Deadpool’s got a new status quo as of late. He’s the “King of the Monsters,” hunkered down in a new base on Staten Island (or, to be more accurate, the Island Formerly Known as Staten) with a random mix of monster characters and Elsa Bloodstone of Nextwave fame. We’re ten issues in now, which is theoretically long enough for the series to have established its footing but also early enough to leave plenty of questions about where the title goes from here. So, how’s this week’s issue?
Scratch any thought or debate about what ramifications Deadpool #10 might have for the rest of the series, because this is a tie-in issue. Wade tells us as much on the first page:
This is one of the best segues into crossover-mandated events I’ve ever seen. If you’re like me and haven’t been keeping up with Marvel Comics much as of late, you might not know who exactly the King in Black is. That’s okay, because Deadpool is here to let you know what’s up: there’s some symbiote-esque shenanigans going on, and he’s gonna jump into the fray this issue. Deadpool stories can be made or broken by how effectively the writer utilizes the character’s fourth-wall breaking sense of humor, and Kelly Thompson does a great job of it here. Wade’s references to the real world serve a purpose, and don’t last unnecessarily long before returning to the events at hand.
Fortunately, the events at hand themselves are quite great. Wade looks around at his inner circle of trustworthy monsters, literally says “We can do better,” and holds an impromptu audition process. It’s a perfect setup for Wade (and Thompson, through Wade) to deliver several good one-liners involving copyright infringement and snowman puns, as well as a delightful surprise appearance from a certain old school X-Men villain. Hell yeah!
The pacing throughout the issue is also solid, with the bits and gags effectively woven into the battle and rising and falling action without disrupting the flow of said events. Several members of Deadpool’s ragtag team of monsters get time to shine during the action scene, and Thompson’s take on Wade himself is likable. Smartass though he is, this take on Deadpool isn’t inherently mean-spirited, and the issue has the fun vibe of a motley team book.
The issue also owes much of its success to the stellar art courtesy of Gerardo Sandoval. His style is just plain fun, with a rule-of-cool vibe that calls to mind some of the best work of the late ’90s. There’s a lot to appreciate from a technical standpoint: the sense of motion as characters move across the page, well-rendered anatomy, composition choices that effectively lead the eye from focal point to focal point, and wicked deep inks. The splash pages of the team marching into battle add a nice touch of humor as well. Other miscellaneous nice touches include the way Wade’s mask actually looks like fabric stretched across his face rather than just painted on red, as well as the texture of the fur lining on Wade’s cape.
There’s not much to find fault with in this issue. My main misgiving is with a moment of reused old art being repurposed into the story. Wade himself comments on it and explains, and it’s not the fact that art gets reused that’s bothersome. It’s the fact that said art feels slightly out of place. There’s just enough visual disruption to take one out of the plot for a moment, and the pacing gets momentarily skewed alongside it. The issue gets back on track before long so it’s not a huge deal, but it does feel like a minor bump in the road.
All in all, Deadpool #10 is a lot of fun. Frankly, it doesn’t even matter that it’s a tie-in to an event that has nothing to do with Wade himself. Thompson and Sandoval’s legitimately funny take on Wade, combined with a likable extended cast of nobody characters, could strike success from just about any plot. I just hope that the series isn’t finished, what with no further issues being solicited and the ending to this one hinting at possible finality.
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