"The Burnt Offering, Part Four: Born Sinners"
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artists: Patrick Zircher (p), UDON's Rob Ross & M3TH (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As Silver Surfer and Cable do battle we see the two are fairly easily matched, but while the Silver Surfer has a seemingly infinite supply of power to draw upon, Cable's power reserves are being seriously depleted, and that his efforts to save the world from itself are likely to end with his death. Meanwhile Deadpool and company are busy putting together the device that will save the world from Cable, but they soon discover the device is all part of Cable's big plan.
Fabian Nicieza certainly knows how to pull out all the stops, as it doesn't get much bigger than a heated battle with the Silver Surfer, and if nothing else this marks one of the few times when I've been convinced that a hero actually stood a chance at beating the Silver Surfer without resorting to trickery. I mean how can one not love the scene where Cable shatters the Silver Surfer's board, or the follow up scene where Cable's arm is vaporized. I also rather enjoyed the fact that when the dust clears there is a clear cut winner, as most time in a battle like this the two heroes fight until they come to realize that they should be working together against a greater threat, but this time out there is no greater threat, and both characters are allowed to slug it out until there is a actual outcome. There's also quite a bit of fun background details, as while Deadpool's largely a background element, his presence does bring a needed element of humour that helps to keep the story somewhat grounded, and even the X-Men get involved in the amusing observations about their own behaviour, with Nightcrawler's comment about their newly adopted "chic mercenary lingo" being a cute example of Deadpool's influence on this section of the plot. There's also a cute little battle with Cyclops that lasts a whole two panels, and Deadpool's delight at delivering the Silver Surfer exposition was a fun breaching of the fourth wall. The issue also offers up an unexpected solution to the crisis, and I fully expect the next arc of this series is going to include a reference to one of the cheesiest Star Trek episodes ever made.
There's a number of ever so impressive big impact visuals in this issue, with the double-page spread that opens the issue being particularly impressive. In fact the art does an admirable job of conveying the powers levels that are involved in this battle, as it leave very little doubt that these two are deadset on winning this fight, with the big attacks that are made by both combatants in the final moments of the battle being the highlight images of the issue. The art also does some solid work on the talking heads scenes, as in spite of a full face mask Deadpool is one of the most expressive characters in the issue. I also have to give full marks to the cover image, as if this shot of Cable and the Silver Surfer locked in battle isn't enough to grab the attention of the fanboys than I really don't know what it would take to get the attention of the reading public.
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