Graphic Novel Review: Spider-Man/Deadpool: Eventpool/Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Omnibus
PUBLISHED: 10:30 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 22 November 2019
More from the Merc with the Mouth in these two collections…
Returning from the Negative Zone, Spidey and Wade find themselves caught in the middle of one of those Earth-shattering events that seem to have become ever-more common in the Marvel Universe, but unlike previous conflicts, the heroes have already lost!
The Infinite House of Civil yet Secret Crisis War Invasion has left only a handful of heroes free to fight the menace of the Manipulator, but also ups the stakes to new heights of danger for our daring duo, threatening to finally tear down the Fourth Wall itself and thrust them into the "real" world…
It's a suitably epic end to the 50-issue Spider-Man/Deadpool title, which while never really managing to improve on its opening arc under the creative auspices of Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness, didn't do bad for an essentially continuity-light team-up book.
Meanwhile, Panini Books continue to innovate with a new paperback omnibus line collecting a bumper number of comics under one cover, kicking off with a new pairing of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe and the unconnected Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again, two standalone tales which deliver exactly what you expect.
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There is a certain pathos in the opening story, as you watch Deadpool single-handedly massacre costumed characters across the cosmos in a quest to bring them the final peace he so desperately craves. But this doesn't compensate for the lack of Wade's trademark wit, and the sense that the creative team were pretty much making it up as they went along (as the last few pages all but confirm).
It certainly isn't one of the strongest tales in the merc's Marvel milieu, and yet obviously has a fan base given this new collection, so who am I to question its merits?
(We've previously reviewed the second series in this omnibus, and rather than find a new way of covering similar ground, this is what I said at the time…)
There comes a point when even the most ardent Deadpool fan has to question the merits of a title which serves no other purpose but to illustrate how bad-ass Wade Wilson is when he is unleashed without conscience or compunction, and then proceeds to brutally butcher the inhabitants of the Marvel Universe (or an alternate dimension variant, unless Marvel is serious about wiping out its entire array of characters in one five-part mini series).
After all, how many times can you watch the Merc with the Mouth decapitate, destroy and even defenestrate costumed characters with reckless abandon before it becomes tiresome and repetitive? For this reader, the moment this title finally jumped the shark was when Wade turned his attention to the likes of Power Pack, Ms Marvel and Moon Girl - was there really any need to see him murder children? Arguably not.
The premise of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again is that a cabal of supervillains turned Wilson into a killing machine through the use of deep subliminal programming, with a trigger phrase used to set him going against predetermined targets. Before long he's worked his way through the ranks of the Avengers and the X-Men, and that's just for starters, but what happens when he runs out of superheroes to kill?
It would be nice to think there is more to this title than wholesale slaughter, but it's relentlessly grim, and you'll struggle to find any humour in Deadpool's usually amusing banter, knowing that it's actually disguising his internal pain at killing his friends. Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajic do what they can with the narrative they've been tasked with completing, but at the end of the day it's hard going and likely to leave you feeling dirty inside at the conclusion. Not Deadpool's finest hour.