I’m having a hard time understanding those of you who don’t appreciate Kyle Baker. I know, you think he’s too cartoony to be on a book like Deadpool MAX. But you know what? Deadpool is a freaking cartoon.
Think about it. Are there any other characters in all of comicdom who are as much of a fit for merry mutantdom as they are a fit for Merrie Melodies? Like Chuck Jones’ Wile E. Coyote, Deadpool is keenly aware of the bullshit he’s gotten himself into, even if he’s not aware enough to do anything about it- he’s just a predator playing a role that fate has assigned him and there’s not much he can do about it.
Which is why Baker continues to be such a perfect fit for this book, particularly with David Lapham handling the script. In issue six, we get to see more of the duo’s take on Deadpool’s insanely convoluted Marvel history, particularly as it concerns Deadpool buddy Cable’s former partner-in-crime Domino. Lapham and Baker have spun quite the origin for the MAX Domino and it doesn’t go in the direction you’re probably thinking it will go.
Instead, Issue 6 is all about Deadpool reevaluating what means most in his life and where his responsibilities should lie. Up until this point, Deadpool has been content to think back on his sick, sad past without necessarily thinking of changing his future. But now that he’s offered a different perspective and a different possible outcome for himself, Deadpool shows that he’s more of a tragic figure than a comic one in many ways.
Baker latches onto this notion, dropping in moments of quiet beauty (like a sight gag that references Banksy in the first few pages) amidst the cartoony chaos he excels at. If you’re looking at Baker’s art and all you’re seeing is freakish anatomy and rough lines, then you’re a lost cause. The truth is Deadpool MAX continues to be an unfortunately slept-on work of wonder from two of comics’ most vital personalities. Get in before everyone says “I told you so,” folks.