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Deadpool #22 – Review

by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn (Writers), Mike Hawthorne (Artist), Jordie Bellaire (Colorist)

The Story: Deadpool needs to get to the man who has put a bounty on his head. Thankfully, he has help from some special agents…

The Review: Being purely objective and detached from anything is a difficult task. To try and let go of personal experiences and opinions is almost impossible, as it permeates the very being you are as well as your beliefs. Reviewing comics is something that is supposed to be done in a purely objective manner, which is what I try to do each time I open an issue and analyze it.

Lately, it had been a bit difficult for me to properly review Deadpool, for a very specific reason. The story arc The good, the bad and the ugly was something that no one really saw coming in terms of quality. It was a great arc that went ahead with a tone and some themes that were generally very surprising for a Deadpool story, being rather serious instead of silly on many occasions. Thus, it kind of made me analyze this series based on the merits of this arc more than the merits of a singular issue, which made the latest two issues a bit less-appreciated from my part.

Thankfully, both Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn went ahead and cranked the action and humor up a notch in this issue, proving that they can return to the previous tone of the series without throwing away what they wrote some issues prior. Overall, I’d say it’s an improvement, but there are still some little issues all along, like most comics out there.

One of the best aspect of this issue is the pacing, which is fast-paced. Focusing on the action for most of the issue, the rapidity of many developments come as a great help to the conflicts and battles fought by Wade Wilson. What’s also good is that this fast progression does not come at the detriment of the humor and the story, with developments and joke galore despite all the slashing and bashing done in the issue.
The humor also benefits from this greatly, as both Posehn and Duggan throws a veritable barrage of quips, wordplays and crazy situations at the readers, never letting go for one second. Each pages revels in the opportunity to play at the possible silliness, despite the rather grave situation the characters are in, adding a massive dose of levity that fits the titular character well.

What’s surprising, though, is in how both writers are able to touch upon character development through all of his insanity. The way Deadpool deals with close to everyone, despite the fact that they are there to kill him, is commendable in the way it evokes what happened to him and the way he has been changed by recent events. The return of the humor is also a nice subtle touch on how the character deals with the mess he seems to be always in, which is something that both writers did seem to add naturally in their stories.

Still, not everything is perfect. For one, while it is always a thing of pure subjectivity, not all of the jokes hit. Some are rather simple in their punch line, which doesn’t add much to the situations each characters are in. Some of the action is also perhaps a little bit too fast, with a certain disregard to the potential of some scenes. While it does play with the humor and the tone of the issue in general, it seems a bit like a waste in a few pages to have a certain rush in the pacing.

However, the art here is irreproachable, as Mike Hawthorne returns gloriously to the book. The fast-tracked issue benefits greatly from his sense of motion and his rather energetic characters. The action is great thanks to his poses and the attention to smaller details found in the expressions and the fluid storytelling present in the panel layout. Something that is rather impressive, though, is in how thorough Hawthorne is with his scenery and backgrounds. There is a lot of details and just enough elements in each panels that sets up nicely where Deadpool is without overwhelming the readers, making the backgrounds not just window-dressing but ultimately a nice touch to the storytelling in general. The overly cartoony style, while not being as extreme as Ed McGuiness or Joe Madureira, is very fitting of the book, which makes this rather explosive tale a blast visually.

The colorization of Jordie Bellaire is certainly to be commended also, with a clear madness in some pages which does wonder for the action and frenetic rapidity of the tale. The moments in the toy store, the explosions and the general touches in the background provide for a lot of diversity without resulting in utter chaos. Giving a feeling of controlled chaos, Bellaire does a lot of minimal work with each elements, getting to the basic gist of them without over blowing them with light and shadow effects, letting the visceral aspects of a lot of elements pop out on the pages. It’s a thoroughly nice colorization, all in all.

The Conclusion: The whole creative team impress thanks to a fast-paced issue full of action, humor and development that display very well why this current volume of Deadpool is pretty good. With some great art and colorization, it’s a solid entry in this series so far.

Grade: B+

-Hugo Robberts Larivière

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