By Duane Swierczynsk (writer), Paco Medina (pencils), Juan Velasco (inks), Edgar Delgado (colorist) and VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters)

The Story: Cable fights his way through the hospital where Hope (the potential savior of mutantkind) has just been born. He manages to take her, but becomes overwhelmed while trying to flee. Fortunately his backup arrives just in time in the form of Deadpool. The pair make their escape, and must deal with further threats as they fight to protect Hope at all costs.

What’s Good: I needed to cleanse my ‘Pool palate pretty badly after reading the less than stellar inaugural issue of Deadpool Corps. Thankfully, Deadpool & Cable #25 proved to be the perfect antidote. This is the Merc as he should be written—quick thinking, cavalier, and absurd. Cable fares equally well, acting as the voice of logic and reason that grounds the reader in both the plot and emotional center of the story. He is every inch the soldier, and naturally finds the presence of an infant in his life quite distracting; but the cold, hard logic he uses, for example, to solve the problem of Hope’s incessant crying (“Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs? Food, warmth, shelter, sleep? You just go down the list til you hit the right one”) is not born out of callousness, but simple pragmatism. He clearly cares about the child, even as he curses the significant handicap she gives him in combat.

One thing I really appreciate about this book is that it plays the story completely straight. (Well…almost completely. This is Deadpool, after all.) This could so very easily have degenerated into an Odd Couple-esque sitcom about the two characters trying to deal with the responsibility of caring for the baby. Instead we got a great action story with plenty of non-baby related humor thrown in, and learned a little bit more about how Hope will fit into the X-universe in the process. Also, Swierczynsk limited himself to a single diaper-changing joke, and for that I thank him profusely.

What’s Not So Good: Really only one (fairly minor) complaint: this book suffers from a bit of mood whiplash when cutting between the two main characters. When they’re in the same panel, or interacting together, things run pretty smoothly. But when I settle down into three or four panels of Cable trying to tend to the baby— or fighting for her life— and then Deadpool pops up with a one-liner…well, it kinda kills the mood that was being so nicely established. Conversely, when Deadpool gets on a roll with his quips, Cable will occasionally bring it to a grinding halt either by not responding, or by throwing out a truly serious line about the baby’s life being at risk, or the fate of mutantkind depending on their mission. It doesn’t happen too often, and its certainly not enough to prevent the book from being a very fun read.

Conclusion: Cable brings the brains, Deadpool brings the funny, and they both bring the action in this very well done issue.

Grade: B