Evil Geek Book Report – Deadpool: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Greetings Evil Geekites, it’s been far too long since we’ve chatted about funny books, so I’m back today to right that terrible, terrible wrong. You may be familiar with some of my past writings on Deadpool, so you know I’m certainly a fan of the character. When used properly, I think he’s one of the most entertaining sights to see in the Marvel U and this latest story arc in the incredible run that Duggan and Posehn have scripted thus far is a perfect example of Wade being used exactly as he should be. He’s not just an unending stream of jokes; he’s a man dammit… who just so happens to have an unending stream of jokes coming out of his mouth. Let’s dig a little deeper into the incredibly screwed up mind of Wade Wilson and discuss The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, featuring art by Declan Shalvey.
The plot of the story revolves around Wade discovering that for quite some time, he’s been regularly abducted, probed, sliced up, then memory wiped by a team of guys and one woman who is always used to distract Wade. Isn’t it just Deadpool’s luck? Getting kidnapped and probed, but not even by aliens. One day something clicks in Wade’s head and he remembers the abductions, which are usually wiped from his mind by the powerful tranquilizer the team uses to take him down each time. Wade turns the tables on the team and ends up thwarting an abduction attempt; massacring the team, but not before he finds out who’s behind the experiments. It seems the strings are being pulled all the way from North Korea, where a former Weapon X/Weapon Plus scientist is working for the totalitarian regime in an attempt to produce super-soldiers by using unwilling test subjects who are genetically enhanced using DNA from various mutants. The DNA bonding can only be done successfully if Wade’s healing factor DNA is used in conjunction with the test subjects and the mutant being copied. The results of the experiment imbue the test subjects with superpowers, but as a side effect of Deadpool’s DNA, they are left hideously scarred from head to toe. Wade encounters the North Korean knockoff version of the X-Men who are being held prisoner by the North Korean Government.
The scientist in charge goes back quite far with Deadpool and uses knowledge of his past to kidnap some people who were once close to him. I don’t want to reveal the nature of Wade’s relationship with the people in question, but I will say that if you mess with Wade’s family, don’t expect a clowinsh Deadpool to show up at your door; instead expect to find a dead serious Wade Wilson looking to straighten things out by any means necessary. Early on in the story, Deadpool realizes that he might be a little over his head in this situation, so he tries to get help from two people he knows have a few scores to settle with Weapon X: Wolverine and Captain America. Since Deadpool is seen as more of an annoyance or joke among the “serious” heroes, neither of the men believe him and let him run off to confront the threat alone. The decision however, would come back to haunt them as they both later need to be rescued by Deadpool, who of course wouldn’t miss an opportunity to tell the two Avengers that they should have listened to him in the first place.
In a series that has struck a near perfect balance of action and comedy, normally I’d be concerned if there was a sudden shift in tone in the book. Messing with one part of the equation could end up derailing the incredible work that led up to that point. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a surely a more serious story than we’re typically used to seeing from Deadpool, but it still manages to find moments of humor in what’s essentially a look at some of the collateral damage that’s been caused just by Wade’s very existence. A guy who was initially looking for a cure for his cancer ended up falling into the hands of a rogue government science program, which forced superpowers on him at the price of his sanity. He then spends years being kidnapped and vivisected by people working for a ruthless, evil dictatorship; which then uses his DNA to create abominations out of its innocent citizens, who are then held prisoner along with their entire families under threat of even more cruel punishment or death, all so that dictatorship can create super-soldiers who will then go out and kill thousands if not millions of people when they are turned loose on the rest of the world. Let’s not forget that the scientist in charge of the experiment wants to ensure Deadpool’s cooperation so badly that he begins kidnapping people who Wade cares about or works with in Cap and Wolverine’s cases. That’s some pretty dark shit. There’s one point in the story where things have gotten so bad for Wade that he’s completely checked out and Agent Preston (who of course still has her consciousness trapped in Wade’s head) has to take control of Wade’s body to keep him going. Most people, including the heroes he works alongside, thing Deadpool is a walking pair of clown shoes, but when you look at what his life has become as a result of the Weapon X experiments, you see that Wade Wilson is a really tortured, sad person, who could probably benefit from a some sympathy or even a little friendship now and then. That’s not to say that the story isn’t without humor. Come on, Wade is always going to be Wade; even when he’s really pissed off, he bound to be cracking a few jokes.
There’s way more to the character than jokes or goofiness and that’s a concept that seems to be lost on some of the writers who’ve handled him in the past. They become too wrapped up in trying to write jokes and lose focus of the person that’s inevitably there whenever the jokes stop. Duggan and Posehn really flesh out the man behind the Merc With a Mouth, by putting him through hell and having him come out the other side with a renewed purpose. Deadpool is something akin to a tortured comedian (which is interesting when you consider what Brian Posehn’s non-comic book job is); on the outside, Wade’s the funniest guy you’ve ever seen or heard, if he were a stand-up you’d probably own all of his albums. When you stop and take the time to ask him about himself or his past, you see that there’s some form of emotional, physical, or social trauma that at some point spurred that person to develop humor as a form of protection. Wade is the crazy, wise crackin’, nutjob the fans love, only because he’s been through some EXTREMELY terrible stuff in his life. This Evil Geek is unleashing the walrus of approval upon The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, so hit up the Marvel digital store or stop by your local brick and mortar for some back issues!
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Posted on December 24, 2013, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Features, Geekology, Recommendations, Reviews and tagged Brian Posehn, Captain America, Deadpool, Declan Shalvey, Gerry Duggan, Wolverine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.