Deadpool: World's Greatest, Volume 7: Deadpool Does Shakespeare
Collecting issues #26-27 & Much Ado About Deadpool
Written by: Gerry Duggan (#26-27) & Ian Doescher(MAAD).
Art by: Scott Hepburn, Paolo Villanelli (#25), Sean Izaakse, Salva Espin (#26)
& Bruno Olivieri (MAAD).
Colours by: Java Tartaglia, Irma Kniivila (#26) Veronica Gandini (27)
& Nick Filardi (MAAD).
Last time, things went SO WRONG. Things started off really sweetly, with a wonderful tale of Deadpool helping a young woman on the worst day of her life. Then, Wade a rough time of it, as he accidentally infected the only people left in the world that loved him, with a bio-engineered super-toxin that doesn't currently have an antidote. Then we wrapped it all up with the final chapter of Deadpool 2099, as Wade managed to get his daughters to stop fighting, and all was well with the world, once more. It was... it was a lot to take in. I can't lie. This time around, they're clearly just throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall, to see what sticks. Let's see what happens!
Issue 26: Heart-shaped Box. It's Valentine's day! Yes, the mother of all non-holidays is here, and Deadpool just wants to spend a nice evening with his wife, Shiklah. Sadly, a surprise "gift" from Madcap leads his evening in a very different direction.
Issue 27: And Now For Something Completely Different. Some time-traveling ne'er-do-wells have come back to ruin everyone's day. And there's only one person in the world they'll talk to: Captain America! Not wanting to go in alone, Cap recruits the only person he'd trust in such a delicate situation: Deadpool. Yeah, I don't believe it either.
Much Ado About Deadpool, Act 1: Something's rotten in the state of Deadpool. Deadpool wakes up in an unfamiliar castle. There is a ghost, claiming to be his father. Everyone is talking in metre. It's all REALLY freakin strange.
Much Ado About Deadpool, Act 2: Wherefore art thou Deadpool! Deadpool has an illuminating run-in with a pair of lovely noblewomen, and goes off to confront the villain of the piece! But are they truly the villain? Who on Earth knows? Not Deadpool, that's for sure.
Much Ado About Deadpool, Act 3: King Leery. Deadpool's meeting with the evil king does NOT go as planned, but that's nothing new for Deadpool, really. So, pulling himself together, he decides on something that a reasonable person would probably call something akin to a plan.
Much Ado About Deadpool, Act 4: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Deadpool. Unsure of what to do next, Deadpool does what anyone should do, when they find themselves in dire straits. He goes to the Library! Because remember folks, libraries are awesome.
Much Ado About Deadpool, Act 5: All's well, that dies well. After spending some time recuperating in a handy bordello, Deadpool puts his kinda sorta plan into action, and more or less resolves the situation. Kinda. Maybe.
My condolences, to the Shakespeare Estate. That was a bizarre volume, even by Deadpool standards. One issue that is kinda vital, to the overall story of this run, one issue that ties into yet another huge event, and sets up a couple of important plot points for the future and then... Wills pays the bills, I guess? At least they got the "Wherefore" part correct! A lot of people get that wrong...
I'm not really sure where to start with any of that. I guess it's best to just start at the beginning. That's kind of what they're for. So, first story is Deadpool's Valentines! This issue seems to mostly be setting up the inevitable collapse of Deadpool's marriage, and a potential big showdown with Shiklah, which should be fairly awesome, because as we heard during Deadpool 2099, she's KIND of a beast, when she really cuts loose. So, let's hope that happens, eh? There was also more teasing from our resident Boop-hole, Madcap. He REALLY has it out for Wade and to show how much he cares, he sent Wade a heart. It was pretty gross. He then tried to get him to kill a random guy. Not really sure what his endgame was there, but it failed. So that's a plus, I guess. Or is it? I do enjoy the Madcap arc, he's a great foil for Deadpool because he's basically the same character but dialed up to 11...
So, in a roundabout kind of way, Deadpool now has to put up with what everyone else has been putting up with for years! He finally gets to see how infuriating he can be, to deal with. Reckon he'll be a better person for it?
Then, we have another big tie-in, YAY!! This time around, and sort of following on from last volumes tie-in, we have Secret Empire!
Now, I can't like. I actually kind of enjoyed Secret Empire. I love arcs/events where a character is taken totally out of their comfort zone, and has to confront what it really means to be them. Arcs like Thor: God of Thunder or Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic cover this incredibly well. Secret Empire didn't exactly nail it, but the HYDRA Cap plot line was a lot better than some people made it out to be. Honestly, I think a lot of the backlash, especially on social media, was mostly just from people who saw the "Hail HYDRA!" scene out of context, and freaked out.
But therein lies Deadpool's big problem. We know that Cap is now HYDRA. Cap knows that Cap is now HYDRA (or DOES he?), by the end of this issue, my boy Phil Coulson suspects Cap is HYDRA... but did anyone think to tell Deadpool?
The answer is, obviously, no. So, while Cap is doing his sneaky sneaky HYDRA stuff, and certain people in secret places are doing their best to stop him from doing his HYDRA stuff, no one thought to tell Deadpool that maybe doing favours for this Cap isn't the best plan, in the long run. So, Deadpool helps Cappy take out some "terrorists" from the future who have come back in time to stop the Secret Empire from ever happening, and Deadpool gleefully helps to stop them.
Which, really, is just about the most Deadpool thing ever. He does horrible things, for the right reasons, and it always comes back to bite him on the hiney. Right now, Deadpool THINKS he's working with Captain Freakin America to keep the world safe. Because he's Captain Freakin America. He bleeds red, white, and blue. How could helping him be a bad idea, right? But watching from the outside, knowing the full story, it's like watching a fuse slowly burning down, and you're just left waiting for the explosion. Because while Deadpool thinks he's doing the right thing, we know it's only a matter of time, before Cap asks him to do something he shouldn't... and then Wade will do it, because it's CAPTAIN FREAKIN AMERICA asking, why wouldn't he? And then, the bad times begin. Duggan really loves to torture us, doesn't he? Not content with making Deadpool's life suck, we're now suffering twice. We're left sitting here, waiting for the other shoe to drop, knowing that Deadpool is moments from disaster and there's nothing we can do to stop it... but it's just so well crafted, that we can't stop reading, either.
Have I mentioned already that Duggan is an evil genius?
Mostly evil. But also genius.
And then, for no apparent reason, Shakespeare.
So, yeah. The first issue sets up the Shiklah Showdown, and moves the Madcap arc forward a little. The second issue connects up with Secret Empire and teases of horrors yet to come... and then, there's Shakespeare. I'm not really sure what to say about this particular brand of Bardic Fuckery. Much like actual Shakespeare, there are a lot of dirty jokes, lots of talking in metre, and everyone ends up dead. It's a really strange little arc, and I'm not really sure what it's actually doing here. I suspect that, seeing as the next volume is all one arc, and the previous volume was mostly connected... they were in an odd situation where they needed a little more to fill this volume out, but couldn't shift anything from the other two volumes, so... Shakespeare!
I mean, there's nothing WRONG with Much Ado About Deadpool. It's a fun arc, has some good bard adjacent jokes, some solid action. There's nothing to really hold against it. There's just not a lot really going for it, either. So, shall we move on?
Overall, Deadpool Volume 7 is a real mixed bag. Two short issues that are solid on their own, and move the overarching story of Duggan's run forward, in interesting ways, and then lots of Shakespeare. Duggan does a great job teasing future pains, which is sort of his thing, but somehow still retains its punch every time he tries to do it. And then, there's Shakespeare. Want to hear my favourite Shakespeare joke?
Shakespeare walks into a bar, barman looks up at him and says "Oi, you, OUT! You're barred!"
Doesn't really work, written down...
Do you know what DOES work, written down? Deadpool! So why not join us next time for Deadpool: World's Greatest Volume 8: 'Till Death Do us...' Collecting Deadpool (2015) #28-29, Spider-Man/Deadpool (2016) #15-16, Deadpool & the Mercs for Money (2016) #9-10. You've never seen marital problems like this! It was a whirlwind romance: Deadpool traveled across the world with Shiklah, fighting all sorts of threats at her side, and finally married her as a way to thwart the evil vampire lord, Dracula! But the honeymoon is over, and reality has set in. Wade's bride is a demon succubus and the queen of a monstrous kingdom hidden beneath Manhattan. So when this Monster Metropolis declares war on the surface world, Deadpool's loyalties are divided between his husbandly duties and the role he's crafted for himself as a hero. Can Spidey and the Mercs for Money help him decide whose side he is on? Brace yourself for a domestic dispute that's really going to break some things up!
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.