Deadpool's series has taken a gripping turn, but this annual offers a little break from the gloom and doom and instead hits us with big laughs and all kinds of absurdity. Seriously, there's hallucinations, Thor dropping hysterical lines, Luke Cage dancing, and much, much more. Co-writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker aim to tell us where Deadpool's white caption boxes went and, more importantly, why they existed in the first place. Ultimately, I'd say it's a good retcon and definitely fits the tone of Wade's last volume (which is appropriate since it takes place then, anyway). If you were a fan of Daniel Way's take on the character, this will be a nice little stroll down memory lane for you and is every bit as out there as his volume. For everyone else... well, it's only two pages of nostalgia in the entire issue and thankfully everything else is really, really funny.
I would have loved to see cover artist Tradd Moore tackle this issue, but thankfully, Evan "Doc" Shaner and colorist Veronica Gandini are a more than appropriate fit. Shaner's style does a nice job balancing a slightly serious and more lighthearted look. The rooftop scenes display a solid use of shading and detail, and then the... well, I guess I'll call them "other" scenes, present a vibrant, welcoming and downright silly set of visuals. The look caught me a bit off-guard since I've been used to Declan Shalvey's exceptional work on the title, but when all was said and done, I must admit I was a really big fan of this visual team. The expressions are also hilarious, really selling on the script's numerous punch lines. Jason Aaron is killing it over on THOR: GOD OF THUNDER, but this was this take on Thor was a real treat.
This book basically exists to justify why the extra voice in Deadpool's head was lost when Daniel Way's volume ended and Gerry Duggan/Brian Posehn's began. But seeing as Daniel Way introduced the element with literally no explanation, I was happy thinking Duggan and Posehn simply decided to bring Wade back to his status quo. While this does retcon Wade's "craziness" to some degree, it also totally downplays who he was without that extra voice. I love seeing a more serious take on the character, but this issue, he was definitely the least interesting one out of the bunch.
The timing of this issue also feels kind of odd since, at this point, the white caption boxes have been long forgotten. Also, we just had a really gripping and emotional story with Wade, so anticipation to see where he'll go next is pretty much at an all time high right now.
I could complain about some of the personal gripes I have with the battles, but let's be honest here, this book was all about the comedic value and not taking the fights seriously, anyway.
You know how The Good, The Bad And the Ugly was emotional, serious, compelling and dark? Imagine the polar opposite of that and that's exactly what DEADPOOL ANNUAL #1 has in store for you. It's just pure levity and is sure to keep you laughing with all of the wackiness it'll throw your way. The timing of the issue's release is definitely an odd choice, but it's a nice little dose of craziness before we jump back into what's going on with Wade in the standard timeline.