Deadpool: Hail To The King – Kelly Thompson, Chris Bachalo, Gerardo Sandoval, Kevin Libranda, Irene Strychalski, David Curiel, Chris Sotomayor & Rachelle Rosenberg (Panini / Marvel)

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Killing is Wade’s business, and while it isn’t exactly booming, business is pretty good.  But it isn’t so good that he can afford to turn clients down, so when he’s hired to do away with the King of Monsters and halt the influx of his targets subjects to Staten Island, he signs on the dotted line and takes the job. And as Wade never met a person, mutant or monster he couldn’t dispatch, thanks to a long standing covenant of Monster law, when he does away with the King, he inherits the throne and begins his new life as the ruler of Staten Island and the King of Monsters.

Settling into the role proves more difficult than Deadpool ever imagined it could be, and as well as trying to get to grips with its ever changing rulebook while attempting to establish a rapport and relationship with his citizens, he’s forced to fight off Kraven, intervene when a young Kaiju pays a visit to Manhattan, deal with the fractious and antagonistic bond he shares with the X-Men and forge an odd alliance with a world famous monster hunter. And somewhere in the middle of all this, while adopting a land shark and dealing with a well-meaning but sanctimonious Captain America, Wade slowly starts to realise that maybe, just maybe, he was born to be a King.

Funny, packed full of pathos, lighting quick dialogue, intense characterisation and a plot that you can’t help falling hopelessly in love with, Kelly Thompson’s tale of the ultimate underdog finally finding his place in the world, has a charm and purpose that Deadpool stories usually lack. As a writer she knows what makes her “hero” tick and effortlessly tells a story that plays to all his strengths, allows his humanity to shine and inverts and subverts stereotypical concepts of the boundaries that separate good and evil and the way the world views both. Partnered with an artistic dream team who make every panel jump off the page, Thompson has crafted one of the definitive Deadpool stories of the last decade, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll make a beeline for your comic book store and grab this book off the shelf before it explodes and becomes the water-cooler that four colour fandom desperately rushes to gathers around.  The King is dead, long live the King… Tim Cundle

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