I've always liked the character of Deadpool, If you know even the slightest about the character then you probably know the reason why. Just the idea of a character who knows that he is within a comic book is interesting in itself, but the fact that it is within the marvel universe, with its convoluted continuity and inconstant sense of tone, is it an ultra realistic mirror view of the world with realistic guns and real life prejudices or is is it a colorful word full of quirky characters and pew pew laser guns? Deadpool tends to capitalize upon this loophole, being the absurdity to point out the absurdity, and while we don't get much of his notorious forth wall breakery in this volume, being from his early days, we still get more sarcastic nonsense than is good for us, but we lap it up anyway.
Deapool Classic Volume 1 kicks off with his first appearance in New Mutants #98. Apart from novelty value of seeing his first appearance this inclusion in the volume adds practically nothing, being a chunk out of a story arc which we never get to see the real beginning or end of. The issue sort of sets us up for The Circle Chase, but to be honest, a simple written introduction would have sufficed, or might even been an improvement.
The first proper story in the volume, The Circle Chase is a fun little romp around the lesser trodden parts of the X-Men parts of the Marvel universe. Being from the mid nineties we are constantly beset on all sides by asterisk boxes telling us that the characters are talking about something that happened in a previous issue of some series we probably don't have, and the sheer number of them is unintentionally hilarious and ironically Deapool esque, as well as being kind of nostalgic. The Circle Chase is a competent enough story giving Deapool room to motor mouth everyone he meets but the story suffers slightly from the sheer amount of references to stuff that happens in other series, 'last time we me...' 'You ruined my career...' 'didn't I kill you...', etc etc. As I said before could have been solved by some kind of written recap so we know what the characters are on about.
Next up, Sins of the Past, is a lot less bogged down, and Is genuinely entertaining as Deapool spends the entire story trying to avoid being dragged into the adventure. The inclusion of Banshee and Siryn also pleases me as I like to see my fellow countrymen get represented in the Marvel universe (Ok I'm English and their Irish, but I still consider them my countrymen) and the whole Black Tom arc came in handy because it recently came to a close in New Excalibur. As said, Deadpool's at his finest here, I can't really say anything more without spoilers.
Finally we have Issue #1 of Deadpools monthly series, this is more like it. Deadpool's at his silliest best at this point giving us action and comedy in equal measure and the issue leaves us on the brink of an ongoing arc assuring my purchase of volume 2 whenever its released. The overarching theme of this volume seems to be the whole question of what is the measure of a hero and how Deadpool isn't it, a bit like Wanted in that regard, but poor old 'pool don't get any of the good stuff.
It may not be deep, but hey, if I want deep I'll read Watchmen.
Best Panel: Its so easy even Deadpool can do it: