By Victor Gischler (writer), Bong Dazo (pencils), Leonardo Ito (inks), Matt Milla (colors) and Jeff Eckleberry (letters)

The Story: Deadpool and company come up with a clever ruse that allows them to escape both the A.I.M. agents on their tail and the nasty infestation of mutant zombies. Since ‘Pool is the mastermind behind it all, of course, nothing goes according to plan.

What’s Good: I am an unashamedly writing-first kind of reader. If an author can sell me on the way he constructs his dialogue, or the way she crafts her story, I will enjoy the comic. I say this so you understand just how much I enjoyed the artwork of this book to bring it up first. Dazo hasn’t particularly stood out for me before, but he really tears down the house in this issue. The set pieces are wonderful, the characters are a ton of fun to watch, and the action is kinetic and exciting. This is the first time in quite a while I’ve found myself more compelled to turn the page to see what would happen next than to read what would happen. Special credit also needs to go to Matt Milla’s beautiful colors (the explosions and gun battles in particular are very, very nice.) His bold coloring and lively palette add a ton of life to these illustrations.

Gischler’s script is nothing we haven’t seen from this book before, but it is serviceable and does tell the story effectively (if bluntly.) He knows how to write this character, even if he is a bit heavy-handed about it. Deadpool is not subtle at the best of times, and in Gischler’s hands he is even less so than usual. Still, as I have noted in the past, the primary function of a Deadpool comic is to provide humor and action, and Gischler delivers both here. It should also be noted that Dazo’s pencils serve to elevate things once again when it comes to the humor; the characters’ expressions and poses are just as funny, and sometimes more so, than their dialogue.

What’s Bad: As much fun as it is to watch Deadpool run around like a Loony Tunes cartoon, it would be nice to see a bit of…anything other than that, once in a while. Now, this is not Gischler’s fault really—this is more of a meta-complaint about the treatment of ‘Pool in general. (If there WAS a Deadpool book out there that was going to give him some character development, I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to be the one with the talking severed head and giant mutant zombies.)

Doing something—anything—a bit differently would help to stop making all these Deadpool titles are so…interchangeable. None of the takes on the character are unique or different in any way. Of course, the really smart thing to do would be to cut back on the number of books and not have the problem in the first place. Cutting back on this book in particular would probably be a good idea. The concept is starting to wear more than a little thin. Not as thin as Deadpool Corps, which was DOA in issue #1 as far as I’m concerned, but the whole zombie head/ interdimensional travel thing is starting to feel like a house guest that just won’t take the hint to leave.

Conclusion: In spite of my slightly bitter-sounding rant at the end there, this issue is actually quite a lot of fun—the best issue of Merc With A Mouth I’ve read in some time. If you’re a Deadpool fan, you’ll enjoy this plenty.

Grade: C+