Monday, 4 July 2016

Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe (#1-4)

"They're gonna want to see what's next. They're gonna want to watch this world burn" - Deadpool

So we all know about Deadpool now.  It took a few liberties, but the film is a pretty accurate account of Wade Wilson's transformation into a scarred, fourth wall breaking comedic sociopath.  Now Deadpool would be the first to tell you he ain't a hero, maybe he's more an anti-villain than an anti-hero, but this miniseries takes as it's premise  what would happen to a Deadpool who had been driven to cold psychopathy and instead of playfully breaking the fourth wall, his knowledge of it now tormented him and how he could be driven to take his new found anger out on the rest of the Marvel line-up of heroes and villains.  Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talijic give us this horror tinged, bloody rampage with the inference from Uatu The Watcher at the start is this takes place on a different parellel world to the main 616 Marvel Universe  (the Marvel wikia assigns it as Earth 12610). And conducts it as thought experiment as to how Deadpool might use his innate cleverness which is often masked by his obfuscating stupidity and well, kill everyone running around in spandex both hero and villain.  It's quite a grim and downbeat take on Deadpool (the blurb on the back outright refers to it being a "horror" comic) and committed Marvelites might not like seeing their favourite heroes being killed, you have been warned.

The story begins with a small, cloaked bald alien "Uatu" one of the many of a race called The Watchers who observe the various worlds, this one concentrates on Earth and I think mainly interacts with the Fantastic Four.  He describes how he wanders the multiverse seeing countless civilisations rise and fall.

Uatu: "To all things must come an ending.. but such cessations maybe quiet and peaceful... the passing of one existence to make way for the next...while others are filled with naught but pain and terror".

We then cut to what's left of the Fantastic Four.  There is orange brick dust in the air and Reed is lying stretched out with his head in Sue's lap as she cradles it.  Uatu says it was they who gave birth to this world's age of heroes (The Fantastic Four was the comic that launched with Marvel) and because the first to fall.
Deadpool takes on Sue Richards.
As Reed starts to lose cohesion he says to Sue that "he's stolen..." but doesn't finish.  After telling Sue he's placed their children safely in the Negative Zone, he finally dies and melts into shapeless skin over bone.  The brick dust is what's left of The Thing, then Sue hears a noise and goes to investigate turning invisible as she does so.

She finds a room full of flames and Johnny the Human Torch unconcious. Then Deadpool walks through the flames, congratulates Johnny on the fight he put up and then slices his throat causing blood to splash onto the invisible Sue, who turns visible again.  In a rage she uses her powers to make Deadpool's head explode saying she doesn't know why he attacked her but he'll never hurt anyone again.  But as she turns away, Deadpool pops up and stabs her right through the chest with his sword.

Deadpool: "After all these years of super-hero-ing around the world, you should know better really... you never, ever turn your back on a dead enemy... Especially not one with a healing factor".

His healing factor here seems massively ramped up from what it is usually, guess as it's an alternative earth and he needs the extra advantages it brings for this story, it works for me.
Deadpool is forcibly comitted.
Uatu then says as "the first family of an age Marvels pass into the void" it's time to turn the clock back to where the story really begins.  "Ravenscroft Asylum" where a straitjacketed Deadpool is being wheeled in accompanied by Professor X, Wolverine, Storm and Cyclops.  Deadpool is wise cracking away as he is signed into the custody of a high profile doctor called Brighton despite Wolverine's reservations.

Deadpool is taken to Doctor Brighton's private office "to get to know each other better".  Deadpool is is still joking around and has both of his inner voices present.  He lies on the couch as starts to make up a new life story but notices the Doctor isn't writing anything down.  Doctor Brighton says that Deadpool is a trained killer who's healing factor renders him almost unkillable himself, he then says:

Doctor Brighton: "It's your inability to focus... your incessant jabbering... that makes you an inefficient killer.  What Doctor Brighton can't fix, Psycho Man will".

He says he has big plans for Deadpool, but first he'll make him a more efficient killer and fires up "the old control box".  As Deadpool writhes in pain and tries to resist it, Psycho Man gloats that the superhero community hand over their most troubled souls to place like this and soon he'll have an army of conquest made up of brainwashed killers.
A bad idea, a very bad idea.
Deadpool's mind shatters.  His two humorous internal monologues are gone, replaced by one that is cold and vicious.  Deadpool escapes the straitjacket and chokes Doctor Brighton who hasn't gained control of him, and reveals a tiny alien inside the Doctor's robot body, the real Psycho Man. 

Deadpool picks him up and says he needs him to stamp his release form saying he has a clean bill of health and he bashes Psycho Man on the piece of paper until Psycho Man is a dead bloodied mess.  As he leaves the asylum, he pours petrol down the corridor and sets it alight taking out the rest of the super criminal inmates.
Deadpool's reign of terror begins.
Uatu says on other worlds, Psycho Man's plan worked, on others the super community managed to stop Deadpool, but in this reality... he is then cut off by an electric-style shock. He's been attacked by Deadpool who used the gadget he stole from the Fantastic Four.

Deadpool: "Must be a kick in the stones to find out Dr. Richards was building some sort of cosmic taser to bring you down, huh?"
Uatu wants to know how Deadpool can see him, Deadpool says he doesn't see things the way others do, "there's something wrong with me."  His inner voice urges him to ask who Uatu was talking to.  Uatu points to us the readers.

Deadpool: "Well, whoever they are - those little peeping toms out there in never-never land - there gonna want to keep their eyes peeled."

And he decapitates Uatu.  The next issue starts with his reign of terror in full flow, a news report is covering the story, and we get brief glimpses of heroes and villains he's killed like Doctor Doom and Howard the Duck and told he's killed some of the Avengers and X-Men.
Interestingly when Deadpool was created, visually Rob Liefled made him "Spider-man with swords" and Fabian Necieza gave him an attitude to match.
Now Deadpool is battling Spider-man in the middle of New York.  Spider-Man slams him into the ground and says he ought to kill him for what he's done. "Do you think they would let you break character even if you wanted to?" mutters Deadpool as he heals up.  Spider-Man grans him saying he stole Spider-Man's wisecracking style.  Deadpool responds by putting a gun under Spider-Man's chin and shooting him dead.

Deadpool says Spider-Man's enemies really just needed a gun to kill him it seems, and walks off leaving a shocked crowd behind. He asks his new inner voice who will be next, "It doesn't matter.  They all have to die" it says back to him.  Deadpool says he's killed "their beloved Spider-Man" and "broken those chains".  He's now going to do "something big".

We then cut to a somewhat diminished roster of the Avengers meeting up to try and figure out a way to stop Deadpool. As they agree Deadpool has to die, Jarvis rushes in and says Doctor Pym is missing.  Apparently Pym was concerned that someone had stolen his store of Pym particles (which make things change in size).  Then suddenly a huge explosion erupts from the water jug on the table and when the smoke clears, Luke Cage is left alive as he has unbreakable skin.  But Deadpool also put some minature bombs in the coffee and Luke explodes from the inside.

Can God create a rock He can't lift?  Can Thor be crushed with his own hammer? Yes, I guess.
This just leaves Thor.  In a rage Thor says he says to Deadpool "defeating you is not enough.  Killing you is not enough.  I'll scour you from the face of Midgard".  Deadpool responds that Thor is theologically interesting and kicks Thor's thrown hammer back at him using the last of the Pym particles to change Mjolnir size.  The huge hammer crushes Thor and as he lies trapped under it, Deadpool tweaks his nose.  As he observes the wreckage he says:

Deadpool: "I'm sorry it had to be this way.  I'm sorry they don't understand.  They always thought I was crazy...but they never realised I saw the world the way it really is... they never realised they were puppets, made to dance and love and die and suffer... just like me".

Then the Hulk appears and rips Deadpool in two.  Then he rather stupidly goes to sleep and changes back into Bruce Banner.  Deadpool heals up and beheads him.  We then cut to various relatives of the dead heroes hiring Taskmaster, a person who can precisely mimic anybody he comes into contact with to kill Deadpool.
The next issue begins with Taskmaster on the trail of Deadpool, saying he's left a bloody swathe of destruction in his wake.

Taskmaster: "At one time or another I've mimicked more'n half the people he's murdered.  Whenever I see one of them I feel like a piece of me died with them."

He says he didn't take the money.  Deadpool simply has to die, but where is he now?  In fact he is in a building with Professor Xavier tied to a chair opposite him and a wall full of monitors.  Deadpool tells him to wake up, or "you'll miss the best part of the show".

The building has been designed as a giant trap each indivudually tailored for various X-Men. He stabs Xavier in the leg and forces him to summon the X-Men.  Cyclops is the first taken out by a ball of some kind of gelatinous substance that encases his head.  When he tries to blast it off his head, it explodes taking out those with him. Then we cut to some more in a room which the walls are closing in, Colussus is holding the walls back but then the room electrfies and they are zapped and crushed.
Professor X at Deadpool's mercy.
Professor X tries to reason with Deadpool, who says that he should thank Xavier for having him committed, it made him realise that he needed to do something about the way he saw the world.

Deadpool: "So what if I break the fourth wall?  It's the fourth wall that's been breaking me... crushing me...crushing each and every one of us for as long as we've been in existence."

Xavier says he's going to shut Deadpool's mind down, but as he probes Deadpool's mind the awareness of the fourth wall causes his own mind to shut down.  "Can't handle the truth?" asks Deadpool, but Xavier has been reduced to a vegetable.  We then see more dead X-Men.  Magneto trapped in acid laced jelly and Kitty Pryde trapped inside a "tesseract".  Then Wolverine arrives having healed after the attack on the Avengers.

Wolverine finds a villain called Arcade who made this building full of deathtraps for Deadpool.  Arcade has been forced into making one of his "murderworlds" but what Deadpool is doing is too much for him. Wolverine is unsympathetic and guts him.
Deadpool Vs. Wolverine.
He then finds Daken and X-23 restrained in a room full of flamethrowers that cut in when their healing abilities start up again.  Deadpool appears wearing Beast's furry hide and starts fighting with Wolverine in the fiery room.  He tells Wolverine his mutant power isn't healing, it's "popularity". And cuts his head off.  We're told that Deadpools special blade inteferes with Wolverine's healing factor so I'm guessing that's why Wolverine also stays down this time.

Deadpool: "But don't worry. I've got big plans... and all the popularity in the world can't save you this time!"

The scene then shifts to Doctor Strange's mansion which Taskmaster is investigating.  Strange is dead, and the library has been ransacked by Deadpool.  Taskmaster wonders what Deadpool wants, then finds pages in a book showing "The Nexus of All Reality" with a sign scrawled in blood over it.  "Aw no.  This can't be good" says Taskmaster.

The final issue opens on a scene of total chaos as heroes and villains fight each other in the streets.  Also many of them are hurling themselves off the top of high buildings.  The Punisher spots Deadpool through window and takes him down with a sniper shot.  He rushes over to where Deadpool is to finish him off, but Deadpool has fooled him.  He shot a dummy Deadpool.
Hey leave the Punisher alone!
They are in the Puppet Master's lair and using a little Punisher puppet, Deadpool forces The Punisher to blow his brains out.  It was the puppets making the superhumans fight and commit mass suicide.  He tells The Punisher's body that killing  "the Marvels of the world was supposed to be your gig" (there was in fact a "The Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe" miniseries as well.  I may cover it if it ever becomes affordable).  He then says The Punisher always thought small.  Over an image of the Earth Deadpool says he has "even bigger fish to fry".

We then skip forward in time and in a boggy swamp, The Taskmaster finally catches up with Deadpool.  The Taskmaster says he bury him so deep here that hopefully one day what he did will be forgotten. "We don't want to be forgotten" says Deadpools internal voice, "we want to have never existed in the first place."  Deadpool then says to Taskmaster it had to be him he faced in the final battle:

Deadpool: "Me.. the man looking in from the outside... the murderer on a mission. You... the pale shadow...the fleeting memories of all the people I've already ganked... it had to be you and me."

As they fight Deadpool says Taskmaster, of all the people he's fought, has the best chance of understanding why he is doing what he is doing.  Taskmaster says he's always been nuts and this day has been a long time coming.  Deadpool agrees that it is his day.  He sees things how they really are, sees through the bullshit, the deaths and resurrections, the secret wars and invasions.  "The heroes journey is pain" he tells Taskmaster.
The final battle.
They break their fight for a moment and Deadpool appeals to Taskmaster saying can't he see it?  "We're puppets.  And Geppetto's been feeding us through the woodchipper for ***** and giggles!  I can save us from the endless cycle of continuity!"  They start fighting again and Taskmaster bgeins to mimic Deadpool.  This results in Taskmaster being able to hear Deadpool's inner voice and this scares him.

This turns out to be his undoing as Man Thing appears behind him and boils his head off as "whoever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch!"  Deadpool then tells Man-Thing he's here to set him free, if he opens the door to him his painful existence will be over.  "Man-Thing's flesh is the key and the gate.  He sacrifices himself for our cause" says Deadpool's inner voice.
Man-Thing takes out Taskmaster.
This opens a portal of light and Deadpool steps inside.  His inner voice says it's only the beginning, he has his work cut out for him.  "I thought I could just... you know... stab creation in the heart or something" says Deadpool as he flies through a landscape of images of alternate realities.  His inner voice tells him their universe is just a plaything for other entities.  Deadpool decides he'll keep hacking away until someone important notices.

Then we get the final page which is the creative team writing and drawing the creative team working on the end of the story which is them working on the end of the story, with the final image being Deadpool holding his finger to his lips and saying:

Deadpool: "Don't worry I'll be done with these jokers and this universe before you know it. I'll find you soon enough".
The creators write themselves, writing the end, it's recursion!
So, a very different take on Deadpool here, driven mad by his awareness he is a fictional character and driven to lash out against his fellow "puppets".  And of course he's only doing it because he's been written to be aware of that fact and written to be driven mad by the awereness he's being written and oh dear I've gone cross-eyed.  Of course that's the only way "realistically" he could defeat so many powerful Marvel Universe characters by having the writers on his side.  While he makes some inventive use of various tricks empolyed by various heroes and villains the need to pack so many deaths into four issues means we don't see how he manages to trap and kill the various victims, we just see the aftermath and how he defeats them is left purely to the imagination.  Some might call the ending a bit of a cop out, but it does fit perfectly I think with some amusing self-deprecation on the part of the artist and writer.  If I am to be honest, the art is a little weak.  I think the writing is good and the mini could have been a lot stronger with a more dynamic artist, but overall as a work of metafiction outside of normal Marvel continuity this is an interesting if not entirely comfortable read.


  1. :O well damn thats some mess up shit. I think I prefer deadpool when he is being funny myself.

  2. I must admit this was way more serious than I was expecting it to be.

  3. All films take liberties with their source material. The Deadpool film was more faithful than most.

    Exactly how clever is Wade Wilson? Perhaps the answer is "Too clever to ever have had his intelligence measured." I know Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (what is it with Marvel and alliterative names?) are all certified geniuses who are definitely in the top ten. Victor Von Doom might be too.

    Maybe Sue turned her back on Deadpool because she couldn't bear to look at her dead brother as well. That's how I'd headcanon it, anyway. Because normally the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four is a lot smarter.

    That's what I dislike about the 'infinite parallel worlds' theory or reality or whatever it is. It'd mean that somewhere out there is a world where things even worse than the Holocaust and the slave trade and everything happened.

    For some reason, Spidey's enemies always use something much more bizarre and fanciful than a gun.

    Ooh, Arcade! He was in Captain Britain.

  4. If you think about it, Wade is constantly regrowing his brain, maybe that increases his intelligence as well, and also this is what allows him to finally perceive the true implications of the Fourth Wall that's been driving him mad all his life.

    Sue Richards probably shouldn't have gone down so easy, but she didn't have the writers on her side!

    I've always been a fan of Infinite Parallel Worlds, they can be an interesting way to explore the old "For Want Of A Nail" trope. I think it was interesting that almost straightaway after DC slimmed it's multiverse down to One New Earth both after Crisis and then again after Flashpoint writers were trying to bring it back again.

  5. I find the whole multiverse idea fascinating (when I can get my head round it!)

    You may recall me asking on another site as to how someone might kill every human on Earth instantaneously? That wasn't for a career in super-villainy, it was for a story.

    The premise being that the UN is trying to stop North Korea deploying some sort of space based weapon. Their efforts keep failing though as no matter what the UN tries, NK always triumphs, no matter what the odds. And now the cult of Kim is growing globally as every prediction he makes, however unlikely, comes true.

    The upshot is that the Koreans have already deployed anti matter devices in space and whenever things go wrong for them they just wipe everyone out. It's quantum suicide on a global scale.

    So our heroes are only conscious of those realities where Korea wins every time.

  6. That sounds like a really interesting take on the multiverse and the whole "For Want Of A Nail" trope. The US is trying to go back supply those lost nails, but crafty NK get there first and steal them and replace them with screws. If you see what I mean.

    One of the reasons I both love and despair of DC comics is its rich multiverse and it's tendency every few years to go "the multiverse is too confusing, we must have ONE alone", so they destroy the multiverse, yet want to keep characters who started out on alt-Earths and who now have no history anymore so they have to invent new history's which usually just confuse matters even more. And the readers go, "why did you make things so complicated? The multiverse made perfect sense!" and so it comes back and then is wiped out and comes ba... ARGH!!!!

    Anyway, I'm planning on covering Grant Morrison's definitive take on the DC multiverse early next year, it's mind-bending stuff even for him, but heaven for a DC nerd like myself.

  7. I'm not a big fan of multiverse in fiction for the same read I'm not a fan in real life(s). If every possibly is played out in infinite realities then no actions have any real consequence. Hero dies? Who cares; he's alive everywhere else. Like there's an infinite number of realities where I'm actually getting work done rather than skiving on your blog and WHTM.

    I do however like the parallel world where Judge Dredd diverts all the missiles, the one full of hippies. It was such a wonderfully cynical 2000AD idea. "Ooh, they look pretty" *Kaboom!*

  8. I think the best way to approach a multiverse is the DC model. You have a "Prime" reality which the huge majority of stories and characters come from, then a small number of diversionary earths to play with how things could be different. DC multiverse was also quite a clever way to deal with the Golden Age heroes (pushed over into Earth-2, Batman and Superman get to marry their respective loves and live out a happy retirement) and the stables of characters they inherited from other companies.

  9. I'd like to see an alternative earth where that sentence ends after "get to marry"

    (Although that's probably been done I suppose)