Daniel Way does not write in a straight line. His method of story weaving consistently features nonlinear plots that jump cut to previously unseen meetings and deus ex machina conclusions. Surprise! More happens in this title than Mexican food buffets and fart jokes.
The schizophrenic nature of the narrative compliments Deadpool, as he’s known to be everywhere at once while functioning in many different roles, but it has ramped up recently in his core title. Deadpool has changed motivations as much as this series has changed artists, and his interests have shifted from wanting to be a hero, to wanting to be an astronaut, to now wanting to do his best Macho Man impression.
Enter Hulk, who was nice enough to grace the cover of this week’s edition of Deadpool. The issue opens with Mistress Death in a thong (somewhere Thanos is biting his lip), and quickly moves to a pointless meeting with Wolverine that directs Wade Wilson to the southwest desert to confront Bruce Banner into punching the life out of him.
The tone from Deadpool #36 carried over into this issue. There, our hero was confronted by a troop of his “frenemies” who came to kill him for a variety of injustices. Although the issue contained some of my favorite Deadpool sidekicks like Weasel and Taskmasker, all seemed like cardboard cutouts of the characters. The same feeling was prevalent here with the appearances of Wolverine, Death and Hulk. I actually really liked Hulk’s role in this story, and thought his use in the narrative was clever and unexpected. However, the green giant’s behavior doesn’t mesh with what I thought to be his current speech and cognitive level, so I was reluctant to let myself enjoy it too much
Dazo is improving as an artist, and he shows more comfort with Deadpool in every assignment. Still, the carousel of art changes is not helping to keep or attract readers. I assume the juggling of art duties is a deliberate move by the House, and while it allows the book ship biweekly, the stories come off feeling episodic in the same way that a cartoon like Adventure Time does.
I kind of wish the writers of that show would take over for Way. Three years into this run and it stands without significant milestone or true direction. As I reread this Deadpool vs. Hulk issue, I couldn’t help but think back to Way’s Punisher vs. Bulleye limited series from about five years ago. Some of the same gimmicks came up in both showdowns, and there are even smidges of Deadpool’s appearance in Wolverine: Origins, too. I like Daniel Way a lot, but maybe he’s focusing on the X-Men gig a little bit more right now.
The gun is pointed in the right direction, but I’m not sure it will be aimed that way when the tigger is pulled. It’s always a coin flip with this book, and it’s all about your interest in Deadpool and his guest star.