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Friday, October 13, 2006

A Character I Don't Get...Deadpool...

Okay, I hate to admit this. Seriously. Because it seems like everyone but me really likes this guy and I have the distinct feeling I'm missing what makes him so cool.


Deadpool. Wade Wilson. Whatever. I simply do not get this character.

I don't HATE him and there are times in his comic that I do find myself giggling, but in general, I'm completely apathetic towards him. I have no emotional attachment, and while good jokes can make up for that, I'd quickly begun finding the humor repetitive and tiresome.

Maybe I'm just reading the wrong comic or I've missed that one must-read comic that even the worst character has that finally makes them click. I don't know, but I'm definitely missing something here.

Anyway, can any Marvel fan help me out here? Am I the only one to not care for Deadpool? Can any of you help me appreciate this character?

I do like the yellow speech balloons.

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  • At October 13, 2006 8:37 AM, Anonymous Sean said…

    What you really, really need to do to get Deadpool is read Joe Kelly's run (#1-33 of his solo series, plus a couple specials). Unfortunately, I don't know how easy they are to find these days, since they're all at least a few years old and were never that popular. This is the run where DP went from being little more than a quip-factory (although he's never funnier than when Kelly writes him) to a fully rounded, fascinating character.

    The story takes him through a number of personal crises, mostly at least informed by his low self esteem, self-loathing and desire to be loved and/or respected. It's better than it probably sounds.

    I've never read any non-Kelly stories that have really gotten DP. Even though I love Cable & Deadpool, Nicieza's version of the character doesn't quite ring true for me.

  • At October 13, 2006 9:24 AM, Blogger googum said…

    Sean is dead on, but Priest had a flawed, but interesting run; and Gail Simone wrapped up Deadpool's series when it changed to Agent X. (Good art, too.)Start with her issues with Dazzler or the Rhino on the cover, and you'll change your tune.

  • At October 13, 2006 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Am I the only one to not care for Deadpool?

    Yes. Yes, you are.

  • At October 13, 2006 11:28 AM, Blogger 100LittleDolls said…

    *raises hand* You're not alone. I don't really care for Deadpool myself. Just don't find him particularily interesting.

  • At October 13, 2006 11:50 AM, Blogger The Fortress Keeper said…

    I only read Joe Kelly's run of Deadpool and it was one of my favorite comics of the time.

    It's the reason why - with Supergirl #10 a big exception - I've been so disappointed with Kelly's DC work.

    P.S. The guy was born to write Spider-Man, so of course he never really got a shot.

  • At October 13, 2006 1:52 PM, Anonymous Dan Coyle said…

    Well, I'm pretty much been a #1 Deadpool fan since his earliest appearances in X-Force and other Liefeld books.

    I'm kind of surprised you asked this question, since, uh... well, you seem like so much of a DC fan. I noticed you've been talking about Avengers, but Deadpool is one of the last characters I'd expect you to ask about.

    So here goes. I think the key to understanding Deadpool is this: it's not really a comedy.

    Is the character funny? Oh God yes, always coming up with wacky non sequitors and witty rejoinders and generaly getting into all sorts of strange business. But back in 1993 Nicieza expanded his backstory in The Circle Chase, and he went from a throwaway comedy character to a deeply troubled human being, a mercenary who entered into the weapon X program with the hopes of curing his cancer and coming out with a healing factor yet looking like a human tumor, a man who masks his desperate loneliness with comedy while pining for a girl who may not be the right fir for him.

    Kelly's run really catapulted him into cult status, but it was Nicieza that gave him a soul. Kelly and Gail Simone understood this best, though I thought the original solo ongoing had pretty good runs from all the other writers, which included Priest, Frank Tieri, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Buddy Scalera.

    I think what makes Deadpool interesting for me is he's not really sure what he wants. This is a guy who, when he discovered that he looked like Tom Cruise because of a curse put on him, tried to destroy his own face. Not exploit it for all it was worth. Not retire and live happily ever after as a Tom Cruise impersonator. Nope, he tried over and over again to destroy his face because it wasn't his, he didn't earn it. That's pretty warped.

    He stumbles through many roles: mercenary, hero, mob hitman, government stooge, comedy sidekick- but can't get to the core of his problem, his isolation. He spends all his time between jobs holed up in a dank apartment watching TV. In the most recent issue of C and D, he KNOWS deep down, that following Cable is right, "But that's what I'm supposed to do? OBEY you?" He can't bring himself to give up his autonomy. He's a kid at heart, trying to make a place for himself but 9 times out of 10 screwing up royally.

    He keeps trying, though.

  • At October 13, 2006 2:54 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    sean: Thanks, I'll have to hunt it down and give it a try. :-)

    googum: I'll keep that in mind! :-)

    anon: I've resigned myself to my lonely, isolated status.

    100: Yay! No longer alone!

    keeper: I've always liked his Kyle Rayner, so of course Kyle leaves JLA after Obsidian Age. :-)

    (On the other hand, the whole Guy-in-hell plot was total crack that I'm still chalking up to Superman on a bad Kryptonian acid trip.)

    dan: Oh, I'm still a DC fan 99% of the time. :-) (With a current exception for She-Hulk, New Excalibur, and Beyond!)

    Deadpool seems like he could be interesting. :-) Thanks for your perspective!

  • At October 13, 2006 3:17 PM, Anonymous Indicia said…

    I'm not a huge fan, but I don't mind the character.

    As far as I can tell, it's that he's funny (when written properly), never shuts up, etc. I don't think there's really a whole lot to it beyond that. The pathos with the cancer, messed up skin etc don't really figure in my non-dislike of the character.

    I've heard other people say that he's a version of spiderman with more snark, more stupid and less boring moral/ethics stuff.

  • At October 13, 2006 8:54 PM, Anonymous Ununnilium said…

    Yeah, I think that last comment's about right - he's a cracked-mirror version of Spider-Man, both in the public and personal personae.

    I actually liked Priest's run more than the Kelly run, but I know I'm in the minority. Gail Simone is awesomesauce, of course; if you do check out her Deadpool run, don't forget its continuation, Agent X.

  • At October 14, 2006 12:28 AM, Blogger Mallet said…

    Dan had it perfectly.

    Deadpool wants to be with people but never give up any of himself. He's a very sad sad character you want to root for.

    But he'll never win.


    And knowing that any time he gets even a mere moment of happiness it's an awesome triumph.

  • At October 14, 2006 12:53 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Deadpool to me is...meh. Wanted to like him, tried to like him, but never really clicked.

  • At October 14, 2006 11:04 PM, Blogger The Fortress Keeper said…

    Hey, I'm glad you like Beyond! It's a lot of fun!


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