Graphic Novel Review: Deadpool’s latest

Deadpool Does Shakespeare

Deadpool Does Shakespeare - Credit: Archant

More from the Merc with the Mouth... Deadpool World’s Greatest: Deadpool Does Shakespeare, Deadpool the Duck and Spider-Man/Deadpool: Side Pieces.

Deadpool the Duck

Deadpool the Duck - Credit: Archant

(Panini Books)

Just when you thought the powers-that-be couldn’t possibly top past storylines featuring the Merc with a Mouth comes this trilogy of tales that have to be read to be believed.

Plunging the foul-mouthed and gun-toting Wade Wilson into a Shakespeare crossover epic sounds ridiculous, but is perhaps one of the most remarkable and inspired comic stories you will read this year.

If you’re looking for a means to get young comics readers engaged in the works of the Bard then this could be the perfect solution, succeeding in maintaining a reverence for the original work while at the same time keeping true to Deadpool’s world.

Spider-Man/Deadpool: Side Pieces

Spider-Man/Deadpool: Side Pieces - Credit: Archant

The use of iambic pentameter is inspired, and you can only admire the writers (Gerry Duggan and Ian Doescher) for their craft, as not only do they keep to the poetic rhythm of the form, they also manage to inject plenty of humour into the dialogue, just like Big Will did back in his day!

Seventies cultural icon, Presidential candidate and star of George Lucas’ biggest movie flop, Howard the Duck has enjoyed something of a renaissance since his cameo appearance in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but nothing could have prepared him for his role in the most bizarre Marvel team-up since Aunt May became the herald of Galactus…

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On the hunt for a rabid Rocket Raccoon, Deadpool finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time after being merged with Howard to create the most dangerous duck the world has ever seen… With the two inhabitants of his body fighting for control, Deadpool the Duck must uncover the truth behind his bizarre accident or risk remaining stuck in this form forever.

The last of these books collects a selection of one-off issues from the Spidey and ‘Pool title, with the highlight unquestionably a “lost” issue of the Amazing Spider-Man from the 1960s, which admirably captures the spirit of the Lee-Dikto era, albeit with a contemporary twist.

Other stories feature Deadpool selling-out in style on the set of his own movie, a Christmas special with more blood, guns, explosions and violence than Die Hards 1 and 2, and a disappointing issue co-written by Las Vegas magician Penn Jilette and featuring him and his sidekick Teller which really should never have been made.

If nothing else, these collections prove the versatility of Deadpool as a character by plunging him into scenarios which really wouldn’t work with many other superheroes, but beyond that they also include some first-rate examples of modern comics storytelling worth highlighting for their own merits.

If you’ve previously debated taking the plunge with Wade Wilson for one reason or another, but are tempted after seeing his movie debut, then these books might be a little too bizarre for a first impression, but long-term fans of the character will lap up the directions Marvel is prepared to push him these days.