DEADPOOL #35, despite getting caught up in the throes of SECRET EMPIRE, is a fitting cap-off to our hero's dark turn.
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With the conclusion of SECRET EMPIRE this week, DEADPOOL #35 arrives as not just an assist to that event, but as the end of a dark chapter in the merc’s life. After issues of watching Deadpool burn bridges and severing ties, we see his actions culminate in a small act of redemption, which plays a major part in SECRET EMPIRE. This issue isn’t as potent and eventful as the last few, but it does hint at the next steps Deadpool will take in his ever growing character.

DEADPOOL #35 is the Merc’s Day of Reckoning

DEADPOOL #35 has the Merc making a final attempt to help the resistance combat Steve Rogers. After seeking out the villain Blackout in the previous issue, Deadpool seeks out Maria Hill to attempt a team-up. However, with Deadpool’s actions and his allegiance to Rogers, this leads to an explosive battle with her. The bulk of this issue is based around their fight, conveying Deadpool’s need to right his wrongs. The issue’s climax runs simultaneously with SECRET EMPIRE’s finale, forcing Deadpool to look back at his past actions that got him here. 

Image from DEADPOOL #35, courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Running From the Spotlight

Writer Gerry Duggan once again shows Deadpool as a character who’s more than meets the eye. As with the past issues in this arc, DEADPOOL #35 expertly displays the moral dilemmas that Wade faces. We’ve seen his motivations behind his traitorous actions, and now we see what lengths he’ll go to correct them. Wade was willing to stay on the side of evil for his daughter’s well-being, but now risks it all. His effort to stop Rogers may actually fracture their relationship, but he realizes it’s for humanity’s greater good. The final pages of the comic add to the impact, as he reflects on happier times while alone, with no other relationships left after SECRET EMPIRE. The reader wonders if he’ll go back to his immoral ways, or attempt to stay on a more righteous path.

READ: Catch up on Deadpool’s treachery with our review of DEADPOOL #31!

Deadpool receives the development and spotlight he deserves, but the rest of the issue suffers from tie-in syndrome. The “Secret Empire” arc for DEADPOOL has been consistent, but this last issue loses its individuality for the event’s sake. The flow of the story isn’t terrible by any means, but it does feel like there could’ve been more if it weren’t for the event’s conclusion. The showdown between Deadpool and Hill is fun and insightful, but it doesn’t feel as natural because of it.

Image from DEADPOOL #35, courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Deadpool’s Beautifully Executed Fate

Artist Mike Hawthorne and colorist Ruth Redmond paint the picture of Deadpool’s tragic redemption in this issue. Deadpool and Hill face off in an explosive, collateral-filled battle, beautifully presented in each panel. Deadpool’s emotion is on full display through his facial expressions, especially when put against a mostly bleak background. Credit must also be given to the flashback scene towards the end of the story. Deadpool pops since he’s the only character in color, while his friends and environment are grayed out in the somber moment. Hawthorne and Redmond help bring Duggan’s script to a depressing, yet fitting, moment, and the results are satisfying.

READ: Deadpool is out for blood in our review of DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN!

DEADPOOL #35 ends Deadpool’s traitorous chapter, all while being caught up in the chaos of SECRET EMPIRE. It doesn’t have a big stand alone factor like previous issues, but it builds on character and sets seeds of emotion for the next arc. DEADPOOL #35 and its surrounding issues are an excellent place for a reader to start. With Deadpool’s career and mindset now ambiguous, the next stage is looking to be an interesting ride. 

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