Deadpool #3 Review

by Charles Martin on February 19, 2020

Deadpool #3 Review
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Penciller: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Wayne Faucher, Livesay, Al Vey, Jaime Mendoza & Victor Olazaba
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

In this issue, Deadpool -- eventually -- gets down to brass tacks in a one-on-one Kraven fight.

First, though, he has to recover from being shot with Elsa Bloodstone's Cliffhanger Rifle in the last issue (easy enough) and interact a lot with his monstrous Honor Guard (fun but time-consuming).

A significant part of the comedy (as well as plot development) comes from Wade whipping out his "Deadpool's Guide to Monsters" trading cards to educate himself and us about his new supporting cast.

The premise is shamelessly lifted from the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, complete with a friendly dig at Ryan North. The Kelly Thompson fan section of my brain says this is all to the good. 

But there's a more objective quadrant of my brain that sees a problem here. The core joke with the trading cards is that Wade extracts a tactically-significant fact about one of his followers and uses it to dramatically alter the Kraven fight. 

The cards don't just give us the one fact; they summarize everything about the supporting monsters. And therein lies the problem: The cards neatly encapsulate these characters in a way that the prior issues failed to do. It reveals storytelling weakness, maybe more on the visual side than the narrative. Most of the monsters didn't get a lot to say until now -- but they were darn sure present in the art. 

Chris Bachalo's work serves well here, considering it's getting upstaged by those cards when it comes to making Deadpool's monsters memorable. The visuals really sharpen up when Wade and Kraven square off. Mr. Bachalo's unusual blocking comes into its own when it's time for a blow-by-blow battle. Fight panels are framed around motions and impacts rather than characters, and that gives the struggle a lively sense of momentum.

David Curiel's role in the proceedings is a vital one. Providing a striking colour scheme for each of Deadpool's monster-guards is crucial to distinguishing them and keeping some of the busier panels from getting confusing. The overall palette is nicely harmonized, though; none of those bright monsters clash.

Kelly Thompson has pulled an interesting trick over the course of three issues, segueing smoothly from situational plot-driven comedy to (still very funny) character-driven storytelling. It works, mostly because she has an excellent command of Wade's voice. 

But the more intense focus on the characters and their interactions does slow down the plot. This issue ends before Kraven and Deadpool can even really get past round one in their fight, and it could easily take another couple of issues to finish it off and get Monster King Deadpool to a stable status quo. 

So long as the humour and charm of the characters hold up, a slow pace isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Deadpool #3 follows through on the turn started with last issue's Cap scene: It's concentrating on character rather than plot. That plays to the writer's strengths, though it does also slow things down. The start of an intense Deadpool-Kraven fight does similar things for the artist, making the best of his dynamic blocking style. Although the destination remains unclear, the ride is plenty enjoyable so far.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
"I heard this guy named Ryan writes them [Deadpool cards] in his mom's basement."