You probably won’t like this comic. It’s crude, lewd, childish, stupid, over-the-top, ugly, and pretty damn funny. It’s one of those ‘mature readers’ comics that uses the lack of restrictions to throw in lots of swearing and violence and sexual content without anything coming close to real mature ideas. But, it fits the character. Deadpool is all about the insanely dumb and why should “Deadpool MAX” be any different? David Lapham and Kyle Baker take the Deadpool we all know and love and simply throw on a coat of f-bombs and a plot that’s barely appropriate for anyone. The result is a lot of fun; the sort you’re a little ashamed to admit to.
Kyle Baker’s art is phenomenal on this book. In this issue, he alternates between the “Mad Magazine” caricature style with garish computer coloring in the present and colored block shapes for flashbacks to Deadpool’s childhood. The memories are broken down to their basic colors and shapes, the impression they left on Deadpool. It’s a bold and visually dynamic way to show the past as David Lapham constructs a dark comedy of a dysfunctional family where wanting an orange leads to Deadpool’s disfigured appearance. Or, there’s the hilarity of Deadpool remembering his strongest childhood memory: his father beating him with a baseball bat in stark outlines and, then, saying, “My dad liked baseball. Big fan.”
The plot has Deadpool falling for his psychiatrist and, as a result, finds himself smack dab in the middle of an organ harvesting scheme in a mental hospital. He’s supposed to be taking down a white supremacist cult, but he’d rather follow his doctor, even injuring Bob instead of doing his job. Like the first issue, Bob’s role in the comic is the long-suffering sidekick who has to keep Deadpool out of trouble and focused on the mission despite Deadpool working against him.
The relationship between Deadpool and Inez, his doctor, is never particularly complex, but Lapham plays with the mental issues Deadpool faces in a clever way. We often hear Inez say overtly sexual things to Deadpool and he narrates that that’s what he hears, telling us what she actually said, which is usually your typical therapist question. Except, she did say all of those things and Deadpool thinking that she didn’t provides a window into his mind. Her obsession with him drives the issue and leads to the surprising finish where Lapham goes somewhere you wouldn’t expect.
Baker’s style on the comic, aside from the flashbacks, has a realistic/caricature look. He seemingly alternates between extremes, moving from photoreferenced characters to cartoonish monstrosities. The visuals leap off the page, working with the idea of this ostensibly being a ‘mature’ comic but is one in the most juvenile of ways. Bob, for example, is so square-jawed that he looks out of place, like he’s meant to be in a serious spy comic as the hero, but is stuck here getting propositioned by old women with hairy chins.
“Deadpool MAX” #2 wallows in the muck and filth, building its comedy on the sort of material that polite people don’t laugh at with grotesque drawings. You probably won’t like it. But, me, I love this comic.