The Merc with the Mouth

Deadpool Classic, Vol. 4 - Joe Kelly;James Felder

Okay, when I purchased this graphic novel (or to be more precise - comic book) I had heard a rumour that there was going to be a Deadpool movie, however I had heard that rumour floating around ever since the first Wolverine movie had been released. Mind you, my exposure to Deadpool was basically from that one movie and it wasn't until I recently saw the film that I realised that he was actually some guy that ran around in a red suit (though I was well aware that he talked an awful lot, namely because there were some hints to that regard in the Wolverine movie, particular when Logan makes a comment at the end, upon seeing his mouth sewed up, that they had finally worked out a way to stop him from talking).


Anyway, having now seen the film (and while I wouldn't jump up and say it was outstanding, I can say that I did enjoy it, though I suspect that my sense of humour isn't anything like the sense of humour that the bulk of the audience had – mind you when I did go and see it I have to say that the cinema was absolutely packed), I thought it only appropriate to finally dust off this book and give it a read (not that it was gathering dust, but I decided to hold off reading it until after I had seen the movie). As can be expected it was somewhat different to the film, and I guess I do prefer to watch superheroes on the big screen as opposed to reading the comics.


I guess the reason I suggest that is because comic books can be an incredibly expensive habit. In fact I still remember friends who would visit the local comic book store and walk out with huge numbers of comic books. In fact they would know when the next edition of their favourite comic would appear in the store, and the owner would know exactly which ones they wanted, and have them sitting under the counter waiting for them. The thing about comic books is that they are written in a serialised form, and always, without fail, end in a cliff-hanger. There is no such thing as a comic book with a single story because, well, it sort of makes you want to buy the next one because you want to find out what happens.


As for this comic, as you can probably guess, it is about Deadpool. Actually the first part has the origin story where he visits the Weapon X program to find a cure for his cancer only to be turned into a mutant freak. Because the process failed he is then thrown into a pit known as the Deadpool where he is tormented by this brute whom he calls Francis (namely because it is the brute's real name, and Deadpool has this annoying habit of stirring people up simply to get a reaction). The second part of the comic is a serial where Deadpool saves the world from this entity that wants to take away humanity's free will because it is our free will that generates suffering; thus if we no longer have free will then we will all live in blissful peace. This is an interesting comment because it raises the question as to whether we can live in harmony with each other and have free will. I suggest that it is possible, however we as humans seem to always want to take the selfish road, and it is the selfish road that inevitability leads to suffering.

It was probably a good thing that I did see the film before reading this comic because I had inevitability jumped into the series somewhere in the middle and didn't know who half the characters were (the only character I had any vague familiarity with with Deadpool, and of course Francis). At the least movie gave me an idea of some of the other characters, such as the blind lady whom Deadpool lives with, though she seems to play a much greater role in the comics than she seemed to in the film.


I guess the final thing I wanted to say was the nature of his character – Deadpool is an anti-hero, which are the type of characters I actually quite like. Wolverine is also an anti-hero, and is portrayed as such in the films. I guess the thing with anti-heroes is that they know they aren't perfect, and they don't try to live this high and respectable life, but when it comes to the crunch they will step out and save the world. Deadpool does show this part of him in the book, however he also does something that other heroes wouldn't – he kidnaps a precog and uses his ability to see the future to strike it big at the casino (and angers another supervillain in the process).