I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Deadpool: Classics Killustrated #1

When Deadpool finds himself unhappy with his ordinary every-day universe-hopping in order to murder every version of every Marvel character that he can find, he decides that he needs to expand his horizons and begin murdering literary heroes from before the age of comic books in the hope that killing the supposed inspiration for superheroes will prevent the superheroes from existing in the first place.

There is a lot to like about Classics Killustrated. Over the last decade, many comic book companies have done what they can to present literature to children in the form of comic books. The only successful attempt I've seen is Skottie Young's Wizard of Oz series. It is interesting to see Deadpool take on this phenomenon in his omniscient, fourth-wall-breaking way. Cullen Bunn is a strong support writer. I know him from being Brubaker's number two during his long run on Captain America, so it is not surprising to see him as the number two to Posehn and Duggan on the Deadpool books. The art is pretty solid as well, although nothing to phone home about. I really liked the concept that the classic heroes of literature might be the necessary condition for superheroes, and the setup for a Sherlock Holmes adversary was intriguing.

The problem is that I find it hard to invest in a non-canonical Deadpool book in which our favorite anti-hero kills characters at random across the multiverse without significant repercussions. Deadpool's motives make no sense to me, nor do they appeal to me in any way. While I would normally disagree when people in the government blame senseless acts of violence on the media, I can't help but see their point when it comes to some of these such-and-such kills the Marvel Universe books. Deadpool is an assassin, but there is much more to his draw than merely committing pointless acts of violence. Deadpool is supposed to be both funny and fun, and while I've mentioned that Bunn can certainly pull his own weight when it comes to writing, it seems like wit doesn't come quite so easy to him as with other Deadpool writers.

Some might think that this sort of a comic book is appalling. I just feel like it is pointless. I don't think Marvel should stop publishing books like this. I just think that readers with taste should do their best to stay away from forcing a boring book like this upon themselves.

Bunn breathes some fresh air into a genre of comic books that is utterly meaningless, but it is not the kind of air that gives life to something good. It is more like the air that you put in a leaky tire - it's enough to get you home, but you're still going to have to fix or replace that tire. In terms of Classics Killustrated and the entire "kill everybody" genre, I am weighing in on the side of discard, forget, and replace with something better.

I've syndicated this review at Examiner. You can read it here. If you click on it a few times, spend some time there, or navigate to a new page, I might get some money. But I'm only asking that of you if you liked reading the article here and want to show your appreciation.

1 comment:

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