Deadpool is a fan favorite character for multiple reasons: he is funny, nearly unstoppable, and is one of a very few characters who realizes he is in a comic strip. When boiled down, there isn’t a lot of information out there about him. Some comics even question whether he is the real Wade Wilson or not. Parts of his origin still remain a mystery, even though Deadpool is over a decade old and has had his own series.
An anti-hero created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, Deadpool first appeared on the comic book scene back in 1991 in an issue of New Mutants. It was not long before he saw a rapid growth of popularity in the fanbase. Deadpool was recently ranked number 31 on IGN’s “Top 100 Comic Book Heroes”. Deadpool’s wisecracking, multiple personalities, and breaking of the fourth wall make him quite humorous, but that can also be his biggest flaw. Many fans cannot take the character seriously.
If any reader has ever questioned Deadpool’s effectiveness, they need only read Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe. This sadistic tale written by Cullen Bunn states clearly on the back of the trade that “The joke is over,” and the statement does not lie. There is a larger-than-normal-sized parental advisory warning on the front cover to clarify what readers are in for.
The plot begins with the X-Men finally having had enough of Deadpool’s insanity. Even though he is good most of the time, he is highly unpredictable and unstable. Deadpool is placed in a mental institution where Psycho-Man is masquerading as one of the doctors. The villain decides that brainwashing Deadpool to be his puppet is a great idea, until it backfires. Psycho-Man’s brainwashing techniques get rid of the funny and lighthearted personalities inside of Deadpool’s mind, replacing them with a new voice, that of a serious killer. Without his humor and extreme ADD to balance him out, Deadpool goes on a rampage, destroying hero and villain alike.
Deadpool’s ultimate goal, the reason he kills, is to seek revenge on the people who have played around with him, who have put him through so much. The man who can see through the fourth wall kills every character in the Marvel Universe to set them free from the evil of the comic book writers and creators. At one point, the merc with the mouth escapes the 616 (original Marvel universe) and shows up at the Marvel offices. It has the beautifully odd twist of seeing Taskmaster as the hero, the only man who can mimic Deadpool’s devastating assassin skills.
It is an odd journey, to say the least, and no precious character is safe. The creative ways Deadpool comes up with to kill some of the Marvel universe’s more prestigious characters is worth the read alone. I cannot say I enjoyed it more than the Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe one-shot, but it is a close contender. Though Deadpool’s character has changed in these four issues, the humor is still there, just darker. There is a morbid appeal to this book if the reader is looking for something a bit out of the norm.