52 weeks. 52 different writers. 2 trade paperbacks or hardcovers a week. Each week I’ll take a look at a different writer and read two different collected editions from within that person’s repertoire to help in the examination of their work.
Cullen Bunn is the mastermind behind the successful “Deadpool Killogy” from Marvel Comics, stretching out a series of miniseries to create a trilogy of stories all about a more vicious side of Deadpool. Each miniseries by itself was a massive success and firmly cemented Cullen Bunn as a premier Deadpool writer for this current generation of readers. It all kicked off with today’s book, Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, where Deadpool brutally murders EVERY Marvel character in existence. But Cullen Bunn couldn’t stop there, as he then sent Deadpool after characters of literary significance with Deadpool Killustrated before finally turning the barrel of the gun back on the “Merc With A Mouth” himself with the aptly titled Deadpool Kills Deadpool.
Deadpool Kill The Marvel Universe
Deadpool has always been a character with a loose screw or two. A reckless “Merc With A Mouth”, Deadpool has never had a problem killing anyone as long as the price is right. After an odd run in with the X-Men, Charles Xavier finally decides enough is enough for Ol’DP and feels as though it’s time to finally institutionalize him. Little does Professor X realize that the doctor he leaves Deadpool in care of is actually Professor Psycho, exploiting the minds of his villainous patients to create an evil army that will help conquer the world. Professor Psycho beings his treatment of Deadpool by attacking his mind, weakening his inner voices but revealing a far more sinister one hidden deep within his psyche. This newly unlocked voice convinces Deadpool that he must kill all superheroes and super villains without prejudice, mowing down all who stand in his way. Deadpool sets off on a murderous rampage, tearing through the most powerful heroes on the face of the planet with seeming ease. But the blood lust isn’t entirely random as the sinister voice begins to guide Deadpool towards a violent endgame.
Cullen Bunn gives readers the take on Deadpool that they’ve been expecting for years with Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe. Simply put, Bunn snaps the fragile string that is Deadpool’s psyche and sends him off on a mass superhero murder spree that would make any super villain envious…so then he decides to spread the wealth by killing all the villains as well. For all the love Deadpool gets showered with from his fans, this type of take on Deadpool is almost enough to make you entirely dislike the character, which in and of itself is a testament to Cullen Bunn’s abilities as a writer. If anything, it speaks volumes that Bunn does that good of a job casting the hero as the villain in his own story, as by the end of this mini-series you aren’t in fits of gut-busting laughter from Deadpool related comedy but instead you feel unclean because of just how inherently evil some of the things Deadpool manages to do actually are. The character still has time for a joke or two but this new, apathetic take on the character is spine tingling and disturbing, as he carries little regard for the life he takes on his quest to eliminate all types of heroes and villains.
While the murder-frenzied Deadpool is one of the runaway best parts of this book, another part that gives it a run for its money is the way in which Deadpool doles out the carnage he sows. It’s one thing for a character like Deadpool to just shoot a character and be done with it, (something we’ve seen him do countless times) it’s another thing entirely though to have the character actually show us how he’d take care of nearly all the members of the Avengers in a single blow, or how he’d pick off mentally weak heroes and villains. You’d think that some of Marvel’s strongest and greatest characters like Spider-Man, Thor, or even Hulk would easily dismantle Deadpool in a fight and in most instances you’d be right. The monumental difference in his fights against these characters though is that Deadpool is playing to the death, where some of these characters aren’t willing to cross that line. Even when a heavy hitter like Hulk steps up and seemingly does what he needs to, Deadpool’s impervious nature to death keeps him bouncing back and allows him to handle these big guns with general ease. It’s some brilliant work by Bunn as he shows us how easily Deadpool could take care of the entire Marvel Universe, never seemingly challenged by anyone or anything that stands in his way throughout the story.
As I just stated, Deadpool has little trouble dealing with the entire Marvel Universe in this series, which is actually wherein the problem in this story lies; the character is never challenged, he just aimlessly destroys. Bunn tries to give Deadpool a focused adversary at around the halfway mark of the story in hopes of creating some sense of dramatic flare in between the entertaining moments of Deadpool dismantling everyone in his way. The unfortunate truth is that by the time this character catches up with Deadpool even they hardly last more than a few fleeting moments before Deadpool moves along to the next obstacle. The whole point of the series is that Deadpool is trying to kill the Marvel Universe and it’s something he does highly effectively, but he ends up being so good at it that at times it almost becomes boring as no one enjoys a juggernaut character that never faces any true conflict on the quest towards their goal. One of the redeeming qualities of this plot though is the brilliant ending by Cullen Bunn, as he scripts the perfect concluding moments for a story like this one. It’s a moment that suits the character of Deadpool in a classic manner, will easily have you laughing but also mildly disturbed, and just reads with such fluidity that it absolutely accomplishes what it strived to do.
Collects: Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #1-4
Best Character: Deadpool
Best Line Of Dialogue/Caption: “You know what all those “better psychopaths” you were bragging about shoulda tried? A gun.” – Deadpool
Best Scene/Moment: The ending – Issue 4
Best Issue: Issue 4. Issue 4 comes off as an enjoyable issue because of how it handles the last vestiges of the Marvel Universe’s heroes and villains. Deadpool has devised a pretty brilliant way to handle these remaining foes although the Punisher might have a thing or two to say about that. The showdown between Deadpool and the Punisher is as poignant in its brief nature as it is brutal and is sure to make you think Deadpool has yet again gone too far. After all that is said and done you get the showdown with the character who has been trailing Deadpool for the bulk of the story before getting the best possible ending to this series that you could hope for. Seriously, the ending is perfection.
Why You Should Read It: This mini-series is reason enough to look to Cullen Bunn as one of the best writers for Deadpool in the last few years. He handles the character’s usual stature quite well early on before shifting gears to give readers a different side of Deadpool. Bunn also shows that the character is kind of genius in a sick, weird, and twisted way. This isn’t serious reading material whatsoever but tons of fun if you’re looking for an over-the-top, violent, disturbing Deadpool story that isn’t your run of the mill superhero hack-n’-slash type of outing.