Editor's Note: Wolverine: Origins #22 arrives in stores tomorrow, February 20.
Plot: Wolverine has a price on his head and Deadpool comes to collect.
Commentary: Wolverine: Origins #22 picks up right where the previous issue left off. Deadpool leads Wolverine around San Francisco until he has the clawed Canadian right where he wants him: under a strategically placed grand piano. At first, this might seem like a goofy comic chase or a sub par sparring match. But this book is really good for a number of reasons.
First, Steve Dillon doesn't draw our title character as a massive hunk of muscle. This is worth noting because it downplays Wolverine's indestructibility, allowing Deadpool to seemingly have him on the ropes. Although his art at times is not superb, Dillon provides a refreshing sense of vulnerability to a character that is hardly ever depicted as such.
In fact, in this issue alone, Logan gets punched by a middle-age woman, dragged through streets along the trolley tracks, and flung into a multi-car collision that results in a terrific explosion. Of course, he gets up and dusts off his shoulders but the expression on his face each time is priceless. By the end, Wolverine can't wait to get his hands around Deadpool's black and red neck.
Second, Deadpool's characterization is really fascinating. Daniel Way explores our favorite Merc-with-a-Mouth's delusions of grandeur and self-image. A couple of panels present Deadpool's fantasies, including one depicting Wolverine as a docile dope with a confused look and a shirt that reads "I'm with Stupid," the arrow pointing up. The next scene has the real Logan kicking Deadpool hard in the face.
Speaking of face, Deadpool isn't a beauty and he knows it. For most of the book Deadpool is unmasked, revealing his hideously scarred mug. Many people stop just to ask him if he's okay or needs medical attention. Such reactions do not go unnoticed by the mercenary who offers to the stab one concerned gentleman in the face. But when he looks into the mirror, Deadpool sees a disgusting, unlovable man staring back at him. This is wonderful character exploration.
Lastly, the book has a flowing narrative. The dialogue isn't cumbersome, the action moves smoothly, and nothing inhibits you from enjoying this story. Even if you haven't read the last issue, you can still follow along.
Final Word: Snikt!
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