Marvel NOW! Deadpool, Vol 5: The Wedding of Deadpool (2012).
Collecting issues #26-28 & The Deadpool Annual.
Writers: Gerry Duggan & Brian Posehn, Artist: Mike Hawthorne (#27) & Scott Koblish (#26-28),
Deadpool Annual #1,
Writers: Ben Acker & Ben Blacker, Art: Evan "Doc" Shaner.
Last time, we died a little more, inside. Deadpool took bloody revenge on S.H.I.E.L.D. for stiffing him on a job well done. Then, Deadpool took it to ULTIMATUM, when it turned out they were the ones in charge. A LOT of people died. It was actually pretty excessive, even for Deadpool. But we got to meet Coulson, which was awesome, and Preston got a new LMD body, which is SUPER awesome. This time around, Deadpool isn't covering his grief by murdering a whole army. Nope, he's being far more healthy this time. He's getting married to a demon queen...
Issue 27: The Wedding of Deadpool. Yup, as strange as it may sound, mere days after finding and murdering everyone to get over losing his babymama, Deadpool is getting hitched! So all he needs is an officiant, a location, and for nothing terrible to happen between now and then... Let the wedding of the century begin!
Also issue 27: A collection of freakin rad short stories. Because this issue was a record holding milestone of Deadpool awesomeness, they also included a selection of great tales from throughout 'Pool history. Every single one of them about a time that Deadpool has been married before. Because it turns out that Deadpool is kind of a 'Ho and has been married A LOT. Fun fact. They all end horribly.
Issue 28: Honeymoon in Tokyo. Deadpool is hitched and somehow, everything went off without an issue. Who'd have guessed it! Now, it's the fun part: The honeymoon! Deadpool and his new special lady, Shiklah, Queen of the Monster Metropolis, head to Tokyo to blow off some steam... and get into a fight with the Yakuza, The Hand, and just about everyone else. Because Deadpool is a magnet for trouble.
Issue 26...for some crazy, out-of-numerical-order reason...Death comes to Tinsletown (or The Last Hitler). In another "Classic" issue of Deadpool, our boy travels through time to assist his friends Cable and Nick Fury, in an effort to stop a time traveling Hitler from wiping out the Howling Commandos before they can become such a thorn in his side!
Deadpool Annual 1: Madcapped! In this seemingly innocent tale, that will in NO way come back to haunt Deadpool in a small while, Deadpool tries to kill Daredevil and, after picking a fight with the God of Thunder, accidentally gets merged with fellow regenerator, Madcap! I'm sure this will end really well for everyone involved.
Well, that was certainly an... interesting volume. Deadpool got married, multiple times. And shared a union of the most profound sense with Madcap. Then, in the middle there, for some reason, he stopped a time traveling Hitler from killing Nick Fury. That was...that was really something. I don't know how I'm even going to START with this...
From the sublime, to the ridiculous. This is a rather odd volume, made stand out all the more by the fact it follows two of the tightest, bleakest volumes in this run.
It opens with the shock announcement that Deadpool is getting married. And to the Queen of the Monster Metropolis, no less! Needless to say, people are more than a little shocked.
But the interesting part is: They show up! In fact, so many people show up to the wedding, that the guest list turns the cover of this issue into a world record holding image, containing the most characters ever seen in a single panel. Not too shabby!
And there we get the heart of this issue. It's a fun ride, there are some great jokes, Shiklah is a riot (and kind of a hottie. I'd bow to that queen any day!), but there's one part of this issue which always brings a smile to my face:
Seeing all the heroes, and all Deadpool's friends turn up, to celebrate with him. It's just such a sweet scene, and means all the more coming after Deadpool's dark days at the end of Volume 4. Seeing him go from "I just want to be alone" and vanishing to Europe to "Holy shit, I'm getting married, surrounded by my friends" does my heart some good.
Then, from the unbridled happiness of the Deadding of Wedpool we get... a collection of short stories of all the other times Deadpool got married, and it ended horribly. Because of course we do.
I won't go through all of them because frankly there's only about a 50% success rate with these tales.
However! Here are my thoughts on a couple of the tales that I enjoyed:
First off is "With this hand, I thee wed!" By Fabien Nicieza with art by Scott Hepburn.
The story of Wade's doomed love affair with Vanessa Carlysle. Why is this doomed, you ask? That's easy. Vanessa is a sock puppet. The comic details the ups and downs of a relationship which only Deadpool can make sense off... Or can he? Because as the tale comes to an end, it's revealed that Vanessa may in fact be less fictitious that we were lead to believe. I love how this story goes from sweet, so kinda sad, to confusing in such a short time. Obviously Vanessa, AKA Copycat, AKA Morena Baccarin is a longstanding Marvel character, and DOES have a relationship with Wade... but seeing this odd tale makes me laugh, and also makes me question just how much of their relationship actually happened.
Next up is "The Niagra Bride," a truly twisted tale from the mind of Joe Kelly, with art by Paco Medina. Even by Deadpool standards, this one is wrong and sad. Deadpool is marrying a beautiful woman, whose name he can't quite remember. This story has no dialog, and is just narrative text over the images. This is interesting because of the JARRING difference between Deadpool's wistful and romantic narration, juxtaposed with the images which detail the combined forces of the X-Men and the Avengers trying to stop the wedding... which ends with Deadpool and his blushing bride going over the falls in a barrel. I won't say just WHY this was such a beautiful and tragic end to the tale, but I'll tell you this: If you only read one story from this issue, make it this one.
Lastly, we have "Fanged", by Christopher Priest, with art by Niko Henrichon. A short by interesting tale, with real bite! Deadpool trudges through the snow, carrying his wounded wife who he has just "rescued". But, with the snow chilling him almost faster than his healing factor can recover from, and with no hope of rescue, things start to look pretty grim. This is a great little tale, that packs real punch. The slowly dawning realisation from Deadpool of how badly he's fucked everything up, layered over the cutting back and forth he has with the wolf mean that this short tale really manages to fit a lot into it. Just goes to show, you don't need a huge amount of time, to tell a great story!
That's a brief sampling of the comedic tragedy that awaits you, in this short story collection. While they don't all exactly hit, they all show aspects of Deadpool that people love. It's what makes him SUCH a great character, you can have a story of him accidentally murdering his wife, them jump to him having huge amounts of crazy bone-breaking sex with a super powered hellcat, and from there to a subtle tale of the evils of racism. All without changing your lead. There are very few characters that could pull that off, and have each story land with just the right kind of impact, but Deadpool, especially in the hands of a great writer, is absolutely the character to pull it off!
Gory Wedding Catastrophes out of the way, we return to the present day! Deadpool is successfully married, and he and Shiklah have jetted off for their honeymoon in Japan! Lucky devil... always wanted to go there.
Of course, it takes all of five seconds for Deadpool to get into a world of trouble... A very important case is taken by some super powered street scamps, and Deadpool unleashes all manner of hell, in order to get it back!
On the surface, this seems like a fun filler story. Deadpool and Shiklah go to Japan, fight the Yakuza, fight The Hand, it's all grand. But, because we can't have nice things, Duggan and Posehn decide to throw a mean little twist in, right at the end. Because, of course, the case that was stolen was filled with cash... Which Deadpool was bringing to Japan, to give to his old friend Kim. You remember Kim, right? The Korean Nightcrawler/Deadpool clone that we first met in the camp of horrors back in Volume 4. Yeah. So, just like that, as we think we're having a fun old adventure with Wade and the Wife, we're reminded of the horrors that we've been trying to block out for a couple of weeks. And then, because there's nothing Duggan and Posehn love more than kicking us when we're down, Kim disappears down an alley, weak and coughing, barely able to remain standing.
It's just... borderline unnecessary. I mean, I get it, these guys hate us and want us to suffer. But going from "Wacky Japanese hi-jinks" to "Remember that prisoner of war? Guess who's dying now!" in less than a page is just unfair. And I'd love to say that's the last time they're going to hit you like that, but this whole run is just an exercise in "Life's not fair, and then you die. Unless you're Deadpool, who can't die and must suffer forever." It's going to be a fun ride!
With those horrors still fresh in our memories, we go to something slightly lighter. Hitler. Yeah. A time traveling assassin tries to fuck the Fuhrer, which ends about as badly as you would expect, as Hittles gets himself a time machine and decides he wants to kill Nick Fury. Also, they fight in huge mechs, because nothing in this story even TRIES to make sense.
That's not a bad thing, though. This isn't exactly a story for the ages, you won't be telling people about this awesome comic you read where Deadpool fights Hitler with Nick Fury, but it is a bit of lighthearted fun, which we all need sometimes. Plus, it's absolutely packed with references and other fun Easter eggs, which is always good.
Lastly, we have Deadpool Annual #1. Oooh boy, it's this guy. So, Deadpool is on a mission, trying to kill Daredevil. Because he's being paid to. Dude's a merc, what do you expect?
However, before he can make good on his mission, he's interrupted by Madcap. Madcap is... he's just the freakin worst. He has healing power equivalent to Deadpool's maybe even a little stronger, and he also has the ability to make everyone around him act like an absolute tool. Needless to say, him and Wade get on SWIMMINGLY.
Ordinarily, this wouldn't be a huge problem. It's not like this is the first time Deadpool has had to deal with a crazy person with extreme healing, right? I mean... this is Deadpool. That's basically his life.
Sadly, things go a little awry. While him and Madcap are getting their unending duel on, my boy Thor comes in for a clutch save and, hmm... well:
Yup. That pile of Ash? That's Deadpool. And Madcap. when they both got roasted by my boy Thor, their healing factors kicked in and they both came back to life. The problem IS they came back in the same body. Yeah.
So now, with I'm sure an EXTREME feeling of Deja Vu, Deadpool has Madcap stuck in his head. Eventually they managed to get separated, after a truly hilarious and horrific fight with Luke Cage.
Deadpool is left feeling a little lonely and all seems right with the world...
And this, right here, is why I love Duggan/Posehn's time on 'Pool.
See, this annual is where the volume ends. It's a seemingly throwaway volume about the time that Deadpool merged with an even worse version of himself.
On its own accord, it's a pretty funny tale. It's great seeing Deadpool finally have to put up with the shit that everyone else does, when they deal with him. It's great seeing Luke Cage and Thor doing things that would ordinarily be extremely out of character, and it's hilarious to see Deadpool get Sklortched.
In many other runs, this would be the end of it. Deadpool got in a scrape, found a terrible way to get out of it, and everything went back to sort of normal.
but this isn't any other run. This is the Deadpool run that is specifically created to ruin your soul. So remember the name Madcap, because friend, we've not seen the last of him...
Overall, this volume was kind of a mess. It's not bad, not at all. It's just, sort of a mess.
The Wedding of Deadpool was a lot of fun, but it's just one issue and most of the good stuff is covered in one hasty montage. Then, we have a collection of short stories of varying quality, connected only by the theme of "Deadpool's marriages always end in disaster" (I guess you could call this foreshadowing?). Then we have a fairly simple story that is vaguely connected, by the narrowest of threads, another throwback chapter where Deadpool curbstomps Hitler, and lastly the volume is wrapped up with a seemingly disconnected, albeit funny annual, that will be more important down the line.
On their own, none of the stories are exactly bad. In fact, they're mostly solid. But, after how strong the first four volumes of this arc are, this one just feels like a HUGE step down. Given how volume 4 ends with a broken Deadpool going off to be alone for a while, having it immediately jump to "Deadpool is getting married!" feels like a huge tonal shift. And yeah, it's great to see him surrounded by friends, and it does my heart good to see him so happy... but it just feels a little too fast, and sort of out of place in a run that has been fairly grounded, up until this point.
I don't know, maybe I'm being a little harsh, maybe this is just my lack of history with Deadpool showing ( I do feel like I missed a LOT of references, during the short story collection...), but as someone whose journey with the character began in volume 1 of this run, this felt like the first real miss of the series, to me.
Writing was still strong, art was good... but it felt like the central theme was fairly absent, and tonally it felt disconnected, to the rest of the series.
Ah well, can't win em all. And if you're Deadpool, you basically can't win ANY of them. So come back next time, in you're feeling sinful, for Deadpool Volume 6: Original Sin! Collecting Deadpool (2012) #29-34. Agent Preston follows a trail of secrets from Deadpool's past that leads her to a surprising situation requiring immediate attention. Deadpool has. . . a daughter! And there's much more to her life than meets the eye! But Deadpool is up to his neck fighting off Dracula's forces — and he's recruited a time-displaced Dazzler to help him do it! Even with her help, can Deadpool escape the gnawing fangs of the undead in time to safeguard his own flesh and blood? And where did his daughter even come from? Flashback to the grim and gritty 1990s as we learn the very darkest secret of Deadpool's dark past! Guest-starring '90s Sabretooth and '90s Alpha Flight!
If you want to read along, you can find this volume on Comixology, collected volumes on Amazon, or from your Local Comic Shop! Enjoy!
Taheg Gloder is a Freelance Copywriter from England. Obsessed with comics and Manga since his teens, he now splits his time between writing comic reviews and retrospectives for POP, and doing reactions on his YouTube Channel, The Dragon & The Hound. He lives alone, because he’s a hermit.