By Daniel Way (Writer), Paco Medina (Pencils), Juan Vlasco (Inks), and Marte Gracia (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: If you take a minute to check out our “Best and Worst of ’08” feature, you’ll find that “Magnum Opus” was one of my most anticipated things of 2009. Now, with half of the crossover finished, I have to say that it is almost living up to expectations. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s funny, it’s action-packed, and the conflict between Deadpool and the Tbolts makes for some extremely entertaining reading. The only real problem is that I would much rather have the old Thunderbolts (more effective?) team facing Deadpool as opposed to the new one. I’ve got to say though, the new team is starting to grow on me.

The Story: Deadpool, while attempting to score points with Black Widow II, teams up with the Taskmaster to take on the Thunderbolts. I wish there was more to it then that, but there really isn’t. There is a variety of attempts at different types of humor, a lot of action, and a healthy dose of violence…in other words, business as usual.

What’s Good: The highlight of Deadpool #9 is how Wade Wilson interacts with both Taskmaster and Black Widow II. The exchanges he has with both are, in my opinion, downright hilarious and they are made even funnier by the ever present voice inside Wade’s head. Simply put, Daniel Way brings the funny in the third chapter of the “Magnum Opus” crossover.

Also of note is how great the whole book looks. Paco Medina’s cartoony style is a perfect fit considering the tone and his action scenes are just a lot of fun to look at. Juan Vlasco’s inks and Marte Gracia’s colors deserve to be mentioned as well, because the visuals really are the total package.

What’s Not So Good: For as fun as Deadpool #9 is, both as a visual experience and a reading experience, it definitely has a few flaws worth mentioning. One of them is that everything just feels extremely basic, like Daniel Way is just going through the (very funny) motions. If it wasn’t for the Thunderbolts, the latest Deadpool would feel very much like any other. In fact, it still does, though in nearly any other context that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I guess it’s just that it’s something of a shame to see a crossover so loaded with potential lean so heavily to one side. Also, and I know I can’t be the only one, I continue to be disappointed with how rather easily Deadpool is dealing with his enemies. While it’s fun to see Wade get the upper hand, it also undermines the effort being made to try and have the Diggle Thunderbolts fill the very big shoes left by the Ellis Thunderbolts.

Conclusion: Deadpool #9 works better as an issue of Deadpool than it does as the third chapter of “Magnum Opus.” I found it to be extremely entertaining (hence the high grade), but couldn’t really shake the fact that it didn’t lend itself well to the whole crossover thing. It just seems like “Magnum Opus” could be (or should have been) so much more.

Grade:  B

-Kyle Posluszny