‘Deadpool’: WHAM! Maximum Effort!

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Deadpool is the ultimate anti-hero for the South Park-loving, I-never-grew-out-of-fart-jokes teenager in all of us. He isn’t concerned with saving the world, preventing galactic annihilation, or wearing an X in a circle on his reds. His problem, at its core, is simple – some douche-nozzle tortures him at work, and then gets all huffy and girlfriend-kidnappy when Wade takes offense.

Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) proves to be a watered-down version of Deadpool’s mouth long before his skin avocadoes, and when he meets the full-grown woman who shares his sense of humor, he is in absolute lusty-love. Nearly everything in the movie comes in montages, so right after the sex-for-all-holidays tribute, comes the devastating news that Wade has seriously bad terminal cancer. Of course, the stripper girlfriend with the heart of gold and the mouth of a sailor, Vanessa, wants to fight cancer with all means available to them. Which essentially means the death-by-inches agony of long treatments and Wade just doesn’t have the patience nor stamina for that kind of dumbassery. Instead, he opts for the Agent Smith recruiting option at his local post-Special-Ops-Agent hangout, and next thing you know it’s off to the mutant factory!

You can expect anyone who’s been hopped up with mutant juice and subjected to many creative tortures, to be a bit cranky with his jailers. Ajax – excuse me, Francis – doesn’t stand a chance in hell of holding the charming-sleazy Brit bad guy of the film role, not in the face of Deadpool’s eternal give-zero-fucks snark. One conflagration later, Wade is determined to rise from the ashes like the most epic anime phoenix ever, slicing and shooting his way through the bad guys to get to the one who turned him into Mr. Potato Head! Francis (Ed Skrein) and his roadblock of a female sidekick, Angel Dust (Gina Carano), prove to be formidable foes, even when met with Wade’s blistering break-the-fourth-wall commentary!

Wade’s early attempts at costumery are terrible and hilarious and exactly what we would find ourselves doing in his boots. Here, we meet his roommate Al, who is about as far from the likes of Daredevil’s Stick as you can get, yet Wade still enjoys bantering with her in his juvenile well-meaning fashion. His bartender friend with the deadpool on when Wade’s gonna kick it does his best to help too – his efforts end up with Weasel (T.J. Miller) as a Shaggy-like sidekick, one of the few who knows both Wade and Deadpool.

The introduction of a CGI-ed to hell and gone Colossus (Stefan Kapicic does his voice) and his little sidekick — this is a mouthful — Negasonic Teenage Warhead, was an interesting choice for the X-Men cameos you just knew we had to have. Tagging Colossus for the unappreciated role of the eternal recruiter of Deadpool to the X-Men seems completely appropriate, considering the lengths Colossus has gone to in other storylines, but the translation of the mega-metal-Russian from the comic books to the big screen wasn’t what I had pictured. Negasonic (Brianna Hildebrand), on the other hand, is clearly the epitome of the New X-Men latter-day class, with her sullen teenage silences, biting commentary and ability to turn herself into a fireball bomb! And, of course, Wade’s wild and wonderful woman, Morena Baccarin as Vanessa, gets many shout-outs for her completely believable portrayal of the woman to die, repeatedly, for!

That’s another thing too many people seem to be overlooking, Wade says it himself – Deadpool is actually a love story, yes, with some horror elements and other stuff thrown in, but still. Wade voluntarily had this done to him so he could live with the love of his life, the woman who shares his corrupted sense of humor and eternally perverse sexual tastes, more or less regardless of what he looks like. Far too many of my fellow geeks and freaks out there would give their entire music collection (I’m betting there won’t be a single Wham! album among them) and then some for a love like that!

There are already tons of reviews out there, all about how Deadpool breathed life back into a stale superhero genre and gave them the encouragement they needed to finally put on their big-boy pants and make an ultra-violent R-rated Marvel superhero movie! But you can’t sit there and enjoy Wade crack wise and twirl your cosplay Thor hammer to impart, “Mmmyes, Deadpool’s sleazy charm is just the thing we modern film enthusiasts need.” Deadpool is hardly the first awesomesauce R-rated superhero movie to come out, (see Watchmen for example) it’s coming out at the most serendipitous time, when we’re all so bored with the eternally bright superhero taking on the whole world of evil, we just want to see a foul-mouthed badass do a bit of the old ultra-violence. To win back the girl who’s just as foul-mouthed and awesome as he is, the only one in the entire world for whom Wade would actually be a superhero!

Do yourself a favor, fan-atics of the world – see Deadpool in the theater now! And for fuck’s sake, leave the kids at home! This movie is not suitable for children at all. You’ve been warned. Don’t forget to stay for the Ferris Bueller-style Easter egg at the end, and cast your own vote for who should be Cable in the sequel! And bonus points if you catch the Stan Lee cameo!

And yes, of course, the trailer is all kinds of NSFW, the entire movie is that way and you know you love it!

Comic Fiesta Mini 2015 in Penang, Malaysia

by Agent Nur Hussein (a.k.a. The Robot Whisperer)
Photos by Nur Hussein
Today, we bring into the spotlight some international con coverage! I had the pleasure of attending the Comic Fiesta Mini 2015, held in Penang, Malaysia. It is organized annually by the Sequential Arts Youth Society (SAYS), a non-profit dedicated to the enrichment and development of Malaysian creative talents in ACG (anime, comics, and gaming), a term commonly used here in Asia to refer to geeky creative pursuits. The Comic Fiesta Mini held in Penang is a smaller version of the larger Comic Fiesta held in or near the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. This weekend’s two-day event was held, at the Straits Quay Convention Centre on the northeast of the island of Penang.
 
Fandom around these parts are largely anime- and manga-oriented, and the convention hall was flooded with colorful cosplayers paying homage to their favorite characters not only from Japanese animaton and comics, but also Chinese, Korean, and Malaysian creative works. It is, however, by no means exclusively anime and manga, here, as I encountered a Deadpool, a War Machine and a Thorin Oakenshield among the attendees, too.
 
The featured guests were mainly famous cosplayers from Hong Kong and Malaysia, and a local artist named Ooi Choon Liang who has made quite a name for himself in Asia as an illustrator for novel covers and games. The featured cosplayers from Malaysia were Lea and Mikki, a duo that often performs in costume together. Adding an international flavor to the event were Hong Kong cosplayers Siu Tao, Olivie, and Luffy, who all have a massive following in Malaysia, judging from the length of the lines of people queuing up to meet them!
 
One of the most eagerly awaited events of Sunday was the cosplay performance competition, where cosplayers perform sketches re-enacting scenes from their favorite series or movies, live on stage, complete with props and music. It was like watching a series of plays, and some of the props were very creative. I caught the Thorin cosplayer re-enacting scenes from The Hobbit film, assisted by two people who moved props around and played some of the wolves and orcs. I later spoke with the person playing Thorin, and she is a cosplayer who goes by the moniker 2B Pencil. She chose to play Thorin because she finds his dark side fascinating, and she is a huge fan of Richard Armitage, the actor who portrays the dwarf in the Peter Jackson movie.
 
In the evening, there was a Street Fighter video game contest, where contestants tested their game-playing prowess on a special gaming station on-stage, while the screen was simultaneously projected onto a huge canvas where the audience could also watch. Finally, awards were given out for the contests, and a dance-off session followed.
 
The con scene is vibrant in Malaysia, with a devoted following of dedicated fans, who create their own intricate costumes and attend the events and make it fun and lively. This weekend’s event was the smaller version of the main con, Comics Fiesta 2015 which will be held in the MINES International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC) in Selangor on December 19, so stay tuned for that if you’re in the area!
 
XXX
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