“Deadpool, Vol. 2: Soul Hunter” by Brian Posehn

Deadpool, Volume 2: Soul Hunter(Author: Brian Posehn) + (Year: 2013) + (Goodreads)


Review:

Ya’know, Deadpool just keep getting more and more sad the more volumes I read. And also more insane.

By that, I mean that the humor and the jokes are still there, but the bitterness is entirely too tangible. Especially those moments when no one wants to team up with Deadpool, despite his best efforts to be helpful and despite the fact that he takes quite a few killing blows for it.

One thing worth mentioning is the first issue of this volume. It was drawn in a very old school comic book style and it looked so convincing, that I wondered whether they hadn’t actually taken old issues. Until I found out that Deadpool didn’t even exist at the time, that is.

The story with hell was also pretty interesting, as it was sort of convoluted and unexpected, but it worked out pretty cleverly.

I can’t say whether I really like Deadpool as a character, though. And that is not because everyone else also hates him, but because there is such a focus on that hatred, that his personality is half sad doofus, half other people’s view of stinky old Wade. So I kind of want to continue reading, and I kind of feel like it’s getting nowhere, because we only see the tip of his personality and it doesn’t really move beyond that.

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“Deadpool, Vol. 1: Dead Presidents” by Brian Posehn

Deadpool, Volume 1: Dead Presidents(Author: Brian Posehn) + (Year: 2013) + (Goodreads)


Review:

Aaaaand… eh.

The thing is, whenever I read superhero comic books, they never build up such tension as superhero movies do. The scale of the events of one comic book volume vs a movie is hard to compare, and therefore, I usually end up with less than I hoped for.

Dead Presidents was not bad or anything, it was just not that good, either.

The biggest gap for me between expectations and reality was the humor. I expected something hilarious, and instead all of the jokes were like:

Blah blah, okay, laugh now. Seriously, this is funny, guys… Actually, nevermind, it is kind of sad and depressing. Err, I will shut up now. Ha-ha.

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This being my first comic book contact with Deadpool, I couldn’t help but find it sad that he is such a despised character. He might have dumb, raunchy humor, but so far, he seems to be on the right side. So the general attitude of characters toward him just seems strange and uncalled for.

The best part of this volume were the actual dead presidents, all of whom had their weirdness. I also liked how most were mentioned for what they were most famous for, including Deadpool dressed as Marilyn for JFK.

I will continue with the next volume, as I have it at my disposal, but I am not sure whether I should give in to the temptation to expect something cool the second time around.

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And… ALTERNATIVE REVIEW

(Because I am an overworked dork and I reviewed this volume twice.)

This was not exactly what I expected. Not sure whether that’s a good thing or not.

For me, before the movie hype, Deadpool was a rather obscure comic book character. I remember his appearance in that terrible Wolverine movie, but because of how generic that version of Deadpool was, I seem to have completely wiped it from my mind until the new Deadpool came out.

In the meanwhile, right before the movie was released I started hearing more and more about Deadpool, so I finally got around to also reading the comic book.

For starters:

  1. It was not as funny as I expected. Don’t get me wrong, Deadpool is funny. But unlike the movie, there was more bitterness and sadness in his humor. For the most part, I didn’t think “Ha-ha”, I thought “You poor bastard…”. I also still don’t get why he is so hated. Sure, around him everything’s a bit bloodier, but that’s not to say that he’s a bad guy. At least not the version that I saw in this comic book. It just seemed that everyone hates him because he is a hated character. Which kind of makes me pity him.
  2. The story was way more out there than I would have thought. Considering that Deadpool is a mercenary and an assassin, I expected more fists than dead presidents. Title and all.

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Essentially, I enjoyed the bit about the dead presidents, though. It gave the volume a funky edge. The dead presidents of the USA rolled up like some rock band and I thought it was hilarious how they had ganged up in groups by common traits.

Also, that element of magic set interesting grounds for Doctor Strange’s cameo, which, for me, created another unlikely event in this comic book. From the little that I knew about Deadpool, I imagined him hanging out more with X-Men, than with Avengers and the likes, but this was a good example of how movie studios owning different characters and separating them does not influence comic books. Which is very, very cool, because there are several characters that will probably not appear in movies together, but I might end up seeing in a comic book. Wink, wink…

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“Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More” by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Captain Marvel, Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More(Author: Kelly Sue DeConnick) + (Year: 2014) + (Goodreads)


Review:

I guess Kelly Sue DeConnick and I are just not meant to be. I hoped that Captain Marvel would change my mind, but it did not.

This book’s basically a poor man’s Saga meeting a poor man’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Having read Ms Marvel before this, I thought that this will be the magnified experience and that I will love it even more than Ms Marvel. The sad reality of the situation was that Captain Marvel is too much space and too little heart.

The story took a rather unexpected turn from my expectations with Captain Marvel deciding to venture into space and be an outpost avenger. The explanation for that, her being restless and needing to find her place in the world, was just a bit too juvenile for my tastes. Her mission in space, reporting to the Avengers and saving a girl in a coma, didn’t really elicit any response in me. I kept expecting a more exciting story to appear out of nowhere. In vain.

So, we joined Captain Marvel on a short journey of her meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy and deciding to make a team of outcasts on her own. Her opponents, just as her friends, were rather weak and not really threatening, and the stakes were very low for a superhero. Captain Marvel’s speeches, though… They were so needlessly dramatic and over the top that I couldn’t help cringing. This is something that I remember noticing in DeConnick’s writing earlier, too. Nothing much is happening, but the characters are making it seem like a poor man’s Shakespearean tragedy.

What I disliked even more than this soulless execution was Captain Marvel’s head gear.

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Nice mohawk. Not.

I get it that suits are made to look formidable and badass, but this is not what I would call badass at all. What’s the purpose of that head gear? How does it make her a better fighter to have her hair pulled up in the middle of her head? What the heck?

And I’m not even going to start with this strange, useless little skirt-thing that she has.

Other than that, I generally liked the art and the big, colorful landscapes. That was probably the best part of this volume.

Considering how much people seem to like Captain Marvel’s series, I will give it another shot with the second volume, but I’m afraid that they lost me with this space theme, so if the next one is also like that, I will remain unimpressed.

“Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal” by G. Willow Wilson

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal(Author: G. Willow Wilson) + (Year: 2014) + (Goodreads)


Review:

Awesome!

I had started developing a small phobia of superhero comic books after a couple of unsuccessful attempts to read them (namely, and to my partner-in-crime’s huge disappointment, Hawkeye). The thing is, I love the Marvel movies, I also like a lot of the DC movies. But the comic books just don’t live up to it a lot of the time.

Ms. Marvel definitely did, though. This comic book was so cool and unconventional, that I couldn’t help but really like it. It’s just so original and a lot more heartfelt than some of the other superheroes’ origin stories. Part of this might come from the fact that I have been over-saturated by movies about Batman and Superman’s sap stories, but Ms. Marvel is something else altogether.

As a character, she is a big dork, so I can definitely sympathize. However, she also comes from a very conservative family and background and this volume does a good job at trying to explain this culture in an easy-to-swallow kind of way. It also tries to show the soul of the regular Muslim family, instead of the inhumane side of Islam that we see through terrorism. Considering the fact that I, myself, despite being a Christian, have spent a lot of time among Muslims, I know that I have a different view of them and that many people do have a hard time understanding the difference between Islam and radicalism. Ms. Marvel is not subtle about trying to explain that to its readers, but nevertheless, the authors have burdened themselves with a rather unorthodox and admirable task.

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I also thought that the story was generally very cute and light-hearted, unlike many of the superhero comic books that I’ve read. In that sense, it kind of reminded me of Batgirl, back when I loved it. The atmosphere was fun and exciting, instead of depressing and dark, so to me, it was a big plus.

The art was pretty but in a way which was as equally unconventional, as the book itself. The characters were drawn in a cartoonish but pretty way, and with some very nice colors.

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I’m definitely adding Ms. Marvel to my list. The only drawback is that the list never seems to get shorter. Eh…

“The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man” by Tom King

The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man(Author: Tom King) + (Year: 2016) + (Goodreads)


Review:

From the moment I started reading The Vision, I felt that something was creeping in on me. I knew that this was mostly supposed to be a dark comedy, at least from most of what I had read or heard about it. However, that was not the feeling that I got from the volume itself.

First and foremost, there is something that I really enjoyed: the ominous chill running through the entire volume. From the very beginning, I felt slightly disturbed by the characters, perturbed by their way of interacting and of viewing the world. Most of all, I was always, to one degree or another, unsettled by Virginia. This part is clear enough from the very, very beginning of the story, with the little “At the end of the story… will happen.” remarks.

However, the more I read, the more I felt like I’m missing something. I was trying to get why this family bothers me so much. It took me a couple of attempts at guessing, until I realized that what really, really bothered me, is that The Vision is not a story of a family. It’s a story of a lonely man who feels so disconnected from his world that he makes a new one for himself. It’s also the story of an orphan. A man, or a little worse than one, who has been brought to this world but feels no connection to it. He has no roots, no family, he didn’t grow, didn’t become, he just was. Also, one who is very powerful, but also deeply misunderstood. One who will always be out of place.

If you choose to see The Vision as I do, you’d realize that this is a coming-of-age story. Just a very unconventional one. And also very beautiful, yet tragic one. And I say tragic, because, in this volume, at least, I don’t think that the Vision achieved what he wanted to. Despite all of his efforts, he stayed on the outside looking in. There were many great moments in the volume, to illustrate how sad it actually was, from Viv‘s talk with her lab partner in the courtyard, to the Vision’s first lie and the reasons behind it, and most all, the entire “The Villainy You Teach Me” chapter. I absolutely loved this one, both the parallel between the story and the Shakespeare quote, and the choice of the quote itself.

And, by sheer coincidence, I happened to be listening to the Hamilton musical while reading The Vision. Which was the one part of the story that came out of circumstance, but gave me a totally new viewpoint. I realized that the two could be compared so easily. If you feel I am going way out there, please bear with me.

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten
Spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

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And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted
Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up
Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of
The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter

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Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned
Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain

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Alexander Hamilton
My name is Alexander Hamilton
And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, just you wait…
***
When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden
Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden
Half-dead sittin’ in their own sick, the scent thick
***
Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide
Left him with nothin’ but ruined pride, something new inside
A voice saying “You gotta fend for yourself.” 
“Alex, you gotta fend for yourself.”
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There would have been nothin’ left to do
For someone less astute
He woulda been dead or destitute
***
You could never back down
You never learned to take your time!

When America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?
The world will never be the same, oh

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If you want to experience The Vision, Vol. 1 the way I did, you can head over here: