The Dark Silliness of Fear Itself: Deadpool
By Neil Tomblin
Remember rapper MC Hammer? He was the rapper who always said, “It’s hammer time!” This catchphrase resurfaced in Marvel Comics’ Deadpool story arc of “Fear Itself.” “Fear Itself” was a big event that included many different books that feature various Marvel superheroes. The basis of each story deals with magical Thor-like hammers that fall to the sky and endow different Marvel characters with powers. These stories are also an analysis of current events that have brought fear to America. One of the “Fear Itself” stories that stood out for me was “Fear Itself: Deadpool.” This story arc was funny and action-packed.
One thing I kind of never understood about the Deadpool comics is all of the comedy. The name Deadpool sounds so dark and hardcore that one would think to make the Deadpool’s stories dark. Deadpool’s suit even looks hardcore. Instead of getting the ruff stories that are featured in DC Comics’ Deathstrike comic book series, we get the slapstick humor in Deapool’s stories. How does Spiderman get the dark stories, but Deadpool gets the stories that makes Deadpool look like a parody of himself? However, as I began to read more into this Deadpool story, the comedy began to grow on me.
Issue #1 starts with Deadpool at a married couple’s house. Deadpool is in charge of installing a new security system in this married couple’s home. Deadpool has hired two guys to help him install bulletproof windows made of adamantium, panic buttons in every room, and reinforced walls. After Deadpool claims that the reinforced walls are so strong that the Juggernaut can’t even break through them, the Juggernaut comes crashing through the wall. As the couple begins to yell at Deadpool for not being able to protect their house, the handymen that Deadpool hired begin to leave the house. Then, Deadpool looks at the handymen and tries to get the handymen to stick around. However, the handymen let Deadpool know that they are in a hurry to get to Cimarron, New Mexico.
The handymen Deadpool hired have taken an oath to defend the people of Cimarron, New Mexico from a group of werewolves. These two handymen will defeat the werewolves with their magical hammer that fell from the sky. The only thing about this hammer is that the hammer only powers up in the moonlight.
As the handymen begin to leave for Cimarron in their van, a mysterious figure uses a rocket launcher to blow up the van. As the van explodes, the handymen’s magical hammer flies out of the van and falls on the ground in front of Deadpool. Thinking the hammer is just a regular hammer, Deadpool takes the hammer so he can use it to fool a villain called The Walrus. Meanwhile, the two handymen have survived the explosion. As the two handymen get out the van coughing and hacking, for some reason they look too clean to just have been in an explosion. Anyway, when the handymen see they cops coming, the handymen realize that they need to forget about finding the magical hammer and run away.
The mysterious figure that blew up the two handymen’s van was a person working for Lupos, who is the leader of the werewolf group who call themselves the moon-born. These werewolves are trying to grab ahold of the two handymen’s magical hammer.
Deadpool wants to use the magical hammer he found to get the dim-witted villain The Walrus, to go to Cimarron, New Mexico. If he can get The Walrus and the people of Cimarron to think that The Walrus has the power of the magical hammer, Deadpool can then talk the people of Cimarron into paying him to defeat the Walrus. Because Deadpool thinks that the hammer he gave to The Walrus is not magical, he thinks that he will be able to easily defeat The Walrus. However Deadpool’s plan doesn’t turn out the way he planned later in the story arc.
Most of the story arc involves a funny battle of wits and strength between Deadpool and The Walrus. As Deadpool goes up against The Walrus, he is cheered on by a nerdy-looking little girl who wears a Deadpool T-shirt with Deadpool faces for hair berets in her pigtails.
There are also song references that serve as punchlines throughout the story. There is a panel where a man tells a story about Deadpool doing the “Single Ladies” dance from Beyonce’s music video “Single Ladies.” There is also a splash page where The Walrus is in psychedelic clothes while looking up at Deadpool. As Deadpool is sitting on a box of Corn Flakes, resembling like an egg, Deadpool says, “I am The Eggman,” quoting The Beatles’ song “I am The Walrus.”
I also loved the artwork in the story arc. The cover art is penciled by Ryan Stegman, the interiors are penciled by Bong Dazo, and the story is colored by Matt Milla. The story is also lettered beautifully by Simon Bowland. The art is a bit cartoony, but it still has a bit of a darkness in mood. This art is perfect for this type of story.
The only reference to fear in this title is Deadpool’s Fear of not being able to stop a dimwitted villian. Other than that, this story arc doesn’t touch on the heavy subjects that the other “Fear Itself” titles explore. If you are looking for a Marvel title that is both light and edgy, “Fear Itself: Deadpool” is your read.