DEADPOOL versus HULK
Why is it, to save me, I must kill you? (Marvel comics)
Where: Deadpool #4 When: April, 1997
Why: Joe Kelly How: Ed McGuinness
The story so far...
Once upon a time there lived this dude called Deadpool.
He shoulda died a whole heap o' times, but he got this crazy healing factor from these Canadian scientist dudes, who got it from this Wolverine guy, who got it from his parents, who got it from years of evolution, which began because of... Well, to be honest, it's against state law for me to continue beyond this point, but you get the picture.
So anyway, you probably didn't know it, but behind that big old homocidal facade lies a crispy, yet creamy center -- mostly because of cancer, and that whole Canadian thing. Seriously, dude looks like a piece of bacon that's been left on the roof for six years...
Of course, whether it has three or four legs, a bulldog is still butt ugly and slightly hilarious. So, 'Pool needn't worry about losing his finger, because his Irish crish [Siryn] probably can't stand his stink anyway. Still, she's probably upset that they just found out he can't heal his finger because he's probably dying... Eh, easy come, easy go...
Tale of the tape...
Strength: Hulk 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Deadpool 2 (Average)
Speed: Deadpool 3 (Trained Athlete)
Stamina: Hulk 6 (Generator)
Agility: Deadpool 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting Ability: Hulk 6 (Warrior)
Energy Powers: Deadpool 4 (Arsenal)
Y'know, once in a while here on Secret Earths, we produce a surprising gem of information that you can actually take away with you into the big wide world. Unfortunately, this occasion is not one of those once in a whiles.
That said, it is interesting to note that the Haseloff system gives Deadpool the overall edge based on individual statistical analysis, which really makes it sound like some careful thought was put into the whole ordeal.
Of course, while not at all an accurate indicator, this information could be used to at least suggest a character like Deadpool is capable of defeating the Hulk.
Hulk's brutal strength, savage fighting ability and inexhaustable supply of energy ensures he is a tough opponent against any and all. In close quarters, however, Deadpool's superior speed, weaponry and mastery of said weaponry are all potential skills that could trump the green goliath.
Couple those with a quirky sense of humor, and there's a recipe for outsmarting and out maneuvering the hulking... Hulk. That is, unless, this isn't the moronic day-to-day Hulk.
As was quite frequently mentioned in the punch-up, this Hulk is much like the kind the Backstreet Boys would have sung about - incomplete.
Exactly what that means is a discussion for another time, but it does beg the question of exactly what kind of Hulk Deadpool is fighting. In the past, an 'incomplete' picture for the Hulk would probably conjure one of two images:
- Either the Hulk has regressed into a savage, unruly state.
- Or, alternatively, he's regressed to a weaker state.
Either toss of the coin brings up the Hulk.
So, regardless of the details, you'd probably still have to favour the Hulk on paper, because as we already mentioned, beneath that costume Deadpool is crispy creme.
What went down...
If the Hulk's gamma-irradiated blood had a name, it would be Susan, because Deadpool was desprately seeking it. Fortunately enough for him, and us, the Hulk is a pretty accomodating fellow, and our scene opens with the big green goof just standing around on some Duck Key rooftops.
With a little encouragment, our favourite merc with a mouth drops in on the lone Hulk, and does what he does best - passively provoke! Hulk smash!
Now, remember how I was saying Hulk is Backstreet Back? Well, apparently being incomplete makes him a bit of a sarcastic jerk, and therefore smarter than your average Hulk. Look to the right there. What a jerk!
Still, Deadpool is speedy like the gonzales, and avoids a smashing only to pop up behind Hulk and slash him with his sword. Ouchie!
Unfortunately, as Hulk points out, "... The trick isn't cutting the Hulk... It's getting the Hulk to stay cut!"
As if that kind of jerky delivery wasn't bad enough, he then grabs a veedub, with the intentions of squashing Deadpool like a bug - with a bug!
Luckily Doc Killbrew and Siryn, Deadpool's travelling buddies, brought a spaceship thingy equipped with lasers. The lasers sufficiently distract the jerk-Hulk from Deadpool, but unfortunately for them, he decides to huck the car up at them. Luckily Siryn is a good pilot, and Hulk's maybe a bit of a lousy shot.
Caan't miss when you're perched on a guy's back, though!
Deadpool leaps on the distracted Hulkster, and stabs him again with his sword!
That doesn't do much more than make Hulk mad, though. He disses Hulk Hogan, and then whacks Deadpool through the window of a clothing store. Nasty!
With the sword still stuck in his back, Hulk goes on a rampage stright for 'Pool, while ranting on about the hopelessness of existence, and the inevitable existential dilemmas of lonliness and life. Oh no! He's turned into Emo-Hulk!
So, anyway, Hulk does one of those super-leaps to put the crushing on Deadpool, and winds up with a broken roadsign through his crotch. Straight through to his back! Bummer, dude!
Hulk gets kind of morose about his whole situation, while Deadpool fills the cup... With Hulk's blood... Which he needs to cure himself from death! Geez...
'Pool teleports his way back to the mothership, and Doc Killbrew earns the latter part of his name, and percolates up a fresh batch of death-curing Hulk's blood. Sadly, this transfusion does not have similar results to that which took hold on one Jennifer Walters. Which is a shame, because imagine how cool Hulkpool woulda been!
Dananananananana dananananananana Deadpool!
Deadpool has quite possibly never been as good as he was in the hands of Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness. These issues were energetic, mad-cap, and a little on the obnoxious side at times, but undisputedly some of the best Deadpool you'll ever read.
Which is interesting, because really, he's a wooden patchwork Lefield character, who should've died on the table. Which, I guess, was really the advantage of the character. He had so little going for him, it was easy enough to spin a really interesting character out of it, without really pissing off any zealous fans.
Of course, changing the merc with a mouth now would upset plenty, because he's developed such a hardcore cult audience, and maintains that despite being teamed up with Cable. Who is lame.
Still, I know what you're thinking... This is supposed to be Hulk month!
Okay, riddle me this, fanboys. Who would make a fantastic penciller for the stagnant Hulk monthly? Ed McGuinness, that's who. The guy is a Hulk fiend, and from what I've heard, the guy actually really likes drawing the character. It's a perfect match!
For me, even though we're tackling Hulk this month, it's a character that hasn't appealed to me in a long time. Which is sort of ironic, because for Hulk month three of the issues of focus are from the mid-nineties, which really wasn't the greatest of years for Hulk, or Marvel in general.
They were pretty fun, though, and I guess that's what matters here.
Ed McGuinness isn't going to sell a dramatic, dark psycho-drama about the struggles of the various Hulk personalities -- but he's going to be fantastic on a fun Hulk comic, that has the villains and the big hero violence.
With the Bendis 'over talk to sound realistic' kind of dialogue that's swept comics, it's kind of disheartening that the superhero fight is almost looked down on.
Obviously it's a facet that works very well, and hasn't shown any sign of going away, but it's just not cool. You can't jump on a message board and say 'this guy and this guy - who would win?' without getting at least a few sneers.
That said, you get something like the Hulk film, which I really loved, that's criticised for not having enough punching and smashing.
Hulk's an interesting character, and not necessarily a character that's money in the bank anymore. Right now the Planet Hulk storyline has been rolling on, and the premise is certainly interesting enough, but it just doesn't interest me. It's kinda like Thing stuck on another planet, which just didn't interest me, either.
So, what would I love to see? If it were me calling the shots, I'd dedicate at least half a year to bringing Hulk back to Earth and having him fight the biggest, coolest choices you could offer up, and I'd have Ed McGuinness drawing it.
Rhino, Juggernaut, Super Skrull, Sub-Mariner -- big guys fighting! Yeah!
Then once that's out of my system, maybe I go back to basics, and see how Planet Hulk affected Banner.
The Fight: 4.5 The Issue: 5.5
NEXT: There's a new element in Gotham, and it's offing villains!