Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artists: UDON's Mark Brooks and Shane Law
As Deadpool is hired by a French cult to steal a deadly virus from a German-based lab complex, we see Cable is made aware of a potential disturbing situation as a company by the name of Sunic looks to have a illegal weapons production program. Needless to say we soon discover that Deadpool and Cable have both set their sights of the same prize, and while Deadpool in looking to steal it for it's clients, Cable is looking the destroy to make the world a safer place.
I'm sure if I went back over my reviews I would probably find a comment or two where I complimented Fabian Nicieza on his sense of humor, but I'd be lying if I said I entered this issue expecting much in the way of laughs. I mean yes Deadpool is a main character so I should've expected the writing to play up the humor, but I didn't warm to the character of Deadpool until Joe Kelly had started working with the character, and I was a bit concerned that the book would make a bid to return to return to the second-rate Spider-Man status quo that existed before Joe Kelly came along and made it into one of the funniest comics on the stand. However, Fabian Nicieza picks up right where Gail Simone left off as Deadpool is in fine form as he bounces from panel to panel making his slightly off-centered pop-culture observations, as one has to love his failed attempt at being patriotic in the opening sequence, or his reaction when he gets his first look at his client's hidden base. I also had to smile at the scene where the solider getting attacked makes an attempt to respond to Deadpool's rant about all the things that Germany has done that make these guards worthy of his money motivated, righteous fury. The final page also made me smile as Deadpool rattles off the half-a-dozen names that Cable has been saddled with over the years. It also helps that the book has itself a pretty solid plot at work that brings Cable and Deadpool into contact with each other, though I imagine it helps when one of the characters is a hired gun, who will take on any job, provided the money is right.
A Rob Liefeld cover does not get this issue off to a promising start visually as I've never been a fan of his work even when it was considered quite good by most readers, and what's even more distressing is that his art hasn't really advanced in all the time he's been away. Still, the interior work on this issue is far easier to look at, as UDON studios has a pretty uniform look, and as such this issue looks visually similar to the style of Deadpool's previous series, which helps to present a nice visual continuity to that early title.. The art is really quite good when it comes to telling the story, such as the series of panels in the early going that show us how Deadpool spends his days when he's not on a job (though the clock does seem to undergo a temporal hiccup when Deadpool leaves to get his mask). The scene where Deadpool pulls off his face was also a lot of fun, and the big action shot of him in the middle of a swarm of German guards was also a cute visual. The scene where we see Cable in action is also well done, as he stops a barrage of bullets with his telekinetic abilities.
I understand the basic concept of the straight man/funny man partnership, and perhaps I'll be praising this pairing after I get to see the two characters working together on a mission. However, at the moment I have to say Cable's presence in this book is a detriment. I mean Deadpool's adventure is a very engaging reading experience that moves along at a brisk pace that is aided by some gags that had me smiling. However, when Cable enters the issue all this momentum is brought to a crashing halt as the character is about as exciting as a rice cake. Now I'll concede it's a bit unfair as Deadpool spends most of the issue involved in an exciting plot, while Cable is saddled with a plot that involves a great deal of sitting around, and talking heads. In fact when Cable becomes involved in the action, I have to say my interest in the character increased considerably, but not enough that I'm not concerned that Deadpool has been shackled to a character who will act to limit this book's freedom to deliver a funny read. Sure it'll be fun to watch these two very different personalties clash, but in this issue I found myself eager to move away from Cable's sections of the plot, as they were killing the forward momentum of a highly entertaining adventure, and it would be a shame to see what could be Deadpool's triumphant return saddled with a dead weight that keeps the book from delivering twenty-two pages of amusement. I also have to say I have some serious reservations about Cable's telepathic abilities as they often act as an unengaging shortcut that writers like to use.
Three Apple-Crates High:
I didn't have high hopes going into this series, as while Fabian Nicieza has proven himself to be a solid writer, the idea of teaming up Deadpool and Cable felt like a huge step backwards for the character of Deadpool. However this opening issue makes it clear that Deadpool's emergence as a truly funny character isn't being tossed aside in a bid to evoke the character's grim and gritty roots. This issue is a lot of fun as Deadpool makes numerous funny observations, and along the way he manages to become involved in a pretty entertaining plot as well, as he's been hired to go in a steal a deadly virus by a cult that is looking to wipe out all traces of individuality on the planet. Fabian Nicieza turns in some very amusing moments from Deadpool's attempt to be a loyal American in the early pages of this issue, to his rant later in the issue against all things German, where he runs out of things to hate about Germans rather early into his tirade. It's a shame that this issue had to be saddled with Cable though who acts as entertainment dead zone whenever he appears in the issue. Here's hoping that his future interaction with Deadpool will bring something out of the character that I simply don't see in this opening issue.
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