Newly minted Marvel creator Cullen “The Sixth Gun” Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajic will tell the story of Deadpool as a serial-super-hero-killer. We’re promised that this will be a nasty, violent book—not jokey or hokey. I’m skeptical, but open—Bunn and Talajic are certainly a reputable crew.
But the news of this book got me thinking: These kinds of books often don’t come off very well, but they sure do sell. It’s basically a book driven by the title, it’s (clearly) not canon, and it has to have something in it that’s more than just the titular character slaughtering people because, as cool as it might be to see Deadpool off Ms. Marvel or Franklin Richards, it’s a one-joke concept that can get old fast.
So, when have they been done well?
THE TOP 5 “VERSUS THE UNIVERSE” TYPE COMICS OF ALL TIME
5. Sergio Aragonés Destroys DC by Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier. This one is pretty good, but not great—but it’s better than Sergio Aragonés Massacres Marvel, so it gets the bottom slot on this list.
4. Fred Hembeck Kills the Marvel Universe. Hembeck was huge in the late 1980s—he even got to do a cover for Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man. Comics didn’t take themselves so seriously back then. But for an even better Marvel work by Fred, see The Fantastic Four Roast #1.
3. Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe. There’s a reason this 1995 one-shot by Garth Ennis and Doug Braithwaite still demands a high price at comic-cons: It’s great. And it’s a true title: Castle does indeed kill ‘em all.
2. Marvel Universe vs. The Punisher by Jonathan Mayberry and Goran Parlov. This came out a few years ago and was quite underrated. It’s a zombie-type tale, but it features one of the funniest (and scariest) Deadpools ever, the art is simply tremendous, and it’s actually got a good story to boot. Mayberry’s follow up, MU vs. Wolverine, is nowhere near as good.
1. Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest. A one-shot, extra long bound paperback by is an American single issue prestige format comic book published in 2000 by DC Comics. It was written by Evan (“Space Ghost Coast to Coast”) Dorkin with art by some truly great folks including Mike Allred, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, Jaime Hernandez, and even Frank Miller. It’s flat out hilarious, telling the tale of Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite competing to see how many DC heroes they can kill in about 100 pages. This book took the one-joke conclusion to (and beyond) it’s logical conclusion, and gets my highest recommendation. Lots of re-read value, too. In fact, just writing this blurb is making me want to read it yet again…