For me, Marvel NOW! Deadpool writers Brian Posehn & Gerry Duggan started to find their 'Pool voice with Deadpool #7--a 'previously unseen' tale from Wade Wilson's past, in which he made a deal with a demon and then reneged on it--and that voice is strengthened in Deadpool #8, the first part of the new story arc...
Here, to save one of his new friends, the Merc with a Mouth is tasked with reclaiming the souls of four guys who've sold theirs to the Devil...
We begin the issue by joining dead S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Preston inside Deadpool's mind; a result of one of his other new buddies, Necromancer Michael, magicking her consciousness into Wade's for storage when she was killed.
Deadpool's set up a 'welcome party' for Preston--with pizza, music, mini Deadpools running around, and floating guns. Yeah. We're through the looking glass here, and from previews I've seen, this is just gonna be our first visit to the inside of Wade Wilson's brain, and I'm looking forward to more.
Preston isn't. She wants out. But while she's here, Deadpool does her a solid and goes and pays her kid a visit in his bedroom, to let him know she's actually still alive--enabling Preston to speak through Deadpool's mouth--before her husband barges in and shoots him in the ass.
This being 'the regeneratin' degenerate,' it's gonna take more than that to floor him, though, and it's not long before he's back in the ice cream van he's just stolen, about to head on his merry way--until he's interrupted by the return of Vetis--the demon from last issue--looking somewhat worse for wear.
Now sporting face wounds that will never heal as a punishment for fudging the deal he made with Deadpool (Wade was supposed to get alcoholic Iron Man drunk and ruin him--but instead, put Tony Stark's armor on and went on a bender himself), Vetis has been let out of Hell for bad behaviour as a result of another deal he made--with Necromancer Michael. This deal led to the previous story arc's undead Presidents' onslaught on the Earth; Vetis is prepared to let the soul-claiming parts of his deals with both Michael and Wade slide if Deadpool takes down the four other people on the list they collectively make up.
Wade puts his head together with the rest of his new crew, Michael, Preston, and the ghost of Benjamin Franklin(!), and they resolve to play along with Vetis's game for now--but to also use one of the people on the list (once dead) as a new host body for Agent Preston (Franklin believes he knows where he can find a spell that Michael could utilize to make the switch).
From here, Deadpool swings into action singing a pastiche of the old Spider-Man TV show theme tune as he takes on Corrado Coloruno, the first guy on Vetis's hit list--a punk who sold his soul for invulnerablity; and for the first time in awhile, the Merc with a Mouth is back doing what he does best: rocking his unhinged, edgy, kick-ass merc skillz--rather than playing the 'Bugs Bunny' version of Deadpool who inhabited most of this series' previous arc. And it's a pleasure to behold; one that climaxes with Wade's inventive 'solution' to Coloruno's invulnerability.
But that's not all, the appearance of a hot redhead signals another development that taps into previously unrevealed Deadpool history, and a novel use for Wade's super-charged healing abilities is brought (back) into play.
There's a lot going on here, but it's well paced and much of it is a pleasant surprise... Agent Preston was a character I didn't care for in the previous arc, but grounding her with the introduction of her family is a development harboring emotional potential; and tying her and the rest of the 'out there' friends Deadpool made in the last arc together is done in a pleasing way and establishes a supporting cast that the Merc with a Mouth has been missing.
New artist Mike Hawthorne makes a relatively unflashy, but solid, debut--appealingly colored by Val Staples--with a less cartoony style than predecessor Tony Moore; one that suits the edgier direction the book's now heading in--and he renders the action scenes well, providing a nice sense of motion in his storytelling.
...I'm looking forward to what's to come in this arc--and I'll hopefully be gleaning insights when I do an interview with Hawthorne this weekend.
Look for it here soon! ;)