Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again #1.
In 2012, Deadpool killed the Marvel Universe in a brutal fashion. No one in the comic book world was safe, not Captain America, not Thor, not even the House of Ideas' own staffers. Naturally, the guilty pleasure of watching everyone’s favorite superheroes die ‒ while knowing they’re perfectly fine in normal continuity ‒ is always appealing. As a result, the one-shot turned into the Deadpool Killogy, where, well, Wade Wilson takes out a heck of a lot of people, including himself, many times over.
Since one good turn deserves another, last April, Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso tweeted out a warning to all Marvel superheroes: Deadpool is on the warpath again. For those closest to the Merc with a Mouth, the end is nigh, as his first targets are the Avengers Unity Squad. But no one in Marvel's metahuman stable is safe, as Wade sets off on his latest rampage of hero homicide. But what turned him against his compatriots this time?
Back for Another Round
Over the years, Deadpool worked very hard to cultivate inroads with Marvel’s mightiest, so why would he slaughter his sort-of friends now? In the first Deadpool Kills..., the X-Men locked Wade up in an asylum for his own good (and to suppress their own headaches). However, a version of Psycho-Man from another dimension disguised himself as the ward's head shrink. While sculpting Wade into his perfect assassin, he accidentally unlocked another of Deadpool’s personalities, one with a murder streak 10-miles long.
As a result, Deadpool cut a swath of destruction through the Marvel Universe, using knives, guns, rocket ships, and whatever else he could get his hands on. Still disgruntled, Deadpool returned for the sequel, Deadpool Killustrated. This time around, he used science to figure out the best way to slaughter every Marvel character in history. No character that remotely inspired Marvel was safe, and Wade went after the Little Mermaid, Moby Dick, Little Women, and Count Dracula among others.
His final outing, until recently anyway, arrived in Deadpool Kills Deadpool. For this round, scribe Cullen Bunn revealed that the Deadpool wasn't actually the true murderer but another iteration of himself named Dreadpool. As a result, Wade scours the multiverse, hunting down his more twisted self before he can eliminate all other versions of Deadpool. While he cuts down Dreadpool, unfortunately, Wade’s nastier-self manages to survive. In Deadpool Kills...Again, though, Wade actually appears to be himself (so far, anyway). Seeing as his evil alter-ego caused him so much grief, how could Wade allow himself to slaughter his friends this time around?
“Tirelessly I Pondered”
Deadpool kicks off his rampage as the Avengers Unity Squad battles everyone's favorite floating head M.O.D.O.K. While the team engages his A.I.M. goons, the villain utters the phrase: “Tirelessly I pondered, what daydreams a carcinogenic piranha might revere.” At first, the words have little effect on Wade. But something seems wrong with the Regeneratin' Degenerate, at least slightly more than usual. When he dispatches M.O.D.O.K. with a rocket launcher, though, the heady adversary unleashes his ultimate anti-superhero squad, the “Genetically Modified Anti Uncanny Avengers.” Quipping the whole way, Deadpool takes out the contrary bunch, but “Brainwave Ninja” (who's really Synapse) asks him why he’s killing his friends ‒ to which he replies: “because you’re the bad guys.”
Wade’s mind-controlled bloodbath quickly captures the attention of the superhero community. A task force consisting of The Punisher, Jessica Jones, Moon Knight, Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye, Misty Knight, and Cable convene to investigate the brutal spree. Since he's the only one to survive the Uncanny Avengers' massacre, they begin to suspect Deadpool may have something to do with the murders. Without further evidence ‒ such as the giant Deadpool logo scrawled in blood ‒ they aren’t jumping to any conclusions. With numerous superhero deaths on his hands already, Wade lures a contingent of gods and demigods, including Thor and Hercules, to the Aegean Sea, where he goes all Greek myth on them, turning them to stone with Medusa’s head.
While Bunn doesn't explain Wade's mind control, the last moments do unmask the true culprit: the Red Skull. Apparently, he's “partitioned” Wade’s mind into several distinct sections. This way, parts of him remain blissfully unaware that he's butchering his friends and colleagues. However, some aspects of the Merc's mind comprehend the situation and leave behind a clue for the investigators: a single word, “help,” written in cheese beneath a pizza box. Can a collective of do-badders, including Dr. Doom, Magneto, and the Abomination, mastermind the downfall of all their enemies through Wade Wilson? The next issue of Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe Again should provide more insight into their devious plot, as well as how Marvel's heroes try to stop him.
In the long run, is Deadpool's latest annihilation of the Marvel Universe worth sticking around for? It all depends on how much you like rehashes (and the Merc with a Mouth). Watching him slice-and-dice his way through the MU is always amusing, but the Killogy follow-up hasn't stood out from its predecessors thus far. Even though the setup is slightly different, and Bunn and company have already served up a Grand Guignol theater's worth of gruesome kills, the minor mystery isn't particularly gripping yet. In addition, the first issue is rife with canonical inconsistencies, such as Magneto and Dr. Doom's return to arch-fiend status (they've otherwise become borderline good guys of late).
Of course, when it comes to company-wide kill-a-thons, continuity is rarely a factor. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again does offer a fun ride for Wade Wilson completists and creative superhero death enthusiasts, but it probably won't stimulate readers looking for a complex story -- of course, this is Deadpool we're talking about here. Hopefully, the typically entertaining Bunn has a few twists and turns up his sleeve to keep viewers off-balance and the plot from replicating itself too much.
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again is currently available.