Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Deadpool #25.NOW Review
Deadpool gets the All-New Marvel NOW! jump-on treatment with his 25th issue; but that treatment is executed in a skewed style that only the Merc with a Mouth could. While this is a jump-on issue in that it establishes a new status quo for Wade Wilson, what it is more than that is the culmination of everything Marvel NOW! Deadpool writers Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan have been doing with the book since the start of their run.
The bulk of the issue is given over to a two-act battle between Deadpool and Crossbones, Crossbones having gone after Wade in the hopes of claiming the bounty corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Gorman put on his head. Gorman pulled this after stiffing Deadpool on a bill for taking down the zombified dead presidents in the series' first arc, resulting in Wade going gunning for him.
Stacking up this issue - and, indeed, this story arc - against the 'Dead Presidents' arc, this is a different book - but one that has evolved beautifully from its origins. 'Dead Presidents' was very much the 'Bugs Bunny Deadpool,' the unkillable wackadoodle, tossing wisecracks around at the same rate as he dished out cartoon violence. Delivering on their promise that things would get dark, what Posehn and Duggan are doing with Deadpool carries that aspect of Deadpool's persona firmly through, but brings back the dark, damaged side to him, revealing the depth and vulnerability the character houses, despite his physical invulnerability.
Deadpool was put through hell in North Korea during 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' arc, in which he discovered that the Weapon Plus program responsible for his cancer-beating super-charged healing factor had messed with him worse than he ever knew; that he has a daughter - missing (if alive) - and Weapon Plus were responsible for the death of her mother; a woman whom - thanks to the Program screwing with Wade's head - he has no memory of.
Still processing the events of 'The Good, The Bad...' Deadpool begins this issue mentally in a very bad place - but while battling Crossbones (with a very brief comedic cameo from Sabretooth), he's inadvertently given some hope, and re-asserts the one thing he can firmly cling to about himself, going forward: that the Merc with a Mouth is a badass.
Though the battle is the centerpiece of the issue, through the story's course, all loose ends regarding Wade's new friends and enemies - going right back to 'Dead Presidents' - get tied up, and Deadpool says goodbye to... well, everyone... and leaves on a jetplane.
We're then treated to an epilogue that sets up the already-running digital Deadpool: The Gauntlet series - wherein we meet Deadpool's would-be future bride - bringing that into continuity with the main book; and we're all set for Posehn & Duggan, aided by their strong rotating art team, to bring us Wade Wilson's next chapter...