"Did you just Top Gun me?"
DEADPOOL BI-ANNUAL #1 is non-stop comedy and action. It's vulgar, violent, cute, silly, and totally ridiculous all at once. And you know what? It's pretty fun! Co-writers Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti's script is consistently amusing and downright hilarious at times. There were more than a handful of funny references (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the opening spoofs Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and gags that made me burst into laughter. Where else will you see Deadpool duke it out with a dolphin with short arms or a bear that likes to say "vroom"? The laughs are varied and there's absolutely something in here that'll make anyone laugh. If not, well, that's really odd and I'm not sure why you're reading a Deadpool book. The writers definitely had a good time adding a little bit of fourth wall humor in there, too. Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn are briefly discussed and the editor, Jordan D. White, adds an amusing note. As much as I like Wade Wilson, my highlight had to be the banter between the characters on Brute Force. Their personalities and how they're handled was seriously enjoyable and I found myself smiling like a goof every time they were present. The ridiculous team is every bit as over-the-top and absurd as they should be. So yes, this issue ended with me wanting to see more Brute Force.
Artist Salvador Espin -- who illustrated the equally wacky and violent DEADPOOL VS. CARNAGE -- and colorist Veronica Gandini produce pages that are every bit as adorable, hysterical, and bloody as the comedy-heavy script needs them to be. You'd think a shift from cutesy and animated characters to horrifying bloodbaths would be really jarring, but Espin's style and Gandini's coloring makes it work well. Whether it's Deadpool doing a very graphic version of the fastball special or a lovable smile from an orca whale, these two do a ridiculously good job handling whatever the totally out-there script throws their way.
Aside from including Agent Preston, Agent Coulson, and Agent Adsit, there's no connection to the main narrative -- this is even joked about in the comic. Whether a comedic stand alone story is worth $4.99 is your call, but if you're working with a limited budget, you can skip this and apparently not miss out on anything major. You know, aside from some laughs.
The creative team has no issue making the issue very funny, but it felt like there was a missed opportunity to add a little bit of emotional weight to the chapter. There's a moment where Deadpool stumbles upon a haunting scene and it gives him a major epiphany. Instead of letting that resonate and showing us how much he can relate to the situation, it's kind of glossed over with a quick remark and they move forward. It had the potential to make the issue a little more compelling, but the scene had no real impact. That said, there was an attempt to show a more serious Deadpool during one of the fights. It felt a little random, but credit where it's due.
DEADPOOL BI-ANNUAL #1 is really, really fun and looks great, but it's a bummer it has zero impact whatsoever on the main narrative (unless Brute Force becomes a big part of the main ongoing, then I'll happily eat my words). If you can afford to spend $4.99 on some very entertaining laughs and all kinds of wacky violence, then have at thee and prepare to feel good. But for everyone else, it looks like you won't miss out on any noteworthy developments if you have to skip this one.