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Wolverine: Origins #23

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2008
By: Steven M. Bari

Daniel Way
Steve Dillon, Avalon’s Matt Milla (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Wolverine: Origins #23 arrives in stores tomorrow, March 19.

"The Deep End: Part 3"

Besieged by blazing fires, Wolverine and Deadpool engage in mortal combat. And much like the game of the same name, the two healing-factor enhanced killers play out a bloody duel. But this graphically gory Looney Tunes episode will not end with a roadrunner "beep" and a coyote off the cliff. This is a fight to the death, even if it means a double homicide.

Wolverine: Origins #23 immediately pulls you into the drama and action with incredible pace and humor. Way and Dillon have really outdone themselves with this issue, bringing the comical bout between Wolverine and Deadpool full throttle into bloody, bloody hilarity.

Deadpool has been hired by a mysterious party to kill Wolverine. Locating Logan in San Francisco, the Merc-with-a-Mouth drops kicks, explosives, and a piano on our clawed hero. Driven to the point of madness, Wolverine sees red -- and unfortunately for Deadpool, that's half his costume's color scheme.

Way's story is extremely fast paced but takes the time to be both clever and poignant. Bearing similarity to Batman: The Killing Joke, Deadpool tells Wolverine a rather innocuous joke about a border guard and a Mexican smuggling in bags of sand. The utter stupidity of the joke is felt immediately when Deadpool delivers the punch line. But the moral of the joke carries through into the narrative leading to a surprise for Wolverine that is just brilliant and masterful.

And Dillon's art is the best thus far. His lucid realism is energetic and emotive. As Logan lunges for Deadpool, his face contorts into a mixture of odium and outrage. Furthermore, the violence, which is extremely bloody and gruesome, is comical and noticeably palatable given its severity. At one point, Wolverine charges at the red and black mercenary with increasing speed only to run head first into his foot.

As I stated previously in my review of issue #22, Wolverine's humanity, and therefore vulnerability, is essential to this story, because it allows the reader to invest emotion into his plight. Similarly, Deadpool's deranged thought captions foster pity and concern. He literally is arguing with three people in his head! Thankfully, none of this is heavy-handed, making this issue and the rest of this arc an amazing thrill ride.

Final Word: Best use of a clichéd line ever! Seriously funny!



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