"Enema of the State, Part Two: What If ... ?"
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artists: Patrick Zircher (p), UDON's M3th (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: Deadpool's efforts to locate the missing Cable using the body slide connection have him hopping from one timeline to the next, and he barely manages to escape the one reality where Cable was one of Apocalypse's Horsemen. Then he finds himself in a timeline where Cable has created a paradise completely free of any conflict or discomfort. Needless to say, Deadpool finds this reality boring, and he's off to the next one. However, the next one isn't quite so hospitable to human life.
Comments: The dimensional hopping nature of this issue is such a well worn plot device in comics that I would be getting on this issue about its lack of originality if not for two simple facts. The first is that the real appeal of this issue isn't the sense of discovery as Deadpool jumps from one altered timeline to the next, but rather it's Deadpool's reactions to the various changes that makes this issue so entertaining. How can one not love the little exchange where Deadpool questions why Siryn is attacking after he's just shot Cable in the head? And watching Deadpool struggle to deal with the peaceful utopia that Cable managed to create in another dimension was also a fun little exchange. The second element that manages to keep this issue from simply being a retread of a plot that has been done to death in comics is the fact that the various dimensions that Deadpool visits manage to provide a pretty engaging glimpse at what might have happened if Cable zigged when he should ha0ve zagged. The idea of Cable as the fourth Horseman of Apocalypse made for a very exciting battle, and Deadpool makes for a wonderful foil when he's confronted with the paradise that Cable managed to create in another timeline, as their conversation about why conflict is necessary to society was actually a compelling debate. There's also an interesting moment of doubt as Deadpool is momentarily provided with the cure to his mental deterioration, and Fabian Nicieza briefly sells the idea that Deadpool might actually decide to remain in this nightmarish reality. The last reality that this issue offers up is also quite engaging as it provides a great little cliffhanger moment, though I'm a little concerned that this story might get bogged down next issue if Fabian Nicieza attempts to explain how this character is linked to the Summer family. Still, it might be fun to see the always entertaining recap page take a stab at explaining the connection.
Patrick Zircher continues to provide some very solid art for this title. While the inking does give his work a softer appearance, this visual touch sells well the more humorous elements of this issue, such as the series of panels where Deadpool rejects the cure to his mental problems, and how can one not smile at that shot of baby Cable? The issue also offers up some solid big impact visuals from the double page shot that gets the issue off and running, to the amazing establishing shot of the paradise that Cable has created. The art also nicely captures the nightmarish feel of the reality where the techno-organic virus has consumed the planet, as our first look at Cable made for a powerful reveal moment. Siryn's arrival later in the scene was also nicely presented, as was Cannonball's. The cover for this issue was also well done, and it looks like it will link up with next month's cover which is a cover gimmick that I've always been a fan of.
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