Have you read the synopsis for this limited series? It's pretty ridiculous but in a good way, right? If not, all you need to know is we're going back to the very early '90s (before Deadpool's first appearance in NEW MUTANTS #98) and watching X-Force follow the Merc with a Mouth through the timestream. What's Wade Wilson's ultimate goal? No one seems to know just yet, but he's messing around during the American Revolution and it's up to Cable and his allies -- who aren't officially called X-Force yet -- to stop him.
Thankfully, it's clear Duane Swierczynski understands people are going to pick up this issue because they want to enjoy some crazy fun. The seriousness is kept to a bare minimum and it's all about keeping the reader entertained. Seeing as we're jumping back to the early '90s, this means Swierczynski has the pleasure of writing Deadpool as a formidable villain. He does a good job making it clear this version of Wade isn't an anti-hero at all but he still manages to fill these panels with the character's infamous amount of banter (and the dialogue boxes are in his original style, too!). Wade babbles a lot but he's never annoying and it never makes him come off as too much of a clown, either (fans should love his opening feat). The writer does a good job showing off Wilson's personality without allowing it to overshadow how dangerous he was back then. The "recap" page is the perfect way to top off the experience, as well.
Swierczynski creates an enjoyable script, but for me, it's the visuals which really made the experience memorable. Artist Pepe Larraz and colorist Nolan Woodard create pages which, just like Deadpool, walk a fine line between being funny and seriously badass. The vibrant colors make these events so lively and exciting and it's a real joy when the action begins to ramp up. Meanwhile, the character work and attention to these environments is commendable. There's some shots of Deadpool and Cable (or should I say Cable & Deadpool?) which make the two look impressively cool. If you want to see these two look imposing, you've come to the right place. Last but not least, I'm a big fan of Shane Davis and Morry Hollowell's cover. It's so simple yet effective and I can't help but love Deadpool's smug expression.
This issue's a blast, but I'm left wondering why Wade's doing this. I know, I know... we're here to enjoy the madness and the issue definitely delivers on that, but a stronger hint or two about Deadpool's actions would have been appreciated. Also, as enjoyable as the ride is, I can't say I exactly "loved" it. It's exciting and looks solid, but aside from the art, nothing really makes me feel like it should receive 5-stars instead of 4.
Minor gripe: as much as I love seeing Deadpool get proper credit as a combatant, I really hope this limited series isn't just X-Force being downplayed for most of the ride.
DEADPOOL VS. X-FORCE #1 is a great serving of escapism. Sometimes you just want to immerse yourself in something lighthearted and fun, and, if you're a fan of these characters, this will definitely be a good time. Swierczynski has a good handle on Wade Wilson, making the character amusing but also never letting us forget he's a dangerous and not-so-kind person. The members of X-Force feel like they're getting a little downplayed right now, but something tells me that'll quickly change as the story moves forward. Throw in some consistently pleasing visuals and the end result is a thoroughly enjoyable comic. My fellow Deadpool fans, you'll definitely want to give this one a shot.