The Daily Review: Deadpool #22 by Daniel Way

Sure, Deadpool has become horribly overexposed, with far too many monthlies, minis and guest shots since Wolverine: Origins featured a strange version of him. Of course, all that overexposure doesn’t necessarily mean his book is bad, just that some are sick of seeing him. Being written by Wolverine: Origins writer Daniel Way is not a point in the main Deadpool book’s favor, however, as Origins moves glacially slowly with an insipid conspiracy that’s taking years to unravel. But then Joe Casey is great and his X-Men were uninspired, so good writers can have bombs. Let’s take a look at this month’s Deadpool and see how far it goes towards redeeming both the creator and the titular character.

Summary: Spider-Man has helped Deadpool to decide to become a hero when, on the way home on a bus, it is robbed. Being a hero now, Deadpool tries to stop the robbers, but one has superpowers and he’s knocked out cold. Deadpool realizes it’s local cops who’ve attacked the bus and sets off for their town. He jails the deputy, then meets a female cop who says he has to stop the gang who have been bootlegging, robbing and making moonshine. She wants him to kill the dirty cops to not sully the town’s name. Deadpool stops the dirty cops, when the ATF bust in and jail everyone. The female cop, Darlene, reported them all and had them arrested. Darlene was, you see, the brains behind the operation. In a last second reveal, apparently Deadpool knew this all along and is the one that had her call the ATF, getting all the bad guys arrested. Deadpool is released because the ATF know they can’t hold him and he walks away to find more ways to be a hero.

Thoughts: Deadpool as a wandering do-gooder has some legs. He’s wanted to be a hero going back to his first ongoing, the Joe Kelly Deadpool, although, to be honest, he was a far deeper character back then. Now, being played as straight comedy, this works as filler as he falls between events. He exists mostly as a comic foil in other people’s books for their events or to play off of guest stars (he showed up for an issue to effect Second Coming, Necrosha, and Utopia, while launching the book in the wake of Secret Invasion and is often, like the last arc, sandwiched between a bigger star like Spider-Man and a rising star getting a big push, like Hit Monkey). All that said, the plot here doesn’t work. There’s no real reason for Darlene to have her accomplices killed. She clearly had control of them. She could have had Deadpool arrest them and when he checked out of town, as a wandering hero surely would, then released them and continued with business as usual. It was also a hugely cheap trick to do the late reveal that Darlene was responsible for all the plans, as we aren’t shown how Deadpool figured that out. Worse though, we cut away from that scene before it’s conclusion, showing Deadpool behind the whole set-up, only to cut back with the reveal. The thing is, the reveal wasn’t a mystery being figured out, it was something all the characters on screen already knew. It was merely an awkwardly placed storytelling device to wrongfoot the reader. Shaky plotting aside, and really, you don’t read Deadpool for the plot, he’s a funny character who gets to do cool stuff with a decent set-up. It’d be better with a supporting cast and a real heart, or with some actual well-thought out plots (I mean really, Way messed up the old stand-by plot of nearly every Western there is), but it gives Wade something to do while he wanders around waiting for other people’s stories to mess up- such as next issue when he will meet the core 3 Avengers!

Rating: 3/10 – I want to rate this more highly. Way has really made the psychopath protagonist a fun read, but that only covers up so much lack of direction, plotting, and emotional core. They really need to put the Joe Kelley run in trade.

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