Seemingly after the fact, the Curse of the Mutant finally gets around to our pal Wade Wilson.
Let me preface this with a disclaimer–I’m a huge Deadpool fan. Unabashedly and defiantly. I’ll buy just about anything Marvel puts his face on, which is just about anything they can get away with (an article on its own, my friend). A sad fact about the character is he more erratically written than Psylocke and Jesus combined. He plays many roles: hired gun, antihero, jester, wildcard (also, Wildcard), nemesis, team-up partner extraordinaire and so on. Deadpool serves a variety of purposes and thus authors write him several ways, often resulting in throwaway plots and throwaway issues.
Daniel Way has not been one of those writers. He has given Deadpool the most stability he’s had since Joe Kelley’s early run and some of the best humor since Gail Simone’s smallish stint near the end of the first volume. (Not forgetting you Fabian Nicieza! Cable and Deadpool was awesome, but that book was a mess almost from the start. A fantastic, violent, funny, mess though.). Daniel Way has handled Deadpool and other gritty, morally ambiguous characters for a bulk of his career and seems his best when doing so (see Bullseye, Ghost Rider, Daken).
So why such a mediocre rating? It’s based on my belief that this title will recover quickly. Let me explain. The Curse of the Mutants, an in-title X-Men/vampire saga most related to the Jubilee, has crept its way into the pages of Deadpool. While I’m all for bringing Wade closer to the X-titles, at the very least for some stable foundation, this issue barely related itself to the bigger plot and contributed nothing to Deadpool’s own story. Deadpool has been on a tear lately and is possibly making his way to a mainstream status, but I can’t help but feel like that in all places he’s sometimes most limited in his main title. In other books Deadpool is traversing the cosmos, the multiverse, the Savage Land and his own personal history. In Deadpool #30 he’s merely shooting at vampires because other vampires hired him for protection. Sorry, I expect more.
Maybe it’s the change of artist. Previously, the amazing Paco Medina and the almost as amazing Carlo Barberi have primarily drawn this on-going. Their styles are similar and they have combined to keep this book looking slick and sexy. This month Bong Dazo pencils the book. Dazo has some solid Deadpool experience, he drew half or the Deadpool/Thunderbolts crossover and did almost all of the work on the 13 issues of Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth. However, I’m just not a fan of his style. While admittedly the pencils in Deadpool #30 are better than most of his work in Merc With a Mouth (I actually think it might be the colorist) his style is a little too oily for me and his panels are too chaotic at times. It’s a large departure of the styles of Medina and Barberi who specialize in clean, bright panels even in the sometimes dark and messy book. Dazo’s art isn’t a deal breaker for me, the story is technically sound and the art isn’t confusing or poor. Its just the flow of the book is stalled by a pathetic event tie-in. Fortunately, Carlo Barberi is making a return in issue #32.
Daniel Way and Deadpool are a well-oiled machine and I anticipate more from one of my favorite monthly pick-ups. So Deadpool #30 really didn’t do it for me. I inflated the rating because I’m confident it will be better. Check back in on this title in February. Chimichanga!