ByShaun Pond, writer at Creators.co

In a remarkable turn of events Deadpool improved dramatically in its last instalment. So much so that the series became one to watch for the first time in its entire run. That turnaround meant that this issue found the book at something of a crossroads, it could either continue to gain traction or it could revert back to the sorry state it was in just a few issues back.

Or it could stay steady without getting any worse or any better. Yeah, that’s the one they went with.

As you may have seen as the climax of issue nine, Sabretooth sat in a seedy restaurant and awaited yet another showdown with Deadpool. One would assume that that would mean bullets flying, swords swinging, and claws slicing. But no, Gerry Duggan decided that the most logical way to go just wasn’t for him as this book opened on a more puzzling note.

Sabretooth was indeed sat in the same place when the story began but instead of Deadpool busting in and going to war with his animalistic nemesis yet again he opted to do something a little different… he sat down and shared a meal with him. This was one of those moments that made you question just how Duggan ever made a name for himself in the writing business in the first place. The fans wanted to see these two do battle once more and it would have been the only thing that made sense too considering how Deadpool believes Sabretooth killed his parents but instead they got a rather nondescript bit of conversation. It is hard to even recall any stand out moment from that portion of the book despite having just put it down, that’s how little of an impact Duggan’s writing made in this instance.

Some of the entertainment factor from the last book was recovered however as the two men engaged in a somewhat epic chase scene on motorbikes. It has to be said that the art was on fine form throughout this sequence as Matteo Lolli managed to inject each static shot with a fluidity of movement that you would have been forgiven for not thinking him capable of capturing. The writing? That was less impressive. The jokes flowed well and that’s where the entertainment comes in but the actual plot devices were idiotic especially as it pertains to the end of said chase. What happened there was that two helicopter collided for no discernable reason other than it being convenient for Duggan. Why work hard when you can hardly work?

From there Deadpool and Sabretooth abandoned their fight to the death and rescued the civilians from the wreckage. Of course, neither of them could resist getting in one a few wise cracks at the injured parties’ expense. In that lies Duggan’s strong suit of excellent characterisation, though it does little to make up for the glaring plot holes.

The real highlight of the issue was the ending, which will not be spoiled here as to do so would be to rob you of the chance to read it yourself and get that little jolt of excitement ahead of issue eleven. Let’s just say that it is nice to see Deadpool being his remorseless self. The stakes definitely got ramped up for Sabretooth.

In the review of the last issue one major sticking point was the art. It was far too cartoonish and didn’t do the book justice whatsoever. That’s seemingly changed overnight though as this really was a deeply enjoyable book on that front. Matteo Lolli may now have found his footing after a shaky start to his Deadpool career and as such he is starting to turn out some gorgeous artwork. Earlier the fluid movement was mentioned but it should also be noted that the expressions on character’s faces as well as their look in general are both vastly improved. Really, Matteo was the high point of this issue which is something that was previously highly unlikely to ever be said. The cover art is still ugly to the point of causing nausea unfortunately.

All things considered, this was not a great issue but it was by no means a bad one either. The current storyline is still very promising and stops you from wanting to drop the title any time soon. That being said it still isn’t living up to its potential and the thought of replacing Duggan as writer is once again at the fore.

Score: 6.8/10

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