Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Butchering Stories From Literature's Finest Authors

Deadpool Killustrated

by Cullen Bunn

Illustrated by Matteo Lolli

Published by Marvel

4 Out of 5 Stars

Scrooge Finds It's Time
to Pay Up
The Merc with a Mouth is distraught after the events of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe as his battle to rid the world of superhuman heroes and villains has failed. Deadpool understands that the world he inhabits is a fictional one and realizes that you can't get rid of present day characters as long as their archetypes exist. So what's a smart ass mercenary to do other than threaten people smarter than he is to build a time machine to the "Ideaverse" so he can rampage through the literary canon like some kind of berserker Marty McFly?

Deadpool Killustrated is a limited 4 issue storyline, which turns out to be a good call. While the first three issues were a lot of fun (and what I'm primarily basing the 4 stars on), the final issue fizzles with an anticlimactic ending (although, to be fair, the series will lead into the Deadpool Kills Deadpool story arc and may offer more resolution). The
Tom Sawyer Has Painted
His Last Fence
opening issues offer a wisecracking Deadpool gleefully slaughtering literary greats like Moby Dick, the Little Mermaid, Scrooge, the Little Women (who prove to be a tougher lot than one would think), Tom Sawyer, Scylla, Charybdis, and a host of other literary greats. Even the Senators who stabbed Julius Caesar have the tables turned in a single panel vignette. I have to admit, watching the carnage of literary greats who have plagued many a student with required reading was fun (although I got a little teary eyed when Bagheera bought it). The cover art alone is worth a depraved giggle or two. As Deadpool carves his way through the Ideaverse, the archetypal patterns begin to buckle and we see the characters shift between their traditional and modern incarnations, a trick author Cullen Bunn clearly has a lot of fun with.

It's not long, however, before Sherlock Holmes is on the case. Determined to track down Deadpool 
Can Holmes Solve the Case?
and put a stop to his mass murdering ways, he assembles a group of literary heroes: Natty Bumpo, Beowulf, Hua Mulan, and, of course, John Watson. Now that's a motley crew of literary misfits to rival The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. And it's also a colossal letdown as these characters are limited in their actions other than showing up behind Holmes and looking menacing. If you're going to put together a group like that, for the sake of the multiverse, have them do something other than pose and lend literary street cred to the narrative.

Despite my disappointment with the final issue, it was still entertaining enough to be worthy of a 4 star.

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