Part one of “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” in “Deadpool” #15 opens with a flashback to the Weapon Plus program and Deadpool’s expulsion from it. Artist Declan Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire join writers Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan to bring the madcap adventures of the merc with a mouth to four-color glory in style and suitable fashion.
Following the antics of the recap page, “Deadpool” #15 turns its focus to flash back to the time when Wade Wilson was undergoing experimentation at the hands of Department K. Shalvey’s art is detailed and gritty, giving the Department K lab a musty odor and uncomfortable atmosphere. As the recollection of Wilson’s expulsion from the testing is discussed, Bellaire’s colors soak into the artwork, becoming more like films over the lens of a camera, adding cool, frigid blues to the environment surrounding the painfully red Deadpool. I’m not sure how many times this part of Deadpool’s origin has been revisited, but the visuals are timeless and iconic.
The story itself finds ways to bounce back from the tragic opening, putting Deadpool in the position of breaking into Avengers Mansion to have a conversation with Wolverine. For more humor, Duggan and Posehn play Agent Preston as the set-up person in a comedy routine. Over the course of “Deadpool” #15, the writing duo gives Wolverine the hunting chops we’ve all come to appreciate, but sometimes miss in his adventures and even offers up the standard issue idle school humor fans have come to expect from Deadpool.
As with every story featuring Deadpool, the saltshaker needs to be nearby, since it is not immediately obvious what is happening in the real world as opposed to simply happening in the mangled mindscape of Deadpool’s mind. This issue is the first part of five and serves as a setup to the story to come. There’s not enough in this issue to stretch out to one hundred pages of comic book story, but why should Duggan and Posehn stop surprising readers now? “Deadpool” #15 is an enjoyable romp with gallows humor and fun character moments that left me laughing in spite of myself. It’s more serious than the “Dead Presidents” adventures in the earlier issues of this series, but it never forgets to be a Deadpool story. It does, however, deliver a cliffhanger ending filled with tension, as Deadpool once more finds the short end of the stick.