This is the second issue that pits Deadpool against an army of angry zombie presidents. These presidents universally believe that America has morally decayed beyond the point of recovery, and want to burn it down and start over. Sounds like an awesome idea for an action comedy series. Add in the comedic co-writers Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan and it sounds like you have a winning combination. I wish that were the case.
I kind of enjoyed this issue on my first reading. The story is chaotic and bizarre. The action is decent and the art is very good. The problem is that this comic simply doesn’t take itself seriously. Sure, Deadpool is known for his dark humour and pop culture references, but this issue has an overload of that. More than half of this issue’s jokes rely on pop culture references, and most of them feel forced. The simple act of referencing things isn’t funny – there has to be an actual joke behind it. There’s no depth to this either, which is a shame. Deadpool isn’t just comic relief – he’s a tortured soul who uses humour to hide his shame. None of that is evident in this issue. On my second reading, this was actually hard to sit through – none of the jokes were funny the second time.
The Cable and Deadpool series from a few years back struck a great balance. There was plenty of humour, but they were actual jokes. The pop culture references were actual jokes. It explored Deadpool’s mindset a lot. Even when it didn’t explore Deadpool, Cable offered the series a more dramatic side. I recommend Cable and Deadpool as a whole, even if the middle of the series isn’t as good as either the beginning or the end. Even at its weakest, C&D was still better than this issue. I’ve heard very good things about Joe Kelly’s Deadpool run as well, and I now plan on reading that once the bulk of Marvel Now is over with. Deadpool has also been good in Uncanny X-Force.
Perhaps the biggest problem with this issue is revealed on the last page however. Deadpool and the SHIELD agent that hired him head to Dr. Strange’s place for help. Why didn’t they ask for Strange’s help in the first place? The zombie presidents are being resurrected with magic – this is Strange’s specialty. The last page makes this entire story feel silly and pointless.
This issue was disappointing for me. It’s not necessarily bad, and there are those who enjoyed this issue thoroughly. If you’re looking for an action comedy series with little depth, check this out. If you’re a fan of classic Deadpool though, this series might do little more than anger or sadden you. I very much doubt that I’ll be picking up the next issue – it simply didn’t entertain me on my second reading, and I was trying to enjoy it.