Goran Sudzuka and colourist Miroslav Mrva is meh at all, and the scenes in which Wade is hexed, in particular, are a visual delight.
So yeah, handle your business, do what you gotta do to relax, and then give this book a read. Just don’t kid yourself that you really know what Bunn is trying to pull.