Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe (2012) is a self-indulgent murder fest. Featuring Marvel's famous wisecracking assassin, but the wisecracking takes a backseat for some intense character revelations in this five issue series set on Earth-12102 so that it doesn't screw up any other Marvel properties. Thankfully this lets Deadpool go balls to the wall because if this were in Earth-616 there wouldn't be much left for Secret Wars to smash together this summer.
As with most dire events that occur in Marvel stories Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe with an ominous message from The Watcher about how not every universe has a happy ending, and some end in fear and terror.
The few pages bring us on a Tarantino-esque story progression showing the havoc that Deadpool has wrought on the Fantastic Four. We look on as Susan Richards holds her dying husband Reed in her arms as Mr. Fantastic apologizes for not being able to stop the Merc with a Mouth and admits to sending his children into the Negative Zone forever with no chance of return. We then watch as Deadpool finishes off the rest of the First Family of Marvel in a way that only an insane man with a healing factor can manage.
After his work is complete, the story takes us to see the cause of Deadpool's sudden decision to do what needs to be done. The X-Men had dropped Deadpool off at Ravencroft Institute in the hands of Dr. Benjamin Brighton. Of course, nothing is that simple, and the good doctor is Psycho-Man using a Men In Black style robot suit for a mini creature. He had intended to condition all of the craziest villains in the Marvel Universe into his personal army but hadn't truly considered all of the ramifications of giving Deadpool the focus he had always been lacking.
After dispatching the Doctor and getting his stamp of good mental health, Deadpool realizes he must finally show the rest of our heroes the truth. They only exist in a comic book for the entertainment of the readers, and it's time for the readers to pay for the pain and suffering that has fallen at our feet for decades.
This is where the story gets going as Deadpool works his way through hero after hero in an escalating series of brutal acts. Whether using Pym Particles to shrink down a metric shit-load of explosives to enlisting the help of similarly damaged Man-Thing at one point. The series doesn't shy away from the gore, but it truly shines in showcasing Deadpool as the tortured soul we've always ignored.
We tend to see Deadpool as a character who just has fun breaking the fourth wall, interacts strangely with his Yellow and White inner monolog boxes, or calling out Jar Jar Binks for being the abomination he is. However, what we don't normally get to see is the torturous burden of being the ONLY person in the Marvel Universe to see it for what it is while everyone else dismisses him as a loon.
This revelations is a heartbreaking development for the Merc, and he decides to give us the destruction and carnage we, the reader, have always wanted. There are quite a few great moments in this series: Deadpool calls out Wolverine for his true power of Popularity; the families of our heroes contract a certain villain to avenge their murdered loved ones; Professor Xavier meets his match in a way you can't imagine; and so many more.
If you like Deadpool then this is a series to pick up. It dives into his madness in a way that showcases his pain and suffering, and it's a shame that it requires murdering an entire Universe to achieve this level of character development. I'll leave with what I thought was one of the more poignant pages that made me stop and think for a long while after I finished the series.
Enjoy your issues!