Today we've got the twisted, "Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, equally dark, "Harvest," and the incredibly enjoyable, "Hawkeye," all with their first issues. Also, the conclusion of RASL with issue #15 has come out. Is everything good? Generally, with occasional complaints.
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #1
In some ways this comic is unpleasant. It takes Deadpool, normally known for his jokes and light-hearted nature which hides his insecurities, and makes him into a cold-blooded killing machine when a villain's attempts to brainwash him go horribly awry. It's violent, dark, and a bit depressing with some pitch-black humor to fit the tone. The thing is though, I think it is also kind of interesting. It's been hinted before that if Deadpool, "Got his shit together," he would be possibly the most dangerous person in the Marvel Universe. He's a trained assassin who cannot be killed by any normal means, he's just distracted by his own shenanigans so he can't be bothered to excel at what he was made for--namely, killing. Writer Cullen Bunn understood this.
This comic points out that once the happy-go-lucky thoughts in his head are pushed out of the way that one dark bit in his mind that just wants to serve his initial purpose of killing can speak up and result in Deadpool being one of the most dangerous beings ever in existence. Therefore, this doesn't really work as a comedy comic as any jokes are just so dark you're more disturbed than amused. As a study of the psychology of a monster who for so long tried to be normal person but had that evil deep-down in him waiting to be set loose, this is pretty good. If you're coming for the usual Deadpool jokes you'll be sorely disappointed, but if you want something a bit more evil this may just work for you.
3 out of 5 stars.
The biggest complaint I probably have for this comic is its tendency to jump around in time can get a bit confusing, and I had to re-read certain bits to figure out which character did what and why. Also, this issue is a lot of set-up, only hinting in the opening of the main plot of this series--namely how an ex black-market surgeon is taking out body-parts rich people had paid to get at the expense of others. However, the bleak tone, beautiful artwork, and hints of hallucinations make this comic about organ-harvesting an intriguing little number. I just hope the mini-series can keep the twisted tone going throughout the rest of the issues and that the story picks up a bit more. Then again, if it keeps looking this good I may not mind.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
All over the internet people are singing the praises of this comic, even if it in some ways is ripping of Batman: Year One and older Daredevil comics with its stylistic choices and design. The comic is basically about what Hawkeye does when he's not with the Avengers, and that consists of him just being a mostly normal dude with a good heart. The story is expertly designed; it's funny when it needs to be and serious at times too, and boy if David Aja doesn't provide great art. Matt Fraction was the writer on this and he can be so incredibly good ("Casanova", "Iron Fist" with Ed Brubaker co-writing) or terribly bad (Fear Itself) that you never know what you're going to get from him. Thankfully, we received this.
This comic is probably the best launch of a Marvel comic since Daredevil came out swinging awhile ago with Mark Waid and other talented artists at the helm. That comic and Hawkeye both show that if you can get top-notching writing and art together you will get something that doesn't only read well, but looks beautiful too. The sad thing is that this is a comic about Hawkeye, so the odds of it actually becoming a massive hit are kind of small no matter how much good press this gets. Still though, utterly awesome stuff
5 out of 5 stars.
In this concluding issue of the series we get some crazy twists, finally learn what "RASL" means, and get lots of well-drawn fighting along with more surreal sci-fi talk. The ending is a bit ambiguous but that makes sense for a series as odd as this: Something not quite sci-fi, adventure, or romance, but all of the above plus more. I've enjoyed this series, and it will read very well collected into one big trade as I anticipate it will be at some point. It's neat stuff.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
That's what I've got for you, I hope you savored it like a fine wine or a box of Chicken Rings from White Castle. Either works really.