Deadpool Volume 1: Dead Presidents

Collecting Deadpool #1-5

Writers: Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn

Artist: Tony Moore

Marvel Comics, $15.99, color, 136 pages

I used to hate Deadpool. "How could they do this to my Marvel Universe?", I'd wail. Then I realized I should regard it as a comedy book, the MAD Magazine version of the MU. And that I should just read it like it happened on Earth-29 or something. And now I love Deadpool.

Well, "love" is a strong word. My reaction to Deadpool books is somewhere between a mild chuckle and grudging tolerance. It depends on the writer. Or writers, as it happens in this case. And they pulled it off! My chuckles in this book bordered on audible!

Somehow all the dead presidents are resuscitated and, for reasons I forget, they are without souls and therefore really evil. George Washington is still a great strategist -- but evil! Abraham Lincoln is still a great orator, boxer and rail-splitter -- but evil! Gerald Ford is still clumsy -- but evil! And so forth. So Deadpool is charged (by S.H.I.E.L.D.) to go re-kill them all. Quietly, if you please.

But it's Deadpool, so it's not quiet. Nor is it boring. As someone who can rattle off the U.S. presidents from memory (peppered with anecdotes to explain why they were elected), this is right up my alley. So I had fun.

There was also some plot of some sort, and an attempt at maudlin sadness when a popular character is killed, but who cares? The upshot is that Deadpool kills all the dead U.S. presidents in wacky ways, while they do the presidential stuff they do. Except, you know, all evil-y.

Like William Howard Taft flying around in the bathtub in which he got stuck in that famous (and probably apocryphal) story. I mean, that's worth the price of admission!

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I remember there were several moments in these issues that made me laugh out loud. For real, that's an accomplishment. Love this series.

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