Thus far the newest Deadpool series has been a case of wasted potential. Issue one was a very poor start and Issue two felt quite flat as well. Now Issue three has arrived and it absolutely had to deliver. Whilst it is better than the previous two it still isn’t up to the standard expected of it.
The story has now progressed to the point that Deadpool is in police custody for a murder he did not commit and his hired guns are growing weary of working without pay, threatening to leave him in the lurch when he needs them most.
This particular issue focuses largely on those supporting characters rather than the mouthy merc himself. Readers get to see the effects that working for little to no money is having on their personal lives as Gerry Duggan shows each of them struggling in the wake of Deadpool’s actions.
It is in these pages that this comic truly shines. Each of these previously uninteresting personalities is given a chance to shine even if for the briefest of moments. A connection is being built between the audience and them which will prove to be highly beneficial for this series. An emotional connection of any sort between readers and these characters will lend more gravity to the story and any events involving them.
Of course some shine more than others. Madcap is a true treat even if he is severely mentally disturbed. His offbeat humour and erratic personality fits with what people know and love about Deadpool and as such he is a welcome addition to the cast. The same can be said for Slapstick although Duggan takes him in another direction this time by giving him an emotionally tormented side that is sure to lead to fans gravitating towards him. Everybody loves a good sob story.
Stingray is taken from background nobody to a key character going forward as his association with Captain America is revealed. Cap seems heavily invested in keeping Wade and his follower’s shenanigans to a minimum and so has essentially enlisted Stingray as a mole to flush out the more unstable members of the group. This leads to a very entertaining encounter with Madcap that reintroduced the humour that has been missing thus far in these books.
As for the titular mad man himself, Deadpool is actually funny this time around. It seems like that should be a given but he has been so lacking up until now that it was a genuine surprise when more than one of his lines elicited a chuckle. Maybe Duggan is starting to get a feel for writing for him and if that is the case then one can only hope it continues from here on out as Deadpool without the jokes is just a waste of ink.
With all of this praise being given it should still be noted that the whole book still feels off. The story plods along at a snail’s pace with none of the reveals really providing much in the way of entertainment. It still feels like a paint by numbers affair and as such is failing to capture the imagination of fans almost universally. It isn’t clear how they can salvage this series short of scrapping the current direction and starting afresh.
Onto the art now. It is indeed present. It’s still the same team as the previous two installments though so nothing new can really be said. Check the first two reviews for comments regarding this area.
In the end this isn’t a terrible comic but neither is it a particularly exciting one. The team just aren’t hitting their groove and now it is fast becoming necessary to either change them out for new people or to just scrap this book. There’s enough Deadpool out there anyway so it’s likely nobody will really miss this should it go up on the chopping block.
Score: 3.4 out of 5.