Again, another light voting week made it oh so easy for me to tweak the Marvel results to my heart’s desire (though I will admit, Janie, I heard great things about the new “Hawkeye” series). DC was particularly difficult, though, as everyone voted for something different (so I just went with the top result alphabetically…which was also the one I wanted). This week’s face-off: “Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe” #1 vs. “Animal Man” #12.
The Deadpool title is the first of a 4-part miniseries that follows in the great Marvel “What If?” tradition. We open in classic form, with the Watcher, egg-headed alternate-universe space voyeur, discussing the gravity of the carnage we are about to witness. Also in classic form, we dive right into the action, with Reed Richards dying in his wife’s arms, orange rubble all around them (the remains of The Thing). A couple of decapitations later (not all by Deadpool) and we’re knee deep into a flashback that’s one part Arkham Asylum, one part standard quippy Deadpool, with white and yellow internal dialogue boxes intact. Luckily we don’t spend a long time on set up here, just enough to give us the lay of the land, then we get to find out what happens when the silly voices in Deadpool’s head stop and something darker (literally) takes their place. The ending comes way too quickly (which is partially because I want more and partially because Marvel’s page count is too low) and sets things up for what promises to be a thoroughly entertaining unmaking of a Marvel-verse. I’ll be picking up the rest of the issues, for sure.
Animal Man I had heard good things about. How the writing was above-average. How it was revitalizing DC horror comics. Maybe I got a dud issue, but I couldn’t work up much interest in this one. I think part of the problem was that it was mostly a recap issue (ostensibly for people like me who said to themselves “Huh, it actually made it a whole year? I suppose I should check it out.”). Now there were some other things in there, cool things like Animal Man discovering he could track down Swamp Thing via a digested bit of plant in the gut of a rabbit (who was in the gut of a gator); but they were bogged down by the oh-so-tired mechanic of “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my entire backstory, so let’s save the world maybe?” I will give the creative team credit for intelligent writing (they obviously have a deep story they’re working with here) and art that is lush and uncompromising (there’s more detail work in the page borders here than there is in entire splash pages of other books). But despite it being a soft-introduction to the current plotline, it didn’t grab me.
Obviously, Deadpool and his stabby-stabby, bang-bang tour of the Marvel universe get my vote this week. So that’s twice that Marvel comes out on top! I’d love for a DC title to rise to the occasion and break my Marvel predisposition (just more history there). Keep an eye out for next week’s poll and give me something good to chew on!