Deadpool Corps was a series that ran for two volumes teaming Deadpool with alternate versions of himself from different universes. Surely we’re all familiar with multiversal theory now. This prelude, naturally enough, shows how he put the team together, and begins the process of reuniting the character with his creator Rob Liefeld, although here, thankfully, it’s only for the single chapter of five (sample spread left).

Victor Gischler supplies what we want from Deadpool: smart-mouthed comedy action punctuated by moments of extreme violence. Each chapter introduces the problems being experienced by a soon to be member of the Deadpool Corps before Deadpool and those he’s collected already pull the fat from the fire.

Since his earliest solo outings Deadpool has been no stranger to alternate universes, and the first port of call is somewhere he’s visited before (seen in Deadpool Classic Vol. 2 if you’d like to check). He puts paid to General America and recruits Lady Deadpool, every bit as insane as Wade Wilson himself. Each successive recruitment mission is even nuttier, until Deadpool has additionally recruited Kid Deadpool, Dogpool and Headpool. No, it makes no sense, but, hey, it’s Deadpool and it works.

Because each chapter has a different mood, Prelude to Deadpool Corps survives a selection of very different artists, the most surprising of whom is Philip Bond (sample spread right) on Dogpool’s tragic story, experimented on and consigned to the bin when believed dead. Instead a life in the circus awaits. Whilce Portacio takes on the X-Men like you’ve never seen them before, and it’s a nutty pirate saga assigned to Paco Medina.

Deadpool’s recruited everyone to save the multiverse, and once they’re united Kyle Baker imaginatively illustrates their first mission, using digital tools rather than pencil and ink. The team have to prove themselves to qualify for the real deal of saving the multiverse.

The sheer madcap variety on offer over five chapters makes this far more entertaining than the Deadpool Corps series that followed. Pick up on that with Pool-Pocalypse Now, or go for all Deadpool Corps adventures combined in Deadpool Classic Vol. 12.