At the ComicPRO retailer summit, Dan DiDio talked about DC's commitment to becoming the #1 comic book company in the direct market. Well, Dan DiDio, that's not going to happen as long as you let artists like Kyle Baker slip away. Baker, who DC used for just 12 pages total on their superhero comics line in 2009, has now drawn an entire issue of a Deadpool mega-event ultra-supreme mind-blowing crossover. How can DC compete with that?
It's hard to write about any "Prelude to Deadpool Corps" issue and not slip into such hyperbole, because this is a series that knows how excessive it is, and it swims around in that glorious puddle of excess, kicking sand in the faces of all the spindly nerds, and giving high-fives to anyone who likes a good decapitation joke.
This will be the third issue of this series that I've reviewed, and either the sheer amount of recent Deadpool comics has driven me a bit mad or the comic book stylings of Kyle Baker have cracked through my heart of stone and given me a reason to love -- or maybe both -- but I found a lot to enjoy in this final issue.
Oh, and spoiler: This series has been but a prelude. And you'll never guess what's scheduled to come next. Hint: It rhymes with "Dhedpool Corpse," if you pronounce it wrong.
This final issue of the Prelude gives us a "contest" of "champions" as the assembled members of Team Deadpool battle a group of interstellar, suspiciously colorful space teddy bears in a game of cosmic capture the flag. The Contemplator and the Grandmaster sit in judgment. It's epic.
Victor Gischler does what he does best: he brings the gags at pace both fast and furious. Kyle Baker does what he does best: makes everything look crazy cool, even when he's using computer modeling and Photoshop filters that, in lesser hands, would look like cheap shortcuts. I have to admit, when I skimmed through this issue before reading it, I was a bit disappointed that Baker has so firmly entrenched himself in this digital style that's so far removed what he's done in previous years, but Baker doesn't resort to stock poses or mannequin-like action scenes. He twists and bends and mashes together these digital images and gives us classically-exaggerated visuals using new tools. This issue doesn't look like anything else from previous issue of this series, or anything else from Marvel this year (except maybe the other short Deadpool stories Baker has already done, but this one's more visually hyperactive than those).
I've enjoyed "Prelude to Deadpool Corps" far more than any other Deadpool comics I've read this year, and it concludes with its strongest issue yet. DC, I hope you're listening. You could learn a lot from this comic. Just think what you might accomplish if you created some kind of corps of your own. Something that's a space epic like this comic. Something with a whole bunch of characters who kind of look the same but not exactly. That might work for you.
Especially if you get Kyle Baker to make fun of it.