The 90’s weren’t as good as a lot of fans claim they were. Comics were obsessed with flashy art, toyetic design, and continuity that is still hard to follow today. The 90’s also weren’t anywhere near as bad as other fans complain about. There is a lot of energy in those comics and they were overflowing with creativity. Deadpool Bad Blood oozes with the fun of the 90’s while doing its best to avoid some of the pratfalls of the era. With a plot and art from Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld and a script from X-Men ’92 scribes Chris Sims & Chad Bowers, Deadpool Bad Blood proves the dream of the 90’s is still alive.
Deadpool Bad Blood tells the tale of Deadpool chasing after a loose thread from his past, the brutish Thumper. The story provides the right nostalgia beats by revisiting old themes and characters without making it feel like something you have seen a thousand times. Sims & Bowers have a great wit and write a Deadpool who isn’t a maudlin sad sack nor a memetic jokester. He is the dark Spider-Man that Liefeld always intended him to be. They also channel the spirit of X-Men ’92 with a flashback to X-Force that respects the history of the team while understanding their inherent ridiculousness.
Rob Liefeld’s art has been oft-criticized but is essential to the tone of the book. The first encounter with Thumper is frankly gorgeous, channeling Daniel Acuña more than classic Liefeld. Rob changes up his style in the flashback sequences and delivers pages that feel right at home with his X-Force work. There are some wonky faces here and there, and a few panels that don’t have the detail you would want in a prestige collection like this, but they are the exception rather than the rule. It all comes to a head with a sequence of double page spreads that capture the dynamism that made Rob a rock star in the early 90’s.
Deadpool Bad Blood is a fun tale about the Merc with a Mouth with little in the way of consequences. Everything is wrapped up neatly by the story’s end and all the toys get put back on the shelf. That isn’t a bad thing, the team tells an engaging story, but like so many graphic novels you walk away feeling like nothing you read really mattered. Still Sims & Bowers demonstrate again why they are rising stars at Marvel and Liefeld show that he can still make engaging comics nearly twenty years after his zeitgeist. Deadpool Bad Blood prove that the dream of the 90’s is still alive, and it is still rad as hell.