by Michael DeLaney
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli continue to propel Wade Wilson’s emotional journey forward in the face of all of the changes that Secret Empire has wrought. Deadpool 33 is bookended with Wade Wilson dealing with aspects of his Hydra-ruled life, but the substance of the issue comes in the form of a flashback.
Ruth Redmond distinguishes the past from the present by coloring the flashbacks in various shades of grey accentuated by occasional reds. Not only does this Sin City-esque vibe highlight when our red-clad hero of the book steps into the panel but the infrequent use of plain, red backgrounds underlines the dramatic tension of the moment.
Duggan and Lolli use this momentous flashback to show us a significant split in the relationship of Deadpool and Agent Preston. Hydra’s Secret Empire is just beginning and since Wade doesn’t realize that he helped bring it about, he wants to check in on his family. As he soon finds out, he can’t have it both ways: he can’t be Steve Rogers’ secret killer and be the perfect family man with Preston and Ellie.
As Preston searches frantically for Phil Coulson, Wade’s guilt is palpable. Preston becomes suspicious of Wade’s silence and does a little S.H.I.E.L.D. reconnaissance and discovers that Wade killed Coulson. Even if he wasn’t aware of Steve’s evil motivations, Wade was already feeling off about Coulson’s murder. But now that Preston — the surrogate mother of his daughter — knows, Wade is feeling pretty damn low.
While Lolli gives some subtle “mask acting” to Wade, the bulk of the emotion in Deadpool 33 comes from Preston. Once she sees footage of one of her friends being murdered by another, she takes a moment to shed a few tears. But since she’s a robot she can also turn those emotions off as she prepares to sock Wade across the jaw.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?