Deadpool is on a mission to destroy the Marvel Universe--thanks to Psycho Man messin' with his melon in this What If?-style tale. After taking out the Fantastic Four, Avengers and X-Men, among others, he now--thanks to one of Dr. Strange (also killed)'s books--has found out how to get to the Nexus of All Realities and is aiming BIGGER...
We start the issue with a TV news-reporter at a scene of carnage where super-heroes and villains are rioting and battling each other. But then, in a sudden turn of events, heroes and villains alike head to the edge of a rooftop to carry out what appears to be a mass suicide pact.
Meanwhile, The Punisher has found Deadpool and attempts to take him out--but shoots what turns out to be super-villain The Puppet Master, dressed as Deadpool, before the real deal reveals himself and uses a Punisher doll, fashioned by The Puppet Master, to make Punny shoot himself in the head. From the mess of 'dead' 'super-dolls' strewn around, we can assume that Deadpool was also responsible for the 'suicide pact' and he now has his hands on dolls of Marvel's cosmic heavy-hitters, so no 'No-Prizes' for guessing what's in store for them...
Taskmaster has been hired by some of Wade's victims' bereaved to kill him, and he tracks the Merc with a Mouth to the Nexus of All Realities, whereupon the two battle; Taskmaster using his patented ability to mimic others' moves by anticipating and imitating Deadpool's--until he's interrupted by the guardian of the Nexus--Man-Thing--scaring Tasky; and whoever knows fear burns at the touch of a man's thing. (or something).
Deadpool missed the opportunity to make a Man-Thing joke, so while I picked up his slack, Man-Thing, sensing why Wade's here, has exploded into a portal to multiple realities, and Deadpool travels through this to find the centerpoint of existence...
...Which in Wade's case is the Marvel offices of the Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe comic's creative team, where writer Cullen Bunn is typing the end to the mini-series: 'The Merc with a Mouth raises his sword to strike...when he notices some otherworldly force watching him'...
Deadpool looks at us from inside the comic and tells us something that, ironically--given that this book had been taking Deadpool far from the 'Bugs-Bunny-with-a-gun' direction he'd been going in in recent years--ends the series in something of a Warner Bros 'Th-th-th-that's all, folks!' style. The issue doesn't shed any further light on Wade's new Psycho Man-induced driving-force head-voice and doesn't end, for me, satisfyingly.
Suspension of disbelief has been asked for throughout this 4-issue mini-series--a series which could have been decompressed to make Wade's hits less easy and more rewarding; but I got that this was about Deadpool's agenda--carried out in broad strokes--rather than the nuts and bolts of it; and the intriguing Fourth Wall-breaking set-up--in which the Merc with a Mouth wasn't gunning to take out just the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe, but the Marvel Universe itself--kept me hooked. The ending is open to some interpretation but for me steps on this premise somewhat, as if you take what Wade believes as Gospel, his parting shot is an empty threat--Deadpool's odyssey ending with it.
Aside from this qualm, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talijac render a well-crafted conclusion to the 4-issue mini-series--with, thankfully, more time given to the Deadpool/Taskmaster battle that'd been coming than others have been afforded--but if, like me, you were expecting a conclusion that's more than 'It's just funnybooks'--rather than having that itch scratched, you'll be left scratching your head.
If you didn't catch my reviews of Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #1, #2 and #3, you can check them out here. ...And moving on from Deadpool Kills... and looking at the Merc with a Mouth's future as part of his Marvel NOW! relaunch, you can check out a new interview with Deadpool's new writers Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan, along with editor Jordan D. White--talking with Newsarama here.
White: One thing you can see in the history of Deadpool as a character is that every time he has had a new series, it has been at least a partial reinvention. Part of the reason we are doing this as a new relaunch rather than just the next issue of Deadpool is that these guys do have a fresh take on him. Not throwing away anything that went before, not saying none of that happened, or anything like that. Just a real clean take that anybody can jump on and totally appreciate what this is all about.
Posehn: He's still a Merc with a Mouth. The only thing we've changed is that now he can fly — and let me finish — he has a penis that can see the future. Those are the things that everybody loves about Deadpool, right?
Marvel NOW! [click those words for more] kicks off next month with Uncanny Avengers; the new Deadpool #1 coming in November. So that's Marvel NOW! But what's Not Marvel Not NOW!?
Stay tuned! ;)