Review: 'Deadpool Killustrated' shows Deadpool killing ideas and concepts. Lots of killing!A comic review article by: Alex Wolfe
After reading and reviewing Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, it came to my attention that the mini I had read was the first part of a (now complete) trilogy – err, "Killogy." Since I had been pretty impressed with DPKtMU, was interested to see where it went, and am a bit of a completionist, I've decided to continue the saga of my last review. Naturally, since this is a sequel to a review and is about a sequel of a comic (reviewception!), it makes sense that you should read the first review first. It's okay, I'll wait.
Anyway, the next 4-issue mini after DPKtMU is called Deadpool Killustrated, and it's tough to read without comparing it to the first one. That said, I'm not going to try.
It's an excellent book, as I figured it would be. The artwork is a good bit better than what we found in its predecessor, and, except for the fact that it disregards the very ending of the last book (it kinda had to), the continuity is pretty solid.
After creating a transdimensional portal from Man-Thing and moving it to the Baxter Building, Deadpool starts off this new tale trying to clean up the Marvel Universe – which he is failing to do. Even with the unwilling help of Marvel's B-list evil geniuses, he simply can't kill everyone in every parallel world, as these are borderline infinite in nature. As Wade slays from 616 to Ultimate to every universe in between, he collects the corpses and it just isn't good enough. He's been pulling off the petals instead of going for the root, and with his newfound state of mind (and some tinkering with the portal) he manages to go to the "Ideaverse," a world filled with literary classics who inspired the world of heroes as we know them. Thus, the tale begins.
The first thing I noticed about this was that it seemed less... balanced. In the first story, the humor was kept soft and situational, and it blended in seamlessly with the extremely dark tone of the story. Wade himself came off as innocent, as much a victim to his own insanity as the people he was killing, but though the "red voice" was pushing him towards evil, Deadpool came off as very tortured and disturbed in his own right. In Killustrated, Wade is back to his goofy self and while he's still on a killing spree, it feels a little bit less personal this time around. He's used to comically play off of the "red voice" who acts as his straight man – this works just fine, and I still found the mini greatly enjoyable. It just seemed less personal, less real, and less unique than the style that had made me fall in love with the first book.
Okay, so Deadpool hops through the portal and into the Ideaverse and, well, he starts butchering people. He hangs a lampshade on the fact that he's having a proportionately difficult time killing powerless characters considering that he had just recently killed Thor (twice), but nonetheless, he starts carving his way through history. He's attacking not the heroes themselves, but the inspiration that created them, and this is actually one of the book's cleverer twists. Wade sees little "flashes" where he perceives the character he's killing as the Marvel character that was inspired by them. As an example, when he gets to Captain Ahab (you know, the "accursed whale" guy) he sees a flash of Thunderbolt Ross. As he progresses we see more and more of these characters exposed (and subsequently erased from the cloud of inspiration, causing them to have never existed), as well as concepts such as that of a team (this happens when he kills the Three Musketeers, and it takes a big toll on reality).
Speaking of reality, it plays its part in this. While DPKtMU was just about killing everyone (and building Wade's paranoia along the way), when Killustrated begins, that development has already occurred, and he's doing his damnedest to jump the shark. As he starts killing ideas and concepts, fiction itself starts to unravel. Characters become forgotten, worlds merge, and as character templates are retroactively butchered, it seems like nobody can stop Deadpool on his killing spree.
Except for one person, who sure tries. One of Wade's pet scientists, the Mad Thinker, sends a relay into the Ideaverse to warn them. The message reaches none other than Sherlock Holmes, who uses the tools he's been given to gather a (woefully small) group of literary figures not entirely unlike the League of Extraordinary Gentleman and start the hunt for Deadpool, tracing his scars through time and fiction.
I won't go into the ending on this one, since it's pretty open-ended. Unlike the last book, it seems like this one was pretty certain it was going to have a sequel, and Deadpool's journey is definitely not at its end.
I have mixed feelings on this book. It was a good Deadpool story, and watching him scour through the endless worlds of classic literature was a good deal of fun -- as was meeting old characters like Dracula, Beowulf, Dr. Frankenstein, Captain Nemo, and the Little Women (and seeing them all die, of course). While I maintain that it seemed a lot less grim and intense than the last installment, it was well-written, had some solid jokes, great action, and constantly cranked up the tension and risk with each passing issue (though it still left enough breathing time to enjoy the story). So, yeah, I thought it was great, if not as good, and I'm definitely excited to pick up the last arc of the story and tie the knot – so stay tuned, everyone!