By: Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn (Writers), Scott Koblish (Artist), Val Staples (Colorist)
The Story: We get an ‘’inventory issue’’ where Deadpool makes a deal with the devil to make sure Iron Man drink, all of this during the bronze age of comics!
The Review: There was a particular issue in the older volume of Deadpool Adventure, written by Joe Kelly, where Deadpool voyaged through an older issue of Amazing Spider-Man with his friend Blind Al, giving wild commentaries on the way the comic was written. It was a particularly hilarious issue that brought to light just how comics were written back in the days, comparing it to the comics of those years with snarky comments. I’m mentioning such a thing because this very issue is very close in spirit to this issue in particular (Deadpool #11 of volume 1 if you must know), with some good clean fun with the bronze age of comics.
Here, we get some easy shots at the end of the 70’s/early 80’s with some reference to one of the most known storylines of that era: Demon in a bottle. Right through the dialogue, Posehn and Duggan both homage and satirize this era of comics, referencing how comics were written back then, down to their structure to some of their unusual policies. I usually cringe when I see thought bubbles, but here, it is used very well, as they did tend to use those things to exteriorize the inner turmoil’s of the characters while giving exposition. There is also a very funny reference to the commercials of said era (Hostess fruit pies anyone?) that is written right in the middle of the comic that is absolutely hilarious. Even though some of their jokes were hit or miss in the early issues of this run, both Duggan and Posehn seem to have a much better handle on the character in terms of humor.
However, as much as Deadpool can be funny, he is also a character with desires, flaws and all the like, which the writing duo shows even in this one-shot issue. We can see some of the nobler character behind Deadpool, or at least his tendency to do some good rather than just mindless violence once in a while. There is an actual plot in this issue, despite the rampant parody of the Bronze Age laid everywhere and it is told in a single issue: the devil wants for Iron Man to drink more alcohol, to make sure he gets even more miserable, so he hires Deadpool to convince him to drink and fall to alcoholism. From here, we get the traditional plot advancement, with a good ton or so of jokes before the actually quite clever twist near the end on just how Deadpool beats the devil and saves Tony Stark from this miscreant. As great as the jokes are, it wouldn’t be much without a good plot, which Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan thankfully provides.
Of course, it would not be a good homage to the Bronze Age of comics without the art to match the tone, which Scott Koblish does wonderfully. From the awkward poses, the grainy backgrounds, the panel layouts to the very redesign of some characters, Koblish hits everything spot on, managing a very funny homage, both in ridiculousness and veracity that is actually cool to analyze. In this, he is greatly helped by Val Staples with his use of contrasting colors in some panels, while he restrain the use of various merging and agglomerations of colors, making the use of various monochrome colors to great effect.
The Conclusion: This issue is both a great parody and great reference to the Bronze Age of comics, laying down the story in ways that remind readers how this era treated their stories and their skills through their serialized graphical art. It’s also really funny too, just so you know.
Hugo Robberts Larivière
Some Musing: I loved the reply Deadpool says to Power Pack right after he almost hit them with his car: ‘’Chill out. You’re not worth killing. I’ll let your soft sales do their work for me. You’ll all be dead by Grunge.’’ Harsh, but oh so true.