With planet Earth still covered in black space goo, it’s up to the Merc with a Mouth to do, well, something in this week’s Deadpool #10.
In addition to being a King in Black tie-in (which Wade obviously references throughout), this issue also appears to be the finale of writer Kelly Thompson’s run (I don’t believe Marvel has said as much themselves at this time of writing, but the lack of a new Deadpool issue in last week’s April solicits signaled as much). I always find it a bit annoying when a series ends as an event tie-in, especially since this one could’ve just been released specifically as a one-shot spinoff, but I suspect it was a decision motivated—as always—by profits. As much as they’re usually met with an exasperated sigh by the more critical readers among us, events do sell, which means Deadpool will get himself involved in the latest symbiote-related ruckus.
Deadpool #10 doesn’t need to exist, at least in regards to its status as a King in Black tie-in. I imagine the events within won’t have much of an impact on the greater story as it plays out in that respective series. But to Thompson’s credit, she acknowledges this throughout the issue, at least poking fun at the tendency for companies like Marvel and DC (more so the former) to mandate event tie-ins even if they’re completely superfluous. If you’re gonna be swept into a crossover, Deadpool is probably the easiest character to justify it with.
Another positive with this issue is that it’s fairly standalone and easy to follow. I haven’t read any of this run up to now, only knowing some random elements from osmosis (mostly that my beloved Elsa Bloodstone has been a supporting player), but I didn’t feel especially lost. It’s a fairly straightforward plot: Symbiote monsters are wrecking New York and Deadpool recruits a team of hapless weirdo monsters to help fight them off. The crippling specificity of his teammates makes for an entertaining read, including the likes of a gelatinous fellow named Jelby who ends up proving crucial to their mission. Jelby is an icon, and I have no choice but to stan now. I also love seeing the aforementioned Elsa Bloodstone in something whenever I get the chance, and Thompson’s past use of her in other comics (like A-Force) makes me happy to know I’m not alone in that.
I know from anecdotal experience that artist Gerardo Sandoval apparently isn’t to everybody’s taste, but I do really enjoy his work and think it serves the material here well. Deadpool is first and foremost a product of the ’90s, and it’s always been my opinion that Sandoval’s art retains enough of that era in style to make it appealing while still being modern enough that it doesn’t come off as retro. There are some genuinely great images in this issue (e.g. Deadpool getting sucked into a symbiote monstrosity with twisted limbs, him presenting a wall of fact cards depicting his allies, generally any appearance of Jelby but specifically when he becomes a Megazord containing the team), and I think that helps make this issue feel substantial enough to check out.
- Writer: Kelly Thompson
- Artists: Gerardo Sandoval (penciler and inker), Victor Nava (inker)
- Color Artist: Chris Sotomayor
- Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
- Cover Artists: Gerardo Sandoval, Chris Sotomayor
- Editor: Jake Thomas
- Publisher: Marvel Entertainment