A writer, historian, and geek through and through. I focus on fantasy, science fiction and whatever comes my way. I am writing and drawing a webcomic called Booger Balls Inc, and I'm working on two graphic novels as well.
MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB
Is there anything bigger than Deadpool at the moment? Our Seth Frederiksen takes a look at one of the great places you can go to find a primer for the Merc with the Mouth.
With the new Deadpool movie now here, there has been a fair amount of anticipation about both the character and his treatment in the realm of the cinema.
For many people who have only seen the various Marvel films, they’re not fully aware of the Deadpool as fans know him in the comics.
Even within the comic book community, Deadpool is something of an acquired taste. His humor and style of heroics isn’t for everyone, and that’s not a bad thing. Then, there’s always the way that Deadpool was treated in the movie Wolverine: Origins, which was not complimentary to the character.
So how might someone become better versed in the lore of Marvel’s Merc With A Mouth?
This can be a daunting task, given the character’s twenty-five year history in Marvel’s main canon.
That’s why I’d recommend Deadpool Classic Vol. 1.
With this book, you get the first four major stories with the intrepid anti-heroes, including his introductory story in New Mutants #98, Deadpool’s two limited series from the 1990’s and the first issue of his first regular series.
One reason I feel this is a good start for any fan is that this anthology shows Deadpool’s growth from a cocky parody of DC’s Deathstroke, into a fully developed character in his own right.
In the New Mutants #98, shows Deadpool as the one hunting the group’s leader (and Deadpool’s evenutal BFF), Cable.
At this point, Deadpool’s breaking of the Fourth Wall hadn’t been established, and I believe was still a feature exclusive to She-Hulk at that point. As such, much of that issue focuses on Deadpool’s skill set in a fight. Though he isn’t able to kill Cable, Deadpool is able to neutralize several members of the mutant group in short order.
This story established the mercenary as a considerable threat to his enemies and the snappy style of banter that he becomes known for from that point onward.
Most of this volume comprises of the two limited series, both titled Deadpool, Here we see much of the character’s mythos being pulled together into a single tapestry. This is useful for those who are planning to watch the movie, because these two limited series shaped how the character is seen today, including the characters Weasel and Copycat and their respective roles in Deadpool’s story arc.
Bits of his back-story are teased enough to give us a taste as to why Deadpool has chosen the path few heroes dare stray. He’s a victim of circumstance in the worst ways imaginable, even by comic book standards, and the fact that he (mostly) sides with the good guys after all that speaks much about his character.
Though that isn’t to say he’s like the Heroes for Hire, but I digress.
One element I appreciated about these two limited series was the relationship between him and Copycat. How this relationship symbolizes the tragedies in Deadpool’s life helps to explain why Deadpool has the various chips on his shoulders.
Despite the elan and self-preservationist nature he exhibits, repeatedly shows his real heroic self when the situation demands it. It’s important to note he usually does this without thinking twice which also speaks volumes about the character.
The final story in this collection is the first issue of Deadpool, the initial regular title back in the late 90’s. There, we see Deadpool as we know him today. He’s a little less jagged, and a bit more light-hearted than his earlier incarnations and it will be during this point in his history that Deadpool will begin breaking the Fourth Wall; a regular feature of his personality.
The fight between Deadpool and Sasquatch was enjoyable to read and was really brought out by Deadpool’s absent-minded humor. Especially when Deadpool is about to shoot a nuclear reactor, or something dealing with radiation, I’m not good with science.
This is mostly a stand alone story and focuses on Deadpool as a hero who actively, and proudly, defies the expectations and tropes of the superhero genre. And it’s beautiful.
For anyone who hasn’t read the comics or if their first experience with Deadpool was from Wolverine: Origins, this is a great way to get introduced to the character before the movie comes out.
It has some of the more important stages of Deadpool’s development. You don’t have to spend time and money to understand why many fans of the character weren’t thrilled with how he was portrayed in the last film he was in. And you might catch some nods and Easter eggs to the comics that might be in the upcoming film.
Though personally I would’ve liked to have had the first fight between our hero and Wolverine, since that establishes their frenemy relationship, and its considered the genesis point of Deadpool breaking the Fourth Wall.
All in all, this is a great starting point into the comic madness that is Deadpool and a superb primer for new ambitious comics fans.
Seth Frederiksen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @SenseiSeth
An excellent collection of stories to acquaint newcomers to the character, Deadpool.