The moment is finally here, Deadpool fans. Agent Preston has been stuck inside Wade Wilson's head since the conclusion of this volume's debut story, and now co-writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn are ready to show us if she'll be trapped in the mercenary's head forever or if she'll move into a spiffy new LMD body. We obviously don't give spoilers in our Comic Vine reviews, but I will say the two create a hysterical yet touching ride as S.H.I.E.L.D. attempts to pull Preston from Deadpool's unique mind.
Leaping into Wade's head has given the co-writers plenty of comedic potential. In this issue, we witness different incarnations of Wade and, as always, his mind is decorated with amazingly amusing paintings and statues. The versions of the Merc with a Mouth that occupy his mind in this one range from absurdly funny (a nod to a somewhat successful James Cameron movie) to a nice trip down memory lane ( Liefeld, McGuinness, etc). It's not all laughs and chaos, though. There's a deep message behind this whole experience and, truth be told, it takes a pretty emotional turn. It's all carefully handled and says a hell of a lot about who Wade is and teases how he'll be written in the issues to come. I imagine the ending will have some fans divided, but I think the direction is filled with potential.
Mike Hawthorne once again proves why he's the right person to bring Posehn and Duggan's script to life. Everything the two writers throw his way -- be it wacky and hilarious or bleak and gut-wrenching -- he's able to skillfully present in each panel. He nails all of the visual gags and some of them had me laughing out loud, but he really shines when the series takes a more serious turn. He can make Deadpool's eyes speak volumes about how the character is feeling and his face, without his mask, is appropriately disturbing without coming off as over-the-top. Meanwhile, colorist Jordie Bellaire is handed so many diverse locations and effects and she's able to deliver with each of them. The contrast of Deadpool's bold red attire to a particularly depressing location creates a few very striking and powerful. One was definitely left lingering in my head.
A couple of the jokes weren't up to par with the rest (the decapitation one comes to mind), but that's hugely outweighed by the ones that do work. Plus, despite the steady amount of laughs, it's obvious comedy isn't the primary focus with this issue.
DEADPOOL #24 is a terrific character study. Duggan and Posehn have put Wade through some absolutely horrific events and they're showing us these developments weren't just for shock value. What's gone down isn't being forgotten or cast aside like other stories sometimes tend to do -- they're taking a toll and have consequences. However, seeing as this is DEADPOOL, they're able to balance this focus on character depth with some massively creative bits of action and a consistent supply of sharp jokes. It's an absorbing ride and how it all ends is guaranteed to make you stick around for the next issue. I'm loving this volume and it's very possible Duggan and Posehn were put on this planet just to write Deadpool. The fact they've had the opportunity to share the story with such amazing artists is just... um... sour cream on the chimichanga? Okay, I'll leave the jokes to them from now on. I promise.