Deadpool Volume 1: Mercin’ Hard For The Money is out January 2nd, and it’s a fresh start for the Merc’ With A Mouth, making it a great book to ring in the New Year with.
The series is by Skottie Young (words) and Nic Klein (art), with Jeff Eckleberry on letters. Scott Hepburn did the art for issues 4, 5, & 6 with Ian Herring on colors.
Gerry Duggan’s run on Deadpool changed the character’s status quo in a major way. Wade Wilson became a millionaire and an official Avenger; he worked to put his murderous ways behind him. The series had its highs and lows, but it was generally well-received by fans. However, in the end, Duggan decided to end his run by wiping Wade’s memory and returning him to the man he was at the start. Enter Skottie Young and Nic Klein.
Young and Klein don’t waste any time showing the reader what kind of guy their Deadpool is. Wade is done with superheroing and back to mercin’ full-time. He’s rented some office space in the back of a stuffed animal shop in the mall and hired Negasonic Teenage Warhead as his assistant. He’s a dirtbag, killing for money and screwing over his friends. But damn is he funny while doing it.
If you love big, over-the-top violence with a dash of Looney Tunes absurdity, then this book is for you. Young, Klein, and Hepburn do not hold back one iota; they go balls to the wall and have a ton of fun. Whether they have Deadpool fight a giant, cosmic monster, or some local street thugs, the team brings a ton of energy and maximum effort.
All of the artists on this book – both Klein and the team of Hepburn and Herring – add a layer of dirt to the story. Their pencils are gritty and their colors muted. It provides an edge to this world and sets the tone. This isn’t the superhero Deadpool comic fans had been getting; Wade is putting the “degenerate” back in “Regenerating Degenerate.”
Young, meanwhile, packs this series with humor, from the situations he puts Deadpool in to the actual dialogue. The insults, the out-of-date cultural references, all of it will have you laughing from page one. The writer brings all of his absurd stylings from I Hate Fairyland into the mainstream with this book.
Not to give Young all the credit either – Klein and Hepburn sell the comedy with their art just as much as they deliver the action.
Deadpool is told mostly in single issue stories, which makes it all the more fun and easily digestible. The first three issues are the exception; they tell one story to catch you up on Wade and bridge the gap from Duggan’s run. However, after that, you get three very different, but equally engrossing stories. The episodic nature of the series makes it feel more like an old school cartoon, which fits the character perfectly.
Perhaps the best story of this paperback is the closing chapter. Deadpool wakes up feeling pretty down; he’s not up to mercin’ today. The rest of the story follows him as he goes about his day in this sad haze. Seeing this usually upbeat, comedic character in a funk is actually pretty sobering. It adds depth to his character, and offers insight into who he really is beneath all the jokes. It’s also a realistic, relatable look into depression. Even people who don’t consider themselves “depressed” have days like this, where it’s a struggle just to get out of bed in the morning. The rest of the collection is a barrel of laughs, and then this issue comes along and punches you with emotions, but with a Deadpool twist.
It’s no secret that Deadpool is incredibly “in” right now; you can hardly escape him. It’d be really easy for Marvel to cash in on this popularity with a generic comic that just panders to the masses, but Deadpool by Skottie Young, Nic Klein, and company is a genuinely good series that will have you entertained on every page.