Beware the pool sharks

  • Books
  • Friday, 24 Apr 2009

Deadpool: Suicide Kings # 1 (of 5) (Marvel / US$3.99) Writer: Mike Benson Artist: Carlo Barberi

“He is a graduate (victim) of the secret super-soldier program, Weapon X. There, he was trained to be a living weapon (expedited on) and hailed as the greatest of the program’s warriors (rejected as a failure). Now he’s not only one of the world’s most dangerous men (that’s true), but he’s also one of the world’s most intelligent (insane) and attractive bachelors (actually he’s hideous).”

BASED on the page one blurb (above) from Deadpool: Suicide Kings #1, can anyone treat the Merc-with-a-mouth seriously or even dare pull a fast one on him? Well, there is a mixed response here as seen by this greed-driven plot. In this issue, things go awry for Deadpool after signing up for a simple hatchet and blackmail assignment. Duped into thinking that he’s working for a tycoon’s spoiled brat (Conrad), Deadpool sets out to rid the brat of his boogeyman – only to be caught in an exploding building.

The duping continues when Deadpool finds himself framed on film and left clueless as to Conrad’s whereabouts. While it’s one thing to renegade on a deal with a mercenary, it goes beyond ethics when you frame him up. Here is where the plot thickens as new players emerge behind the scenes. Pulling Conrad’s strings is none other than Tombstone, an ol’ Spidey foe, but it’s the Punisher’s presence that pumps up the adrenaline.

Deadpool is fast moving up into the ranks of Venom or Punisher as evident by his over exposure (regular series coupled with spin-offs and guest appearances). With a movie cameo appearance due in the upcoming Wolverine Origins, Marvel’s doing everything to build up the Merc’s credentials.

Preventing this five-parter from ending up as comic-relief is Barberi’s art. He has a knack for explosions (see page # 18). While Joe Madureira’s Deadpool: The Circle Chase remains my all time favourite Merc outing, the Punisher’s upcoming appearance should spill more thrills.

All New Savage She-Hulk # 1 (of 4) (Marvel / US$3.99) Writer: Fred Van Lente Artists: Peter Vale and Robert Atkins

This is as savage as it gets – especially after two stints of She Hulk in a lighter vein. It’s not just a change in story tempo that is rocking the gamma detectors but the reintroduction of a new She Hulk – and wait till you find out who is her daddy!

Unlike Jennifer Walters, who has both brains and brawn – Lyra (yes, she has a name) is a Gamma-zon with a mission. While the bulk of this issue goes towards digesting her origins, the build-up towards the inevitable showdown with her predecessor makes this a memorable debut. Women of Mass Destruction (WMD) indeed!

Captain America # 49 (Marvel / US$2.99) Writer: Ed Brubaker Artist: Luke Ross

After two years of adrenaline-pumping stories, which equates to nine months (in fantasy land) since Steve Rogers’ death – it’s finally time to take a breather and mourn.

While Bucky Barnes has certainly moved on with his role as the new Cap, others have yet to find the elusive form of solace – namely Rogers beau, Sharon Carter.

Still coming to terms that she, under hypnotic influence, delivered the coup de grace on Rogers, Sharon finds her whole life gradually collapsing. As if Rogers’ death wasn’t enough, the coming into force of H.A.M.M.E.R. (replacing S.H.I.E.L.D) has left her unemployed. But bad news does come in threes and the last one may just be too much for her fragile state of mind to digest.

Another interesting development is the return of Peggy Carter (Sharon’s aunt and Rogers WW2 beau) – not in action but rather for a twilight cameo appearance. Definitely one of Marvel’s better and most consistent titles over the last five years.

Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk # 4 (of 5) (Marvel / US$2.99) Writer: Damon ‘Lost’ Lindelof Artist: Leinil Francis Yu

Looks like it’s She Hulk-galore this week as this Ultimate-take introduces their own version of the Gamma Queen – and it also sports the same identity-twist as well.

Anyway, this long overdue five-parter reaches the penultimate stage with the lead characters still locked in a mindless slugfest.

If it’s of any value add, this issue also features an extreme ping pong match between Iron Man and Captain America – which makes me wonder was the long wait worth it. Lindelof’s plot seems rather “lost” (no pun intended).

Justice Society of America # 25 (DC / US$3.99) Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Jerry Ordway

The reconstruction of the Marvel family (not the company!) begins here as the Wizard Shazam returns to stamp his authority and about time too!

With a vengeful Iris blindly lashing out at both followers and foes, Black Adam is forced to choose between love and common sense ... sigh!

After a good JSA run, and a memorable limited series, Adam slips back to B-grader mode in this mediocre story arc. The saving grace comes from the Alex Ross cover as Johns surprisingly loses steam – must be the blistering pace set on Flash Rebirth.

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