One of the reasons I shifted this particular blog feature from ‘series or movie’ to ‘media’ to ‘story’ is that some things don’t neatly fit into a constrained form like that, and I still want to talk about them.
Comics are a good example. If you want to talk about a comic story, you really have to go with this is a good place to start, because even the most contained comic is still part of and reflects a greater historical context. Things that are old enough to proceed no other comics like them still have to explain where they got some of their base ideas, like why Superman wears his underpants on the outside. If you want to talk about a comic story in like, 1990 well, good grief, you need to explain why then is different to now, what characters have moved on, all that stuff. Really, if you want to give a comprehensive rundown of comics you have to start a few thousand years before comics began and just kick it off with Enkudu and Gilgamesh.
Nonetheless, we are in a time where interconnected media interests allow us to see and partake of media that spreads far and wide into a deep and weird comics history and with that in mind, now we are finally in a place where, through staggering coincidence, people are generally aware of Deadpool and Thor’s Loki.
And to that, I want to tell you about my favourite page in all of Deadpool.
Here’s your basic starter point. Deadpool has found himself stranded on the moon, with Loki, who tells him that he, Deadpool, is his son, and that he knows the secrets that Deadpool knows. Deadpool doesn’t believe him – and hey, why should he – but he is willing to go along with it. The plan is pretty simple, as far as Deadpool knows. He’s to go down to earth, and find Thor, separated from his hammer, in an incident Loki orchestrates, then, take the hammer.
At this point, Thor’s civilian identity is Donald Blake, an EMT. The incident is a bomb in a skyscraper, where chunks of building fall down upon people, people are injured. It’s terrible, it’s dangerous, and in that situation, Thor somehow loses his hammer. He’s left with a choice – recover the hammer or work to save lives and get the hammer back. He, being a good person, doesn’t hesitate. He does the right thing.
Then, in the rubble, Deadpool finds his goal.
When he gets the hammer, he lifts it, he activates it…
You read this far, and this is one of the rawest, joke-free pages in a comic that has been hilarious so far. It’s been full of nasty jabs and meanspirited jokes and then it just ramps down into the buildup for when you turn the page and see
The followup to this page is a riot. You see Deadthor fly around and do silly stuff, talk in thee-thou speech, he goes to Neverland and makes fun of Michael Jackson (in that twilight of time that MJ was weird, not dangerous, but before he was sad). It’s a great split point for the comic, when the Thor story is a setup for a ridiculous series of over-the-top jokes, which then segues into Deadpool annoying Loki and that leads to a new longer arc for Deadpool and whatever.
What matters here is this.
This exchange here. This utter rawness of the moment before Deadpool takes the hammer:
And that was the last I saw of him for awhile, which was fine with me. I mean, I just instinctively didn’t like the guy.
Actually I guess it’d be more accurate to say I didn’t like the way he made me feel about myself.
He was like the “anti-me.”
He was everything I wasn’t. He had everything I wanted.
And now, for that moment, I knew – I mean, I really knew – how Loki got to be the way he was.
And for a fraction of that moment, he really was my father.
And we’d come to get what was ours.
If he be worthy–
The hammer is fake, but it doesn’t matter, because neither Thor nor Deadpool know that. What matters is that everything that fuelled Deadpool in this moment is the intense spite, the realisation of how unfair the universe is and how he wanted to be a hero, he wanted to be good, and it feels like just a big cosmic joke that he couldn’t be. That he wasn’t.
And in the face of that, he took up the hammer in the name of spite.
I think about that last line a lot.
And then, just like that, I felt all better.
Revenge, spite, and justice all feel good. Sometimes they feel good because they seem to overlap.