Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cable & Deadpool #46

With the recent events surrounding Cable, (he’s having one of those “almost dead” moments) this book has recently been much more Deadpool-dominated than usual. Fortunately, it’s avoided any status as a straight-up solo book, as ‘Pool has kidnapped “Bob,” a masked HYDRA Agent, and drug him into an adventure in Cable’s stead. Last issue the two were fired through time, emerging in the mid ‘40s and interacting with Captain America and Bucky before a series of strange after-effects jolted them forward on the timeline once again. Now the two are producing temporal shifts, with occasional flashes of light resulting in short-term memory loss to those directly surrounding them. Not a great time for the duo to spontaneously materialize on the Fantastic Four’s front doorstep somewhere in the late ‘80s, aboard Doctor Doom’s Time Platform.

Bob and Deadpool make for an entertaining pairing, with Bob wanting little more than some peace and quiet (he only joined HYDRA “for the dental plan”) and Deadpool providing nothing but firefights, frequent leaps through time and space, and quick puns. They share a similar outlook on life and stick together through some tough situations like a pair of old friends, and that makes them endearing as lead characters, if nothing else.

This book never takes itself too seriously, (it actually borders more than once on not taking things seriously enough) and the random memory losses the pair keeps uncontrollably handing out provide for some truly funny moments. I legitimately snorted aloud when Reed Richards suddenly transitioned from a calm scientific discussion with Bob to an action-ready state of shock, declaring “There is a HYDRA agent at our breakfast table!” within a single panel. It could’ve been overdone and too much, but Nicieza kept the device under control and the issue benefited for it. For all of the double-talk about time travel, untimely ramifications upon the future and twenty-dollar words this issue contains, the story provides a nice blend of drama, action and comedy, and its conclusion is fairly easy to understand and satisfying.

Reilly Brown’s artwork bounces around a lot in this issue. Within the opening pages, he’s just butchering the original Fantastic Four lineup, granting Sue an enormous pair of tits and a ditzy blonde expression. Midway through the issue, when the narrative momentarily returns to the present, he does an about-face and renders the Black Panther and Storm beautifully, accenting the feline aspects of the Panther’s costume and giving Storm a more natural, inquisitive appearance. He does great work with dramatic lighting when the situation calls for it, but he’s tasked with a few large-scale splash pages in this issue and his composition in those instances is less than stellar. He’s the kind of artist that takes one step forward, then immediately follows it with one step back.

This is everything you’d expect from a Deadpool book, which means it’s not for everyone. Actually, chances are good that if this is your style of comic, this series already resides in your pull file. It’s an offbeat, joke-heavy story set against the backdrop of a bigger picture and a more serious set of circumstances. If you’ve never given the series a try, you’ll want to flip through this and see what all the fuss is about. It’s a good enough issue, but certainly not a great one.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is poor and 10 is amazing...
Overall Score: 5.5

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