Deadpool: World's Greatest! Volume 8: 'Til Death Do Us...
Collecting Deadpool issues # 28-29, Spider-Man/Deadpool #15-16,
Deadpool & The Mercs For Money #9-10.
Written by: Gerry Duggan (Deadpool), Joshua Corin (Spider-man/Deadpool) and Christopher Hastings (Deadpool & The Mercs For Money).
Art By: Salva Espin (Deadpool) and Scott Koblish (Spider-Man/Deadpool and Deadpool & The Mercs For Money.)
Colours by: Ruth Redmond (Deadpool) and Nick Koblish (Spider-Man/Deadpool and Deadpool & The Mercs for Money).
Seriously, I swear this list gets longer and more complex every volume.
Last time around, Deadpool's marriage hit the rocks (more on that later!) and then Deadpool took on a very special, and secret, mission for Captain America, who is totally, absolutely not a HYDRA spy right now. Nope. Not AT ALL. Then everything went all... classical. As Deadpool took on the Bard himself and went decidedly Shakespearean. It was very definitely a comic. This time, everything goes wrong, but in a much less emotionally scarring way than usual, as Deadpool's doomed marriage to Shiklah, Queen of the Monsters reaches its inevitable conclusion.
Deadpool Issue 28: 'Til Death do us... Part 1 (See what they did there?). When a monster strays onto the New York Subway and is shot for it, the already high tensions between the Monster Metropolis and the Humans above reaches boiling point, and Shiklah decides she's had enough!
Spider-Man/Deadpool issue 15: Till Death do us... Part 2. The Monster Army has invaded Manhattan! And the only person who has a chance of stopping them is the last scion of the greatest monster hunting family of all time: Camper Van Helsing. Yup. That is her actual name...
Deadpool & The Mercs for Money issue 9: Till Death do us... Part 3. The monsters have taken over! Shiklah has used an ancient artifact to take direct control of every monster, and brought their full, crushing weight to bear on Manhattan. While the Mercs for Money attempt to stymie her plans, Deadpool, Spods, and Cami attempt to recruit a risky new ally.
Spider-Man/Deadpool 16: Till Death do us... Part 4. The Mercs fight their way through Shiklah's forces, and Gorilla Man has an identity crisis. Meanwhile, Deadpool and Co. land in Latvia. But it seems Dracula might take a little convincing, if he's going to join this fight!
Deadpool & The Mercs For Money issue 10: Till Death do us... Part 5. Everyone has a nice power nap. They've earned it! Then, it looks like the humans just might survive. For about 10 seconds. Then things get SO MUCH WORSE. Because. Deadpool.
Deadpool Issue 29: Till Death do us... Part 6. The worst wedding ever begins. And just when it looks like the world is well and truly doomed, an old ally returns, to teach the Monster Army a valuable lesson: It doesn't matter if you live above ground, or below ground... you're still American!
Well, that was fun, wasn't it? I mean yes, sure, most of Manhattan was taken over by monsters for a bit and they DID cause a lot of damage and probably killed a few people. But that's no worse than most times the Avengers "save" the place. And, let's be real here, as far as Deadpool events go, this one was fairly light. No heart-wrenching pain, or soul-crushing agony. Just a good old fashioned team-up!
Look out ladies and gentlemen, Deadpool is officially single again! Yup, this time him and Shiklah are really over, like REALLY over. That tends to happen when your wife sets her super murder minions to try and cut you into little pieces, so you can't interfere when she tries to take over the world. I know we're meant to be a little forgiving with our spouses, but I think we can all agree: that is a dealbreaker.
Also fun to note: There actually was a time when Deadpool had THREE concurrent titles ongoing. Dude can't even get a single book right now, but back then he had THREE. Deadpool fans were eating well. Now, we starve and have to write long Retrospectives looking back on the glory days, to keep ourselves entertained...
Okay, no more poor attempts to kill time. 'Til Death Do Us Part was a rather strange event. Well, mini-event. Shiklah's bloody break-up with Deadpool was actually a little flat, really. Somehow, despite the fact it involved her putting the whole of Manhattan to sleep, using an ancient sceptre long thought lost, AND marrying Dracula in order to form a damned union of Vampires and Monsters in an attempt to take over the world, this whole thing just felt rather low stakes...
Don't get me wrong. It's a fun arc, lots of great jokes, some solid action, and the whole road trip with Deadpool, Spods, and the inexplicably named "Camper Van Helsing" is an unending mine of hilarity... but it's kind of hard to get invested in what could/should be an extinction level event, when none of the heroes seem to be taking it THAT seriously either.
Usually Duggan is great at balancing out the more... outlandish parts of his story with some solid dramatic scenes, in order to keep the balance where it needs to be. But, possibly due to the fact he only wrote about 40% of this event, this time it feels like the balance is WAY off.
It's kind of hard to get invested in Gorilla Man's struggles to decide if he's a monster or a man, when a few panels before Cami was playing a fighting game against Dracula (who is wearing underwear with little hearts on) to decide if he will join them to save the world or not.
I mean, I'm not really sure what I was expecting. But it feels like with all the build-up that has been done, to get us to this 'final' showdown with Shiklah, I was hoping for a little more gravity to it. It's fine to spend some time joking around. After all, this IS a book that primarily features Deadpool and Spider-Man, who aren't exactly the most serious characters Marvel have ever written...
But when your two leads are both characters who are known for making jokes to hide the pain that they're feeling, and when you're writing an arc that some might consider to have a little drama in it, I just kinda wish they could have actually been a little serious, even just in passing, for a page or two.
Duggan tries his best to at least stick the landing, in what was probably intended to be a dramatic moment, with Deadpool reading his last letter from Shiklah, but it feels like far too little, far too late. And what could potentially have been a hilarious, brutal, bittersweet goodbye to a character that for all her faults did mean a lot to Deadpool, and was a fairly major player in his life, ends up feeling like a hastily thrown together mess. That isn't bad, per se, but is far from as good as it could have been.
Overall, Volume 8 feels like a bit of a miss. It's not a bad arc, broadly speaking; if you're looking for solid jokes, decent action and lots of references, you're going to LOVE it. However, if you're looking for the blend of comedy, emotion, action, and tragedy which forms the skeleton of Duggan's Deadpool run, I think you might find yourself a little disappointed with this rather limp, almost 'event'.
If you want to get us back on track, come back next time for Deadpool: World's Greatest! Volume 9: Deadpool In Space! Collecting Deadpool (2015) #30, Deadpool Secret Comic Variants. Deadpool. In. Spaaaaace!!! Wade Wilson is heading off Earth on a personal mission: one that will land him in all manner of cosmic trouble! Plus, a secret story known only to compulsive Deadpool variant cover collectors, as Odin ejects Deadpool from reality —and into the cover-verse! Can a team-up with UPC-PO, the living embodiment of the UPC code, help Wade return to the world he left behind...or will it just be an excuse for parodies and shenanigans? We're guessing the latter.
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.