The Despicable Deadpool #300
Written by Gerry Duggan and "Wade Wilson"
Art by Scott Koblish, Matteo Lolli, Mike Hawthorne, Terry Pallot, Craig Yeung, Nick Filardi, Ruth Redmond and Jordie Bellaire
Lettering by Joe Sabino
Published by Marvel Comics
‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10
With a movie about to hit theaters and a new creative team on the horizon, Gerry Duggan and company send off Wade Wilson with a 60-page anniversary issue that’s not for the faint of heart... er... stomach. Duggan’s been writing the Merc with a Mouth longer than anyone, and he’s joined by a few of his past artistic collaborators to close out this chapter in Wade’s publishing history. It’s fun and fitting end for his run, even if a good portion of it plays more like a clip show than a comic book.
Duggan’s done a lot during his time with Deadpool. He gave the character a pathos that some writers aren’t able to achieve while never losing the levity that makes ‘Pool a fan-favorite. It’s just not a Deadpool comic book without some metacommentary, irreverent humor, and copious amounts of killing. And if there’s one thing Deadpool and his writers definitely know how to kill, it’s a joke. Deadpool’s got a conscience now, but Duggan was never going to let him just turn himself in. Instead, we’re treated to the barf gag to end all barf gags, as Deadpool’s last stand against the Avengers turns into a never-ending stream of gross-out humor, and your reaction to that probably will set the tone for the issue.
Yet beyond the juvenile comedy that defines the book’s first third, we see by the end of the issue that Duggan is wiping the slate clean for the next creative team — and in his most polarizing decision of his entire run, getting rid of a lot of the development he did with the character. For some readers, it will come across as heartbreaking, while others may beg the question “was reading any of this worth it?”, but it plays as a fairly clever way that only Deadpool could reboot himself. It may sound strange, but there’s a lot of love for the character in this script, and that’s clearly evident once you get past all the upchuck.
Scott Koblish, Matteo Lolli, and Mike Hawthorne turn in some solid pages. They’ve all defined the character in some way over the course of this run and it’s nice to see them all in one place especially as Deadpool travels through his own memories. We get to relive basically every big moment in Duggan’s run in the second half of this issue, and it’s a well-rendered sequence without totally recreating the source material. There’s a really buoyancy to all the artwork that made these artists work so well with ‘Pool’s Looney Tunes sensibilities, but they’re all able to key into some emotional resonance when necessary. Kudos to editor Jordan D. White for putting together art teams that vibed so well with Wade Wilson.
We don’t often see creators stay with characters for as long as Duggan and Deadpool were together. While inventing a reset button for Deadpool might seem like a non-ending, it does leave a new creative team in the best possible place to work from. They can reference Duggan’s character-defining work without the weight of those developments. And for all we know, they could always retcon the reset. Wade Wilson is one of the more unique character challenges in the Marvel Universe, and this issue stands as a good send-off for a team of creators who rose to that challenge.