Tuesday, December 27, 2022

REVIEW: Deadpool: Samurai (manga, vol. 1) by Sanshiro Kasama, art by Hikaru Uesugi, translated by Amanda Haley

Deadpool: Samurai is a Marvel manga. I bought my copy of this volume brand new.


The Avengers are apparently having too much trouble keeping up with all the villain activity worldwide, so they decide to start an Avengers team based in Japan, called Samurai Squad. Deadpool is recruited to be part of it. The actual first member of the team, however, is Sakura Spider, a girl who was bitten by a radioactive spider and gained abilities similar to those of Spiderman. In this volume, they attempt to recruit a third member, Neiro Aratabi, an idol who has bonded with a symbiote. So, Japanese Venom to go along with Sakura Spider's Japanese Spiderman.

Loki joins the story to complicate things and add a more formidable villain than "generic obsessed human #X". Initially, I thought his primary goal was to convince Deadpool to join him, but some brief mentions later on made it sound like he was possibly after Thor, who for some reason was maybe in Japan? I don't know.

I picked this up entirely because of Deadpool. Back when I read more superhero comics, he was one of my favorite characters. If have no idea how, or even if, this fits into any larger Marvel storylines. Apparently there was a Deadpool manga one-shot prior to the start of this series (it's briefly mentioned in this volume), but I haven't read it.

Storywise, this was so-so. On the plus side, Deadpool did feel like Deadpool. There was much fourth wall breaking, and Deadpool making fun of literally everything. I most enjoyed the jokes that could only exist in a Deadpool comic running in Shonen Jump - Deadpool's efforts to see what level of swearing and violence he could get away with, poking fun at the "sameface" artwork for the female characters, American superhero comics' complexity and need for footnotes, etc.

I'm sure there would have been rights issues involved, but it feels like a missed opportunity that the idol Deadpool and Sakura Spider were trying to recruit wasn't Hatsune Miku. Oh well.

I don't know if the jokes will be able to carry this series for more than a volume, but I suppose I'll find out.


Bare-bones character profiles and a short bonus comic in which Deadpool stops by to say goodbye to Spiderman.

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