Thursday, March 25, 2010

How Deadpool Changed Comics...for the Better!

You may have heard of Deadpool. A comic book character named Wade Wilson that has been around for almost 20 years (has it been that long?) who got his start in X-Men side of the Marvel Universe. The pitch for the character (as I could only imagine) was “Spider-Man + Deathstroke from Teen Titans” but he has become much more since then.

With a featured role in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie last summer, it would seem saying that Deadpool has exploded is an understatement. As of this writing, he is the star of no less than FOUR ongoing monthly titles, matching or beating other longer lived characters such as Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Wolverine.

This has drawn the ire of many who reads comics. I have to admit, it is a bit of a strain on my wallet when in one week (the week of March 24th, 2010) there are FOUR issues of Deadpool’s various books being released. But I’m still with him. And will be. For as long as his books are published.

Deadpool is like a living cartoon, playing on the super hero tropes of both universes. When he shows up in another book, be it Spider-Man, Cable, Daredevil or any one, due to his over the top nature, he always brings out a side of them rarely seen. Also, Joe Kelly’s 40 some issue run on the character from the late 90’s is one of my favorites of any book ever.

However, many people out there do not share my undying love of Wade Wilson. Below, is just a sampling of how the Deadpool comics have changed all comics, everywhere:

- Several current big names in comics such as Joe Kelly (Amazing Spider-Man), Gail Simone (Wonder Woman,Secret Six), Ed McGuinness (Hulk) and Pete Woods (Superman), just to name a few, cut their teeth working on Deadpool.

- Many Marvel books have a recap page in the beginning, filling you in on the title and the current story line. Deadpool was the VERY FIRST book to have this, many times incorporating it into the story itself. Back in 1997. This predated all other Marvel books doing this by several months.

- The director’s cut was first done in Deadpool, starting with issue one of the Joe Kelly/Ed McGuinness series. That issue had a deconstruction of how the cover of issue one came together. Then, around the two year anniversary of that run, an issue entitled “Encyclopedia Deadpoolica” was released. This was a director’s commentary of the previous 24 issues of Deadpool, detailing how the original story was pitched and changed over that time. Also included was a footnote for every pop culture reference made in the book, plus the two previous mini series.

- I mentioned above Deadpool's affect on other characters when he appears in their books. But when you appear in Deadpool's book, you gain depth and become stars. Both Typhoid Mary and Bullseye had their back stories fleshed out and given new characteristics that are still being used today. And if it wasn't for Deadpool, the Great Lakes Avengers wouldn't have starred in a mini-series and two specials in the mid 2000's.

For just this alone, you all should be worshipping at the altar of one of the best characters created in the last 20 some years.

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