While the second issue of Deadpool: Black, White, and Blood is a less necessary purchase for ‘Pool fans, it’s still a worthy compendium of his bloody, funny antics.
Deadpool: Black, White And Blood #2
Daniel Warren Johnson (Art/Writer/Colors/Alternate Cover); Leonard Kirk (Art); David and Maria Lapham (Writers); Karla Pacheco (Writer); Rachelle Rosenberg (Colors); VC’s Joe Sabino (Letters); Declan Shalvey (Cover); Pete Woods (Art); Francis Leinil Yu (Cover)
September 8, 2021
Deadpool: Black, White and Blood #2 continues the previous issue’s narrative style: piling mayhem, fourth-wall-breaking, gore, and blood into a great big pile. It’s an anthology book with three different sets of artists and writers, each with a unique take on Wade Wilson. The title refers to the fact that every story in the series is in red, white, and black. The simple color scheme makes the art pop. The end result is a gore-laden, verbally playful tale that you’d expect in a comic starring the Merc with a Mouth.
“Purple Craze“ (The Laphams/Woods/Sabino) follows Deadpool through one wild night as he is forced to protect the Purple Man, Zebidiah Killgrave, from Daredevil. His idea of making sure his client stays safe includes climbing an incredibly tall tower with Killgrave dangling from his grip and hiding out in his junky apartment. Kilgrave grows increasingly frustrated that Wade isn’t doing his duty and demands he eliminate Daredevil, all for naught. But by the end of the story, the truth of what’s going on under the skin of Wade’s fecklessness becomes clear. The literary depth here is lovely. Moment by moment, the story slowly clues in the reader that Wade’s gamboling about is not part of his usual half-mad shenanigans but an intentional double agency (I won’t reveal for who, as that will spoil the plot). Woods’ art is an eye-poppingly good realistic style, with impressive lighting and shading that highlights every muscle and vein on a character’s body but also manages to sensitively portray the emotional impact behind Deadpool’s sad secret.
“Deadpool Party” (Pacheco/Kirk/Rosenberg/Sabino) begins in media res (literally, Wade shouts and makes multiple references to medias res in the opening panel). The actual plot begins with Gambit trying to recruit a mutant onto Professor Xavier’s team. Wade shows up to assassinate her because she’s been eating mutant babies and is, in reality, part of an ancient vampire cult. The story becomes a funny, bloody free-for-all as Wade and Remy try to figure out a way to stop the vampire horde, flirting along the way. Pacheco goes all out in combining cheeky humor with Wade lacking all the self-awareness in the world and Remy’s wry exasperation. Kirk’s art is fun and gory, and Sabiano’s lettering is delightful, with fascinatingly shaded words and looping, diving, and soaring letters.
The final story is the intimate “Pool of Death ???“ (Johnson/Sabino) which gives us a peek into Johnson’s creative process. The tale features the issue’s ultimate fourth wall break as Deadpool appears on Johnson’s couch to critique his writing choices. After trying some familiar scenarios on for size (a fight between Wolverine and Deadpool; a Cable/Deadpool team-up) he tries a different tack. Although I want a full-length version of Dazzler and Wade going on a date and forced to ballroom dance to save the world, Johnson rejects this too. Instead, he recalls the first Deadpool story he ever read. Some might say Johnson’s focus on his first Deadpool memory is too specific and personal a story for the reader to relate to, but the specific memory is not the point. Every comic book lover knows the moment when they were introduced to their favorite comic book character. Putting that front and center strikes at the heart of what connects us all back to the fictional characters we adore.
This issue wasn’t as necessary a buy for me as the first one was, but Deadpool: Black, White and Blood #2 is worth taking a stroll through, especially for the meaty tale from the Laphams and Pacheco’s hilarious take on Wade.