I managed to pick up a couple of books last week. Not everything I needed, but the rest will be here later in the week. Course, it all adds up to a measly 4 books. Everything waited until this week to come out.
Deadpool #18, by Gerry Duggan (writer), Mike Hawthorne and Brian Level (pencilers), Terry Pallot (inker), Jordie Bellaire and Rochelle Rosenberg (colorists) - People lining up to injure Wade, something everyone can get behind, event he people who don't like Deadpool. Actually, those folks are probably trying to figure out where that line is.
Wade and Shiklah have a big knockdown, drag out fight over their relationship, all the way from Shiklah's bedchambers to the street. The fight brings out a lot of the problems in their marriage that were readily apparent from the start. Like how marrying the first guy you see after being asleep for thousands of years possibly isn't a good idea. And that Deadpool is not a reliable partner. But it's unclear if things are over or not. Even Wade can't figure it out, so he goes to the remains of his Avengers' teams HQ, which was also his cool building with the speakeasy in it. Runs into Rogue there, and takes her to see Eleanor. Explains his daughter is a mutant, and Rogue promises the kid will have her in her corner. Meanwhile, Madcap is still putting things together for his plan.
The thing I finally realized this issue is that Duggan and Hawthorne are having Wade get into a fight every issue of this tie-in, but they're all pointless, unnecessary fights. He and T'Challa didn't need to fight; Wade hadn't hurt Ulysses and he was leaving. Wade and the Mercs should have focused on getting out of the vault instead of killing each other, and definitely shouldn't have continued the fight while cops showed up. Wade couldn't pay them, so just let them leave. And then after all the fighting, they have to ride the same train home. Now this fight with Shiklah, which I don't know what's going to happen. It's all stupid fighting for no purpose, which is pretty much Civil War II in a nutshell. Bravo, Deadpool creative team.
I didn't enjoy this fight as much as the previous couple. It isn't badly drawn, Hawthorne's still doing good work, but it doesn't have as many clever bits to it as the previous fight. That and I was sad to see a married couple having a falling out. Why won't Marvel let any characters stay married?! Still, there were a couple of parts I enjoyed. The expressions Wade has on the page where the fight ends, first when Shiklah proposes they go back to bed, the one with a wolfman minus a head in it. that's a bit weird even for Deadpool (and it confirms Jack Russell won't stay dead, if you're one of his 4 fans). And the expression in the last panel on the page, as he declines. He just looks so sad and tired, which is never a good sign when it comes to Wade. Then the part in the subway when Wade thinks Shiklah is threatening his loved ones and flips out for a minute. And the fact she immediately recognizes why he flipped out, and even raises the possibility it wasn't simply poor phrasing. That was a little chilling.
Brian Level takes over art chores halfway through. There's just a bit of a shift in how Wade's drawn that I mostly notice around his mask, the lines on it not being as defined as usual, or the shape being slightly different, that makes me think that. Otherwise it's a pretty smooth transition, and I don't know if that's due to Level shaping his style to mimic Hawthorne's, or if Terry Pallot's inks are doing it. The colors shift somewhat, Wade's costume seems brighter than in the earlier pages, but otherwise, it's a smooth transition. There are times Level really nails some of the body language Hawthorne typically gives Wade. The pose Deadpool makes when he tries to lean against Rogue's closet door, for example.
I gotta say, I still hate Civil War II, but this has been a solid tie-in. Definitely the best one I've seen by Gerry Duggan over his time writing Deadpool.
Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat #10, by Kate Leth (writer), Brittney L. Williams (artist), Megan Wilson (colorist), Clayton Cowles (letterer) - Why the heck are Boomerang and Shocker there? Nothing better to do than watch exes arm wrestle in a bar?
Daimon dumped Patsy into the hands of Belial, a lord of lies. And this wasn't Daimon actually trying to help Patsy, he really did get duped by Hedy. Maybe that hellfire on his head is cooking his brain. Belial tries to get Patsy to buy into embracing her rage and taking control of her full power and cutting loose, which does sound fun, but Patsy is uninterested. She gets Belial to bring her back to earth by daring him to prove he has powers somewhere outside Hell, at which point Jubilee breaks his face, and Daimon banishes him. Then the boys apologize and the day is saved, while the Black Cat prepares to get Hellcat out of her way.
But Felicia, I'm pretty sure Patsy was Hellcat before you showed up in comics, and I know Greer Grant was wearing that costume as the Cat before you came along. So they can't really be biting your style, can they? That's not even getting into the fact her costume is yellow and blue, and yours is black with a little white fringe. That's like saying iron First is biting the Hulk's style because they both have green in their color palettes. So becoming a crime boss hasn't made Felicia smarter, clearly.
I've been trying to figure out what seems so different about Williams' art in the scene in Belial's realm. Some of it is Wilson's colors, I'm sure. Things seem more washed out. The colors are lighter, but not as rich. But it seems like Williams isn't doing any shading around the characters. What I mean is, in places where Patsy's hair should be casting a shadow across her face, it doesn't. It's as though everything lacks a certain level of detail, because it's just a surface illusion. Belial is going with easy, obvious stuff, the simple conclusions someone could draw if they wanted to to make a person feel bad, without looking at the deeper levels of who people are and why they do stuff.
Or it could be Williams is trying to use a style more similar to what would have been in those books starring Patsy and her friends from back in the day. Some of the peculiar background effects, like how the shadows in her mom's hospital room are a lot of narrow black lines, close together. Or the static on TV backdrops that appear a couple of times. Those seem like techniques more common to much older comics, and so maybe Williams and Wilson are trying to put things in that style.