You Are Deadpool #1 Review

by Charles Martin on May 02, 2018

You Are Deadpool #1 Review
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Salva Espin
Colourists: Guru-eFX
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Al Ewing, Salva Espin, and of course the yellow-bubbled man of the hour, Deadpool, invite you into what the legal department won't let us call … Choose Your Own Deadpool Adventure!

Deadpool's hired by Zarrko the Tomorrow Man (if you choose to detour through his expository flashback) to re-steal his time helmet from the Roxxon Corporation. But it's up to you to strategize for him! First, you've gotta chop up your copy of the issue to assemble the handy-dandy Deadpool Die included in panel 10.

Don't worry, Deadpool assures you, "This might have #1 on it, but it's never going to be worth anything!" He also says this is a groundbreaking level of interactivity, provided Gwenpool hasn't beaten him to it, oh how he hates her.

(Nobody tell Wade it was actually ☠☠☠☠ Squirrel Girl that beat him to the choose-your-own-adventure punch. He'd really hate that.)

A healthy dose of general Deadpool humour is seasoned with plenty of nice role-playing gags that land strongly whether you favour pen-and-paper RPGs or the more computerized type. The inclusion of a Deadpool character sheet right at the start (he's a level 3 "very little"-class mercenary with "chaotic sassy" alignment) sets the tone for the whole exercise. 

There's quality storytelling effort invested in the slender shreds of plot necessary to hold this madcap mess together. A time-travel twist is the perfect in-universe way to complement the meta-textual shenanigans caused by the choose-your-own-adventure structure. With Zarrko on deck and Kieron Gillen making a super-special in-panel guest appearance, can we look forward to Asgardian shenanigans in future issues? I hope so!

Al Ewing has conjured up a superb rendition of "LOL meta-humour" Deadpool here. Is it deep? Is it thought-provoking? Is it a sensitive and nuanced character study? Pssh, of course not. What it is is a damn funny take on the vagaries of multiple-choice adventures and the casual amorality we all gravitate to when we play games. (Did you send Deadpool through the poop-pipe just for giggles? We won't judge you - much - if you did.)

Salva Espin's art gives the whole show a delightfully cartoony vibe without shorting us on detail. Crotchety old mega-nerds, look carefully at the miniatures on Deadpool's table during the tutorial: Those are recognizably the minis from OG Hero Quest! Mr. Espin also does a subtly brilliant job of delivering a smooth narrative flow with his layouts, even though your reading path will be hopping all around the pages. The colours by Guru-eFX appear a trifle speedy; most of the settings are slathered in generic browns and greys and the gradient shading sometimes looks dated. But the colours pop when they need to to enhance the story; the Grasshopper is notably and appropriately the greenest thing in the issue.

If you're really into it, you should track your Sadness and Badness scores as instructed. I wouldn't take it so far as to obey the final page and skip the next two issues if you collect too many Badness points, though. I'm betting every issue of this unabashed gimmick series will deliver an equal level of absurd humour, and this #1 sets a wonderfully high bar. Plus, there are almost certain to be some complex callback jokes awaiting us in future issues. Don't even try to tell me that that's not Chekov's XBox in panel 62.

Play this book right and you get to see Kieron Gillen stab Deadpool with a sandwich. And that's just the tutorial for what we're still not legally allowed to call Choose Your Own Deadpool Adventure! Definitely not the deepest darkest Deadpool comic being published right now, but it's a remarkably strong contender for the funniest.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
It took me three ☠☠☠☠ reads to find the screwdriver. How'd you do?