This week Deadpool meets his maker, and Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore’s Luther Strode returns in The Legacy of Luther Strode!
Not content with killing off Wolverine last year, Marvel’s now focusing the Grim Reaper’s sights on their OTHER mega-popular mutant: Deadpool. Yes, the Merc With A Mouth is meeting his maker, and Marvel’s giving him a grand send off with Deadpool #45(which also counts as the 250th issue).
The main story of Deadpool #45 serves as a finale for writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn’s run on the character. As such, there’s a lot of callbacks to early issues of the character’s Marvel Now relaunch, but as someone who jumped ship around issue 18, many of the more recent callbacks fell flat for me. Duggan and Posehn’s take on Wade Wilson is slightly more mature than it was when they first started working on the character. Deadpool’s ready to take the fight to his enemies at ULTIMATUM, which is pretty different attitude than his usual insane self. Thankfully, the two writers still have time to pepper in some pretty funny jokes throughout the story, which finds time to check in on nearly every supporting character throughout Posehn and Duggan’s run.
Mike Hawthorne’s pencils in the main story are awesome. He’s got a great handle on the physical comedy that’s required for this character, and delivers some cool stuff in the action scenes. There’s a lot of frenetic action throughout the issue, and Hawthorne really brings his A game to this story, the highlight being Deadpool’s final confrontation with ULTIMATUM.
The rest of Deadpool #45 features stories by Paul Scheer, Ben Blacker and Ben Acker, Scott Aukerman, and another story from Duggan and Posehn where Wade gets a hold of the Infinity Gauntlet (which ends up being wicked funny). There’s a hell of a lot of content crammed into this issue, but the $10 cover price is still pretty steep. While casual Deadpool fans will probably balk at the price, there’s plenty here for mega fans of the character. Oh, and the “death” of Deadpool? Yeah, it reads like more of an afterthought than the event that Marvel is making it out to be (it also doesn’t seem permanent. At all.) In fact, it has more to do with the upcoming Secret Wars than anything. Deadpool #45 is a fun send-off for the Merc With A Mouth, but there’s not a whole lot to appeal to newcomers or lapsed fans of the character.
Legacy of Luther Strode #1
At long last, The Legacy of Luther Strode has hit the stands. Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore’s uberviolent tale of a scrawny kid who gains superpowers after answering a Charles Atlas-like ad in the back of a comic book has spanned two miniseries, and with Legacy, the finale of their trilogy, two waste no time getting back into the swing of things.
The issue opens with Petra and Luther in police custody, which goes about as well as you’d think it would for the police officers. The book then flashes forward five years, and Petra and Luther are now living a nomadic lifestyle and hunting the Murder Cult. Justin Jordan has a lot of fun bouncing these two characters off one another. As someone who’s followed this series from the beginning, the evolution of these character’s relationships is fascinating, and Jordan really makes their relationship not only believable, but fun as well.
When it comes to Tradd Moore’s art, well, what can I say? It’s incredible. If you’ve only known Moore’s work from All-New Ghost Rider, then get ready, because Legacy has some absolutely brutal stuff in it. Moore’s art is extremely fluid and frenetic, and at times it’s almost like the characters are moving on the page.
If you haven’t read any of the Luther Strode saga, you should absolutely start. Legacy isn’t designed for new readers, and hinges a lot on a reader’s knowledge of the previous two volumes. But for those who are caught up, Legacy delivers the same visceral thrills and jaw dropping action that the previous two stories did. Welcome back Mr. Strode, I can’t wait to see who you rip in half next.