Deadpool Corps volume 2: You Say You Want a Revolution


By Victor Gischler, Rob Liefeld, Marat Mychaels & various (Marvel)
ISBN: 978-0-7851-4827-2

Stylish killers and moody mercenaries have always been popular fictional protagonists, and light-hearted, exuberant bloodbath comics will always find an appreciative audience…

Deadpool is Wade Wilson: an inveterate, unrepentant hired killer who survived cancer and genetics experiments which left him a grotesque bundle of scabs, scars and physical abnormalities but also practically immortal, invulnerable and capable of regenerating from any wound. He is also a many-times-over certifiable loon…

The wisecracking high-tech “Merc with a Mouth” was created by Rob Liefeld & Fabian Nicieza for New Mutants #97, another product of the “Weapon X” project which created Wolverine and so many other mutant/cyborg super-doers. His first shot at solo stardom came with a couple of miniseries in 1993 (Deadpool: the Circle Chase & Sins of the Past) but it wasn’t until 1997 that he finally won his own title, which blended fourth-wall-busting absurdist humour (a la Ambush Bug and Warner Brothers cartoons) into the mix, thereby securing his place in Marvel’s top rank.

Since then he has become one of the company’s iconic, nigh-inescapable stars, perennially undergoing radical rethinks, identity changes, reboots and more before always – inevitably – reverting to irascible, irreverent, intoxicating type in the end…

In this iteration – and following events too ludicrous to mention – Wilson united with a quartet of alternate Deadpools from very different parallel Earths (a buxom female Lady Deadpool, killer pre-teen Kidpool, a floating masked cranium from Marvel’s Zombiverse dubbed Headpool and a costumed mutt who answers to Dogpool (and sometimes “Cujo”) to form the strangest team in Marvel’s history (and yes, that includes Pet Avengers).

What Has Gone Before: a bizarre concatenation of circumstances has resulted in Deadpool and Co saving creation from the sentience-sucking Awareness.

For this they have been rewarded by the Elders of the Universe with a starship (the “Bea Arthur”) and a set of one-use only wishing rings. They’re having fun and don’t want to go home yet, but as card-carrying mercenaries the unlikely champions can never have enough spending money…

Collecting Deadpool Corps #7-12 (December 2010 to May 2011 by Victor Gischler, pencillers Liefeld and Marat Mychaels with inkers Adelso Corona & Cory Hamscher) the manic mayhem continues with a wickedly cruel spoof of blockbuster movie Avatar.

Framed through insanely clever fiddling with the narrative technique of flashbacks, the story resumes with the carnival of killer fools accepting a huge commission from the vast and unscrupulous Omega Confederation

Paradise planet Kagan 7 is a beautiful wonderland of flora and fauna inhabited – or perhaps safeguarded – by the deeply spiritual, jungle-dwelling, blue-skinned warrior-race known as the Krook.

Sadly, to cost-effectively get at the planet’s mineral wealth, the Confederation had to enslave the Krook and turn them into miners. Now the ungrateful sods are rebelling and demanding their planet back so the Omega board would like somebody to go and quietly remove all the ringleaders so the peons can get back to digging up all that lovely platinum…

Taking out the alien legion of mercs hired by the rebels is no problem, but the natives themselves – especially the extremely hot daughter of the bombastic king – prove too much for the Crazy Corps and soon they are desperately bargaining for their own lives…

Said deal boils down to the Deadpools switching sides and running the revolution against the Omega Confederation. The murderers from a multiplicity of Earths have no qualms about switching sides: the problems only occur after Wade starts boffing the mercilessly manipulative Princess Teela who then convinces her highly sceptical father that to survive as an independent, free world the unspoiled Arcadian paradise needs to modernise and commercialise … just a bit…

Wade’s thinking something reserved and classy, properly in tune with the environment: Hospitals, swish eateries, a complex of skyscraper hotels, spa resorts and golf courses… y’know, like Las Vegas in space…

As Deadpool starts a crass telethon campaign to raise galactic awareness of the poor Krooks’ plight, a tidal wave of tree-huggers from across the universe converge on the endangered paradise to support the latest cause célèbre. Elsewhere the Omega Confederation board decide that something nasty needs to be done to the contractors who took their cash and failed to deliver…

On Kagan 7 so many donations are coming in the Imperial Senate recognises the new world and inducts it into the Galactic Economic Community. The first part of that procedure is to set up a Central Bank of Krook and advance several thousand tons of gold so the latest member of the club can suitably set up a proper trading profile…

Wade is so stunned with loot-shock he doesn’t even notice when the Omega’s death-squads start attacking. Luckily old girlfriend and legendary arms-smuggler The Broken Blade arrives to save they day whilst stocking the newborn world’s defences with the latest in super-ordinance.

She’s a little less than ecstatic when she discovers Wade’s been making time with a plush and primitive princess…

The social evolution of the Krook isn’t going smoothly either. Whilst Teela ruthlessly embraces everything flashy, new and civilised, dear old dad just wants his world back the way it was before all the outworlders came. Soon father and daughter are spearheading two separate armies in a savage civil war – beamed live into quintillions of homes all over known space – and the Deadpool Corps have picked opposing sides to help keep the slaughter quotient high.

All poor Wade can think about, however, is several thousand tons of gold just waiting to be salvaged and taken back to Earth…

And in the background the Omega Confederation are still working on ways to take back their mining operation and kill everybody who has defied them…

Displaying with extreme clarity how the cure can be worse than the disease, the last hurrah of the Deadpool Corps again blends a minimum of plot with an overabundance of sharp gags, snappy one-liners, shtick, shlock and slapstick as the trans-dimensional terrorisers bumble, fumble and smart-mouth their way across the galaxy and over a mountain of oddly-shaped corpses until finally they at last go their separate ways…

Surreal, wickedly irreverent and excessively violent in the grand Bugs Bunny/Road Runner tradition, Deadpool Corps is frat boy foolish and frequently laugh-out-loud funny: a wonderfully antidote to the cosmic angst and emotional Sturm und Drang of most contemporary Fights ‘n’ Tights comics, but again pays lip service to being a notionally normal Marvel milestone by also offering a full cover gallery by Liefeld and variant by Skottie Young…
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