I've seen Deadpool in a lot of media but I've never read a genuine comic about him before, so I bought the last part of Dracula's Gauntlet and then an issue of the AXIS series from Marvel NOW. I like them both so I decided to delve into Deadpool's history and buy Deadpool Classics Number 1. This includes his first appearance in New Mutants #98, Circle Chase 1-4, Deadpool(1994) 1-4 and Deadpool 1997 #1 As usual there will be plot, character and then polish.
For being a mercenary, Deadpool doesn't do much mercenary work in the middle two stories. They're plenty interesting but it seems strange. The Pirates That Don't Do Anything. This is resolved in the final story of the collection which sees three cases of mercenary work; one for In Media Res, one for the main story, and a final one as a sequel hook.
The middle two stories have Deadpool being pursued by someone. It's a case of neither hero nor villain; just protagonist. They lack a driving arc that is present in the fourth and final one. Perhaps this is due to it being Deadpool's first monthly series instead of a limited series but they don't feel as thick in terms of story telling.
They're enjoyable but not memorable is what I would say.
In the third story Deadpool calls himself "The merc with a mop" and this is indicative. This collection doesn't have the silly Deadpool munching on chimegangas but a serious Deadpool given to moping. In these stories he's pretty depressing in how he talks about ugly he is, and how unfair the world is and stuff like that. I'd say the first genuine bits of comedy don't come until the last story, which is the only one to include Blind Al.
Deadpool is solidly a jerk with a heart of gold in these stories (save the first where he's basically a villain of the week). He's rude, selfish and egotistical but he does the right thing in the end.
Juggernaut is in two of these stories, which is fun. Both of them involve him working with Black Tom and both times fighting for a macguffin with Deadpool. The second time Deadpool is the Macguffin.
Blind Al is great. She provides both a comedic and personal role that is missing in the other stories. He doesn't have anyone to engage in Snark to Snark Combat in those stories and she's also the only one that he doesn't involve violence as either as ally or enemy. (A threat of a box trip is defeated by a counter threat to his happy meal toy collection.)
There are a bunch of different writers and painters here, but it all looks good as far as I can tell.
Trickster Eric Novels gives Deadpool Classics #1 a C+