Why I Won’t Wade Into the Dead-Pool

Coming next month to a theater near you:  Deadpool.

But, Philip, why have you not been gathering the troops?  It looks like an action movie, it is based on a comic book, and it is going to be released on the IMAX screen.  That seems like your kind of flick right there.

Yes and no.  I enjoy movies and I root for comics, but not all of them.

When was the last time you flipped to the comics section of your local newspaper?  They have a little of something for everyone.  However I seriously doubt that you reap equal enjoyment from Classic Peanuts, Crankshaft, and Pearls Before Swine.  You like some strips more than others.  Deadpool for me ranks somewhere between Zippy and Family Circus.  If you like it, swell.  I would never spend money or time on them.

In the audio dramatization of Kingdom Come (“NERD!”, I know), the point is made that Batman and Superman have one very important thing in common.  Neither of them wants to see another person killed.  Bruce Wayne had his parents taken away from him.  Superman lost an entire world (and, depending which story you are reading, his adopted parent[s].)  Their goal is to keep any other kids from losing their parents needlessly.  That is why they do not kill; because their very existence is to prevent more death.

There is your reason why it is never permissible for Batman to off Joker.  A: Because it is what Joker wants.  B:  Because it turns Batman into the very thing he is waging an endless war against.

That is my standard for enjoying a comic book.  I will read Batman comics, but not Wolverine.  (Except the new title, All-New Wolverine, has already stated that this character does not kill people; so they have me.  …for the time being.)  I have never given Punisher or Cable comics a fair shake because of their gun-toting ways.  DC gets my first loyalty because they tend to have non-killing characters and Marvel leans more towards gritty.

That is, except for Harley Quinn.  Sigh.  She started off as a goofy character on Batman: The Animated Series.  Now she is her own psychotic brand.  If we do not count her supporting character appearances in Injustice and Arkham Knight, she still has three comics of her own.  She has her proper ongoing title, a team-up mini-series with Power Girl, and a new team-up ongoing.  That is a lot of Harley.  And in them, she is a killer who is played for jokes.

Deadpool is simply the original psycho.  If Deadpool, a.k.a. Wade Wilson, were not so popular, I am not sure Harley would get so much play.  His nickname is the “Merc with a Mouth”.  Right there, he is a mercenary.  He does not just kill, he kills a lot.  Do I appreciate the willingness to break the fourth wall and be a character that adds levity?  Sure.  Do I want to support a Spider-Man rip-off who simply has more guns?  Nope.

I am a good little pacifist; a conscientious objector.  I have a hard enough time justifying my love of comic books.  (Short version:  The good guys are still sacrificing and striving to make the world better.  That they do it through violence and superpowers is simply to make things more dramatic.  Even without “powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men”, they would still work to improve the world around them.)  Surely I cannot Justify rooting for movies and comics that glorify massive violence and do it for humor.  Watch the Deadpool trailer if you need convincing.  And if you want to see where blood spurts all over the camera as he shoots three people through the head, then the redband trailer is for you.

Ditto the Suicide Squad.  A key member is, of course, Harley.  But I would hardly rank any of these folks’ moral compasses near Superman’s.  (Don’t get me started on Man of Steel.  An interesting action movie?  I guess.  A Superman-movie?  Nope.)   I feel free to not root for the bad guy.  Also, it simply does not look that interesting.

There are plenty of reasons not to embrace every comic book movie that comes along.  Ghost Rider just looked dumb.  Catwoman is, as far as I understand, the only movie to be offered in IMAX and have so few theaters interested in it, have its IMAX status revoked.  (Watch the trailer.  That is not Catwoman.  I do now know who it is supposed to be, but it is not Selina Kyle.)  X-Men: First Class still bores me to tears, even with Jennifer Lawrence.

I do not have the time to watch all of the things that I could care less about simply to be a completest.  Why make time for those that I would not enjoy, that look too violent for me to stomach?

If folks want to embrace guns blowing up internal organs, murders as quasi-heroes, and sex scenes like you haven’t seen before (so sayeth Ryan Reynolds), then I certainly will not dissuade you.  Free will, free media; do what ya gotta do.  Myself, I like a little more positive spin to my entertainment.  Call me preachy, but this phrase works pretty well for me.

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful.  “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.  -1 Corinthians 10:23

About Cosand

He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.
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