Title: Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe
Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2012
Artist: Dalibor Talajic
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Collects: Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #1–4
So in this trade, our good ol' buddy Wade Wilson decides to go on a killing spree against everyone. And when I say everyone, I mean the entire Marvel-U. Deadpool takes on a mission, sent from god himself, to kill all of Marvel's superheroes and villains. That's right, the Merc with a Mouth goes toe to toe with Spider-Man, The Hulk, Thor, Wolverine, and even decides to go against the Fantastic Four and The Avengers. Yeah, it's safe to say he's a nutcase trying to take on everyone on his lonesome, but Deadpool does a pretty good job in wiping out all of our favorite characters.
It starts of great. Deadpool is shown slitting throats, beheading and stabbing a lot of A-tier heroes to death. It's an awesome sight to behold. The cover explicitly says "Parental Advisory! Not For Kids!" and as you can tell, that's because this trade is pretty gory. We all know that Deadpool is a violent psychopath, but when you remove the censors and have him as the title character, you get some really gruesome deaths (and some, being terribly funny). Not to mention any names, but Deadpool, at point blank range, shoots the face of one of Marvel's most iconic heroes (literally turning one side of his head into ground beef), and leaves him on the street to rot. It's pretty damn ruthless. Of course, there's no way Deadpool is able to do some of the things he does here (specifically against Thor and Hulk), but with a little deus ex machina, anything is possible.
The Deadpool humor is still here, as he breaks the fourth wall makes a couple of pop-culture references, but none of the jokes really hit the mark. And speaking of the fourth wall, it is that unique ability that causes Deadpool to go on this crazed rampage to annihilate all of Marvel. A third voice in his head convinces him that everyone he knows are nothing but puppets, and someone out there is pulling the strings. And since Deadpool is the only one who knows that he's in a comic book, he must go and find his answers. Yeah, this sounds like something that can only happen in a Deadpool storyline.
Unfortunately, while the book starts off at a full-throttle, it begins to lose its steam as it draws closer to the finale. The first time we see Wade beheading our heroes and shooting bullets into their faces, the shock of it all gets to us. But by the time we reach the end, none of the kills make much of the same impact anymore. Even the final battle against Taskmaster wasn't satisfying enough. Then, by the time the last issue reaches its final pages, I was at a complete letdown. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say I predicted how this was going to end (as I'm sure many of you would too, as long as you understand Wade's acceptance as a comic book character), and while it was a fitting conclusion, I was hoping it wasn't going to finish the way I thought it would. Cullen Bunn did a decent job in writing, but he couldn't quite hit it home.
As for Dalibor Talajic's artwork, I thought he did a fine job. He doesn't get too much detail into the panels though, as most of the pages are filled with a more simplistic look, but it does keep the pages turning and it works well with the story being told. He also changed up Deadpool's outfit a bit, which I kind of liked. The covers for the individual issues, on the other hand (done by Kaare Andrews), were fantastic.
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe gives a unique spin on everyone's favorite self-regenerating mercenary, but while this series had a lot of potential, it fell short from being something great. I'm sure Deadpool fans will get a kick out of this four-issue series (which include some impressive fatalities), but as an avid fan of Wade himself, I thought this to be a bit disappointing.