Graphic Novel Review: Deadpool: World’s Greatest: Patience: Zero Deadpool and the Mercs for Money: IvX

Deadpool and the Mercs for Money: IvX

Deadpool and the Mercs for Money: IvX - Credit: Archant

The Merc with a Mouth is back... Has he ever been away?

Deadpool World's Greatest: Patience Zero

Deadpool World's Greatest: Patience Zero - Credit: Archant

(Panini Books)

Taking an superficially one-note character like Deadpool and somehow succeeding in giving his storylines emotional depth and resonance is no small achievement, yet main title writer Gerry Duggan is crafting an exceptional run that never fails to surprise on the strength of its narrative twists and slight moments of grace.

The latest volume of World’s Greatest kicks off with a standalone story that really shouldn’t work, as Deadpool encounters a young woman intent on throwing herself to her death from the top of his theatre building, and over the course of one night must somehow convince her not to commit suicide. Duggan manages to stay true to Wade Wilson’s character while also remaining sensitive to the nature of his narrative, blending black humour with moments of quiet introspection, yet not forgetting the need for excessive violence and gunfire.

The rest of the book features the concluding episode of the Deadpool: 2099 storyline, which actually draws on events in the present day, as Wade’s old adversary Madcap returns from the grave to threaten the lives of his surrogate family…

As someone capable of regenerating from any injury, the only way to really hurt Deadpool is through his loved ones, a weakness Madcap exploits to deadly effect. But he failed to appreciate the effect his actions would have on Wade’s already fractured psyche, as the Merc with a Mouth is driven to take extreme measures in order to save his family – including making a deal with the devil which will have grave consequences in his future…

Meanwhile, the new line-up of the Mercs for Money, led by the deadly Domino, becomes embroiled in the events of the Inhumans vs X-Men crossover. Unconventionally, Cullen Bunn’s storyline sees us jump forwards to a point five years from now to see how the actions of Deadpool’s team have devastating ramifications for both sides in the war. He might not be up to the soaring standards of Duggan’s work, but he’s a damn fine close second.

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The highlight of this collection is actually Deadpool Annual #1, which is probably only included here to bolster the pagination. Penned by the titanic team-up of Duggan and comedian Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory), the main story inserts Deadpool into the continuity of 1980s cartoon series Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, but with added violence and bloodshed. It’s a brilliant pastiche which anyone who grew up with the heavily-sanitised Marvel cartoons of the period will appreciate even more.

So that’s another two quality Deadpool collections to add to the growing pile. Who would have thought it?