Axel-In-Charge: New X-Men Editorial Era, Garth Ennis' Marvel Return
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at the first Deadshot mini-series by John Ostrander, Kim Yale and Luke McDonnell!
The original Deadshot mini-series was a brilliant spin-off from the ongoing Suicide Sqaud, mostly in the fashion that Ostrander spun it off. He had a Deadshot subplot working in the background of the series for months. Heck, it was going for so long that I doubt Ostrander even originally intended for it to work itself out in a spin-off series, but when the character became popular enough to warrant one, he easily translated the plot to the mini-series (I could be wrong on that and Ostrander knew that he would eventually have the plot carry over into a mini-series – anyone know if Ostrander has spoken on the topic?). The plot involved a psychiatrist assigned to Task Force X (the Suicide Squad) named Marnie whose job was to give evaluations of the members of the team. She then became more or less entranced by Deadshot – she kissed him even! She took a leave of absence to discover more of just how Deadshot got so messed up in the head.
Well, this series explains a lot of that, as Deadshot’s son (he was married years ago) is kidnapped. The kidnapping ties in with his wealthy and twisted family.
This is an exceedingly dark and twisted mini-series, but Ostrander and his co-writer, the late, great Kim Yale, do a marvelous job examining the darkness within Deadshot’s soul.
As we learn that Deadshot’s son had been kidnapped, we are introduced to Deadshot while he is on a mission for Amanda Waller, head of the Suicide Squad. He is tasked to kill a gangster known as “El Jefe.” Rick Flag and Sarge Steel are monitoring his mission and he has already done some pretty crazy stuff, including killing a man who he is told is a government spy (Sarge Steel assures Flag that they had no one undercover close enough to be caught so it was likely just a bad guy who they wanted to have killed, but Flag retorts that even if that were true, DEADSHOT sure didn’t know that).
This is a great introduction to one of the key aspects of the mini-series – Deadshot’s death wish.
His laconic nature is also on display when we see him react to the news of his son’s kidnapping…
In the next issue, we see him interact with his ex-wife…
In one of the most notable scenes in the series, he confront an old family associate who is tied in with the kidnapping of his son…
Luke McDonnell does a nice job on art and in particular makes the issues fit in visually with the Suicide Squad art style (McDonnell was the regular Suicide Squad artist at the time).
Marnie visits Deadshot’s family to investigate his past, and she soon finds herself wrapped up in his son’s kidnapping.
There are a number of twists and turns, and suffice it to say, Deadshot’s family is messed up.
The ending of the series is especially dark – if you are faint of heart, do not read this series.
But if you would like a ton of insight into the inner workings of the mind of one of DC’s most beloved sociopaths, this mini-series is for you!
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