Deadpool: World's Greatest Volume 9: Deadpool In Space.
Collecting Deadpool #30, Deadpool Secret Comic Variants.
Written by Gerry Duggan, Pencils by Mike Hawthorne, Inks by Terry Pallot, Colours by Jordie Bellaire, GREAT name.
Last time, Deadpool's marriage finally exploded. After a mostly innocent monster was gunned down on the subway, The Monster Metropolis declared war on the world above! And Deadpool was torn between his Succubus wife, and pretty much everyone else. So he gathered all his friends together, the ones that were still alive, anyway, and set out on a globe spanning mission to stop his wife and save the world. And it worked! Kinda... But now, Deadpool has only one target left to kill. But to do it, he's going to need help. Extraterrestrial help!
Deadpool Issue 30: A Space Oddity. In this bumper-sized issue, Deadpool has decided it's finally time to deal with Madcap. But how do you kill that which has no life? Unable to get his hands on the Sword of 1000 Truths, Deadpool sets his sights on The Stars! But of course, Deadpool being very, very Deadpool, his search quickly descends into wholesale slaughter of the kind we've not seen since a couple of volumes ago. But when the dust has settled, and the blood has dried, will Deadpool have what he needs? And then, a friend in need comes to visit...
Deadpool: Secret Comic Variants. Deadpool has angered the All-Father! (as if that's difficult...) In punishment, Deadpool has be banished... to the Covers! Will Deadpool be able to find his way back into the book, or will he be stuck out there with his new friend, UPC-PO Human/Cash Register Relations? Ooooh, the TENSION! It is reaching unbearable levels!
Well. That was probably two of the most Deadpool things to ever Deadpool. I mean... Yeesh. Deadpool went into space to find a weapon, and found... Himself? I guess. I mean, he also found a couple of weapons, made some new allies and finally cleared things up with Adsit, a bit. But yeah, it seems like his mission was mostly just about him letting out some of the tension that he's been carrying since everything went to hell. Then, Deadpool decided to out-meta himself by having a whole story take place entirely on variant covers. Credit where it's due, that's a pretty ballsy move.
So. Deadpool went to space. Who saw that coming, right? Clearly not 'Space Axe,' or they never would have let him steal their rocket!
Way back in season one of Game of Thrones, back when everyone still enjoyed that show, the good 'people' at HBO were faced with a bit of a problem. For people that haven't read the books, A Song of Ice and Fire is INCREDIBLY heavy on the exposition. There are whole chapters where very little is said and a lot of the world-building and plot pushing take place in descriptive prose. So, how does one convey that, on television? You can't just have people sit there and talk for hours on end; people will get bored! So, what to do? Whatever can they do...
The answer was as simple as it was idiotic. HBO's 'creatives' coined a new term, "Sexposition". No, it's not as dirty as it sounds. Well, actually it totally is. To sum it up, whenever there were long speeches, character development, world-building or other parts of the show that they thought the audience would find 'dull' going on, they'd have two people doing in, front and centre, while a third person, either off screen of sitting to one side of the shot explained all the dull stuff. It was a truly terrible idea, that rocketed Game of Thrones into its spot as the most talked about show on television for about five years straight.
Now, I know what you're thinking: This is all really fun and interesting, Tiggles, but what the hell does this have to do with Deadpool?
Great question, true believers! I'll tell you now.
This volume basically follows a very similar pattern. Sure, there are less pegging prostitutes, but the basic concept is the same. This volume, on the surface, SEEMS to just be Deadpool searching space for the Mystery McGuffin that he can use to kill Madcap, and along the way running into a bunch of friends, old and new, and murdering them.
But! If you look underneath the twenty or so pages of unstoppable, unutterable chaos and bloodshed, you start to notice some breadcrumbs. Some delicious, plot laden breadcrumbs!
It's a clever trick, and worked brilliantly. It actually worked SO well, that the first time I read this series through, I didn't pick up on most of it. The vast majority of this book is just Deadpool Deadpooling all over space. There are jokes, PLENTY of violence, and a solid riff on Abbot and Costello's greatest bit. It's almost enough to convince you that this whole volume is purely filler, designed to give the fans a little brevity, before things get serious next volume.
It's this kind of subtlety that really sells me on Duggan's run. He manages to distract us with the jokes, the cameos and the insane violence, but he draws just enough attention to things like the I Win vial, or Deadpool's deal with Tanaleer Tivan, that they stick around in the back of your head. And then, soon, when the time is right, he springs that trap and leaves us floored. It's superb work, the kind you only get when someone that understands story structure is given enough time to craft the tale they want to tell.
This is one of the reasons I love ongoing runs like this, or Aaron's Thor so much. When you give a great creator time and space to create something, the result is almost always worth the time.
And now, for something totally different!
While about 80% of this volume is covered by Deadpool in Space, the last section is Deadpool Secret Comic Variants. A truly bizarre comic event, that only Deadpool would be able to make work... Because, it wasn't actually a comic. It was a story, told in 20 parts, over Variant Covers for the first 20 issues of the Deadpool run.
Is it a masterpiece, untouchable Deadpool story that will live on forever in the hearts and minds of his fans? No, not really. Honestly, I'd forgotten this story was even part of this run. However: It's conceptually a brilliant and oddly hilarious idea, and I think that's always worth supporting. I think we need to allow people to just mess around sometimes, try different things, throw some ideas at the wall and see what sticks. I remember a while back, when you picked up various Comixology digital editions of certain books there were special 'Guided View' stories, at the end. For those that don't know, 'Guided View' is a special digital reading setting, where you focus on one panel at a time. For blind old bats like myself, it can help to examine the art.
However, what these clever souls did, was use that focus to make an almost animated style of comic. Where the panels would be 90% the same, with maybe only an arm moving, to throw a punch of whatever. If you looked at it as a full page, it would just be two similar panels, but when you viewed it in Guided View, it would almost seem animated. It was a nice idea and clearly didn't take off, but it was cool they tried something. Just like it's cool with this, telling a story over connected variant covers.
Overall, Deadpool Volume 9 is a solid arc in the overall continuity. It may take you a second read through to fully pick up all that Duggan is putting down, but I've always said the best twists are ones that are hinted at during the build-up, but you don't understand the hints, until you know the pay-off. And trust me, friends... the pay-off is coming!
If you're coming too, why not come with us, next time? Wait. No. That sounded wrong.
Pretend that didn't happen, and join us next time for Deadpool Volume 10: Secret Empire! Collecting Deadpool (2015) #31-36. Deadpool takes on the event storyline of 2017: Secret Empire! But which side will he choose, and how will he face down the fallout? Wade Wilson trusts Steve Rogers implicitly; how could he not? But that trust is about to be put to the test, big-time! Deadpool has spent his superhero career cracking jokes, but this situation is serious...and big changes are coming for the Merc With A Mouth...
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.