DEADPOOL – DRAWING THE MERC WITH A MOUTH
by Matthew K. Manning
Published by Titan Books
Available in hardback
2016 will be known for its Deadpool fever. The film, starring Ryan Reynold’s as the titular, fourth-wall-breaking character, proved to be a hit for Marvel, one of their few adult-targeted comic book to film adaptations to date. The sarcasm, wit and general badassery of Deadpool is what makes him such an attractive character and so it’s fitting that to mark the end of this monumental year for Wade Wilson that we’re presented with DEADPOOL – DRAWING THE MERC WITH A MOUTH.
From writer Matthew K. Manning, DEADPOOL – DRAWING THE MERC WITH A MOUTH is a whopping 184-page hardback book feauturing exclusive artwork on the front cover by Reilly Brown and an amazing spoof on Mad Max on the back cover, artwork which is repeated inside the book.
Featuring 7 chapters, the book opens with an introduction, detailing how Deadpool first made his appearance as Deadpool in 1991 as a minor villainous character in comic The New Mutants. It was clear from Deadpool’s first outing that he was something different which comic book fans wanted to see more of. The chapters of the book delve into this, with input from original creators Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, as well as other writer and artists that have come on board over the years. Deadpool’s success saw his appearance continue in The New Mutants, which rebranded as X-Force and starred Deadpool on its second issue cover page. 1993 saw Deadpool branch out into his own mini-series of comic before teaming up with X-Force mutant Cable. Manning clearly describes Deadpool’s journey which often includs the involvement of Marvel’s mutants and the crossing over of different Marvel franchises. I enjoyed reading how Deadpool turned from a minor villain into a major anti-hero and even ended up with a mature comic series branded Deadpool Max specifically aimed at older readers.
Full colour artwork takes up much of the book, often using the full length of the generous size book, whilst Manning’s words wonderfully accompany them, giving insightful background about the history of Deadpool and his progression to present day. The artwork ranges from pencil to ink to modern day pixel and each piece is as mesmerising as the next as we see both Deadpool solo as well fighting with or against other Marvel characters. There’s plenty of spoof artwork shown too, playing on the iconic art for Forrest Gump, Aliens, Nirvana’s Nevermind album and even Jaws, which is every bit as humorous as the character himself.
Splendidly showcasing three decades of Deadpool, this is without a doubt a book to treasure. It manages to find the right balance between artwork and text to make it more than just a lookbook and actually gives those who aren’t as familiar with the character’s history a fantastic crash course in Deadpool. Choosing to produce the book in this larger format of 11.5″ x 14″ is another spot-on decision, allowing the all-important art to really stand out and be appreciated. No-one likes a cramped book, especially when containing artwork like this, and I can safely say that DEADPOOL – DRAWING THE MERC WITH A MOUTH doesn’t have this problem. This eye-catching book is a must-have for any Marvel or Deadpool fan and would also work well as a coffee table book for visitors to flick through and enjoy.