Writer: Kelly Thompson
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Wayne Faucher, Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza, Livesay, Victor Olazaba
Color Artist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics
In what is sure to be a hot collector’s item, the Merc with the Mouth is back in his first ongoing series … since last year. Now under the guidance of writer Kelly Thompson, Deadpool is taking up arms against a horde of monsters who have taken up residence on Staten Island. This new mission takes him right into the heart of Monster Island, and while Godzilla and Mothra are nowhere in sight, he does have to contend with the kaiju-like “King of Monsters,” as well as monster-hunter extraordinaire Elsa Bloodstone.
This bold, new premise is both unique and undeniably on-brand for the loudmouth mercenary. The idea of Deadpool being hired to dispatch the so-called King of Monsters is unapologetically silly in all the right ways. Thompson imbues our anti-hero with her trademark humor and establishes a tone that feels fresh for a character who is arguably over-exposed. She captures Wade’s voice perfectly, and it’s not difficult to imagine Ryan Reynolds reading every line. The inclusion of Elsa Bloodstone has a lot of potential as she and Wade have an uneasy yet playful dynamic. Thompson already has a great handle on the character from her run on “A-Force,” although she’s noticeably less profane in her all-too brief appearance here.
Art duties are handled by Chris Bachalo, whose stylistic approach is perfectly suited to the story. His depiction of Deadpool is immediately recognizable, yet wholly his own, as are secondary characters like Elsa and Jeff the Land Shark. Yes, Jeff the adorable frickin’ Land Shark. The script makes good use of Bachalo’s penchant for drawing bizarre creatures and grotesque tentacle monsters. His use of non-traditional layouts and “camera angles” makes for a unique visual experience, although the action can be hard to follow at times.
The launch of this new first issue (his ninth, I believe) does coincide with Marvel’s recent “Dawn of X” relaunch. Unlike many of the new X-books, however, this series appears to be largely self-contained and new-reader friendly, despite Deadpool’s frequent inclusion with the Merry Mutants. In fact, apart from the appearance of a couple characters from Thompson’s recently-concluded “West Coast Avengers,” this issue is perfectly accessible to first-time readers and long-time fans. With its hyper-violence and edgy, yet mostly lighthearted humor, this new arc acts as a spiritual successor to the now-classic runs by Gail Simone and Joe Kelly, which is a very good thing for both the character and readers alike.