By Daniel Way (writer), Carlo Barberi (pencils), Juan Vlasco (ink), Marte Gracia (colors), VC’s Joe Sabino (letters)

The Story: Deadpool pulls a pretty epic double-cross on Weasel, and they both deal with Grizzly’s counter-attack.

What’s Good: Way’s characterization of Deadpool continues to be this series’ strong point, and reinforces it as the flagship Deadpool book. While some of the plot decisions in this issue took a turn for the wonky (‘Pool’s double-cross for example–more on that later), it still feels very Deadpool. This is not Way’s strongest issue by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s a talented enough writer than even a less than stellar outing isn’t bad.

Barberi’s pencils serve the story well. Although he has more than his usual quota of odd panels (especially when it comes to facial expressions), a lot of the less than stellar elements are mitigated by Gracia’s excellent color work. The entire art team does a great job on the House and Wildcard armored suits. I wish there was more variation between them than just color, but they’re still a lot of fun to watch in action. They feel suitably powerful, and Barberi gives them a wonderful sense of weight when they move or strike.

What’s Not So Good: My biggest quibble with the whole issue is ‘Pool’s double-crossing of Weasel. While this is not a turn of events that any real fan of the Merc would be surprised by, I still feel like it undermines a great deal of the characterization Way has been building over the last couple of arcs. Wade’s whole thing has been trying to become a hero. He may fail at it most of the time, but that’s been his goal. It seems a shame that he throws it all away here rather suddenly, and on a whim. The great deus ex machine of the Deadpool character is that he is completely insane so you can’t really claim that much of anything he does is truly “out of character,” but this was an extremely abrupt shift. Way is a good enough writer that I’m willing to wait and see where he goes with this—it could be building to something great. But for the moment I’m left slightly confused and quite disappointed by this new direction.

Conclusion: Not as good as last issue; Way seems to have lost a bit of the momentum he was building here. Still, he continues to be the only writer to treat Deadpool with any kind of respect. If that means something to you, this book is worth picking up. I’m crossing my fingers that the next issue will put all my doubts to rest.

Grade: C+