Written by Kelly Thompson
Art by Chris Bachalo, Wayne Faucher, Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Jaime Mendoza, Livesay, Victor Olazaba and David Curiel
Lettering by Joe Sabino
Published by Marvel Comics
‘Rama Rating: 2 out of 10
It seems that nothing in this world is certain except death, taxes, and Deadpool having his own solo title. And while it’s not surprising to have names like Kelly Thompson and Chris Bachalo taking a stab at the Merc With A Mouth, the results this time around leave something to be desired. The concept and execution isn’t up to the pedigree of the creators involved, and given the delays that the series has already experienced, it’s hard not to wonder if this whole approach might have needed more development time.
“Superheroes versus monsters” is the kind of thing that can be a home run if it’s executed well. Unfortunately, Thompson’s take here doesn’t feel unique or exciting - setting the story in Staten Island as a part of the joke feels cribbed from the first season of What We Do In Shadows, for example - and Thompson’s extremely dialogue- and caption-heavy approach makes this issue a slog to get through. Deadpool’s charm can sometimes be that he’s the violent Bugs Bunny of the Marvel Universe but Thompson’s gags don’t hit consistently enough to make this issue enjoyable or make the character at all endearing.
However, that might not be totally her fault - the art doesn’t do her any favors. This might be the worst that Chris Bachalo has looked in some time. While his monster designs feel bland at best, what’s most glaring is his page compositions: his panels are often too zoomed in, and his linework is cluttered and unclear. Bachalo is not usually an artist that has trouble with visual storytelling - he’s often able to weave compelling story through his pages even with some non-traditional paneling decisions. But his work here feels almost like he’s doing a bad impression of himself. It feels flat and inconsistent, which makes sense considering this issue needed six inkers to make it to print. That’s not an indictment of each individual inker’s work - it’s tough to maintain consistency across an issue especially when each inker has their own style that they are bringing to the work, and they were likely in a massive time crunch. However, the decision to employ an army of inkers does hurt the overall product. Bachalo is better than most, even on an off day, but this is definitely not one of his better showings.
Thompson has proven herself across multiple titles over the past few years. Bachalo is a legend in the industry. Deadpool, well he’s still Deadpool - one of the most popular characters in Marvel’s stable. On paper, there’s no reason that this book shouldn’t work. But a basic concept combined with lackluster execution makes this debut an exhausting read rather than a fun one. Hopefully, the creative team can pull this one together or Thompson can find new life with whoever (inevitably) takes over for Bachalo and company. But right now, Deadpool’s turn as King of the Monsters is dead on arrival.