Daniel Way is a mad genius. We’re over a year into this new Deadpool series, and with every issue Way has topped himself. This issue was a brilliant tease.
Recent issues have had Deadpool abandoning his mercenary career in the US, and all the Marvel-crossover madness that that invites, in favour of the pirate’s life on the high seas (cue Bob, agent of HYDRA, in a giant parrot suit). As this issue opens, he’s abandoned that too, and is now deep in a pit of boredom and self pity. We see him washing himself in fish chum, then jumping overboard to fight sharks (“Y’know what’s really boring? Immortality.”) Afterwards, safely aboard his little pirate tug, he muses about his purpose in life; he dwells on his lack of friends, his trouble working with others, and the possibility that he’s hiding from something inside himself. I almost found myself worried that Way was letting the comedy slip, in favour of actual character development.
Of course, because this is Deadpool, his sounding boards are a hallucinatory apparition of Death, a severed shark’s-head lying on his deck, and the voices in his head. I think the use of sharks in these early scenes – where Way deliberately makes us worry the series is jumping one – is no accident. Deadpool’s first attempt at acting on his musings leads to a scene in San Francisco, and an image so disturbing, yet so brilliantly funny, I wouldn’t dare spoil it. Nor will I spoil the decision Deadpool reveals on the last page.
The art, with pencils by Paco Medina, is some of my favourite comic book art right now. I praised the slightly-ethereal photo-referenced-feeling work in Detective Comics #856, and there are numerous other artists whose work I admire, but I’d like to see the “default” style for comics art look more like Medina’s – a middling amount of line work, detailed without feeling scribbly like Frank Quitely’s work, with just the slightest hint of cartoonish exaggeration of movement. It’s very pleasing to the eye, and has exactly the right amount of detailed realism and comic book abstraction. Gracia’s and Fabela’s colour work make this artwork come alive.
Deadpool #15 is another awesome entry in an awesome series, and I hope this team stays on this book for a long time to come.