Deadpool: Samurai, Vol. 1

Viz Media. Feb. 2022. 224p. tr. from Japanese by Amanda Haley. ISBN 9781974725311. pap. $9.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Marvel’s wisecracking mercenary makes his manga debut in this first collection of the popular ongoing series. With supervillain activity surging across the globe, Captain America and Iron Man recruit Deadpool to join a new, Tokyo-based team of Avengers called the Samurai Squad. At first, Deadpool’s chaotic disposition and penchant for extreme violence find him at odds with fellow recruits Sakura Spider and Neiro, a popstar bonded to a ferocious extraterrestrial symbiote named Kage. However, when the team discovers that Loki, the Asgardian God of Mischief, is scouring Japan for a powerful artifact he plans to use toward sinister ends, they’re forced to work together to save the world. It’s a fairly formulaic and often downright ludicrous plot, deliberately crafted to take advantage of Deadpool’s propensity for shattering the fourth wall with a running monologue that comments on the storytelling conventions, publishing trends, and diehard fandom of both manga and Western superhero epics.
VERDICT A unique, thoroughly enjoyable blend of action-adventure and cutting satire.
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