Comic Reviews

Review: Deadpool & Wolverine: WWIII #2

In this review of Deadpool & Wolverine: WWIII #2, Deadpool and Wolverine fight for survival, pitted against super-powered elites, the unforgiving Russian wilderness, and their most dangerous adversary: each other.

 

deadpool & wolverine: WWIII #2 main cover
Deadpool & Wolverine: WWIII #2 main cover by Adam Kubert

Deadpool & Wolverine: WWIII #2
Writer:  Joe Kelly

Art and Main Cover by: Adam Kubert
Colors: Frank Martin
Variant Covers:  Jan Bazaldua, Salvador Larroca
Release Date: June 12, 2024

 

This Review Contains Spoilers

 

A compelling second act in this three-part miniseries, and surprisingly weighty – a satisfying pick up from your local store. Immediately resuming where issue #1 left off, Deadpool & Wolverine: WWIII #2 finds our titular hero and anti-hero embroiled in a bombastic brawl in the Russian tundra as a cabal of wealthy patrons revel in their gladiatorial entertainment. The action is spurred by the previously alluded to Delta, a deformed super-powered puppetmaster, and his spunky German underling Greta, who watch from afar. Beating some sense into the brainwashed Merc with a Mouth, Wolverine and Deadpool escape into the wilderness, forgoing action panels for what ironically stands out as far more interesting: intimate dialogue between the two stray figures. Deprived of food, water, and shelter, the ever-biting duo settles into a caring partnership born of survival necessity.

At a crucial scene just before the midpoint, Logan makes a jaw-dropping sacrifice to assist the ailing Wade (a clever choice I leave the reader to find out for themselves). Wade, dropping his mask and attitude, reveals a poignant and contemplative monologue nearly unheard of from the character’s canon, and yet, written without betraying the gunslinger we’ve come to love. Touching on topics of cancer, purposelessness, and the will to survive (and rebrand, for lack of a better word), the scene plays out with more weight than one might expect from a mini-series to whet the appetite of prospective moviegoers. Of course, the peace can’t last long, as soon Delta and Greta, and a beastly talking wolf/bear, get the drop on Wolverine and Deadpool. A few pages of violence later and we leave off on a cliffhanger to be resolved in the final issue next month.

 

Credit: Marvel Comics

 

While still suffering from the issues of clarity and confusion present in our last review, Kelly’s breadcrumbs of information regarding the shadowy villains’ origin and motivations are decidedly less important (and perhaps less interesting) than the aforementioned relationship between frenemies Wolverine and Deadpool. As if predicting a level of confusion, the credits page gives a synopsis of the previous issue, which, truth be told, is clearer than reading the last installment altogether. The same page features a quick bio for our two leads, which leads me to argue, even with an eye-blurring perplexity regarding the antagonists, this is still a good introduction story to readers looking to delve into these characters without splurging on trade paperback runs from yesteryear.

Another key segment of puzzlement occurs within the first pages of both issues so far, which begin with a prologue detached from the A plotline. Visually intriguing and evocative of more to come, they still lack a through-thread to the main story, which is frustrating to informed fans; I can only imagine these opening pages may serve as outright roadblocks to would-be readers. However, considering the relay of answers so far, I have no reason to doubt Joe Kelly will answer any/all questions in next month’s conclusion.

Those invested enough to continue past the title page are rewarded with compelling action panels from Adam Kubert and the moving campfire scene mentioned above. All things considered, what the series lacks in surface-level clarity, it more than makes up for with clever page layouts, crisp color (Frank Martin), classic Wolvy derisive dialogue, and meaningful insight from a surprising source. Deadpool / Wolverine: WWIII concludes when issue #3 drops on July 24.

 

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deadpool & wolverine: wwiii #2 featured image
Deadpool & Wolverine: WWIII #2
Final Thoughts
Still evading expositional nutrients, Kelly and Kubert's second of three issues still makes for a tasty literary treat.
8
Final Score

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