By: Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn (Writers), Mike Hawthorne (Artist), Val Staples (Colorist)
The Story: Deadpool tries to kill another person on Vetis list, who is a shapeshifter. While he does so, he encounters other super beings from New York, mainly from Daredevil’s corner.
The Review: Well, this escalated quickly. As the last issue was unfortunately lacking in the charm that had been established in the series so far by giving us less focus on the story, both writers did so once more in this issue. This time, however, a lot of the humor fall a little flat as the writers just don’t really take full advantage of each situation they are in, trying to rush through many characters and jokes possible without letting the reader settle into the humor or the situation.
That’s not to say all the jokes are bad here, as there are some comedy gems, like how Daredevil perceives Deadpool in a way that parodies Mark Waid take on the blind superhero or how Deadpool has to fight a man that misunderstand how the merc with a mouth interpret who he is chasing. There are some moments that genuinely made me laugh and that were both referential to other works or to the general spirit of today.
What didn’t work really well here is that this issue retake the concept of Wade Wilson interacting with the wider Marvel universe, this time doing so with Daredevil and Jessica Jones with varied results. As the story unfolds, we see Deadpool preparing himself to take down another person on Vetis list as he gets nearer to completing his task. As soon as he finds him, there begins a chase scene that take most of the comic with Deadpool being stopped in his pursuit by someone else. This give the comic the routine of him telling a joke, running, encountering a difficulty, telling a joke, beating down the person, telling a joke, running and so on in a cycle.
This, unfortunately, gets old a bit fast after the second time it happens, as the humor seems to take a lot of precedence over the story. Call me an idealist, but the very best stories featuring Deadpool always managed to mix humor and plot progression in a way that felt natural, with both completing each other to give us the perfect Deadpool comic. Here, the story grinds to a halt each time he encounters someone else, with the victim always near when Deadpool is done just to cement that fact. The duo of writers valorizes the humor far more here than action or plot, which can be nice sometimes, but not in a repeated fashion. Still, the plot does progress in a way that may give us yet a satisfying conclusion as the pieces are moved for a final confrontation between Vetis and Deadpool.
However, as the pacing can be a tad slow and the balance between humor and plot is unbalanced, there’s not a lot of bad that can be said about Mike Hawthorne here. Since a lot of the comic is a chase scene with some action thrown in, it needs to be energetic and it needs to move fast, which Hawthorne can do. His characters are always in movement, reacting either to what happens around them in a way that makes it interesting to see or in a believable way in reaction to the action of others. His poses are nice and varied, his backgrounds are clear and detailed and his action scenes are evocative, which makes this a winner in my book in terms of visual storytelling.
Another winner here is Val Staples, who replicates the night feel of a lot of the older Daredevil stories with their luminosity and can make us see the fiery pit of Hell in a way that matches up to our collective imagined version of it. The colors work well in tandem to Mike Hawthorne energy on the book, which is what colorists do quite well and Val Staples is no different.
The Conclusion: While the unbalance between humor and plot and the repetitiveness of its scenes hurt the book, the art and some of its humor saves it from being an unreadable mess. Hopefully, the conclusion will be much stronger.
Hugo Robberts Larivière