Review: Deadpool (2015) #13 (Marvel Comics)

Monday, June 13, 2016

[Review by Doug Glassman, who Tumblrs at '80s Marvel Rocks!]

The Deadpool editorial team has a history of playing around with how they put out issues. It began with the wedding issue and the finale of the previous volume, and so far this year there have been two ten-dollar supersized issues. Considering that the typical comic book gimmick is just a holofoil cover, I really enjoy what crazy things the Deadpool creative team comes up with, including an entire story being told across an entire year's worth of alternate covers. So as you might have guessed, the book being reviewed this week is a little different than what you might be used to. This isn't a Deadpool trade; it's Deadpool #13 from the current run. But as the cover promises, it's "a four-issue crossover in one package," and by that they literally mean it's four separate issues bundled as one oversized book.

Since issue #13 is a transitional break issue between the Deadpool vs. Sabretooth arc and the upcoming Civil War II tie-ins, this was a perfect time to do something unique. The stories contained within the "Temporary Insanitation" crossover really were designed to be separate issues of Daredevil, Deadpool, and Power Man and Iron Fist. All of them have different creative teams apart from two shared letterers and they've been edited by their book's editorial team to fit together. Each issue has its own cover and separate bar code ... admittedly the codes have been scrawled onto the covers by Deadpool. The two Deadpool issues even have different artists, Jacopo Camagni and Paco Diaz respectively. Both are veterans of the franchise: Camagni was one of the artists on Hawkeye vs. Deadpool, while Diaz has worked on Deadpool books since the original 1990s ongoing.

As a Comic Book Resources interview with writers Gerry Duggan, Charles Soule, and David Walker explains, there are a few different reasons why and how this crossover came together. Soule wanted to write Deadpool but had trouble finding a way to work him into the otherwise dark and serious Daredevil book. This was Walker's first real crossover story for Marvel but he knew about the friction between Deadpool and the Heroes for Hire that's been building over the last several years. Between messing around with them in two time periods in Deadpool: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and then using the HFH name without permission, they're at the end of their rope with Wade.

The plot goes a little out of its way to include Luke Cage and Iron Fist, but that's part of the joke. Getting Daredevil involved is much more rooted in the plot thanks to the inclusion of Typhoid Mary. Murdock and Wilson both have a romantic past with her; she essentially raped Deadpool by pretending to be Siryn to have sex with him. All four heroes are well-aware that she needs some serious help, especially since the biggest victim is the innocent "Mary Walker" persona buried deep within her psychosis. Hopefully she'll make another appearance in one of the three titles; I think Daredevil in particular would be a good place to see her again. Unfortunately, her presence doesn't directly tie back into the Black Cat's rise to power in Hawkeye vs. Deadpool, making that arc even weirder in retrospect.

The central figure in "Temporary Insanitation" is a stockbroker for various mafia groups, and it turns out he's too good at his job: he invested the money he was supposed to launder in the diamond market. The Chinese market being chaotic, he loses the money and his mobster investors demand his diamonds as repayment. Eventually the diamonds turn out to be more a distraction; his real worth lies in his laptop filled with criminal financial data ... a laptop Deadpool "hides" in his office trash can. When the stockbroker, Marvin Shirkley, decides to give himself up to the authorities, ADA Matt Murdock needs the laptop as proof of his actions. This is where the "insanitation" part of the title comes in: the entirety of the Power Man and Iron Fist issue takes place in a New York City trash dump.

The frequent chases and the movement from night to day requires a lot of work from the two middle-issue artists. Newcomer Guillermo Sanna has a grittier style closer to Alex Maleev than the more cartoony work in the other three issues. Setting his issue in Matt Murdock's office at night makes the shadows and murk part of the atmosphere. He also gets to draw a hysterical sequence in which Deadpool is blinded (via Typhoid Mary setting his hair on fire and burning his eyeballs). While the violence may not be funny, Wade's insufferable wailing over the tragedy of his blindness while Daredevil is standing not two feet away is nothing short of spectacular.

Conversely, Elmo Bondoc, artist of Deadpool vs. Thanos, has a broader and more exaggerated style closer to Sanford Greene's pencils in Power Man and Iron Fist. He makes the most of the strange setting and the several dump employees who help Cage, Rand, and Wilson sift through the garbage to find the laptop. Walker also continues his book's running gag of Luke Cage trying not to swear so much because his daughter is picking up his vocabulary. He imparts upon us that while fiddle-faddle and icky-yucky both refer to excrement, the context is important for deciding which to use. Diaz closes the story in a really great-looking issue; I haven't seen his work in a while and I forgot how good of an artist he is. The overall art style of the crossover goes from manga to grit to caricature to standard superhero fare, but the story's tone stays consistent.

The experiment of Deadpool #13, "Temporary Insanitation," worked extremely well. It apes the Japanese zasshi method of bundling multiple full stories together and adds a western crossover element. Plus, since it's so long, a trade version would just need to add one or two extra stories and serve as a trade for all three titles.
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2 comments:

  1. I don't know how to feel about these 10 dollar issues. On one hand it's the most expensive book on the shelves, but on the other hand it could actually be worth that much with its content.

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    1. Considering that the individual issues would have cost at least $2.99 a piece, you're effectively getting one issue for free. And I agree that the content is the key factor. The Deadpool ten-dollar issues usually have over half a dozen stories covering different characters and eras.

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