Here it is, the end of an Empire! Could it also be the end of our favorite, try-hard merc? Nah, but in Deadpool #35, he may lose something more valuable than his life. Is it good?
Why, that’s not Steve Rogers at all! But that is DEFINITELY Maria Hill, and she’s about as pissed as she’s ever been. Who knows why, considering SHE’s the one who caused all this! Deadpool was just doing what you’re supposed to do — you ALWAYS follow Captain America!
But as Secret Empire unfolds, Deadpool does realize the terrible mistake he’s made. All he wants now is to do right by Ellie Preston and help in any way he can. Trucks and toppled buildings impede that. So what’s he got left?
At this point, you know what to expect from a Gerry Duggan Deadpool issue. A little song, a little dance, a little soul-crushing pathos smothering your heart and extinguishing all belief in light and justice. With jokes!
Thanks to the finality of Secret Empire, Deadpool #35 gets to heap it on extra heavy, as the hardest luck sort-of hero learns that winning isn’t enough when you don’t get the chance to make up for what you’ve done. He’s finally figured out that trust should be conditional, whoever it is, but there’s a bulldozer named Maria Hill blocking his redemption opportunity.
Deadpool’s increasing desperation is palpable as the issue continues, and while it’s a quick read, it’s an intense one, with a gut-sinking end. All he’s ever wanted is a chance to do better. What happens when he’s denied that? If you’ve seen this fall’s Marvel solicits, you can guess.
Mike Hawthorne’s pencils keep pace with the story, emoting through facial expressions and body language, as when Deadpool clearly looks ashamed when Hill calls him out. The addition of actual eyes during Wade’s last, plaintive plea to Maria is a nice touch.
Ruth Redmond’s colors are bright, but not so bright that they make Deadpool #35 cheerier than it should be. Deadpool’s costume pops against grittier greys, and fiery explosions take on a life of their own, and may make you reflexively turn away to shield yourself.
Deadpool #35 is another success in Gerry Duggan’s long stint on the character, and while he’s hitting the same notes he has many times, the sense that it’s a little harder this time is definite. It’s good foreshadowing for what’s to come, and the right way to use an event tie-in to advance a story. The art team carries their end of the load just as well, making for a solid overall effort the likes of which we’ve come to expect from this volume.