The “Merc with a Mouth” won’t rest until he’s conquered every medium, it seems. Including shonen manga. In 2020, Deadpool: Samurai brought Wade Wilson’s antics to Japan — both literally and in the pages of the manga itself.
Tony Stark tasks DP with heading up the Samurai Squad: Japan’s own version of the Avengers. In just one volume he fights baddies, blows up buildings, and finds two cute OC’s for his team. And he’s getting paid for it. So, is the manga worth your time? Short answer: yes. Longer answer: SEO-optimized yes. Here’s why:
Deadpool’s Right on the Mark
Ask anyone who’s run into a dozen Deadpool cosplayers in one day: getting Wade Wilson note perfect is a lot harder than it seems. He’s not just a nonsense-spouting machine or a fourth-wall breaker. He’s got a personality, likes and dislikes, and goals. He loves getting attention from his faves. And… yeah, he’s a fourth-wall breaker.
Fortunately, our guy is right on point in the manga. He takes the Samurai Squad gig for a not-inconsiderable amount of cash. (Thanks, Tony.) He throws himself a “Welcome to Japan” party and only Captain America shows up. He also really misses his boy Spidey. And speaking of Spiders-Men…
The Multiverse Expands
If Deadpool is going to a new setting, he needs a new team. And since Spider-Man is otherwise occupied, we need a new Spidey. Meet Hida Hiraka, a.k.a. Sakura Spider. She lives with her Aunt Mei and Uncle Tsutomu (written with kanji that can also be pronounced “Ben”). Her powers are, effectively, the same as Peter Parker’s. But she’s a cute manga girl. DP, of course, is well aware he’s dealing with OC’s. And while we think Sakura Spider is kinda cute, he’s not about to be upstaged.
The squad also has its own Venom: Neiro Shinichi, a teenaged idol singer who befriended a certain amnesiac symbiote. Neiro loves her fans and loves to feed “Venny” chocolate. Venny loves to eat people who are mean to Neiro. It works out. Kind of.
When your gig is kicking the fourth wall in half, you have to keep on top of each genre’s respective style. Deadpool in the films had certain jokes that worked; others in the games; and so on. For a Shonen Jump manga, he has to make Shonen Jump observations. And that’s something the writers definitely nail.
For example, there’s a page where he attempts to point out the “shy” ranking button on the Jump+ website so you can upvote him. Another where he complains that he can’t tell Neiro and Hida apart because the artist draws all his girls with the same face. And plenty of references to manga’s unique business and production model, popular titles, and how he has to behave since he’s a Shonen Jump hero. (He also takes a few shots at how much time you have to dedicate to remembering characters in American comics… fair enough.)
Want to read Deadpool: Samurai? Check out a preview on the Viz website!