After a less than stellar start, Deadpool turned a corner in its forth issue and gave renewed hope to its readers. Would issue five continue to build upon this new, if rickety, foundation or would the whole thing once again crumble?
Gerry Duggan set about wrapping up the current story arc in this book and in doing so he focused more on Deadpool’s sadistic side than his more frequently explored funny one. The problem with this is that at no point did he do a remotely serviceable job of building his rendition of ‘Pool into a comedian as others have done. This makes the transition into a largely serious, killing machine far less impactful. If he had been built correctly, then the juxtaposition would have served to shock readers but as it stands this was just more of the same old tired nonsense that people have been being force fed for months now.
One area that had been adequately handled up until now was the character progression of the mercenaries that have joined Deadpool’s company. That’s what makes it all the more bizarre to find them barely present in the conclusion to this story. Sure, they pop up but they do precious little, certainly not enough to justify a four issue building of their respective characters. At the same time a brand new ally is introduced and people are just supposed to accept it and care about him to the detriment of the others. It should come as no surprise really though as this series has been plagued with underdeveloped plot points and poorly thought through twists and turns.
The action itself is surprisingly thin on the ground for a finale such as this. Madcap deserved better in what, for the time being, will be his send off. He had consistently been the most entertaining of the new sidekicks and when he was revealed as a villain the hope was there that fans would be able to enjoy a few more issues centering on his offbeat antics. That will never be realised now and it’s a crying shame that such a compelling character has been wasted in such an ill-conceived way.
There is, mercifully, one saving grace that stops this from being a complete failure and that comes at the very end. Deadpool has just vanquished his enemy and should be celebrating but instead he is brought face to face with what may be his greatest adversary of all… his new found fame. It has to be said that this has all the potential to be a very good direction for this series to take. Who doesn’t want to see Deadpool return to his warped, pre-Avengers ways? It might actually inject some life into this failing title.
As has been the case all the way along, Mike Hawthorn and Terry Pallot helm the art side of the book and they are still far too good to be wasted here. The work they put in to create a vibrant book that demands your eyes attention with every panel should be commended. Their depiction of Madcap as a hideously disfigured creature is ingenious and further sets him apart from the other supporting cast as a highlight of this comic. What a shame it is that the writing has never been able to live up to the art put forward by these two men.
The forth issue of Deadpool held so much promise but that now lies in tatters as this series returns to its previous, uninteresting state. With so many other Deadpool titles available right now it is a wonder that this hasn’t been either scrapped or reassigned already.
Score: 1.5 out of 5.
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