When ‘Deadpool’ #53 came to a close, it seemed to imply that the Merc with a Mouth, through his machinations to commit suicide, had grown some form of a conscience… and consequently a new lust for life. This was the product of the realization by Deadpool that his death would lead to the death of his “pal” Hydra henchman Bob. This issue, we’re going to find out if Deadpool has really turned over a new leaf or if he will give the title of this arc meaning and kick the bucket. Of course, it’s hard to discuss that subject without ruining the surprise so…

Warning: Spoilers abound below!

In my review of the last ‘Deadpool’ issue, I commented that this story arc had built up some chaos as Deadpool played his team (X-Force), the villains (Kingpin and Tombstone), and Daken against one another, only to slow down as Deadpool approached his ultimate goal. I had hoped that this finale to the ‘Dead’ arc would ramp things back up to chaotic levels and pay off in a big way… sadly, that didn’t happen… at all.

As this issue opens, Wade “Deadpool” Wilson is discussing his options with Bob when Tombstone shows up to complete the job that Bob started and kill Deadpool. Meanwhile, the X-Force members are attempting to find a way to capture Deadpool without killing him.

While everyone else is deciding Deadpool’s fate, the man himself isn’t sure exactly what he wants. Deadpool does decide though that he won’t punch his ticket until he’s made sure that Bob is safe from Tombstone. In an effort to escape the closing vice from both the good guys and the bad guys, Deadpool and Bob ditch their uniforms and, for the first time in a long while, we get a look at Deadpool’s real face. Now here’s where being a Deadpool fan might come in handy… because I remember Deadpool’s face being a scarred mess. Now either my memory has failed me or somehow his healing power finally kicked in because now he’s a blonde handsome sort of guy. (Of course this change might be just a lead-in to that proposed ‘Deadpool’ movie starring Ryan Reynolds, and a way to get around putting Reynolds under a ton of makeup.)

Either way, after he’s tracked down by X-Force, Deadpool decides that, now that he can die, he actually wants to live. This turn of events would be more shocking if it weren’t so predictable. I saw this ending coming several issues ago, but I had hoped that writer Daniel Way would do something to surprise me. Instead, we’re given a lame cop-out ending and a hint at the next arc called ‘Deadpool: Reborn’.

The next time Marvel hints that they’re going to kill someone (or do any major alterations to their universe)… I sincerely hope that they follow through. They’re already teasing the “No More Avengers” tagline for ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ #6 and fans are expecting that the Avengers will be broken up as a team. Will Marvel actually have the guts to live up to that line? I doubt it… but maybe Bendis will surprise me and eliminate the Avengers just as the team is hitting their prime in theaters.

But back to the subject of Deadpool. I said that if the ‘Dead’ arc went where it was hinting, I wouldn’t try out a Deadpool comic for a long while. Well guess what?

Verdict: Burn

Written by DANIEL WAY