When it rains, it pours, goes the old adage, one that has rung particularly true for Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, and the folks at Marvel, this past week. Deadpool #27, released on April 9th, commemorates Deadpool’s marriage to Shiklah, an ancient succubus. While, of course, this is cause for celebration in itself, the cover of this “enormously oversized” and “most important issue” features a giant group pic of all of the event’s attendees, and thereby sports a stamp marking its place in the Guinness Book of World Records for “most comic book characters on a single issue cover”.
Guinness deemed 224 of the 232 characters depicted on the cover as “publicly familiar enough” to award said title. Deadpool has had a lengthy tenure at Marvel, debuting in February 1991 as a villain in New Mutants #98. Aside from carrying his own series, which launched in 1997, he has also made guest appearances in Marvel’s Avengers, Daredevil, and Heroes for Hire series. Among the attendees were familiar faces from these series as well as his original creators, writer and artist team Fabian Niciezz and Rob Liefeld.
Editor Jordan White told Guinness he thought artist Scott Koblish was “crazy when he proposed this cover layout” (very punny, Jordan White). “But it’s the kind of crazy you have to respect,” marveling at Koblish and colorist Val Staples’ triumph.
But “not so fast,” contests Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston, citing the Devil’s Due’s June 2007 issue of G.I. Joe : America’s Elite (#25), as rightful recipient of that honor.
While both contenders do depict exactly 232 characters on their respective covers, Marvel included animals, such as Dogpool, in the tally, while G.I. Joe did not. “Which means if you count the animals, or if you don’t count the animals, then G.I. Joe beats Deadpool.” Johnston has more to say on the topic, here, but we’re staying out of it.
Controversies aside, Marvel deserves indubitable daps for making Guinness a second time this week when Ken Bald, of Captain America fame, became certified as the world’s “oldest comic book artist”. Not bad, then, Marvel. Congrats, congrats, congrats!