Cullen Bunn (apologies for misidentifying him in the Essential write-up) may have been slashed to bits at the end of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, but that hasn’t stopped him from penning two more grim tales of the hilariously macabre in Deadpool Killustrated and Deadpool Kills Deadpool, the latter of which finishes with this very issue. There were a lot of questions (most notably: where was the Nihilist Deadpool during all the prior fisticuffs), but all of them have been answered satisfactorily in what was a very satisfying end to a very weird idea. Between the battle with Deadpool the Duck and company, the loss of his entire party (yes, even Pandapool, the species that endangers you), Deadpool finally confronts his most twisted doppelganger for some answers. This issue manages to keep the sense of humor that elevated the previous ones while also commenting on some very salient observations about the nature of not only fiction, but of the mentality of creators (and not just in comics). As always, when big, philosophical ideas come up in a Deadpool comic, it’s best to tread lightly, lest the reader feel they’re being lectured to and Bunn definitely accomplishes this, weaving the central themes of this book, as well as the two prior, into a fascinating look at metatextual commentary.
Salva Espin provides the linework and has got his work positively cut OUT for him in this issue. The entire thing is essentially a protracted action sequence (or “montage” to use the in-universe parlance) and it’s up to Espin to essentially take snapshots of the action, while still giving enough context to make it clear what sort of progress is being made, and he handles it very well. There’s enough detail to get the bits of emotion behind each panel and the action definitely keeps a frantic, frenetic pace without ever becoming unwieldy or difficult to ascertain and a big part of this are the vibrant, beautifully off-the-wall colors of Veronica Gandini. This is a book full of color (a lot of which is red in various forms) that makes every panel a stand-out one and makes every background tell its own miniature story.
There is, very simply, not enough here. This could have been an issue longer and really sunk its teeth into the dimension-hopping, or at least the image that we were teased with at the end of the last issue, which ends on something of an anticlimax. There’s a veritable revolving door of awesome, new Deadpools introduced and...well outroduced within a couple of pages, but they’re all well-written enough that I feel we could have had a whole other issue dedicated to them killing their way to the Nihilist’s headquarters. Normally when a comic leaves you wanting more, it’s not a bad thing, but in this case it’s over. I also wouldn’t have minded a bit more of a scrap between 616 and Nihilist Deadpool.
This is a great end to a great series that could have easily been written off as a joke. I have to give the creative talent here all the credit in the world for telling that story with the perfect blend of humor and seriousness. It’s funny in all the right places and grim, dark and dramatic in all of them as well, making this transcend a cash-in on a popular character and elevating it to a great story all its own.