Monday, August 30, 2010

"Why Ruin a Good One?" A Response to Gavok on Zodiac and Deadpool

For whatever reason, I can't get Gavok's idea that Zodiac be made the archenemy of Deadpool out of my head. Well, I can, but invariably the idea returns, and I'm always struck by the same "Oh god no!" reaction. It's that reaction that's made me think about the idea again and again, because it's such an immediate and violent reaction. No thought, no contemplation, just a simple "Oh god no!" A gut reaction of pure instinct that says that that idea is pretty damn godawful. But, being me, I can't let it stand at that, I have to wonder why. Why do I hate this idea so much?

After all, Gavin makes a pretty good argument from a Deadpool fan's perspective: Deadpool doesn't really have an archenemy and Zodiac could be seen as a varation on Deadpool, simply lacking a moral barometer. If I squint at the character hard enough, I can almost see that. There's an absurd lunacy to Zodiac in his glorifying in villainy. He doesn't kill and maim and steal and fuck shit up for any reason other than to do it. He lives for the anarchy and evil. If he were a mutant, he'd call his group the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and mean it. He's the kind of villain that makes it his business to fuck with Norman Osborn because he's angry at the idea of villains playing hero. Or, he's the kind of villain who has his girlfriend dress up as Captain America while giving him a blowjob. On the surface, that seems pretty workable with Deadpool, I must admit.

And, Gavin makes an interesting point about Zodiac and his spiritual predecessor, Prometheus: once you have him lose once, he kind of loses his lustre. Except, that's something I don't think is true entirely. Prometheus was built to be the Batman of evil -- the guy you can't stop, because he's better than you. Once he's stopped, he's a joke. Zodiac is set up to be the fucked up guy who loves being bad. He'd get off on being defeated and vowing revenge. That's part of the game. He doesn't want to win, he wants to make life hell for people. After all, he didn't kill Johnny Storm. Killing the hero isn't part of the game.

That's where I find Zodiac doesn't fit with Deadpool. Zodiac is meant to be a return to a traditional supervillain. Gavin doesn't think he'd fit with the new "Heroic Age" mentality, but that's where he'd be most at home. He seems almost antiquated, but strong heroes need really bad guys. Bad guys that are there to be bad. He would be a worldclass threat almost because he's so out of left field. A 'hero' like Deadpool would be beneath him. It wouldn't even be a case of going through the whole 'upset that Deadpool just won't die, so have to keep trying' bullshit; Deadpool just ain't worth the effort. He's a tweener. Sometimes good, sometimes evil... not worth a second look. To make him Deadpool's archenemy would be to alter Zodiac... and what's the point of that? We've seen how well that worked with Noh-Varr PROTECTOR.

But, I'm also of the mind that unless Joe Casey and Nathan Fox are involved, Zodiac stays on the sidelines, so that plays a rather large role in my reaction, too. Then again, Casey and Fox could actually make a funny Deadpool comic... maybe. Ultimately, it doesn't feel like a good fit without changing Zodiac to suit Deadpool and, at that point, just create a new character. Why ruin a good one?