By Duane Swierczynski (writer), Jason Pearson (artist), Paul Mounts (colors) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters and production)
The Story: Deadpool (outside of the normal Marvel Universe continuity) testifies before a Senate hearing about a secret black-ops mission he participated in 25 years ago. This goes about as well as you’d expect.
What’s Good: Well, this is only a four-part mini-series and not a new monthly book, that’s something good (and more on that later.) The actual content itself…none of it is really “good,” but it’s also pretty benign and inoffensive. “Bland” is the operative word to describe this issue. And since that’s more than I can say for a lot of Deadpool chaff on the stands right now, I’ll count that as a positive.
The story is mildly interesting, and might actually get better in the next issue now that the pieces are set up and in place. Swierczynski’s writing is okay; he gets in a couple of fun jokes and moments, but nothing that any casual fan of Deadpool hasn’t seen or heard before. None of it is bad; it’s just that none of it is really good either. The art is very similar: competent, with a couple interesting gags and panels (I really like the smiley face badges on ‘Pool’s class-A uniform) but nothing that will stick in your mind after you finish this book and move on to the next one in your stack.
What’s Not So Good: Look, Marvel. I’ve been a good Deadpool fan. I really have. Against my better judgment, and in spite of the wildly varying quality of the projects, I have bought every single Deadpool book on the stands for a year. Even Deadpool Corps, despite the fact that it was physically painful to spend $3.99 on! But this is it. This is the straw that has finally broken this particular camel’s back.
Look at what you’ve done to one of my favorite characters. He was a bigmouthed, quick thinking, batshit-insane badass with an extraordinary talent for making things get dead. And what is he now? Your go-to character for lame humor and cartoonish action sequences that have nothing to do with ANYTHING that made him popular in the first place! Four monthly books, guest appearances, special variant covers, and now this dry wheat toast of a mini-series has not only run him into the ground, it has jackhammered the poor guy into the Earth’s freaking mantle. The golden goose. Is. DEAD. Not even his healing factor can keep him going for you anymore. Give him back one single monthly book that really allows him to shine or put him out to pasture entirely, but stop killing him by degrees like this. All it will do is ruin any affection that fans have for the character, and any remaining trust they have in the Deadpool brand. In the immortal words of Henry Jones, Sr.: “let it go.”
Conclusion: Easily digestible, maybe worth picking up if you love ‘Pool and you can find it in a dollar bin at a con… But asking readers to pay four dollars for something like this is insulting.