Review by Ian Keogh
It’s just as well we’re no longer in the days when Marvel tightly policed their continuity, as the plot for Deadpool vs Thanos begins when people stop dying and those already dead return to life. Both title characters have consorted with the female personification of Death, and her abduction has led to the prevailing situation.
Tim Seeley, who of course has plenty of writerly experience returning the dead to life, throws in a few gags he’s unable to include in the more serious minded Revival, including workers’ rights for zombies and Deadpool pointing a gun at someone now a redundant threat. Seeley’s Thanos is suitably pompous and portentous and his Deadpool is suitably trivial and irritating and the contrast works much better than it might be assumed. Under the hands of lesser writers Thanos can rapidly become a tiresome character, and Deadpool bouncing off him (both literally and metaphorically) is a welcome change of pace.
Seeley switches the plot from chapter to chapter, altering the mood. This leads to the introduction of a familiar Marvel character who’s a match for Thanos, and Seeley escalates matters from there. It might be assumed the graphic novel is just Thanos territory, but Seeley ensures that Deadpool has a purpose throughout beyond comedy relief, although the brief involvement of the Guardians of the Galaxy is gratuitous. It’s balanced by a concluding chapter that escalates the comedy to the highest reaches of Marvel’s power scale yet also moves toward a surprising redemptive ending.
Elmo Bondoc’s name may seem to be an anagram (of ‘combed loon’, actually) but he’s a really good artist able to shift from comedy to more realistic art, so merging the worlds of the title characters. His pages come across as a more restrained version of John McCrea’s goofiest style.
Deadpool vs Thanos will irritate the hell out of anyone who dislikes their Marvel omnipotents treated trivially, but Deadpool fans should discover the irreverence and wisecracking they want.