One of the most low-key interesting things about Deadpool is how easily he can take away Wolverine’s attention. You saw it in Wolverine #20 from the data pages to the captions and in Wolverine #21 that continues, but all he wants is a little love and maybe a spot on X-Force. Is that so much to ask?
Picking up where we left off, Deadpool and Wolverine are being bombarded with bullets from a helicopter. Deadpool snagged a briefcase Wolverine was after, setting up a conflict between the two. On top of that, Wolverine hates Deadpool’s guts. It’s a standard comic at the start save for Adam Kubert’s wicked cool layout design that frames the action like a classic painting.
Then Deadpool takes over the recap page with red text. I do love that Deadpool also scrawls “Deadpool / Head of X” for the nerds who pay attention to details like that.
Once again, Deadpool is the main focus of the narrative, supplying captions with flashbacks to his antics. The flashback explains how he gets gadgetry, but also establishes key characters for later. All the while, we know from the last issue Danger is shooting at these heroes and wants what is in the briefcase.
Kubert does a heck of a job throughout with good details and some rather violent moments for Wolverine. A double-page spread of Wolverine fighting a bunch of other Wolverines does well to capture the briefcase’s journey across many hands. The actual fighting is a bit small, though, and somewhat monotonous. That’s sort of a theme when it comes to Deadpool and his annoying nature in the narrative throughout the issue.
Not every joke lands or even on every page. There’s a page where Deadpool is using some tech to make him and Wolverine look like a tree and rock. The concept makes sense after you read the dialogue, but the visual isn’t that interesting to look at.
Possibly the best moment comes when Maverick and Deadpool run into each other in a 9-panel grid. It shows their history and their weird relationship well. It’s definitely fun to see how Percy explains Weasel even giving Deadpool the time of day, especially with how he explains their past in two or so panels. They just can’t quit each other.
Wolverine #21 is a good, but not great comic. There are highlights for sure and clever bits of dialogue and artistry, but it hasn’t quite found its groove. The idea of Deadpool stealing the story arc is fun, but the execution wise it limps along too slowly or awkwardly.
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