"The Burnt Offering, Part One: Headless Horsemen"
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Patrick Zircher
Inks: UDON's Rob Ross & M3th
Colors: UDON's Shane Law & Kevin Yan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As Deadpool runs up against a rival mercenary who goes by the name of the Cat, we see Wade discovers that he's capable of being beaten, and rather handily at that. Meanwhile Cable is busy making the world a better place, and his charitable activities are making the world nervous as they wait for the other shoe to drop. As the issue ends we see Deadpool has a second encounter with the Cat, and he's able to gain possession of a device that might enable one to defeat Cable.
This book is working far better than it should, as on the surface the joining of Cable and Deadpool felt like a sales driven gimmick, but instead it's turning out to be an inspired pairing that is aided by the simple fact that Fabian Nicieza is turning in some of his best work in years. Deadpool's ranting and pop culture references manage to generate several genuine laughs, and this is proving to be the greatest surprise, as I had never quite looked to Fabian Nicieza as all that funny. He also deserves full credit for actually coming up with a genuinely compelling role for Cable to play in these pages, as while the idea of a hero trying to save the world from itself is a well worn idea, the two page interview sequence in this issue is a wonderful exchange that manages to add a healthy dose of humour to the idea. In fact if nothing else this book has actually made Cable into an interesting character and this was a feat that I had felt was downright impossible after my previous encounters with the character. However the real reason why I recommend this issue to readers is because it's a near perfect example of how to balance a book between two fairly diverse characters, as Deadpool makes the most of his panel time, with an engaging/amusing pair of clashes with the hired mercenary who calls himself the Cat, while Cable holds up his end of the book with his slightly unsettling bid to save the world. The plot also moves along at a brisk pace which has become a bit of a rarity in the pages of a Marvel comic.
Patrick Zircher turns in another fine looking issue that perfectly captures the sense of continuous chaos that Deadpool brings to a book, as the issue opens with a wonderful opening sequence where the merc with the mouth battles a great unwashed mass of mute ninja monks. The opening clash with the Cat was also a lot of fun, as how can one not smile at the visual where Deadpool has a number of ninja stars bury themselves in his head. The later clash also has a couple solid impact shots, and the merged body plot device whenever the bodyslide is activated remains a wonderfully twisted visual touch. The last page shot of the assembled Six Pack was also a pretty solid bit of work as the new costume designs that several of the characters are sporting are solid updates. It's also nice to get a cover that manages to project a sense of excitement about the story we get inside.
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