REVIEW: Deadpool #16 – “Bottle Episode”

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James

Deadpool #16 cover

Written By: Gerry Duggan

Art By: Mike Hawtorne

Colored By: Jordie Bellaire

Lettered By: VC’s Joe Sabino

Release Date: 8/3/16

Price Tag: $3.99

In issue #16, Wade confronts his mercenary team about the mistrust which has plagued them from the start. And like anything involving Wade Wilson, it’s a heck of a ride.

Plot

Deadpool confronts his mercs

Deadpool #15 geared up for a bloodbath, but #16 quickly turns into a bottle episode instead. Wade and his mercs trip a wire in the midst of their fight, trapping them in his vault for a bit. Then they hash out their differences in a less violent way.

Story

While locking up a group of mercenaries in a vault is an obvious gimmick, it’s one that works surprisingly well here. James Bourne takes center stage, and his extended monologue answers many questions.

My favorite moment is when James explains why he put Deadpool’s outfit on in the first place. Precisely because Wade’s “hirelings” are so often used for slapstick comedy, this sincerity is a welcome change. It’s also nice to get a break from the (admittedly hilarious) fight scenes that this series relies on.

James Bourne (Solo) contemplates his choices

 

The other characters calling attention to the trope of the issue only adds to the fun. One of the best things about Deadpool is how the characters interact with the audience, so the bits of fourth-wall breaking are always appreciated.

Wade Wilson defines a bottle episode

The flashbacks took a little too long, in my opinion, but they led to an exciting discovery. Deadpool’s recent nemesis, Madcap, might be coming into play again.

My one major issue with the story was how quickly Wade went from battle-ready to ready to listen. I understand Duggan needed to move the plot forward, but the group just hit the pause button on their problems. I expected Deadpool would prove he wasn’t scamming his teammates, or that they’d convince him to give them their due.

Solo helps Wade realize Madcap was behind another plot

Overall, it was a filler story that helped us get to know a major supporting player better. James is the most grounded character in Deadpool, so giving him the spotlight gave the issue a different feel.

Art

Normally I like the art style for Deadpool, because it’s colorful yet simple. The story is already so zany that it’s good for the art to ground it a little. However, because this issue was already more laid-back than usual, the art didn’t stand out as much.

At least they're using their words and not their guns

The scenes in the vault had so little movement that I would’ve liked to see the flashbacks switch it up. Regardless, I still enjoy the clear and detailed line work and the rich color palette.

Solo flashbacks to the time he made Deadpool famous

The last panel is the most interesting one from an artistic standpoint.  The shadowed figures hint at the evil to come in the most foreboding manner. I love the art as a whole, I’d just like to see the artists take more risks like this:

Madcap returns?

Verdict

I enjoyed the film so much that I was hesitant to read the comics in case they were different. Now I can safely say ignoring the film’s origin story hasn’t hurt this run of Deadpool at all. Wade Wilson quips like no one else and, even at his most despicable, he’s a riot and a softie. While this issue wasn’t my favorite, I recommend the series to anyone who isn’t squeamish about violence.

Sidenote: if you need an incentive to learn another language, let Masacre be it. The funniest parts of the story are his one-liners. And they’re all in Spanish!

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