Written by Stuart Moore
Art by Jacopo Camagni, Israel Silva, Joe Sabino
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 4, 2017

“Oh, M*thb*lls.”

I’ve seen Deadpool the Duck #1 billed (oh, the puns, they begin) on Twitter as “The story no one asked for.” Let’s be frank: couldn’t we say that about every Deadpool series? No one asks for them, but plenty of people buy them. This one, however, is a fun exploration of absurdity.

Deadpool the Duck #1 features Deadpool, Howard the Duck, and Rocket Raccoon. It also has an interesting cause to bring the three together, and two of those three come together in a titular way. And Mary the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent (possible first appearance, but like a middle child suffering from extreme middle child syndrome she’ll tell you it doesn’t matter anyway, no one ever remembers). The “how” that brings these characters together is the fun part, the “why” seems to simply be “because” (which may or may not be the start of “because we knew it’d make money, even though no one asked for it”). Writer Stuart Moore celebrates the absurdity of it all, breaking the fourth wall as Deadpool does, getting inside Howard’s head, and celebrating comic book science. Or not science, but comic book science fiction? Alright, it’s not that either, but it does have some funny moments.

And those moments are elevated through the work of artist Jacopo Camagni, colorist Israel Silva, and letterer Joe Sabino. Sabino throws a duckbill (think Daffy Duck post Elmer Fudd) on the introductory caption box from Howard the Duck and uses a smart range of styles for the rest of the cast of Deadpool the Duck #1. After all, he has to include the yellowed balloons from Deadpool, the squiggly balloons from Rocket, and the human balloons from Mary.

Camagni’s art is playful and fun, exactly the right prescription for any comic starring Howard the Duck or Deadpool, or, in this case, both. He gives every character buoyant energy, dynamic expressions, and recognizability from the start of the issue. Of course, he’s working with a goofy, psychotic hitman, a talking duck, a talking raccoon, and a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, which is enough of a range to provide ample creative opportunities for even the most mundane scenes. Israel Silva masterfully colors Deadpool the Duck #1, which features a fair amount of graytones, but also has some dazzling colors that pop nicely off those dingy set pieces.

Deadpool the Duck’s first appearance in costume is a bizarre cross between ghastly, adorable, and intriguing. Like a train wreck that results in puppies bounding and tumbling over each other. It would have to be a small train, and, of course, no puppies were harmed in the wreck, but the resulting emotion is one of “I can’t believe I just saw that! (And continued to watch it!)” and “Did you see that?!”

I’m not the biggest Deadpool fan. It’s only in the past few years that I’ve dared read any of his stories. Not out of fear, but out of apathy. I held onto a job at a movie theater so I wouldn’t have to pay to see the movie. Since Marvel NOW! (the first version) I’ve been more apt to take a shot and give Deadpool a read. Occasionally, like this book, I’ve even dared to spend my own money on those chances. Thankfully, Moore is thematically on track with Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn’s work. Fans of those books will certainly enjoy this one. But be warned, Deadpool the Duck is not for everyone. If you’re allergic to Deadpool, apathetic to his existence, or have a budget that would cause a favorite book to be missed if you bought this one, it’s probably not for you. If you’re looking for zany fun and more references to mothballs than any other comic on the rack this month, well then, true believer, Deadpool the Duck just might be the book you’re looking for.

The Verdict: 8.5/10


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