Co-writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn bring a major amount of laughs with this issue while also moving the narrative forward. There's a hugely entertaining set of scenes and the frequent jokes are sharp and kept me laughing (love the jab at the news industry). However, what's particularly impressive is how they're handling Deadpool now. Yes, the Merc with a Mouth is still dropping one-liners every other sentence, but you can feel the impact The Good, The Bad & The Ugly had on him. He'll still make you smile or even spit your drink, but there more stern side of him is beginning to show more and more. First, he'll taunt his opponent, but you can bet the next thing he'll do is make sure they think twice before ever messing with him again (my apologies to the Batroc fan community).
I know it's high praise, but this is feeling like the perfect balance for the character. Duggan and Posehn still incorporate enough silliness to keep the good times plentiful, but there's a great amount of badassery and seriousness to be appreciated, too. It's beginning to somewhat remind me of how he was handled in CABLE & DEADPOOL, and that's absolutely a good thing.
Thankfully, Agent Coulson's cameo doesn't feel ham-fisted or thrown in there as a blatant attempt to remind people about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., either. In fact, Coulson's personality works incredibly well in this book and gets some great lines out of Wade Wilson ("Who is this Coulson? I must meet him.").
Artist Mike Hawthorne and colorist Jordie Bellaire prove yet again they're a great fit for the book. I adore the character work and attention to detail in the locations is commendable. However, it's the expressions that always do a great job bringing these people to life -- be it comedic or dark. From Gorman raising his eyebrow to Deadpool's joyous look shining though his mask, it's all priceless stuff which helped pull me further into the fictional world. Solid looking issue all around.
There were a few small things I noticed in the big shootout, but these are trivial complaints and are completely outweighed by how happy I was seeing Deadpool kick all kinds of booty. People who say they only like "classic Deadpool" should be pretty pleased with how Duggan/Posehn have been handling him as of late (he's no longer a clown being put through the meat grinder!). That said, it would be nice to see his gifted agility put to use a little more.
As a long time Deadpool fan, I have to admit that this volume continues to impress me more and more with every issue. This arc is bringing the book back to a bigger emphasis on comedy, but it's still developing Wilson and giving us lots of ridiculously fun action. There's plenty of solid gags, the artwork always does a fine job engaging us, Deadpool's given respect as a combatant, and the overall plot is both intriguing and a blast. What's not to love?