What the hell happened here!?
I’ve enjoyed the Brian Posehn/Gerry Duggan run of “Deadpool” for a while now and was looking forward to what the soft relaunch had to offer. Yeah, Posehn was no longer going to be co-writing it, but his real job is as a stand-up comedian/actor. Surely leaving the comic in the hands of professional writer Duggan wouldn’t change things that much, right? Wrong. As it turns out, the professional funny guy was responsible for most of the jokes and overall sense of humor in this series. I imagined Posehn’s contributions to this series mainly consisted of phoning or texting in a joke here and there — because comics isn’t his main job — but if this volume is any indication then he was much more integral to the success of the previous run than I had thought.
The core concept behind “Millionaire With a Mouth” is solid enough: Now that he’s a member of the (Uncanny) Avengers, Deadpool has achieved a level of fame and adoration with the general public that he never thought possible. What’s the next step for a mercenary like him? Establishing a franchise based on his services! Whether it’s simple theft, a necessary bludgeoning, or emceeing a Bat Mitzvah, Deadpool and his Mercs For Money have got you covered. It’s all going great, until certain important people wind up dead and the evidence all points to the Merc With a Mouth himself.
What follows is a surprisingly po-faced cautionary tale about the trappings of celebrity and what happens when people spend too much time in Deadpool’s head. The comedy starts out light and never really picks up steam, leaving the fairly uninteresting drama to dominate the story. Duggan is a decent enough plotter, but comedy isn’t his forte here. Here, he shows himself to be a guy who thinks that repeating George Stephanopoulos’ last name over and over again actually counts as a joke. Returning artist Mike Hawthorne is as good as he’s ever been, save for the fact that he’s having to prop up some very thin material here. I’m honestly shocked by how flat the comedy falls here and the emo-ness displayed by the title character. Even though there are some promising story threads teased here, like Deadpool’s showdown with Sabretooth, I’m not sure they’ll be worth reading after what I’ve just been subjected to.