The first Deadpool Marvel NOW! story arc was about Deadpool fighting all the newly-resurrected dead American presidents, and this second arc is about Deadpool killing a bunch of superheroes who got their superpowers by selling their souls - which turns out to be an even better read than the first book! Deadpool Volume 2: Soul Hunter kicks off with what could be one of my favourite Deadpool single issues yet. Set during 1979's Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle, the "classic" Marvel book which establishes Tony Stark as an alcoholic, Deadpool shows up (despite being created by The Rob in 1991) and meets a demon called Vetis who tries to get him to keep Stark drunk. Deadpool heads off for a brilliant encounter with Tony, and Deadpool-esque dark comedy ensues. I love this issue so much for so many reasons - it mimics the late 70s Marvel look perfectly, it makes fun of a book that hasn't dated well (and really wasn't that great to start with), and is a really funny parody of Marvel's old style of comics. It also makes light of Stark's overblown drinking problem which, while a great idea, was so poorly executed in "Demon in a Bottle", a quality that Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan are quick to make fun of. As a prologue to the book, this comic is simply outstanding - I wish the whole book had been Deadpool jumping into old popular Marvel books and taking the piss out of them. Fast forward to the present and the aftermath of the first book, Dead Presidents. Deadpool is sharing his headspace with a dead SHIELD agent called Preston and the necromancer from the first book, Mike, is trying to extricate her into a new body. Meanwhile, the demon Vetis appears once again to force Deadpool to collect the souls of ordinary people now embued with superpowers thanks to a clause in a contract Deadpool signed back in 1979. Let chaos begin! Deadpool takes on a Luke Cage-a-like, and, perhaps best of all, an Aquaman-lookalike in some brilliantly bloody encounters. He also fights Daredevil and teams up with the Superior Spider-man as he attempts to assassinate a Donald Trump-lookalike who's hired a number of classic Marvel supervillains, among them the superbly named Paste Pot Pete, to protect him from our crazy but deadly hero. Posehn and Duggan keep the laughs coming as we get to take a peek inside Deadpool's mind - if you're wondering what's inside, think a Chuck-E-Cheese crossed with a warped Louvre - as Mike the necromancer gets sent to Hell (artist Mike Hawthorne's vision of Hell is truly horrible, being an endless queue in a bland bureaucratic office environment). Soul Hunter is thoroughly entertaining until we get to the stuttering finale, which seems to be Deadpool's kryptonite - every final act with this character seems awkward and slow. It's like things are flying along wonderfully and then all of a sudden the writers have to remind themselves that the book is coming to an end and they've got to wrap up storylines and make the book seem whole. It's no different here as the third act showdown between Deadpool and Vetis reads, despite the interesting visuals, kinda dull. It's a minor complaint though in an otherwise highly enjoyable book. Deadpool fights superheroes and supervillains, both A, B and Z list, and a demon too. It's hilarious, it's entertaining, it's still one of the best Marvel NOW! titles going, it's Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan's excellent Deadpool series - check out Soul Hunter today! Deadpool, Volume 2: Soul Hunter by Brian Posehn et al. is out now in paperback
I reads and watches thems picture stories. Wordy words follow.
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