Holiday over, back to the grindstone. In other news, Deadpool. Deadpool deadpool, deadpool. Deadpoooooool, Cable. Deadpool!
Deadpool #4, by Gerry Duggan (writer), Mike Hawthorne (penciler), Terry Pallot (inker), Guru eFx (colorists), Joe Sabino (letterer) - The first store I stopped at didn't have any copies, and said it had been a really popular issue because of the rainbow-colored Deadpools? I don't understand that myself. I mean, Stingray as Greed and Slapstick as Fear? This emotional spectrum makes no sense whatsoever.
Madcap is the person running around impersonating Deadpool, having grown obsessed with Deadpool after spending that time in Wade's mind. And he's upped the ante, making people nuts, then giving them Deadpool masks and weapons and sending them out to cause mayhem. So Wade, Steve Rogers, and the other Mercs for Money are going to have to find him, and then somehow stop someone who feels no pain and may be impossible to kill.
I keep thinking this whole Madcap thing is a false lead, but I guess not. I can't entirely explain the guy from issue 3 that Wade chased across the rooftops. We got a glimpse of his face beneath the mask, and he didn't look human or like Madcap. I think Shiklah's mixed up in this, since Duggan keeps having these brief scenes with her, where she's annoyed Wade is never around, and she's been unhappy with the change in his personality since at least Axis.
Hawthorne draws Terror as significantly larger than the other Mercs in this issue, so I guess he really is supposed to be larger (this is in reference to my comment about the cover to issue 3). I hadn't noticed it previously, but sure, OK. There is one screw-up. One the page where they first encounter the mass of "Deadpools", we see Steve Rogers, Stingray, and Wade fighting them. But in the next panel, Wade drives up in his motorcycle and enters the fray. So I don't know whether the Deadpool in red in the first panel (the "For Chimichangas!" panel) wasn't supposed to be there at all, or if it's supposed to be one of the other Mercs, and he just got colored wrong. I think it's the first option, because he doesn't speak or have any other characteristics that would show he's a different merc, nobody talks to him in that panel, and he doesn't show up anywhere on the rest of the page.
Watching Deadpool and Steve Rogers interact is kind of neat. Rogers believes in Wade, but he hadn't spent that much time in close proximity to him before this. So he's constantly being confronted with how odd it is to work with Wade, in a way I'm sure the stories and reports he's read couldn't prepare him for. You can see him mentally gritting his teeth and reminding himself that Deadpool's really trying, and the team needs his financing, like when he learns about Bob. Which, c'mon Rogers, you're buddies with Nick Fury, and over the last 10 years he's been far more morally compromised than Bob. As for Wade, you can see how hard he's working to live up to it. He's completely serious when he's handing out orders to his mercs about searching for Madcap, it's kind of unnerving. Working with Rogers, hustling to show up whenever the guy calls, mostly deferring to the old man's wishes (how does Steve know Wade didn't legally buy that old Fantasticar? Maybe Peter Parker sold it off when he bought the old FF HQ.) It's a different dynamic from Deadpool and Wolverine, or Deadpool and Cable, where I think Wade resents the attitude the others have to him more, the sort of high-handedness they approach him with.
Deadpool and Cable: Split Second #1, by Fabian Nicieza (writer), Reilly Brown (artist), Jay Leisten (inker), Jim Charalampidis (colorist), Joe Sabino (letterer) - 10 years ago, I'd never have expected to see Cable on the cover of a comic book and not roll my eyes, but here we are.
Deadpool and Agent Preston's SHIELD team rescue Dr. Carl Weathers from HYDRA. As it turns out, Dr. Weathers has developed a time harness for HYDRA, but then decided to sell it to the highest bidder. In the meantime, Cable's had a vision of the future of the doctor, and Deadpool shooting someone, so he concludes they're connected and tries to stop Wade. Except he doesn't really have the power to back that up any longer, and so they team up instead to watch the doctor. They see Weathers, Wade decides to just stab the guy instead, only to be interrupted by a time traveler out to kill Weathers, and during the fight, Wade accidentally shoots a kid.
Nicieza tries lampshading the fact that if Cable doesn't want Wade killing Weathers, it's really dumb to bring Deadpool along to watch Weathers, but I'm not sure you can lampshade it successfully. I can sort of argue with myself that Cable isn't strong enough to stop Wade on his own, and figured it was better to be with him where maybe he could control him, but I'm not sure even I can buy it entirely. Especially since Wade could just have left the surveillance to Preston's team. Kind of a plot hole there.
Plot issue aside, I like this just fine. There is an element of nostalgia in my buying this, but I generally enjoy Nicieza's writing, and Brown's art, so that works out nicely. Nicieza's Deadpool is more impulsive than Duggan's, but that could just be from being around Cable. Nate has that whole "I know better than you because I'm from the future" thing, and I could see how it would be worth doing questionable stuff just too annoy him. Sometimes you have to tweak people like that. Preston telling HYDRA to hail her badonkadonk made me laugh, and so did the one HYDRA guy whispering, 'Please die,' while shooting Wade. Also that other HYDRA guy trying to say he's Bob so he doesn't die. Incompetent, frightened evil henchmen are funny, basically.
I couldn't help but notice Brown draws Wade's outfit as being form-fitting on his rear, which actually doesn't surprise me. Wade stays in shape, and he definitely seems the type who would want others to notice. Especially Cable. Even if Wade is done being on the bottom in their relationship. That whole sequence made me laugh, especially because Cable has this look on his face, like he can't figure out what Wade's going on about, and why he feels the need to get so close to Cable's face to talk about it.
There are certain panels I imagine work better in the comics original, digital format, though I'm just guessing that. But there are sequences in there were I could see some part of the panel appearing or disappearing as you read it. Maybe that's not how it went, though. It works fine in print, which is ultimately what I'm concerned about.
And I finally got to see Wade outright beat Cable up, which is something I'd been waiting on for awhile. Now if I can just get Spidey whupping Daredevil. . .