[Comic Publication Date: 2/19/14]
Unlike the shambling undead that fill its pages, Night of the Living Deadpool is moving at a breakneck pace in this, its penultimate chapter. Writer Cullen Bunn has a mined a surprising amount of plot out of a well-worn subject matter like the zombie apocalypse and has managed to infuse a lot of balanced humor with horror elements as well. Night of the Living Deadpool #3 is the most narrative-driven issue to date, so expect a few more talking heads, but don’t expect that to mean there are less lopped-off ones, though. In fact, there’s a moment early on in this issue where Deadpool is holding a dozen severed heads, which gives readers a good idea of how much this series has ramped up since its first issue.
So far, each issue of Night of the Living Deadpool has been episodic in nature, a contained storyline revolving around the grand premise of Deadpool as the last surviving hero in the zombie apocalypse. Having met and then subsequently lost a group of surviving citizens in the previous issue, this issue sees Deadpool coming across a fortified town, meeting a few new citizens, and learning what might have caused the zombie outbreak to begin with. It all makes for a surprisingly meaty issue, and of course I use the term “meaty” purposely because there’s also a heck of a lot of teeth-gnashing zombie action in this as well. Late in this issue there’s a turn that occurs which is not only unexpected, but leads to some of the best panels of the book as a zombie apologizes while eating his victim’s brains. It’s both horrifying and hilarious, but more so the former over the latter depending on your sense of humor.
Speaking of horror, Ramon Rosanas’s art continues to be outstanding, specifically in the aforementioned panels. Although I’ve lauded the use of black-and-white to contrast the full-color Deadpool before, in this issue that device is used to its best effect, as the sudden use of color lends a lot more importance to the flashback sequence and the introduction of another “hero” into the mix. Rosanas still manages a lot of emotion out of the masked face of Deadpool, including a bit of sorrow and regret in this issue, not to mention a hilarious I’ve-got-my-eyes-on-you face. Bouncing between repulsion and laughter is so much of the charm of this Night of the Living Deadpool limited series that Rosanas’s artwork is a large chunk of the brains of this operation, pun fully intended.
Night of the Living Deadpool #3 continues the trend of its previous issue, by which I mean it should be read. It’s more story-driven than it has been before, but with one issue left to go, I suppose there has to be a reason for this whole zombie apocalypse thing.
GNN Comics Grade: NEAR MINT (8/10)