Art Team: Iban Coello & Guru-eFX
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 20, 2016
Review by: Branden Murray
The companion book to the Deadpool series, Mercs for Money by Cullen Bunn, has been an unsung heroes of the All New All Different Marvel lineup. The series reached its fifth issue just last month which in Marvel terms means it's reached Golden Girls status. So, this month we’re treated to a brand new RELAUNCHED #1 issue! That’s right folks, dirty sixth issues are a product of the Devil, the Devil I say! So, let’s all scream hallelujah to the heavens and read this book so nice it was published twice in the 2016 calendar year...Deadpool and the Merc$ for Money #1.
What’s this you say? You’re not familiar with this random cast of characters from the forbidden depths of the Marvel U? No problem at all. The book kicks things off with an introduction to each character as well as their real/code name, skills, powers, etc. all the way down to how some of them even smell. Once we have our bearings beneath us, we move on to see Deadpool, having a chat with Domino until they are interrupted by one of his mercs, Massacre. I have no idea what Massacre actually says here, since he speaks in Spanish, but it looks to be along the lines of “let’s get this comic moving senior.”
This puts Deadpool and the Mercs on the move to the mission part of our story. As they arrive in a typical middle/upper class suburban neighborhood, the team finds out from Deadpool they’ve been hired to “kidnap” a dangerous individual who happens to be named Negasonic Teenage Warhead. My Negasonic Teenage Warhead history is very sketchy (this means I have none and did no research) but I believe this to be a new character altogether different from previous canon and the recent movie where you’re probably much more familiar with her.
Despite the Mercs initial objections to Deadpool about kidnapping a teenaged female, they decide to move in to complete the objective and the art team kicks things into high gear. It appears that part of NTW powers are that she can determine what may happen a few moments before it actually does. In order to convey this to us, the art team uses some clever panel layouts and coloring to compare NTW's visions with what she actually decides to do. It’s a pretty cool effect that Iban Coello and Guru-eFX pull off flawlessly. This power allows her to get the drop on the invading Mercs as she disposes of them in various areas of the house before moving outside. When Negasonic Teenage Warhead finally walks out the front door, Deadpool is standing there waiting for her. The Merc with a Mouth is surprisingly able to calm her down and she voluntarily ends up going with the crew after their dust up.
Our ragtag group of misfits arrive at their drop point to hand over NTW to a group of dudes that look a lot like AIM scientists only in green instead of yellow suits. This threw me off a little and I’m not a hundred percent sure who these individuals are yet to be honest, but it's part of our cliffhanger so I’m okay with it. Once the transaction is complete, everything is great right? Well, not so much as it leaves Deadpool conflicted over what he was just paid handsomely to do by these fellas. If you read Deadpool at all, this is just par for the course. Deadpool screws up, feels bad, then tries to save the day...been there done that. However, it’s a formula I’ve grown to really enjoy as far as the Deadpool goes. The final page reveal shows us Deadpool is right to have these concerns about who he is working for, but we will have to find out next month what steps this group may take to correct their misdeeds.
Despite the unnecessary relaunch, I still wholeheartedly enjoyed this book and will continue to grab it every month. Cullen Bunn has a great feel for each individual voice in this book so I never feel like the exchanges between characters are interchangeable. For example, when Slapstick is talking, something is coming out of his mouth only Slapstick would say. I enjoy it when a writer can nail a team book in such a way, especially one so rooted in comedy where each character has their own zingers. The art on this book continues to be incredible with every character, background, and scene rendered with the care and depth expected from a top tier title.
Bits and Pieces:
If you need a break from the Civil War tie-in exhaustion currently going on throughout the Marvel lineup, this is a beautiful distraction. While some may be confused about the relaunch, just jump in and let Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello tickle your funny bone and impress your eye holes. You'll be laughing in no time at all.