Have you ever wanted to see Deadpool and Crossbones punch each other into oblivion? Yes? Well, this issue is for you, my fellow action junkie! Co-writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn continue to develop Deadpool, but the vast majority of this issue is a brawl that feels practically tailor-made for our "Best Battles in New Comics" weekly feature. Both characters are given due respect and laughs are delivered without ever making the fight feel too ridiculous. Okay, so maybe Crossbones is in his tighty whities for most of the fight, but it's still a seriously badass and insanely amusing melee.
Just like with the other issues in this story, Duggan and Posehn create a comic that's able to smoothly juggle quite a few tones. Yes, it's primarily a brutal hand-to-hand fight, but they're still able to work in a little more depth for Wade, some much appreciated comedy (mostly slapstick and one bit at an airport, but there's more than a few awesome lines as well) and just the right amount of darkness. It definitely feels like a swift ending because all of the key elements are brought into this one street fight, but despite that, it's still a ridiculously fun time and still successfully develops the Merc with a Mouth.
Artist Mike Hawthorne and colorist Jordie Bellaire continue to deliver some mighty fine pages in this volume. I mean, they made Crossbones look frightening while he's sporting just undies and a mask... that's pretty impressive, yeah? But really, this art team is such an excellent match for Duggan/Posehn's script. The characters are animated, the action has a great flow to it, and some of the expressions these characters make are absolutely priceless. Whatever the co-writers put in the script, these two are able to bring it to life with just the right touch.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here, but I was left a little confused with some of Deadpool's decisions. For example, he seems like he wants to fight Crossbones in the bar and then, moments later, says he doesn't (this is before he thinks death via street meat vendor isn't good enough). And, in the end, he says he's going to become better person but then murders a bird. Sure, I get the message was nobody can mess with him, but I thought the point was he's going to solve his problems without killing? Don't get me wrong, I laughed at it, but it's not the best way to start his new path. Lastly, I can imagine my fellow Sabretooth fans screaming about how he was downplayed and such ("he wouldn't be intimidated by Wade! Rabble, rabble, rabble!") -- and I am a little disappointed he never played a role --but come on, that gag was hysterical.
I'll be honest, the fact that I love a good fight and have always thought Crossbones vs. Deadpool is loaded with potential is playing a decent role here. If you're not the biggest fan of action, you may not be as enthusiastic as I am about this one. But even if you cast aside the punches and kicks, it's still an issue that does a terrific job diving into Deadpool's character while also offering some big laughs. To make matters even better, Duggan and Posehn are quickly yet effective able to wrap up the story and give Wade a bit more depth. Plus, with a teaser like "time-traveling Hitler" how can you not want to buy the next issue?
Deadpool fans, this is yet another must-read story arc by Duggan and Posehn. Opinions may have been mixed when they first kicked off the volume, but since then, they've absolutely proved they're the perfect fit for the Merc with a Mouth. Funny, badass, and a character-driven story... what's not to love?