Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Adam Kubert, Frank Martin, Neeraj Menon, VC’s Cory Petit, Jay Bowen, and Tom Muller
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 18th, 2022
Following a recommendation from Sage, WOLVERINE pursued Delores Ramirez, who just so happens to be the Head of the C.I.A.’s X-Desk. However, when WOLVERINE arrived, he discovered a battleground cluttered with the carcasses of C.I.A. agents and machine replicas of many mutants, including himself. Additionally, WOLVERINE also found one DEADPOOL, who was yearning to substantiate his worth in order to rejoin X-FORCE on Krakoa and relive the glory days. But, can DEADPOOL and WOLVERINE actually work together? Does WOLVERINE actually want to work with Wade? And who else has their fingers deep in this robotic replica cookie jar? Let’s dive into WOLVERINE #21 by Benjamin Percy and find out!
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Percy kicks off the issue with some pretty good situational humor from DEADPOOL that opened the story well. However, once the story brought together this team with another familiar Mercenary, that’s when Percy’s writing of DEADPOOL just became a bit forced and downright weird. The Merc never truly re-entered the story making it pointless to throw in as well as the Casino angle. Sure, DEADPOOL needed weapons but again it was thrown in to merely showcase silly zingers that didn’t land. For example, the logbook just raddled off nonsensical weapons in a list and ultimately wasted a page of the comic handcuffing the creative team with the page count later.
Moreover, another page of words was inserted to inform readers about the WOLVERINE hand from the auction issue a while back. This part was useful and explanatory but again wasted page count for the artists which in turn caused them to cram more story into fewer pages. Additionally, trying to be super meta and Fourth Wall Breaking, Percy utilizes even more page count with what DEADPOOL calls “content-rich” parts of the comic. However, the art was jam-packed making it difficult to see what was going on and the “content-rich” narration of events was too zany and confusing to understand.
Nevertheless, the story does pick up quite a bit as WOLVERINE finally becomes more prevalent in his own comic. There is a showdown between WOLVERINE and dozens of other… WOLVERINE’S in which he sautés with rugged accuracy. WOLVERINE #21 climaxes with a full-throttle, action melee, and some outstanding single-page spreads by Adam Kubert that are just brilliant. Plus, Percy does somewhat weave in the earlier sidebar from DEADPOOL that does sow together some of the earlier threads that the dialogue and narrative concocted with his comedic effort.
DEADPOOL and Percy are just not jiving with this reviewer. It’s almost as if Percy is trying too hard to be comedic, goofy, and sarcastic just because that’s DEADPOOL. However, it’s happening at times that just don’t fit, aren’t necessary to the story, and aren’t overly funny. Heck, the focus seems to be so much on DEADPOOL that even WOLVERINE’S dialogue felt a bit off at times.
Yet even with the displeasure of DEADPOOL’S characterization, I found the overarching premise somewhat interesting. If the C.I.A. and the “X-Desk” are truly involved with all of this, it does smell like mutants are in for a treat in the future with absolutely no one on their side. Plus, the Weasel angle was a sly little wrinkle that kept this reviewer on the edge of his seat. I hope that we get less DEADPOOL and more WOLVERINE as this story beat continues to unfold. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!