REVIEW: Despicable Deadpool #295 – The Uncanny X-Man

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Writer: Gerry Duggan
Penciller: Scott Koblish
Colorist: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Price: $3.99

Release Date: 2/28/18

Deadpool has been locked in a deadly contract with Stryfe ever since his family was murdered and subsequently ‘saved’ by the evil version of Cable. Next up on Wade’s so-called bucket list? His friend Evan Sabahnur. But not to worry, Wade has a terrible plan to either save or ruin the day.

Plot: Wade sidesteps murdering Evan with the help of a Weapon X drug, but still has has to contend with Colossus and Kitty Pryde’s anger. Not to mention that there’s still another name on his bucket list, and this one won’t be as easy to fake his way through.

Story: Despicable Deadpool #295 starts off on the right foot, with some great tension and a plot twist I didn’t actually see coming. I knew Wade would have to find a way out of killing young Evan, but they really had me going when Stryfe moved onto the next and final victim. For once, Wade’s resourcefulness overrides his wisecracks and allows him to use a temporary drug to suppress Genesis’ x-gene. Not that his quips are far behind, of course, as we do get a few classic fourth wall breaks before events take a turn for the much worse.

But what really really carries the issue is the pervasive sadness that runs through Deadpool’s actions throughout. Ever since he killed Coulson is Secret Empire, Wade has been on a downward spiral that shows no signs of stopping – but the series manages to be engaging despite this. Most writers might easily turn a character like Deadpool into either a brooding sad sack or a callous sociopath, but Gerry Duggan is able to toe the line between them time and again. He’s still funny and crass, yet he cares deeply and clearly wants nothing more than to break free of his role as murderer and tool of destruction.

That being said, the pathos and poignancy of Wade’s character is somewhat undercut during the scene with the final name on his kill list. While it’s important that the story – and Deadpool himself – acknowledges that he’s not the hero here, it also seems strange that he didn’t try to find another solution. Considering that he was able to resolve the dilemma over killing Evan in no time, there’s no clear reason why Marietta doesn’t deserve the same treatment. The only viable explanation is one that takes you out of the story, because Evan is an X-Men and canon character who can’t die in someone else’s comic while Marietta is neither.

Art: Overall, Scott Koblish and Ruth Redmond have created a very visually appealing issue in Despicable Deadpool #25, with the perfect amount of detail displayed on various characters’ expressions. The bright red of Wade’s suit – and the brightness of his personality – also contrast nicely with the dark greys and blacks in the appropriate sparse backgrounds. There isn’t much action in the story, but the art team does wonders with the X-Men fight. It’s a kinetic sequence with a lot to chew on, and none of the artists disappoint – Joe Sabino clearly has fun with Colossus’ rage, for example.

The tone changes drastically when Deadpool reaches Bleeker Street, and the art follows suit without missing a beat. The attention to character emotion is even more important in this quieter section, which focuses on the struggle between Wade’s motivations and his actions. Koblish manages to convey all the pain of the moment even as Redmond plays with the comic book version of chiaroscuro to drive home the darkness in Wade’s soul as he snuffs out the another’s light.

Verdict: Minor plot quibbles aside, Despicable Deadpool #295 is a strong entry for the season that perfectly balances the havoc in Wade’s psyche with the hijinx and hysterics we love so much.

Star Rating: 4 out of 5

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