Deadpool: World's Greatest Vol 4: Temporary Insanitation RETROSPECTIVE. The icky-yucky hits the fan.
Deadpool: World's Greatest, Volume 4 Temporary Insanitation.
Collecting issue #13, 7.1, 4.1, 13.1, and Deadpool: Last Days of Magic
Written by: Lots of people. Art by: Just as many people.
Last volume, Deadpool had a brutal, but oddly civilised run-in with Wolverine's hairier other half, Sabretooth (Or is it Sabertooth? Or Soobertath? Spoopertoof?). They took turns carving parts off each other and then regenerating them back again. All because Deadpool was convinced that Creed had killed his parents, and in a rare example of humanity, Creed was willing to let him think that, to spare Deadpool any unnecessary pain. Ya know...while he was carving him up like a Thanksgiving turkey. We also had some more Deadpool 2099 type fun, as the identity of Zenpool was finally revealed! This time around, things get trashy, as Deadpool is hired to save a crooked accountant. I'm sure this will end well...
Issue 13: Temporary Insanitation Part 1. Written by Gerry Duggan, art by Jacopo Camagni. The caper begins! Mob accountant Marvin Shirkley is about to have the worst day of his life. After some stock trades go the wrong way, he loses a lot of money for some very bad people. And those people have come to collect! His only hope is to get them all arrested before they can start cutting parts off him, and the only way that will happen, is if Deadpool can keep him alive.
Daredevil Issue 7.1: Temporary Insanitation Part 2. Written by Charles Soule, art by Guillermo Sanna. The epic crossover continues! Jumping to Daredevil, Wade tries to keep Marvin safe by taking him to ADA Matt Murdock. Who is... less than convinced he should take the case, unless Marvin can provide some evidence. For totally unrelated reasons that have NOTHING to do with Murdock, Daredevil shows up for the assist. It doesn't go as well as you'd hope.
Power Man & Iron Fist Issue 4.1: Temporary Insanitation Part 3. Written by David Walker, Art by Elmo Bondoc. As the turd part of this crossover begins, Deadpool, Power Man, Iron Fist, and Marvin find themselves at the dump. It seems that Deadpool HAD the vital evidence that would win the case... but then he threw it away. Who's ready for some trash digging?
Deadpool Issue 13.1: Temporary Insanitation Part 4. Written by Gerry Duggan, Art by Paco Diaz. The conclusion of this clusterfuck arrives! Laptop in hand, all they need to do is get it and Marvin to Murdock's office. Easy, right? Not when a very angry pyromancer like Typhoid Mary is after you...
Issue 14: The Last Days of Magic. While Deadpool was dumpster diving with his friends, his wife Shiklah, queen of the Monster Metropolis was having a rough old time. It seems an army of science obsessives calling themselves "The Empirikul" have declared war on magic. And that war just happens to include all magic creatures... This might get rough.
I just... I don't know what to say, man. What did I just read? Deadpool spends four issues being the absolute fucking WORST, and totally living up to everyone's worst expectations of him, turning a simple mission into utter chaos... Then, after things somehow end up vaguely well, he gets caught up in Doctor Strange's magical war and suddenly things go from lighthearted and a bit confusing to horrifically tragic in the space of about two pages. What are you doing to me, Duggan? WHY?
Okay, so that was definitely something. Most of this volume is given over to the epic 4 part nonsense fest that is "Temporary Insanitation," a mini event wherein Deadpool, Daredevil, Power Man, and Iron Fist attempt to keep a mob accountant alive, while Deadpool's sort of ex-girlfriend tries to kill him. The whole thing is JUST as pointless as you're thinking it is. Honestly, I totally forgot this even happened... That said, despite being the definition of a filler arc, it has two very big things going for it:
1: In a previous volume (which you can read HERE, if you haven't already), I complained that the story didn't really have an ending, as it was all part of a larger event, and we only got to see Deadpool's part... which left the story feeling more than a little stilted.
Thankfully, Marvel (kinda) learned their lesson on that front! And this time, even though the middle two parts of this story are from Daredevil and Power Man & Iron Fist, they're all part of this volume! Huzzah. So, odd though the story may be, it is at least all HERE.
That's something, right?
2: The other really big thing this filler has going for it... Is the fact it's fucking HILARIOUS.
Honestly, I remember this whole arc as being amazing, but in a really messed up way. I remember all the parts that left me really depressed, or angry. Sure, there are parts that will have you crying with laughter, but there are also a lot of parts that will leave you just crying.
But this particular event? Nothing more, or less, than 100% unstoppable, unending fuckery.
Everything from Luke and Danny's conversation about the difference between Icky-yucky and fiddle-faddle, to Deadpool being upset at Daredevil for not cutting Wade more slack now that he's been blinded, is pure comedy gold. This arc should NOT work. It's four of the best street-level fighters in Marvel, spending four issues digging through trash trying to find a laptop. It should be equal parts annoying and aggravating, but it's just too perfect seeing Danny trying to keep Luke calm the whole time, before eventually snapping.
On more than one occasion, Deadpool has shown meta-knowledge, and awareness that he exists as a comic book character. He's shown knowledge of secret identities and other information he shouldn't be aware of, simply by virtue of the fact that he knows this is all fiction. This raises one big question:
After being blinded, Deadpool making multiple jokes about Daredevil needing to cut him some slack, because he's blind now and Daredevil isn't. What are the chances that Deadpool is just making these jokes to fuck with Daredevil, to try and get Matt to break character and lose his temper?
I'm not usually a betting man, but I'd put money down on that being the case, here.
The second part of this arc which had me cracking up, was (I hope) a reference to one of my absolute favourite alt-cartoons of the '90s. After spending the better part of the third issue digging around in a dump, trying to find the lost laptop, it eventually turns up... in the hands of the foreman, who rescued it from the dump earlier that morning. This left me thinking of the classic episode of Earthworm Jim, where he spends the whole episode searching the universe for his neighbour's egg beater, only to return it and be told that he has the wrong one. He then reaches into his suit, pulls out a second egg beater and exclaims "Ah, then THIS one must be yours!".
It's such an exercise in absurdity, that renders the whole of the previous episode, and all of its adventures utterly pointless, and I can't help but feel the same after reading this. They spend the whole issue digging through all manner of ungodly mess in this dump, dealing with mad mobsters and trying as hard as they can not to kill Wade... only to find out that they could have skipped all of that if they'd just asked the foreman right away.
On reading that panel, I had to put the comic down for a few minutes, and really think about what I'd just done. I've got to be honest, if I was one of the heroes, in that situation, I don't know who I'd be angrier at: Deadpool, the foreman, or myself...
But, laptop in hand, they're able to save the day, and Deadpool shows his inner good guy once more, by pulling strings to get Typhoid Mary committed so she can get the help she needs, rather than sending her back into the "Justice" system, that has treated her so poorly up until this point.
It's a great Deadpool moment, especially the part where he makes sure no one will ever know he's done it, especially Mary. It's the kind of thing that makes you remember WHY Deadpool is such a beloved character. He can spend four issues being the absolute worst, doing everything wrong, in the wrongest possible ways, being utterly unhelpful, when he's not just being a hinderance...
And right at the point where you're willing to wash your hands of him altogether and write him off as irredeemable, he reminds you that deep down he is a good guy, and really does want to help. Even if he doesn't always know the best way to actually do that.
It's a really heartwarming scene, which you're going to need, because the last issue is just wrong. SO wrong.
So, Jason Aaron, as a writer, tends to do best when he's taking all-powerful characters and seeing how they react when you remove their powers. Don't believe me? Check out his Thor run. (And read my thoughts on it HERE. Two plugs in one Retrospective. I'm ON FIRE). After he was done psychologically ruining Thor for years to come, he turned his malevolent eye onto the Sorcerer Supreme and asked "How cool would Doctor Strange be, if he was fighting robot aliens who can eat magic?". Turns out the answer is SUPER cool, but that's neither here nor there. While the Empirikul were busy ruining Strange's life, they also took a moment to show up in the Monster Metropolis and ruin Shiklah's life, too.
On the whole, it SEEMS like another fun filler issue. Deadpool fights magic-hating aliens, along with his fun friends Michael the Necromancer and the ghost of Ben Franklin... What could go wrong, right?
Well, for NO REASON AT ALL, Duggan decides this is a great time to utterly ruin our souls, by having Michael the Necromancer, who now has a cute goth witch girlfriend, by the by, use forbidden magics to sacrifice himself, saving the day.
It's just so brutal. I mean, the moment we saw that Michael was happy, we should have known that something terrible was going to happen to him. But that doesn't make it any easier, seeing him take a step up and be a hero, only to fall as he does it.
At any time, losing a fun character like Michael would hurt. But coming so out of the blue like this, at the end of a really fun, funny volume... it's just heartbreaking. Then, while we're sitting there mourning Michael, Ben Franklin informs us that he's decided his time on Earth is done, and he's going to move on to 'his next big adventure'. For those taking notes, that's the second great character gone, in one issue.
But don't leave, just yet. There's more pain to come, as Wade goes to see Daphne, Michael's special lady, to tell her what's happened and she informs him she's pregnant with Michael's baby. And just like that, on a page of almost total darkness, with just the barest hint of Deadpool in frame, the volume ends. Yup. THAT'S how he chose to end it.
I don't know about you, but I need a drink and a nap...
Overall, Volume 4 is an absolute rollercoaster for the readers. It begins with a fun, if a little bit crazy four part clusterfuck featuring some of the best of Hell's Kitchen getting up to all sorts of hilarious nonsense, and then takes one of the most savage left turns in the series so far, as it kills off two recurring characters, and leaves Deadpool in one of the darkest places, emotionally, that he's been since his trip to Korea. You'd think this would make it a rather tough read, but you'd be wrong. Duggan's strength has always been his ability to balance the dark and light of Deadpool, and never is that more evident than in this volume. Duggan takes great pains to show you that even when he's being his most irreverent, Deadpool still has his good side. Like when he spends four issues fucking about, before making sure Typhoid Mary is looked after. But at the same time, he shows you that Deadpool really is cursed, and even when he tries to do what's right, like saving his wife, it inevitably ends in tragedy. I mean, can you REALLY hold it against Deadpool, for being such a dick most of the time, when you see how badly it turns out when he tries to help? Hell, at least when he dabbles in the slightly more illegal side of things, he usually gets something out of it...
If you want to see what Deadpool gets out of the next mission, come back next time for Deadpool: World's Greatest! Volume 5: Civil War II (oh gods no...) Collecting Deadpool (2015) #14-19. Deadpool and the Mercs for Money are clearly the best super-group in the Marvel Universe. So naturally when there's a cosmic-level threat, they'll be there. This entire book is all about teamwork and getting along! Oh, no, wait, it's CIVIL WAR II — heroes falling out is the order of the day! So it's a good thing the Mercs all hate their boss and want out! At least Deadpool is popular with everybody who doesn't work for him — but how exactly did that happen? Prepare to find out! Then, the former voice inside DP's head known as Madcap makes his return — with a mad-on for revenge! It won't be pretty! Plus: In the far-off future, Wade's two daughters fight for the right to be Deadpool 2099! Whatever the era, it ain't easy being Deadpool!
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.