Based on last week’s feedback, this week’s comic reviews will be of the issues that make up two of the trade paperback collections due this Wednesday. (The reprint of the third volume of Runaways no longer appears on the release list, so that has been postponed until it does.) Today’s review is of a few issues of a great title that, I feel, deserves far more support and recognition than it usually gets.
Title: Cable / Deadpool #33-36
Author: Fabian Nicieza
Illustrator(s): Pencils by Reilly Brown. The majority of the inks by Jeremy Freeman, with assists by Pat
Davidson, Jonathan Glapion and Jessica Phillips. Colours by Gotham.
Original Publication Date: Cover dates range from December 2006 to March 2007.
Cover Price: Each issue $2.99 US or $3.75 Canadian.
Buy a combined edition of these issues and the excellent Civil War
crossover issues from: Amazon.com
Past comic reviews can be found here.
Rather than trying to uniquely describe the setup myself, I’m just going to quote Deadpool, who
narrates the recap pages himself: “Nathan Dayspring Askani’son Goldblum, soldier-savior-from-the-future called
Cable, became president of the made-up Marvel universe country of Rumekistan, and that made people in the bowels
of power all over the world a little hinky. When me an’ Nate found ourselves on opposite sides of the ‘Whose side
are you on?’ Civil War thang — we had a very messy divorce. So, what do you think the odds are my new employer,
Uncle Same, ain’t gonna try to find a way to get me to muck-up Nate’s little political power play…?” That setup
takes the first two issue to play out. After that, Deadpool first has to deal with ghosts of his past (while
lamenting the fact that his recap page isn’t in regular continuity, which means he didn’t know why that was
happening), and then things wrap up when he decides to prove that he’s the best mercenary on the planet by
fighting the Taskmaster with his hands and feet manacled together. The whole thing is much funnier than it
Fallout from taking on the Taskmaster.
The current incarnation of Cable is just way too powerful. I’m hoping he gets toned down
soon. Thankfully, he’s not in this story much.
Deadpool is one of the most original characters I’ve run across. He’s a
great anti-hero, and really, really funny. (In fact, it was his picture on the box that got me to give
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance a try on the PS3. My only complaint about him in that game is that he isn’t
nearly funny enough.) Add in some great plot twists that I really didn’t see coming, and you’ve got a really,
really fun title, which helps set it apart from much of the fare on shelves right now. I give it 5 out of 6.
The artwork is excellent. The trouble with comedic stories is that there’s a
temptation to move to off-model, goofy representations of characters that remind you you’re reading a comic book.
Reilly Brown maintains comic pacing and style, and yet manages to keep everyone on model. It’s a hard line to
walk, and Brown does it well. Gotham’s colours similarly manage to keep things going. The only detriment is the
inconsistent inking, thanks to all the individuals involved. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story maintains the Civil War momentum and moves naturally from point to
point, using as much logic as Deadpool is capable of. I give it 5 out of 6.
The characterization, as you might have guessed, is part of what sets this apart. Deadpool is a fun character, but issue 35 reveals more depth than one might expect from “The Merc With The Mouth.” Cable’s inner thoughts are revealed through actions more than conversation, but it works. I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response is where this title shines. I think I may have mentioned this before, but this title is really, really funny. I’ve now read all 39 issues of the title, thanks to the TPB reprints that followed the post-Civil War sales surge, and I’ve yet to make it through the recap page without laughing out loud, let alone the actual story. I’ve got about 50 titles on my pull list, and this goes to the top of the reading stack every time it comes out. I give it 6 out of 6.
The flow is great. Most story arcs in this title are only one or two issues, but they bridge from one to the next quite naturally. I give it 6 out of 6.
Overall, these are entertaining entries in a great series. Do yourself a favour and check out the trade paperback this Wednesday (Cable and Deadpool Vol. 6: Paved With Good Intentions) if you didn’t get the monthly issues. I give it 6 out of 6.
In total, Cable and Deadpool #33-36 receives 38 out of 42.
Additional Notes and Comments
Just a bit of anecdotal evidence about this title: the owner of the comic
shop I frequent told me that there were three people with this title on their pull list before the Civil War
crossover. Thanks to that visibility and good word of mouth, there are now over 15 people collecting on a regular
basis. Comparing with others online, it seems that most people who try this title stick with it.
Finally, this Wednesday also sees the publication of the trade paperback of Kevin Smith’s Spider-Man / Black Cat: The Evil
That Men Do, so that complete package will finally be reviewed tomorrow.