• Taheg

Deadpool V8 "All Good Things" RETROSPECTIVE. Things are NOT good, and this is far from the end!


Marvel NOW! Deadpool, Vol 8, Cover 1. Published by Marvel Comics.

Marvel NOW! Deadpool, Vol 8: All Good Things (2012).

Collecting issues #41-44 & #250

Writers: Gerry Duggan & Brian Posehn. (41-44)

Artist: Salva Espin


Last time, Deadpool became Zenpool and tried to live a calm, murder-free life. As a result, his wife now thinks he's boring, and Dracula tried to kill him with a stolen robot. Which is actually a pretty chill week, by Deadpool standards. Sadly, Deadpool wasn't the only person that got whammied, and the other heroes decided to embrace the path of ultra-violence, which turns out not to be as awesome as '90s anime made it look. Then everything was fixed off panel, and all was good with the world. Unless your name is Deadpool, because nothing is ever good for Deadpool. Now, we wrap up this first major arc of the Deadpool Retrospectives with "All Good Things", which is filled to the brim with NO GOOD THINGS.

I know, dude. I know...

Issue 41: Wade's No Good, Horrible, Very Bad Day. Which kinda sounds like a '00s era Nu Metal track. Deadpool is in something of a funk. He's ditched the Zen and is back to his old ways, but somehow, he feels worse than ever. So, what is one to do, when you're not feeling yourself? Simple! Take a job for Roxxon, helping evict people from their own land, so you can harvest their oil.


This isn't going to help, Wade...

Cool guys don't look at explosions!!

Issue 42: Sand and Deliver. Wade has, predictably, swapped sides and is now fighting for the good people of a made-up country. Because Wade is kind of a bad guy, but he's not a Roxxon-level bellend. Only one thing stands between him and saving the fine people of a small town with oil: Omega Red!

Omega Red! His power is being BY FAR the worst Weapon X Program graduate.

Issue 43: After Mash. Christmas has come! And gone... And Deadpool is still nowhere to be seen. At the Preston residence, people are actually kinda starting to miss his ugly mug. But Deadpool is still stuck on his previous job... guess it's time to murder a bunch of people, and then call the missus!

An oil field. A match. And yet somehow, Deadpool is still the most volatile thing in the picture.

Issue 44: Soul Coffin. Deadpool has found out why Roxxon are REALLY interested in this place! it's not the oil, it's the mysterious glass coffins, buried in a profane temple! word of warning: The last time we saw one of those, Shiklah emerged. So, whatever is in these coffins it'll be equal parts sexy and dangerous. Then, Ultimatum return, and this time they're not just targeting Deadpool...

Urge to play Tomb Raider intensifies.

Issue 250: The Aristocrats! Ultimatum make their move! All of Deadpool's nearest and dearest are in mortal peril! Thankfully, after spending a couple of years dealing with Deadpool, mortal peril isn't actually THAT mortal. I mean, half of the people in Deadpool's life are either already dead or killer robots. What are some tools in berets REALLY going to do?

For every corpse on this cover, Deadpool kills about 100 actual people, in this issue.

Then, this sorta final issue wraps up with a collection of one-shot tales, featuring some of Deadpool's besties. Shiklah learns some pop culture, Benjamin teams up with a different Benjamin, and Evan tries to rob a bank. It's all good stuff, you'll love it.


And with that Earth-shattering ending, Marvel NOW! Deadpool (2012) comes to its conclusion! We've laughed, we've cried, we've eaten a lot of Tex Mex, friends were made, then died, then came back as all-powerful Necromancers, and Deadpool got hitched! Crazy times. And the best (worst...) is yet to come!

This is me, at any social gathering.

Volume 8 is just straight up mean. There's no other way to describe it, honestly.


We begin with Deadpool in a funk, due to losing his Zen... So he goes off to be Deadpool in another country, and get over his sadness with some nice, untraceable murder.


But, of course, this is the NEW Deadpool. Daddy Deadpool. He CARES. So, when he's tasked with murdering a bunch of innocent civilians, of course he can't do it.


It's a small thing, really. Because he does still end up murdering a whole bunch of people, and a few of them he really didn't NEED to murder, so it seems a lot like this is just the same old Deadpool, doing the same old Deadpool stuff, but it's not. This is actually growth, believe it or not!


This is the seeds, that were planted a few volumes back, starting to grow. Deadpool still loves a bit of murder, for sure, but now he's not just murdering for money, or for the sake of it, he's doing it because he really feels it's the right thing to do. He's taking out people that actually DO deserve to get their asses kicked. Which is a pretty nice change, really.


Then, because of course we need a big showdown, they throw Omega Red in, who kicks 'Pool's ass a bit and locks him up. Because, as we know, any time Deadpool does anything nice, he's punished for it.

I don't think it's a coincidence, that Aunt May has a brief cameo later on. She's there to subtly remind us of one of the core lessons of Super Hero Fiction: If you do good things, that makes you a good person, and good things will happen to you, in return. We see if often, throughout these comics. Heroes go around doing hero stuff and are given praise, recognition, and delicious pies in return.


And then, there's Wade. Pretty much every time Deadpool tries to do ANYTHING nice, in this book, he is almost immediately punished for it.


So, it should come as no surprise to anyone, that while he saves most of the villagers and defeats the evil Roxxon Corporation... He ends up getting captured and tortured by Omega Red. And, of course, when he eventually escapes, he proceeds to murder them all en masse, and is rewarded with his freedom and a truce of sorts, with Omega Red.


Once again, hammering home the idea that Deadpool is only allowed nice things, when he's horrible.


Saves people: Gets tortured.

Murders people: Earns his freedom.


You'd think this would be a really terrible message, to give to the readers, but it's really not. Because, while we see this arc repeating itself again and again, we also see the terrible effect it has on Deadpool. Yes, he's free, yes that means he can go back to his friends and family and yay... But that blood on his hands doesn't wash off so easily anymore, and the bloodletting has only just begun...


It's not hard to understand why Deadpool is so messed up in the head, when the only way for him to get something akin to a normal life is to murder hundreds of people, time and again.

OMNOMNOMNOMNOM

So, Deadpool murders his way through the Middle East, and ends up accidentally giving his Monster Queen wife an army of super demon soldiers (SEE! He does something nice, and it ends horribly). Then, he returns to his family, hoping to spend some quality time with them aannddd....


Guess who's back? YUP. Ultimatum have returned. Deadpool made a deal with Flagsmasher, to keep him and his family safe. Sadly, he didn't tell the REST of the group about this, so when the current Flagsmasher is killed and replaced, Ultimatum come hunting for blood!


Obviously, it doesn't end well for them, because as of this particular point in time, the "Friends and Family" they're trying to kill include:


The ghost of a Benjamin Franklin: who can possess anyone he enters.


Agent Preston: the Murderbot.


Michael, the Necromancer: who is a Necromancer


and Mrs Camacho: Who doesn't really have any special skills or powers, she's just tough as old boots.


So, yeah. The whole "Getting to Deadpool by hurting his loved ones" plan doesn't work out exactly as Ultimatum had planned, because Deadpool's friends are all freaking monsters.

Well. ALMOST all of them...

Naturally, even though they failed horribly, Deadpool can't let this stand. So, we're treated to about ten pages of a Deadpool that has utterly snapped, doing the best he can to murder every single person that has so much as HEARD of the organisation once known as "Ultimatum". It's hilariously brutal and over the top, at one point he's fighting old ladies, and then he decapitates a Shriner.


And, it's just hopelessly tragic. It's Deadpool! And he's killing funny people, in funny ways! It's funny right?


Well, not really, no. Because we KNOW that Deadpool was happy, when he was Zenpool. He'd found his calm, he almost found contentment... but as we know, Deadpool can never BE happy. It's not who he IS. He's the archetypal 'Sad Clown' and we're starting to realise that there's no way for him to change that.


So, Deadpool goes full Deadpool and murders everyone. He then returns to his friends and family and they steal a yacht and sail off into the sunset.


It's a really beautiful moment. Deadpool, surrounded by all the people he cares about, and who all care for him, spending a brief moment of peace together.


(You'll note, once more, than he was only able to GET this moment of peace by going on a truly brutal and over the top murder rampage, but I feel like I've made that point sufficiently already.)

Everything is so nice... horrible thing happening in 3...2...1...

So, naturally, surrounded by all this kindness... The world explodes!


Because, yes, that's right, this is actually ANOTHER big Marvel Event! The biggest, you could say: Secret Wars! This whole freakin book, all this great character growth and all these amazing moments? Yeah. They all happened in the build up to the Final Incursion, which ended up destroying every universe in the Marvel Multiverse, and causing the creation of Battleworld.


Because the one moment of true, pure happiness that Deadpool felt was too much for the world, and caused an extinction level event.


Because Deadpool can't have nice things.


We then get a few one-shots, about some of the supporting cast. They're all pretty good, but none are exactly noteworthy. Although the final story, where Deadpool steals the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos and uses it to stage a roast for himself is the standout. As you'd expect, it starts in comedy and then gets kinda dark. Because... I mean, have you been reading this book? That's always what happens.

Pulp Fiction >>>>> Reservoir Dogs. You know it's true.

Overall, Volume 8 is a pretty solid end to a somewhat uneven run. This volume has everything we've come to expect from the Duggan/Posehn era of Deadpool. There were some great laughs, some brutal action, some overwhelming sadness, and the destruction of all life as we know it. There was also a bunch of random one-shots of mixed quality, and the whole thing ran about 20 pages longer than it really needed to...


I'll be honest with you: I love this whole era of Deadpool, but I'd be lying if I said that the vast majority of my love for it comes from the "World's Greatest" era, that we move onto next. While Marvel NOW! Deadpool (2012) is an undoubtedly solid run, that sets up some amazing things to come in the future and really gave me a new appreciation for the character, it feels like the tentative first album, released before the band had really found its stride.


There are SO many elements of this arc that I love, but there's also a lot that leaves me a little wanting. I feel like this eight volume arc could probably have been boiled down to four or five GREAT volumes, that sets up the World's Greatest era and introduces you to all the important figures, and focusing on what makes this era so great: The outstanding story and brilliant characterisation. I'm not saying that filler is a bad thing, and that every page has to advance the overall story... but at least half of each volume should advance the overall story.


Because, when they get it right, like they did with this volume, Duggan and Posehn deliver some of the most gut-wrenching, soul-crushing, heartwarming, blood-pumping tales Marvel have ever released... and who could say no, to that?


If you can't say no to it, then join me next time when we enter a new era of Deadpool, with Deadpool: World's Greatest Vol. 1: Millionaire With A Mouth! Collecting Deadpool (2015) #1-5. He's annoying. He's dangerous. He smells terrible. But the public loves him! That's right: the Merc with a Mouth is now the most popular hero in the world. Eat that, Spidey! But with great popularity comes overbearing responsibility, so Wade has called in a little help being him. You won't believe — or recognize — who he signed up (unless you've memorized every volume of the Official Handbook)! But when an imposter sets out to ruin Wade Wilson, our hero has the perfect bait to lure the baddie out: his innocent daughter, Ellie!


I guess that version lives on Earth 30... Rock.

 

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.

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