I can already hear some of grumbling. Deadpool Max? Do we really need another Deadpool? The answer to that is this is not your typical Deadpool title; this is a Marvel Max title. “Max” was created in 2001 as comics targeted exclusively for adults and is allowed to feature explicit content (in essence it’s an R-rated comic and they can say fuck and can be more violent). Considering he type of character The Merc with a Mouth is I am surprised it took this long to create a Deadpool Max series.
This new series is written by David Lapham, the creator of “Stray Bullets”. The series features art by Kyle Baker, who was last seen working on “Prelude to Deadpool Corps” #5. Both of them have won Eisner Awards.
A Federal agent (only referred to as Bob) is undercover to take down a mob boss named Hammerhead. Said boss is holed up in an office building a la Howard Hughes. He won’t come out, so someone has to go in after him. Bob is sleeping with the head of Hammerheads security at night (who often beats him), and works in the building during the day as a janitor (Bob’s uniform is a pair of bikini briefs). Deadpool is brought in to take down Hammerhead, and as usual he is unable to follow a plan, and royally fucks up the situation. Fear not! This only increases the body count. The undercover agent steals Deadpool’s crumpets to get him to leave the basement. Deadpool follows his nose, to get his crumpets back, and has the final showdown with the mob boss. The story ends with Deadpool telling his handler “Your naked Bob. If you want to remain employed as my operative, you’re going to have to wear a proper uniform.”
Lapham took a different approach in writing this book. Rather than the usual point of view of Deadpool it was written primarily from the point of view of Bob. This made a fabulous introduction to this new series in that as readers we are allowed to see how other people see Deadpool, and the mythology that surrounds him in his world. Stuff like “They say he can’t be killed” and “my friend saw his leg shot off and he grew a new one” and “He single-handedly stopped nuclear testing in North Korea” and “They say he is possessed by a demon.”
The gritty art work was nice, and seemed to fit the story well. I did have to look for the “Max” in the artwork though, but it was there (Heads cut in half rather than cut off, organs falling out of bodies, flying body parts).
Overall I enjoyed the book, I think it’s worth picking up. It seems to be following its own time line and continuity, probably in an attempt to bring in new readers. My one issue is that I hope it returns to the “regular” Deadpool style of storytelling, it was funny to see how others see Deadpool, but a lot of comedic opportunities where missed. Honestly I think it would be amazing if issue #2 was the same story written from Deadpool’s point of view, to see what he thinks happened.