Pulp [#593]

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Pulp [#593]

Who doesn’t love Deadpool? It’s hard not to, really. Despite starting out as a blatant Marvel parody of DC’s Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke), the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ has (arguably) gained a popularity beyond that of Deathstroke himself. Depending on the situation, Deadpool can be funny or utterly vicious – usually a satisfying combination of both. I’m a huge fan of Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn’s run on the current Deadpool series – having Deadpool re-kill zombified US presidents was just nuts! Naturally, I jumped at the chance to babble on about a particularly interesting take on good ol’ Wade Wilson – Cullen Bunn’s Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe.
Much like Snakes on a Plane, this is one of those stories that is summed up pretty well by its title. In this rather disturbing look at the Marvel universe, Deadpool is captured by the X-Men and taken to a psychiatric facility for treatment. Unfortunately for them, the head doctor is actually the supervillain Psycho-Man in disguise. Psycho-Man (who is desperately in need of a new name) decides that he’s going to try to brainwash Wade into becoming his own personal super-soldier. Naturally, screwing with Deadpool’s already fractured psyche backfires and Deadpool sets out on his murderous rampage.
There’s two things about this comic that really appeal to me. Firstly, seeing Deadpool take the Marvel universe on a roller-coaster ride to hell is both fascinating and disturbing – there’s nothing quite as confronting as seeing a homicidal, invincible maniac taking down your favourite heroes and villains with ease. It’s a shock to the system – and boy is it bloody. Secondly, Deadpool’s motivation for slaughtering is a typical Deadpool-y overreaction to a startling revelation. Psycho-Man’s tinkering inside his head removes his trademark “other voices”, replacing them with a more sinister personality that confirms to Wade what he’d suspected for a long, long time – he and all the other Marvel heroes and villains are just characters in a comic book; puppets whose strings are pulled by malevolent beings for their amusement. While Deadpool has been breaking the fourth wall for years now, Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe and utterly smashes it into oblivion.
It’d be easy to dismiss the book as just a Grand Theft Auto-style rampage fantasy – and to an extent, that’s exactly what it is – but I like to see it as a character rebelling against his authors in the bloodiest way possible. It reminds me of an old Flash animation called Animator vs. Animation, where a stick figure wages war on his creator. The book gets fairly meta towards the end, too: Deadpool plunges into the multiverse, threatening the book’s writers and the reader before continuing his rampage throughout the multiverse.
Reading Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe is much like watching a train crash – it’s rather horrifying, but at the same time you just can’t look away. It’s the comic book equivalent of a disaster movie, with the destruction level amped up to a whole other level – and I freakin’ love it.
Literally no Marvel character is safe! So, if you like your comics disturbing, your heroes outmatched and your Deadpool’s murderous, this is definitely your book. Get on it!
By Alastair McGibbon