Marvel Comics made news this week with a couple of unfortunate announcements. We've already discussed our profound sadness over the cancellation of Thor: The Mighty Avenger, and also confirmed this week was the grim fate of one of the many Deadpool monthlies, but which one is allegedly up to us (although Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld has implied otherwise in message board comments).

In what might be a first, Marvel is asking fans to vote -- not with their wallets but with, presumably, some kind of ballot -- for which Deadpool comic "should be" cancelled, Deadpool Team-Up or Deadpool Corps. Deadpool and Deadpool MAX are safe, for now. For a fanbase as desperate for control as that of superhero comics, this is a dubious honor. But at the same time, it's kind of fitting for Deadpool.

The Deadpool renaissance of the last several years is both bewildering and glorious. Beginning with Agent X, there have been at least twelve Deadpool-starring series and miniseries since 2002 -- not including annuals or other one-shots! This seemingly insane publishing plan is a beautiful expression of the madness of Deadpool himself. The recent series put the Merc with a Mouth in wildly different idioms, which is too in keeping with Wade Wilson's deranged mind.

I don't think the powers-that-be at Marvel were always conscious of Deadpool's increasing popularity acting upon their publishing line in this meta-maniacal way, but they certainly are now. The idea of asking fans of a character to actively campaign and decide not which one is to be saved -- the language matters, you see -- but which one "should be canceled," is another amusing demonstration of Deadpool's personality affecting things out here in the real world -- things that he will most likely reference in-story at a later date.

Indeed, this voting scheme is the sort of unfriendly thing Deadpool himself might participate in, just as he wrecked DC Comics' fun by jumping the monthly Deadpool's numbering to #900 before any DC title could make it to that milestone legitimately.

And poor Rob Liefeld, the co-creator of Deadpool himself, seemed justifiably upset upon hearing the news of Marvel's "Help Deadpool" initiative.

"That's a charade," tweeted Liefeld. "And I honestly thought I'd seen everything possible in this business." Liefeld later explained on the Bleeding Cool forums that he was under the impression that Deadpool Corps, the monthly series for which he provides covers and drew nine issues, was always intended to conclude after 12 issues. We shall see.

But of course, regardless of which of the two allegedly endangered Deadpool titles is voted off of the proverbial island, there will still be three ongoing series starring Deadpool -- three. That's still pretty funny in and of itself. Certainly, no one wants to see any comic books canceled, especially not in the current economic crisis and even more especially not in the ceaselessly imperiled comic book industry. But that there have been too many Deadpool titles in the last few years is hardly a subject for debate, and some have speculated that the inordinate amount of recent Thor comics may have stunted the potential of Thor: The Mighty Avenger.

In any event, our hearts go out to all the at-risk creators associated with Deadpool Corps and Deadpool Team-Up. The former is written every month by Victor Gischler, while the latter has served as a kind of testing ground for new talent as well as a rest stop for established Marvel creators in-between gigs or major storylines. And of course, both have their fans. We wish you luck, gentlemen, even if Deadpool probably doesn't.

Personally, we'd rather talk about the Marvel books we'd like to see UNCANCELED rather than the ones we want to wipe off the shelves. How about we take that poll instead?


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