Dead Pooh as you would imagine, is a hybrid of the Winnie the Pooh stories and the Deadpool comic. It is a weird combination to say the least, but that is what we are given. The plot revolves around our hero Sandy (AKA Dead Pooh). After the tragic framing and jailing of his innocent parents, he is left in the care of his Uncle Moo. Here he is trained in the arts of the ninja and becomes the scourge of the criminal underworld. His arch nemesis is The Candy King, a human being trapped in a world full of human animals. Underground he runs his criminal empire, while also creating strange Gummi Bear warriors who obey his every command. It is up to Dead Pooh to weed out these trouble causers and give them what for.
Dead Pooh as a comic is, well slightly stupid. But that is to be expected; after all it is a parody book. But it never settles on what it actually wants to parody. The plot incorporates so many other pop culture pieces that some get lost in the shuffle, and the combination of all of them never quite seems as much fun as it should be. For example we have Dead Pooh shouting out witty banter like Spiderman or Deadpool, while fighting characters that look like Tigger and Eeyore. But the banter does not flow quite as smoothly as you would hope, some of it comes off very clichéd and tiresome. It sounds odd, but it doesn’t seem like Dead Pooh actually enjoys saying these lines, or even fighting crime to be honest. I don’t really get behind him as a character.
There are other elements that are mixed into the plot which make it quite interesting though. Dead Pooh’s origin is very much like a mix between the Batman comic series and The Karate Kid movie, but he acts a lot like The Punisher, scoping out certain crooks before kicking their butts to the curb. It is fun to see, but it leaves you wanting to know more.
The faults may be due to Al Sharpe and Sean Davis writing, which some times comes off as a little bit too much like Poo than Pool for my tastes. This is not a slander on their work, which does make the story flow, and it never feels slow or sluggish to read. It is just I thought with the people who are been parodied here, this story may have had a bit more meat on its bones. If they had focused a bit more on Deadpool it may have been a more interesting read for me personally.
What frustrates me about this book is there are great scenes which could have been expanded to make a more rounded comic book. Dead Pooh himself comes off as a little bit flat, again because of little characterization, so it is a shame I don’t feel as interested in him as I do The Candy King. Here we have a human, the only human who is in a world full of animals.
He lives in an underground lab and is obviously a person of some power, because he controls the whole compound and the crime in the city. He mentions been stuck down there, but that’s it. This could have been expanded on so much more, its comic book gold man! How did he get there? Why is he creating these Gummi Bear rip offs? How is he doing it, where is the technology coming from? Is it set in the future? Is it all an experiment in breeding weird human animal hybrids and is he in charge of the proceedings? Has he become power mad and taken over? Maybe if another issue came out all this would be explained, but if this is only a one shot, that is so cruel. I would love to know more, but nothing else is given.
The artwork by Marat Mychaels (Deadpool Corps) is very streamlined and quite basic. It looks completely different from his normal style of art, which has a more rugged edge to it. I am guessing this is to make it feel more like the Deadpool comics (his art on Deadpool Corps was great), which is all smooth, comical feeling artwork. At first this annoyed me because the cover shows a very Rob Liefeld influenced piece of art and this is what I was expecting from the book. After reading for a bit though, the style does compliment the script, and makes Dead Pooh a more comical figure. There is a certain amount of joy at seeing Dead Pooh melt Gummi Bear creatures with his water gun and then sticking people together with honey bombs. When it happens it’s great, it just doesn’t happen quite enough.
There may be some harsh criticism here but it is only because I actually enjoyed reading the book, and want to read more. It’s not as funny as I was hoping for, and lacks exposition, but I love the idea and I think it would be really funny to see DeadPool villains turn up as animal characters. There are loads that could be done with this and, I would love to see more.
Images: Antarctic Press