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Deadpool #22 [Review]

Writer: Daniel Way
Art: Tan Eng Huat
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Jason Pearson
Assistant Editor: Jody Leheup
Editor: Axel Alonso
Published by: Marvel Comics

Having parted ways with Spider-Man, Deadpool finds himself on his own, trying to play the part of the “hero” rather than merely gun-totin’ merc-with-a-mouth. After a nice bit of Pool-o-vision, we find Wade on a bus, which, of course, conveniently is in the right place/time to be robbed. After the robbers leave, ‘Pool realizes they were dirty cops, and heads into a nearby town seeking justice. Of course, in typical Deadpool fashion, what he finds isn’t what one would exactly expect, and leads to a true test of Deadpool’s will to be more heroic than mercenary.

The art by Huat and Gracia is not bad, though somehow it doesn’t strike me as the best Deadpool’s looked. Of course, I’m finding myself inundated lately with Deadpool all over the place by so many artists that it doesn’t seem the character has any overly consistent appearance these days. This issue tips a bit more toward the realistic side away from some of the more exaggerated, cartooney takes on the character and his stories. The visuals don’t particularly stand out all that much, but they’re not anything that’ll turn me off to the book, either.

The story itself–while fitting into the general theme of Deadpool trying to “go hero” left me feeling rather put off. This issue is a one ‘n done tale–and as such, in a title that has operated on the modern formula of multi-issue arcs that have some forward movement but lead directly from one issue to another, it’s rather disappointing. I do imagine this will sit better in the longer view–whether it’s the first of several such stories, or if it’s setting up something to come or perhaps serving as a bit of an epilogue: “here, after encounterying Spider-Man, see what Deadpool tries to do after being so inspired.”

Whatever intellectual rationalization is given, for me, with what I’ve come to expect from a Deadpool comic, this one was a distinct let-down, and possibly my least favorite issue of the series to date.

If you’re all about ANYthing and everything Deadpool, chances are you’ll have already decided to pick this up. The single-issue story format makes it a sorta neutral point for someone considering checking the character out–you see some key aspects of the character, from “Pool-o-vision” to the multiple voices in his head, to how he deals with certain situations. But without a through-narrative from a previous issue or lead-in to the next issue, this one’s ultimately forgettable and seems non-essential.

Not recommended.

Story: 4/10
Art: 7/10
Overall: 5.5/10

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Deadpool #19 [Review]

Writer: Daniel Way
Penciler: Carlo Barberi
Inkers: Juan Vlasco, Sandu Florea
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: Jason Pearson
Assistant Editor: Jody Leheup
Editor: Axel Alonso
Published by: Marvel Comics

For the most part, I’ve been looking forward to this issue since the Deadpool issue of Amazing Spider-Man several months back. This issue picks up on Peter Parker being the typical version of the character. After a near run-in with Deadpool, he hopes trouble’s not following…but soon finds trouble when a murder is discovered that seems to have Deadpool’s “fingerprints” all over it. Parker tracks Deadpool and beats the guy mercilessly before finally realizing perhaps he’s not the culprit…and Deadpool provides some new information as to who the culprit most likely is–as well as some background on this “Hitman Monkey” character.

This is the best Spider-Man I’ve read in a long time. In fact, it’s the only Spider-Man I’ve read in a long time…and so this story is all the more enjoyable for getting to read a character I like again–the Deadpool issue being the sole issue of Amazing Spider-Man I’ve been able to bring myself to buy since One More Day (and it read like an issue of Deadpool more than it did Spider-Man). Way captures a good part of the character–keeping him recognizable and believable, while leaving out details that date the character. Deadpool seems to be his usual self, which considering Way‘s still the writer, is a good thing. What I don’t care for is this Hit-man Monkey…from what I understand, this is a character created for some sort of webcomic on Marvel’s site, and he’s now being pulled into this title. Were he simply a random character being introduced here for the first time, it would seem far more fitting, and I wouldn’t feel like I’m missing out on some in-joke.

The art is quite good, and I really like the way the characters are depicted throughout the issue. Though I’d enjoyed the Deadpool story in Amazing Spider-Man, I recall the art being a complete turn-off…here, Spidey looks normal, if not very good as a whole…certainly significantly better than the last time I’d seen him. Additionally, this version of Deadpool has a certain visual “feel” that adds to me liking this book.

Story, art…this is a very good issue of Deadpool, and as the start of a new story–one involving Spider-Man–seems a decent point for new readers to jump in and check things out. Of the various Deadpool books, this (for the moment at least) is my favorite…perhaps for being rooted in actual ongoing main Marvel continuity rather than playing in its own sandbox off to the side or with what are–while good stories–still fairly inconsequential done-in-ones.

Highly recommended!

Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

Deadpool #17 [Review]

Want You to Want Me Part Three: The Revolution Will Be Televised

Writer: Daniel Way
Penciller: Paco Medina
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Assistant Editor: Jody Leheup
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover: Jason Pearson
Publisher: Marvel Comics

It’s hard to believe this is only the third issue of Deadpool that I’ve bought new of this series. Since picking up #15 to “try” at a friend’s persistent urging/recommendation, I’ve gone back and bought issues 12-14, the Secret Invasion trade, the Deadpool/Thunderbolts trade, a Suicide Kings hardcover, Merc With a Mouth 1-3 (and 4 “new”), as well as Deadpool #900 and Deadpool Team-Up #899. (And of course, also picked up this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #611 just because it had Deadpool in it).

As the above paragraph probably suggests…I’m hooked. I’m a total sucker for anything Deadpool right now. Of course…that’s for good reason The character’s at the top of his game under the various creative teams right now. And over-exposed or exploited as the character may be, I’m thoroughly enjoying such a concentrated dose of the character at present.

This issue picks up on Deadpool seeking to prove himself to Cyclops, that he can cut it s an X-man. Cyclops is handling a sensitive political situation, and Deadpool doesn’t exactly help. His involvement leads Cyclops to send Domino after the Merc…and a misunderstnding with her overhearing Cyclops talking to Wolverine keeps them from hanging onto Wade once they have him. We’re also given a sort of wacky take on H.A.M.M.E.R. and its agents that fits perfectly with Deadpool. The ending sets up the concluding chapter of this arc on a fairly generic cliffhanger.

The art’s good stuff here, and I continue to really enjoy Medina’s work. This contrasts with the cover art, which–while amusing enough–isn’t all that appealing. Still, I’m thankful for the interior being to my liking.

I like that this title is fairly well self-contained; despite the large number of other Deadpool comics and appearances going on at present, this story isn’t forced to acknowledge all of that; its story is its own entity.

This isn’t a great jumping-on point, really (but certainly is not the worst, thanks to the “Previously Page” that Marvel actually does very well with). As a whole, this really feels like the “main” Deadpool book, allowing the other books their status as “secondary” or “side” titles. This seems the book you’ll want to give a look at if you’re interested in Deadpool’s place in interaction with the current Marvel Universe’s ongoing continuity (Dark Reign and all that).

All in all, another solid issue, and I’m ready for the next.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 8.5/10
Whole: 8/10

Deadpool #16 [Review]

Want You to Want Me Part Two: No Man is an Island

Writer: Daniel Way
Penciller: Paco Medina
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Assistant Editor: Jody Leheup
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover: Jason Pearson
Publisher: Marvel Comics

After the cliffhanger emphasis put on Deadpool’s decision last issue, this issue was rather abrubt to start out. Deadpool is flatly turned down and away. Upon further consideration, Cyclops sends Domino after him to bring Deadpool in to the team. This results in some misunderstanding between Deadpool and Domino, before Deadpool spills the beans on his plan to show the X-Men what “moves” he’s got to bring to the team.

This is my first new, bought-day-of-release issue of Deadpool in years. I vaguely recall picking up the final issue of Cable/Deadpool a few years back; prior to that, I don’t recall if I picked up the first issue of whatever the long-running solo Deadpool title became with that “reboot” back in 2001/2002ish. And before that, I’d picked up the first issue of the first 1990s mini-series (that came out the same summer as the first Sabretooth miniseries…guess which character’s ultimately had “legs”?).

The “previously” page lets one in on the bare essentials you need-to-know for this issue…I don’t even need to remember what happened in the previous issue (though I’ve enjoyed issues 15 and 12-14 [in that order]). This is one thing I definitely applaud Marvel on that I’ve long felt DC needs to do–especially the WAY Marvel does it, it’s something that adds to the single issue format, and is easily removed for the collected volume with zero loss of story or story pages. But it adds a lot to the issue itself…not to mention providing a consistent place to see which creator did what on a given issue.

Though there’s some dark, violent stuff to this series…there’s a warped sense of fun about it, too, that makes it simply an enjoyable book to read, with some amusing gags and pokes through the “fourth wall.” The art just plays right into this, as the visual style is very solid…and really quite good in and of itself. Cyclops, Domino, and of course, Deadpool all look quite good in this issue, and for that alone the art gets props from me. The visuals bring in contemporary looks for the various characters…and really makes ’em look about the best I’ve seen them in awhile–particularly Cyclops and Deadpool himself.

This issue and its story are grounded in the “Dark Reign” status quo the overall Marvel Universe is mired in…and yet thankfully keeps somewhat above it, in a way. There’s also the fact that the issue is a mere $2.99…which is QUITE a steal on a book from this publisher of late.

There’s plenty of backstory to be had in Deadpool as a character, even just from this current series. That context will add an extra layer of enjoyment to the reading of this issue. At the same time, short of another reboot or an issue specifically labeled on its cover or in solicitations as a jump-on point…this is about as good a jump-on point as one’s gonna get.

If you like the character and aren’t reading this book, I’d recommend giving it a shot. ALso, if you’re avoiding Marvel for all the $3.99 books and yet want a peek into the Marvel Universe of late…this seems an excellent title for peeking in on things at the already-high-enough $2.99 price point.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8.5/10
Whole: 8/10

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