Deadpool: Good Night – Skottie Young, Nic Klein, Scott Hepburn & Ian Herring (Marvel)

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Tragedy and comedy are flipsides of the same coin. A coin held in balance by Deadpool, the sad clown with a penchant for violence and a healing factor that just won’t let him die regardless of the number of bullets that use him as pincushion and the gruesome, and more often than not nauseating, tortures regularly inflicted on him by his enemies and acquaintances.  Forever the counterweight caught between both worlds, his loneliness is exacerbated by his only constant companions, death and misery. Still, mustn’t’ grumble and all that as when bad, not so bad and occasionally good, guys needed to be killed in a hurry and with no questions asked, Wade Wilson (Deadpool to his clients) is the man for the job and always steps up to the plate and gets the job done.  He’s never met anyone he couldn’t murder and he’s always emerged relatively unscathed from every contract that he’s taken on.  At least, that’s how things used to be before he met Good Night.

Silly me, I’ve jumped ahead of myself as Deadpool doesn’t actually bump into the psychotic, purpose built, murderous version of Bruce Wayne until the second act and before he has his bones ground to make Good Night’s bread, he embarks on a pair of adventures in which he sets Santa back on track and mops up the human trash soiling one of America’s favourite amusement parks. It’s after he’s finished cleaning up those messes that he’s taken to task by the vengeance obsessed killing machine who has been set on his homicidal course of action by a familiar face from Deadpool’s past ; one who only wants the worst for poor old Wade. And over the course of the last two thirds of Good Night, that all too familiar figure ensures that lots and lots of bad things happen to the Merc with a Mouth. And this, apparently, is just the beginning.

Young, Klein, Hepburn and Herring are the four colour universes Three Musketeers* of Pain, and just keep piling misfortune after misfortune on top of poor old Wade. Guided by Skottie Young, the man with the plan who has an incredible gift for dialogue and story-telling, his artistic partners in Deadpool’s personal disaster bring the whole shebang to magnificent life with their viciously, and brilliantly, detailed art and vivid colours. While most folks who have helped to save the Universe are given some sort of respite, life just keeps handing Wade cyanide filled lemons and his life is about to get a lot more awful before it even begins to think about maybe getting a little better and Good Night is where is all starts to go wonderfully wrong for Deadpool. Who knew that schadenfreude could be this much fun?  Tim Cundle

*Four names and Three Musketeers? Surely that must be some sort of mistake? Nope, it isn’t. Trust me. Read the book. Alexandre Dumas was quite possibly the first writer to transform three into four.  Or maybe he just couldn’t count…

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