By now you will all be fully aware of just how bad Deadpool has been for the last five issues. Could a new story arc, set 84 years in the future, be the cure-all solution?
Once again Gerry Duggan is at the helm for this new narrative, but don’t throw it away just yet. It is fair to say that this is a step up for the series but it still falls victim to a few pitfalls that could blight the series as it continues in its new run.
The new story is set in the year 2099 and focuses on a very different Deadpool, a female one. The problem with the 2099 titles has always been that the future technology is too ridiculous to the point where the book feels tacky making it very hard to get interested in. Spider-Man 2099 had this same problem in its last run and never managed to snare a very good readership. It is doing a lot better this time around though it must be said.
You need look no further than the opening sequence that sees this new ‘Pool riding a mechanized Dragon to find these same tropes present in this book. Okay yes the Dragon does look very cool but it obviously strips the tale of any sense of realism or believability, something which is quite sought after in comic books in the modern era.
Obviously for some the futuristic spin is a big plus and it is easy enough to see why, who doesn’t occasionally like a slice of the fantastical? For these people this book must have been something of a triumph as it most certainly delivered on the vibrant future they will have been anticipating.
For others though there is something else to sink your teeth into and that, for once, is the story. Yes, it focuses largely on this She-Pool but your old pal, Wade, is still alive and kicking. Well actually he’s very decidedly not kicking but you get the idea.
There are big reveals given for both generations of ‘Pool that promise to see them cross paths a whole lot more in the future. This portrayal of Wade as a broken old man, waiting for death, is very different to what has been done in the past and offers a fresh perspective on the character. It also serves as a rather handy metaphor for the comics that came before this one but that was probably unintentional.
Whilst the new character isn’t very funny again, there is humour to be found in this book and it is quite enjoyable. Old man Deadpool is first seen watching some news channel which sees a moronic Texan getting angry that a hurricane has been given the name Jose and so demands that the National Hurricane Service be defunded. There is more political and social satire like this in the pages that follow and they should resonate with readers in a fairly contemporary and significant way.
The art team has changed for the new stories and now consists on Scott Koblish and Nick Filardi. It cannot be denied that they have done an excellent job in putting forth a vibrant and dynamic world that suits the fantastic nature of the Earth of 2099 to a tee. The aforementioned Dragon is gorgeous in its design and the new protagonist looks sleek and streamlined whilst poor old ‘Pool has been crafted into a rotten husk essentially. They bring the story to life in a rich and rewarding way that must be congratulated.
It was with much trepidation that most will have read this comic and it would be surprising if anyone honestly found it to be a step down from the previous five. It was wittier in place, had a more compelling story with less waffle, and at no point did it stray into tedious water. Sure, the 2099 setting can be troublesome in some respects but it also allows for a greater degree of creative freedom and that can be seen to be working wonders for Duggan’s writing. The future is, for the first time, looking bright for this book.
Score: 3.5 out of 5.