by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn (Writers), Declan Shalvey (Artist), Jordie Bellaire (Colorist)
The Story: Deadpool finally gets a chat with Butler as he wants to get answers about a great many things.
The Review: It’s always a nice thing to see a character get the respect he or she deserves. It’s never uncommon to see a certain creative team that doesn’t seem to ”get” a character, pushing for a divergent version that plays on some of the more popular themes while never really touching the others. While there are always many ways to interpret a character, there will always be some version that are more memorable and thus stay with the readers as a ”better” version.
Deadpool is perhaps one of those characters upon which many writers have pushed for one side more while never really focusing on the others, with some liking the humor and others being more in love with the mercenary aspect of the character. However, it seems that in this story and arguably in their whole run, both Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn have managed to bring back an ensemble look at this beloved character, with hints of Joe Kelly’s characterization for good measure.
With ”The good, the bad and the ugly”, they had actually done the hard job of selling to the readers a much more humane Wade Wilson and make him interesting beside the silly pop culture reference. In this story, we get to see him as a credible force, a human being, one capable of compassion, cruelty and many other emotions without resorting to cheap ploy or jokes, creating something much better in the process. This is not just a clown, but a person we are rooting for and this is not something every Deadpool comics can manage.
Something else that is greatly handled is the scene with Butler, who is certainly not the typical humor-filled villain that is usual in Deadpool stories. With the whole buildup and the explanation about who he is, the confrontation between Wade and him hold a lot of meaning as this isn’t simply a battle, but a challenge of ideology between the past and the present of Deadpool, the old versus the new. With this interaction between the two, we can see the slow evolution come to the forefront, the one that had been built up with each and every arc before this one. Nothing gets in the way of the message and the payout against Butler, which is set up carefully and with enough setup that it do become hugely satisfying to see what eventually happens to him.
There is a bit more to the issue than this encounter between those two, however, as both Duggan and Posehn also throws in some great scenes as well, with one of the best use of Captain America in a while. Wolverine isn’t as lucky, as both writers use him in a way that isn’t the most original or clever, yet his inclusion does play well with Deadpool as a character. The epilogue in itself as well as the flashbacks are also especially nice, showcasing just how much the character is worth in terms of evolution. In terms of writing, this is especially good, even if there’s almost no humor in this issue.
The art is also nothing to be ashamed of, with Declan Shalvey giving it his best shot as the dialogue between Butler and Deadpool is dynamic enough, making this issue intense despite the lack of big-time action and bombastic violence this time around. He achieves this not only through his excellent panel-to-panel flow, but also because of his excellent scenery and background work, pushing the technological and sometime sterile environment in order to provide a contrast to the more humane and sometime violent happenings in this issue. While the previous issue had some problems over rather small facial expressions, Shalvey is able to successfully get over it, bringing in the focus between Deadpool and Butler during this key scene, while still getting across some of the more important scenes in terms of emotions thanks to his body work and the faces of his characters. As a whole, it’s a superb issue for Shalvey.
Jordie Bellaire is out of this world, though, as the heavy emphasis on sterile white in some of the scenes really make the other colors pop out of the pages, enhancing the effect on some of the more important details that much more. In each flashbacks and during the scene showing the bunker, Bellaire is able to use bright and dark colorization not only to display Deadpool and his environment in terms of contrasting dualities with the rest of the world and with Butler, but it also match the narrative evolution of the comic. When Deadpool finally arrive in the pure white area, it is already corrupted with his desire of violence, with the truth finally reaching that unreachable area. For Bellaire, this is exemplary work.
The Conclusion: Bringing in a very serious conclusion to their storyline, both Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn manages to show a particularly thoughtful and evolving side of the Merc with a Mouth. With the excellent artistic direction of both Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, this is simply excellent all around. Kudos to them.
-Hugo Robberts Larivière