Part of the appeal of Deadpool has always been his meta comedy. He knows he’s in a comic book, even when everybody else doesn’t, and he uses it to maximum effect. But that joke gets taken to a new level in You Are Deadpool, a weekly miniseries with its first issue debuting today from Marvel, which is sort of a nesting doll of comedy: It’s a comic book, it’s a choose-your-own-adventure book, and it sends up everything about both hilariously.
The basic concept of the book is a mix of choose-your-own-adventure and dice-rolling roleplay games. You go through the book following the panel numbers, making choices, or hoping the dice make a good choice for you, and Deadpool serves as both protagonist and wacky dungeon master as you figure out just what the dastardly Roxxon corporation is up to.
Al Ewing has the unenviable task of writing a comic book and designing a game while making both funny, but incredibly, he pulls it off. The game itself plays quite well, although I recommend both you bring your own six-sided die and buy a paper copy of the book; the digital version is sadly a bit difficult to use. But it also works due to Ewing and artist Salvador Espin designing it as a comic. They know you’re going to see random panels as you flip back and forth, so they fill them with little jokes making fun of both accidentally spoiling the ending and outright cheating. You can even read the book front-to-back and get a lot of laughs out of it. It’s a unique experience in comics, funny, engaging, and tacile, and it marks the rare moment where you really might want to be Deadpool.
Death Or Glory #1, Image Comics
Rick Remender and Bengal pay tribute to the classic car movies of the ’70s as Glory, a young mechanic who grew up off the grid, decides to save her adoptive father by ripping off some drug dealers. Sure, the drug dealer in question is her ex-husband, and his couriers are local police and liquid-nitrogen-packing hitmen, but surely those are just logistical problems, right? Remender plays with the tropes of this genre without straying too far, but Bengal, in particular stands out for his slick, kinetic car chases and crashes. If you can quote Vanishing Point or The Driver from memory, this is a book your can’t afford to miss.
Coda #1, BOOM! Studios
Simon Spurrier and Matías Bergara ask what might happen if your stereotypical Tolkien-esque fantasy world lost its wellspring of magic. The answer is that everything goes to hell in a handbasket and everybody goes Mad Max by way of Dungeons and Dragons really, really fast. We follow a former bard who is far less useless than literally everyone else around him, as he stumbles into one of the most morally complicated situations possible, before closing on a note revealing it gets a lot worse. Spurrier’s cynicism is tempered, at least mildly, by Bergara’s gorgeous vistas, deadpan humor, and biting cartooning that mocks every fantasy game stereotype. If you’ve ever wondered how D&D would work in reality, this is the book for you.
The Hunt For Wolverine: Weapon Lost #1, Marvel
Charles Soule and Matteo Buffagni offer up a clever spin on the usual sprawling crossover. Wolverine’s corpse is gone, and when you need to find a body, you need a detective. Or, in this case, a squad of them, as Daredevil, the Inhuman dectective Frank McGee, Misty Knight, and widely mocked X-man Cypher team up to try and figure out where Logan’s body went. Or, for that matter, if Logan himself is around. It’s a fun conceit and it’s well-executed, giving what could be a sprawling, predictable crossover a more personal, engaging touch.
The Curse Of Brimstone #2, DC Comics
Phillip Tan and Justin Jordan started off this book with a fairly stock idea: A young man, down on his luck, signs a deal with a shadowy figure and, surprise! It doesn’t work out that well! But this second issue has given it more of a layer. Jordan and Tan develop a theme about forgotten places destroyed by mysterious forces, yet nobody notices. Part of this is Tan’s vivid art, where everybody feels just a bit undernourished as he mixes photorealistic destruction and unnerving superheroics, but in the end, this book is a horror tale with something to say, and that gives it more weight than a story about a kid who can ignite himself with Satanic fire would normally have.