I recently finished reading Deadpool #26 – 28 and I have to say that they are better than the previous few issues. I have written many times that Deadpool is a character that is very unique and that readers either love him or hate him. There really is no middle ground with Deadpool, which, well, is just another facet of his character.
These issues all focus on Deadpool’s personality. While there have been plenty of issues in the past that have emphasized Deadpool’s comic relief and his mercenary skills, these issues present insight into the background and development of his personality. Sure, we all know that Deadpool has been genetically-enhanced and used as a tool. But these issues take a quick look at why Deadpool is as “insane” as he seems to be.
Issue #26 was actually somewhat heart-tugging, particularly with the Ghost Rider being part of it. Deadpool leaves Las Vegas (and the “job” that he had taken on there). As he leaves, the Ghost Rider chains up Deadpool and hauls him out into the desert. The Ghost Rider, in these frames, is drawn very nicely – just as imposing, hardcore, and scary as he ought to look. The Ghost Rider attempts to use the Penance Stare on Deadpool, but it knocks Deadpool out and it changes the Ghost Rider into Johnny Blaze – who is confused as heck.
The next pages of the story show how Deadpool, as a youth, tried to hang himself, but gets selected into Oscar Zero – a clandestine group operating under the CIA. They want to use Deadpool as a mercenary. Eventually its discovered that Wade has thirty-four tumors and they present him the option of going to Canada to take part in a “project” that might help him. The next frames show Wade strapped to a table and screaming in pain like some sort of Frankenstein. When Wade regains consciousness in the desert – he punches Johnny. He asks him: “You’re the Ghost Rider?” Johnny replies: “Sometimes” and Wade responds: “Well, I’m Deadpool. All the time. An’ I don’t need to be reminded of it!”
Johnny asks Deadpool what he saw during the Penance Stare, and says that the Ghost Rider wanted Deadpool to see something, because if it had wanted him dead, Deadpool would be dead. Deadpool asks Johnny if he thinks Deadpool deserves to die… Johnny says “yeah,” and Deadpool thanks him.
In issue #27, there are several flashbacks to Wade as child. Wade is watching the news and he clearly idolizes Captain America. His father, however, tells him harshly that he won’t be just like Captain America and that he should stop dreaming. In issue #28, Dr. Bong, the evil villain of the storyarc, tells his underlings that Deadpool used to be a psychiatric patient of his. He says that if there’s one thing that Deadpool hates more than himself, its his friends. Throughout the issue we see Deadpool not understanding the circumstances that he is in, but reacting with anger when his so-called friends are just trying to use him.
The conversation continues as Dr. Bong explains that Deadpool’s advantage is not that he isn’t afraid to die, but that he does fear living.
While these aren’t the most amusing of Deadpool issues, they are significant because the backstory of Deadpool is seen from an angle that is not too often presented. Most of Deadpool’s mental issues are not his own fault; he is insane, but not because of any of his own faults. In fact, the sense that I got reading these issues is that if Deadpool has a main fault – its that he is too trusting. He trusted every person who got involved with him and the majority were just trying to use him. Deadpool’s inability to distinguish between friend and foe is a major concept used in his character development. In fact, throughout all of the recent Deadpool titles, his inability to comprehend friendship is at the root of his problems. Looking ahead to issue #29, I expect to see the same psychological subtleties in the storyline.