And the award for best variation of the Spider-Man tune goes to...
Co-writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn continue to make DEADPOOL a hysterical title. From the casual reveal of Deadpool's shotgun injury to the character who represents just about all of the terrible stereotypes surrounding my home state (Joizey, dawg), this issue was once again packed with laughs. I mean, where else will you see a character say, "I'm commandeering this ice cream truck in the name of the Avengers?"
While it wasn't as funny as the last issue (go read it for unlimited laughter) and I thought the generic jab at female drivers was a little weak, this issue more than makes up for that by setting a much larger stage for Deadpool's next story. It's no longer as simple as "Presidents = evil, so go get 'em, Wade!" Now, Wade's facing a challenge on multiple fronts. Not only does he want to get Agent Preston out of his head and into a new body, but his deal with Vetis had a little bit of fine print that he glossed over. As if that wasn't enough, the cliffhanger introduces a whole new can of trouble and leaves us guessing who it'll involve.
It truly sucks to see Tony Moore leave the title, but this issue proves Mike Hawthorne can absolutely fill his visual shoes. The book has a rather cartoonish yet detailed feel, which I find to be very fitting for the title's current atmosphere. Wade's face still looks impressively disturbing, the gore is topnotch (the sword attack made me cringe) and Hawthrone manages to make the absurd look every bit as funny as it should be (for example, the entire opening scene). The attention to detail took a bit of a hit during a few panels with a wider scope, but overall it's visually satisfying and I definitely think he's a more than suitable replacement.
Deadpool's morals seem to be all over the place -- and that's something quite common in his history. Just when it seems like he's trying to be a good dude, he's got no problem slaughtering people just because they've made a deal with the devil (look out, Spider-Man!).
One small gripe I had with the art was Deadpool's eyes. The distance between them appeared to fluctuate earlier on (sometimes appearing like they're towards the side of his head) and in the diner there's one panel where Wade's missing a pupil.
UPDATE: Mike Hawthorne informed me the missing pupil is there to represent when Wade/Preston are fighting to take control.
As a longtime Wade fan, it's easy to complain about him seeming to be less lethal now (despite the nerve strike remark). I'm sure some people will think his agility or reflexes are being downplayed when he's shot in the beginning and with what happens in the end (trying to be spoiler-free here, folks). That said, I think the pros hugely outweigh the cons here. If he dodged the blast in the first scene, we wouldn't have been treated to the super funny reveal of his injury. Frankly, I'm cool with that, especially seeing as he wasn't trying to harm the guy and was basically straddling the window at the time. As for the later scene, it appears there's something hindering Wade, so only time will reveal exactly what that is. Plus, it's fair to say he was pretty distracted at the time.
The laughs remain strong and Mike Hawthorne is a great addition to the book, but what really sold me is the start of a new and legitimately solid narrative. Branching off in numerous directions and focusing on the bond between Wade and Preston, this plot is certainly ambitious, to say the least, and that's something worth celebrating. Sure, I do have some complaints, but overall I'm really loving this book and highly recommend it to any Wade fan willing to accept occasional downplaying of his abilities.