Marvel Comics decided to make a big change with Deadpool in the comics. The costumed Wade Wilson soon gets a major makeover. Large parts of the character’s past will be eradicated from his memory. This becomes a sly way to separate the new Deadpool reboot from the previously-established continuity. Fans of the bizarre anti-hero might become furious over such a decision. The invest emotionally in a popular character. When the stories they grew fond of are eliminated from continuity, anger sets in.
Fans must come to grips with a simple fact about the comic book industry: it is a business. In fact, comic book publishing has always been a business. Publishing decisions often derive from a careful look at the proverbial bottom line. Wiping away aspects of Deadpool’s continuity makes the “Merc with a Mouth” more accessible to newer readers. If new readers aren’t burdened by a convoluted history and continuity, they’ll be more likely to continue to purchase the comic.
The change comes as the current Despicable Deadpool book hits issue #300. Once this issue hits the stands, an era comes to an end. Writer Gerry Duggan leaves the title after five years. A new book gets launched with a totally new creative team at the helm. The transition to a new title with a new continuity makes perfect sense here.
Of course, all this is timed for the release of Deadpool 2. The sequel to the original hit film appears to be headed towards a big opening weekend. The humorous trailers aren’t exactly hurting the film’s box office potential. When Deadpool 2 arrives on screens, the hype will carry over to the actual comic books. Sad to say, the red-hot popularity of superhero movies never transferred over to the published books. Sales lack vigor. The release of a new movie, however, does commonly create a big spike in sales for a corresponding book. This is doubly true when the book displays “Issue #1” on the cover.
The high sales usually taper off after a few issues. Rebooting Deadpool could extend those spiked numbers.
Fans should not become too dismayed at Marvel’s decision to wipe away Deadpool’s memory. The previous continuity still exists. Deadpool just won’t remember it. In time, those memories may come flooding back. Old storylines will be integrated back into the books. For now, Marvel Comics must cater to new readers. That’s just a simple business direction that makes sense.