Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The complete collection of "Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth" titled "Head Trip," shall now be reviewed.

Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth--Head Trip
It's the complete maxi-series, "Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth," how potentially exciting! I don't know the main series artist (Bong Dazo?), have never heard of Victor Gischler (double-negative alert), and only know Deadpool meets his zombie head from the cover of the comic. Was this any good? Let's read on...

 As I've said, I enjoy Deadpool when he is written well. and Victor Gischler is...alright. It's usually bad when I find the funniest thing to be the covers, but in Gischler's defense some of the covers were pretty damn funny.

Best. Cover. Ever.

So, what was the story about? Well, for the first 5 issues it is a kind of dull trek through the Savage Land with Deadpool, Deadpool's zombie-head from another universe, Dr. Betty, and Bill: Agent of AIM who is even outright stated to be a rip-off of Bob: Agent of Hydra. Things start to get a whole lot more interesting around issue 6 when Deadpool and friends take a trip to the swamps of Florida to find the nexus of all realities and bring his zombie head back to his original dimension.

If you are still reading this review you either appreciate the absurdity of all this or are just dumbstruck by how stupid this all sounds. Yes, it is stupid, but it has some moments of humor, and issue 7 is a clever jam-issue sort of piece for the artists on the book as Deadpool travels to various dimensions. We get some terrible Kyle Baker Art (as this was when he was messing around with the half-computer, half-drawn stuff that just looked awful), some par for the course Rob Liefeld creations, and a just amazingly beautiful 3 pages from Das Pastoras, whose only other work I've seen was the equally gorgeous "Wolverine: Switchback" one-shot. These artists are a welcome break from Dazo as while he is competent he seems to have a fetish for always drawing female characters with as much cleavage as possible showing, or posed in oddly-sexual-looking positions when none are called for.
Should a Deadpool comic make me feel this dirty?

Anyways, once the reality-hopping starts things get more interesting, and after issue 7 the rest of our time is spent in the Marvel-Zombies universe that led to some highly popular comics a few years ago. This was before Marvel pumped out so many Zombie comics that the brand was more diluted than a packet of cheap kool-aid mixed with a gallon of water, but I digress. The time spent in the "zombie-verse" gives the story more of a feeling of purpose than the earlier issues and it is genuinely quite a bit of fun. However, the series essentially ends with a middle-finger to the reader telling them to go buy "Deadpool Corps" if they want to continue reading Gischler-style Deadpool tales. Yeah, thanks for the solid conclusion to the story (he said with overwhelming sarcasm). Oh, one weird thing is that Kyle Baker returns to illustrate some of the last issue in an utterly random segment that is quite a jarring shift from Dazo's stuff, but at least this is the Baker we know and love, the one who actually draws his work.

In closing, the art is generally solid even if Bong Dazo seems to have gotten his tips for drawing female characters from teenage boys, and that eye-meltingly terrible bit by Baker mid-book. The story takes forever to develop a point but when it does it's enjoyable. Gischler writes a decent Deadpool, even if he relies on pop-culture jokes way too much. A good book, but not great. If you can get this normally $40.00 hardcover for a good discount like I did or don't mind waiting for the paperback, I'd recommend buying it if you're a Deadpool fan, or at least checking out a copy from your local library.
3 stars out of 5.
Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth on Amazon, at a steal of $26.39 as of this post.

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