WADE WILSON'S WAR #2 has two problems. The first problem is that it's supposed to be funny, but it isn't. Funny dialogue in comics is hard to pull off. That's because comics don't have any comic delivery or any comic timing. It has to be funny on the page, because it isn't going to be made funnier by a talented actor or a wacky sound effect. For the most part, the lines in this book are flat and uninspired. They certainly aren't amusing, quotable lines a la Oscar Wilde or Joe Orton.
The only somewhat funny moment in the book happens when Deadpool is unmasked and it's revealed that he's Michael Jackson … well, actually, that he's wearing a Michael Jackson mask under his superhero mask. This moment works because it's a visual gag. Michael Jackson had a strange, effeminate face, and placing that face on a superhuman body looks funny. If Swiercznski could have incorporated more visual gags into the story, maybe the overall book would have worked. But one successful gag just ain't enough to make this a funny comic.
My second problem with the book is that it's an origins story, where we know the outcome already -- Wade Wilson becomes Deadpool -- and so it's a story without any suspense. As far as I'm concerned, these kinds of origins stories should be avoided as much as possible. And if they are told at all, they should be inserted into a larger story and should take up no more than a page or two. Because let's be honest, these origins are usually not very entertaining.
Yes, I know Barry Windsor-Smith's WEAPON X and Frank Miller's BATMAN: YEAR ONE are classics, considered by many to be the best Wolverine and Batman stories ever told, respectively. And both tell origins where the endings are already known. Don't these books show that a retelling of a hero's early days can be worth exploring? Yes, sure. But both of these books go well beyond the predictability of the origins genre and tell stories that, above all, add a new dimension to these much-loved heroes. If Wolverine is, at times, a mindless killer, we understand why that's the case after reading WEAPON X.
WADE WILSON'S WAR, by contrast, brings nothing new to the Deadpool character. He's the same wacky, nihilistic guy that he's always been. It's just more of the same, but in a story where the ending is already known. There is, in other words, nothing to make this book interesting, except the occasional gag. But as I said before, there's only one gag in this book that actually works.
If there's one good thing about this comic, it's the art. Jason Pearson draws with energy and style, giving all the characters a manic vibrancy. My only complaint is that he draws almost every character at some point with his mouth hanging open. I understand that Pearson is trying to ham up his illustrations and create a silly look. But he draws the same expression one too many times and, after a while, it just looks as though every character is about to vomit.
Who knows? Maybe they all realize that they're trapped in a terribly pointless and unnecessary book.