Review by Ian Keogh
All Good Things introduces a new Deadpool, a melancholy and contemplative character that’s never been seen before. This is the result of the transformation that occurred in Axis. Deadpool’s now back to normal, well, his standard of normal, but can’t help considering that he may have been a better man during his recent serene and peace-loving period. Attempting to break himself out of the mood, Deadpool accepts a mercenary job in the Middle-East dealing with local opposition to American corporation Roxxon’s plans. Once there he discovers he still has a conscience.
This isn’t quite the type of straight action-thriller that Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn gave us in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but it’s not too far removed. They set up an appalling situation with Americans responsible, and even a man whose grip on sanity is tenuous can tell right from wrong. Deadpool siding with the oppressed, though, might not seem such a great idea given the odds against him. A lot of the comedy comes from looking back in on Ultimatum, an organisation Deadpool previously dealt with by promising their leader that if he even suspected them of targeting him again he’d hold that leader personally responsible. The rank and file are pretty keen on targeting Deadpool again.
Salva Espin (sample art) illustrates the first half of the book and he’s very good. As seen elsewhere he has absolutely no trouble with standard superhero art, but what impresses is how he handles the comedy. It’s as standard superhero art, and as such extends the joke.
It’s not apparent at first, but the creative team are on a deadline as this series ends due to Marvel re-shaping their universe, starting by destroying it and all who live in it. It renders Deadpool’s ultimate smackdown with Ultimatum redundant, but it’s a lot of fun as drawn by Mike Hawthorne, for once unable to avoid filling his panels with people. Of course, Deadpool survives the end of the universe to sell more graphic novels, and a new series kicks off with Millionaire With a Mouth.
Deadpool’s Middle-East and Ultimatum serial is followed by short strips by various creators spotlighting the supporting cast who’ve appeared throughout. They all hit the correct tone, but the best of them is by Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti about the dog Deadpool gives Ellie for her birthday. Let’s just say it’s not your standard puppy. Ty Templeton’s a master at illustrating this type of comedy, and it offers almost as many laughs as the main strip.
The Scott Koblish drawn ‘lost’ old issues of Deadpool have been a series highlight, and it’s fitting that another closes the series, this time tying in with the 1991 Infinity Gauntlet series. Instead of Thanos it’s Deadpool who comes into possession of the gems that let him do anything, yes anything, he can conceive. But Duggan and Posehn don’t bother with that. Instead we have the Deadpool Roast, hosted by Howard the Duck. The jokes come thick and fast, but they’re not very funny jokes, and the idea has been stretched to breaking point long before the end of that section. Anyone who does make it through gets to the good part.
If you’ve got your own infinity gauntlet, instead of buying this you can manifest a copy of the oversize Deadpool by Posehn and Duggan Omnibus, containing the entire series. If that’s going a bit far it’s also available with Axis in hardcover as volume four of Deadpool by Posehn & Duggan.