Review: Deadpool Classic Vol.3

A while back I raved about the 2nd collection of Joe Kelly’s Deadpool run.  Well vol. 3 is now here and it’s even better.  

The issues here are the heart of the series, in which Deadpool reaches his lowest ebb and somehow manages to start his life anew afterwards…sort of.  This is Deadpool after all, a certifiable, blabber-mouthed assassin whose best friend is the old blind woman he’s imprisoning for the hell of it.  He’s always been a fun character, but only Kelly ever managed to make him sympathetic, and that’s with the aforementioned prisoner that he occasionally tortures for fun.

This is also an incredibly funny book.  Most writers try to make Deadpool funny by emphasizing how crazy he happens to be.  Kelly is the one who actually has a fantastic, absurdists sense of humor that pervades the book and not just the one character.  Villains attack with enormous teddy bears, mad scientists play chess against guinea pigs, Jerry Garcia tours Europe, and somehow Deadpool manages to buy a sheep gun (being a gun disguised as a sheep of course, what were you thinking?).

And then there’s issue 11, which pretty much built Kelly’s reputation alone, in which Deadpool goes back in time and replaces Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #47.  That issue is not at all significant, meerly being yet another battle between Spidey and Kraven the Hunter, but it makes a perfect example of one of Stan Lee’s silver age stories.  Deadpool and company lovingly eviscerate the sorce material, while artist Pete Woods turns in a brilliant impression of John Romita’s art.  It’s a brilliant capstone to a book that holds up just as well now as it did when I first read it 13 years ago.

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