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

The Story: I suppose that even Deadpool had to learn in some ways that violence doesn’t always solve every problems. Most, but not all of them.

The Review
: There seems to be a more seasonal approach to comic book storytelling with the big two in the past few years. With new number ones getting released to indicate a change in volume, a change in paradigm or one in term of creators, many books now emphasize the ever-changing or evolving status quo of their very storylines.

Deadpool by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn is very much in the same boat, yet does not seemingly boast about it more than it actually conclude a particular chapter and then moves on. With many of the subplots relative to certain characters and ideas introduced in the very first arc now done, this issue serves as a rather great conclusion to a certain analysis of the character and what he does great.

Where this issue does a lot of things right is with how Duggan and Posehn handle his relations with the other characters. He might have been a bit unsavory at times, yet how he departs from them, how he actually try to show he can change and make his life happier for their sake is a rather touching moment. With his evolution passing through his ordeals and through his various moments shared with them, the way he acts with Agent Adsit, Agent Preston, Michael and the others is a pretty touching element of the book.

What’s also quite good, with both writers showing an understanding of the character’s appeal, is how they portray the action. With a certain abandon as to what they can do to Deadpool and the very attitude toward violence Wade Wilson usually showed in prior incarnations, the fight against Crossbone is one that is fueled by a certain balance between cartoonish and brutal. With blows and quips being traded as well as some jokes, the very essence of some of Deadpool’s best moment can be show here in some of these moments of conflicting arguments expressed through fists and mayhem.

However, the issue is not without its shares of problem. For one, there is a certain rushed aspects to some of the jokes and elements placed in this issue, making some of the more comedic moments and some of the resolutions feel a tad forced. The sudden arrival of Gorman and how he is dealt with, the opening issue and how Crossbone seems to be a bit too trivial about his vengeance against Wade, the appearance of this crazed woman on her bike with her dog and some of the lines or dialogues are perhaps a bit too weirdly paced or placed to be as effective as they could have been. If it weren’t for the more emotional and much funnier moments near the end of the book, this issue would have been a rather poor conclusion to this arc and this whole chapter.

Still, what also makes for a pleasant reading experience is Mike Hawthorne who simply continues being very good at his job. With an excellent ability to represent action in a minimal, yet impactful way, the Deadpool vs. Crossbone fight is very lively. Making the characters, their poses and their reactions a vital part of the action, there is a certain kinetic aspect to everything in this scene that allows for the progression of events to be very interesting visually. With his more cartoonish, yet not overly so, style, Hawthorne is also able to pinpoint the brutality without making it too visceral or ugly, yet not too light or childish all the same.

Despite it all, what makes him such a standout artist here is the fact that he has an eye for the smaller and bigger moments all the same. With a fluid storytelling thanks to his layout, he is able to move from utterly personal, violent than comedic thanks to his use of settings and characters. His sense of movement as well as his penchant for a restriction of hyperbole makes for a wonderful artistic direction for the title. As long as Hawthorne will be on the title, it has a rather brilliant future ahead as far as visuals are concerned.

The same compliment could also be given to Jordie Bellaire, who gives the book another kind of identity thanks to her colors, yet one that is bizarrely fitting. With a more nuanced and downplayed palette in display, Bellaire lets the action speak for itself as there are very few big and striking moments where the color pops out of the page. Using the backgrounds to set up a certain tone with a multitude of smaller contrasts, she makes the main character the very center of attention thanks to his very color scheme, which is a very smart move on her part.

The Conclusion: Beside a certain number of smaller problems, the action, fun and really great art in this issue makes this a fitting conclusion to an arc and a whole chapter’s of Wade Wilson’s life. A good reading experience courtesy of Duggan, Posehn, Hawthorne and Bellaire.

Grade: B

Hugo Robberts Larivière