This is part two of this week’s Pull List, check out part one here!
Deadpool #10 – Marvel – $2.99
What’s the one way to make an already funny book like Deadpool even more entertaining? Pair him up with an individual who–while may not be as funny–has a more twisted view of the world. That’s what happens in this issue as Norman Osborn decides to send in one of his heavy hitters, Hawkeye a.k.a. Bullseye, to take on the ‘Merc with the Mouth’. The interesting thing is that Bullseye is pretty funny himself, in a very sick kind of way. The back and forth between the two makes the interaction feel something like the Odd Couple on acid. Surprisingly, Bullseye isn’t present through most of the issue, but instead Daniel Way takes the reader through one of Deadpool’s lowest paying and comical hits before letting the two psychopaths cross… um, paths. What follows are some greatly choreographed and intelligently put together action panels that rival most well done action movies.
Not all comics need to give a deep and thought provoking underlying message, and thankfully, this one certainly doesn’t. In the grand scheme of things, the events of the issue likely won’t matter much. But at the same time, it will be one of the most enjoyable reading experiences for anyone’s pull list this week. As long as the jokes remain fresh and the foils Deadpool encounters don’t get stagnant, this character can continue to become one of the most widely used and anticipated in Marvel’s stable for a long time. Featured in three books this week (actually two and a half since Marvel Zombies only had his head), Deadpool is shown in three very distinct fashions with varied levels of his trademark personal insanity and while everyone knows it is the same character, he doesn’t come across as tired or redundant in any of them. Hopefully the writer of the upcoming Deadpool movie takes a close look at what Daniel Way has done with the character in this book because this is how Deadpool should be done.
Cable #14 – Marvel – $2.99
The Messiah War continues with Hope and Warpath in the clutches of Stryfe and Bishop while Cable, the X-Force and future Deadpool make their way to save them. Meanwhile, Archangel pays a visit to his former master, a weakened Apocalypse. While the issue has little action in it, it is packed with content that brings the story forward. Unlike War of Kings, every piece packed in to this issue feels like it is needed to help progress the story including one scene actually being replayed twice, once from Hope’s perspective and once from Bishop’s.
The two key factors explored in the story are the protecting father as played by Cable and the innocent naiveté of a child as the young Hope tries to understand the unreal events that present themselves in front of her. Cable’s love for Hope as a daughter has prevented this from just being another mission to him. In previous issues, he has nearly come to blows with Wolverine because of their current situation and often is seen thinking with his heart more than his head, something he admits to himself in this issue. In doing so, Cable feels like he has failed his mission. The one thing he needed to do was protect the child. Instead, he fell in love with her and was taken advantage of by the situation. On the other end, Hope must watch is Warpath is tortured in an effort to keep her safe from Stryfe who has no knowledge of Bishop’s interest in the girl. Upon revealing this hidden agenda do the pieces of the Messiah War all fall in to place when signs begin to point that in attempting to end Hope’s life, Bishop may have unknowingly set her up to become the force that would bring his future to pass.
Also an underlying theme in the issue is the question of true power. While it remains to be seen how it will play out with the rest of the characters, Archangel confronts Apocalypse in roles very opposite to what they are used to. While Archangel suspects Apocalypse is asking for one thing from him, the despotic mutant has other demands for his former servant. The true nature of power is examined from the perspectives of a man who was once the embodiment of Death and another who may be forced to come to terms with his own rule of Survival of the Fittest.
Ariel Olivetti brings the story to life in a beautifully painted style. Some of the backgrounds have an epic and expansive feel to them with sunrises behind a brutal and bloody encounter between Cable, Wolverine and Elixir and Stryfe’s forces. In the presence of Apocalypse, Archangel’s eyes have gone cold and dead before the frail body of the once imposing monster.
As the Messiah War marches on, an epic conflict that hasn’t been seen since the X-Cutioner’s Song crossover looms as Cable gets nearer to his clone Stryfe in an effort to save Hope. In typical X-Men fashion, the final page of the issue lets the reader know that things may not be as black and white anymore as they once were.
Exiles #2 – Marvel – $2.99
When re-launching any title, it is inevitably and un-enviably going to be compared to the original. The original run of the Exiles had a varied and charismatic cast with one beloved and familiar face, Blink from the Age of Apocalypse. When brought back as the New Exiles, the team’s charm was lost with only Morph and Sabertooth still on the team. Now, attempting to relight that original fire has fallen short with Blink’s return to this title and losing the “New” branding in the title. In this iteration of the team, Blink is paired up with five new Exiles all pulled from their timestream just a mere moment before their deaths. The team includes Beast, Black Panther, Polaris, Scarlet Witch and Forge. Also returning is Morph as this group’s Timebroker.
The issue picks up with the team seeing that their mission may be a little harder than expected. Originally told they would need to aid Wolverine in defeating Magneto on this earth, the Exiles witness Wolverine’s head on a pike as Magneto and the X-Men celebrate. Following this, the team comes together to try and plan their next step. What follows is one of two things. Writer Jeff Parker leaves a hint to something going wrong for the team so obvious that it either is an insult to the competence of the reader or a hit at the level of intelligence of the characters involved in the scene. Anyone, be they Exile or reader, who doesn’t see the “twist” coming from a mile away should be ashamed of themselves.
Artist Salva Espin does a great job bringing this team to life in a cartoonish style that works well in the context of this book. This Exiles doesn’t have the gravity behind its stories as previous incarnations did and the whimsical fashion of the art seems to fit that. That being said, it almost feels like the protectors of the multiverse from collapsing might need a little more depth in their current storytelling. While the book has been better than the abysmal showing of New Exiles, it is still yet to reach the heights of the original series.
New Mutants #1 – Marvel – $3.99
After the failure of Young X-Men, what better way to bring back a youthful X-team than the return of the New Mutants? Contrary to the cover art, the entire original team has not returned for the series. The issue does treat the reader to the return of Magik to the X-world along with teammates Cannonball, Sunspot and Magma on their search for Karma and Dani Moonstar who had been sent by Cyclops to help quell mutant hysteria in a small town in Colorado from the emergence of a new mutant. This is one convention that has always seemed odd in X-Men comics. Send high powered mutants in to an area that fears mutants where they will inevitably use their power in front of large groups of people but this will help calm the masses… There’s a leap in logic there but it’s worked for over forty years so why stop now. Cannonball goes to Cyclops in hopes of forming this new team and much to his surprise is granted the request. They are even treated to a page reminiscent of the final page of Astonishing X-Men #1 of the new team now in uniform walking down the hall together. As the team hits this little town, as often seen, things aren’t always as they appear to be on the surface.
While the first issue usually always is seen as a jumping on point, much of this issue is fan service to those who have followed these specific characters for a long time. There are references both in dialogue and action to many previous events in the team’s history. Not much goes in to explaining who they are to new readers as well other than a few subtle hints at each members personality quirks. Diogenes Neves pencils a stupendous book with great character facials throughout. Zeb Wells interesting take on Magik lets the reader know this isn’t the same little sister that Colossus lost years ago and that her time in Limbo has changed her. Their combined efforts in the final page pays another bit of unexpected fan service to long term X-fans with a character who has played a critical part in the most important events of X-Lore in the last twenty years.