The Magnum Opus arc of Thunderbolts has quickly turned into tone of my favorite passages in this outstanding series. Fan-fave Deadpool is the central attraction as a new team of T-bolts — replacing the old team / current Dark Avangers. Deadpool is trying to get Norm to pay up for a little work the merc-with-a-mouth did back in the Civil War, and he’ll get paid even if he has to rip through this new gang of idiots to do it.

What makes this such a fun read is Andy Diggle’s ability to hit such nice sweet spots in the story. For example, Black Widow II is using a special Oscorp-designed weapon which overrides Deadpool’s cancer — which is kept at bay by Deadpool’s healing factor. The logic here is that eliminating the cancer will cause Deadpool’s healing factor to spiral out of control, thereby killing him.

In the words of Paladin: “You’re tellin’ me Norman Osborn found the cure to cancer… an’ he turned it into a weapon?”

Another wonderful touch is the blossoming realationship between two unlikely black capes. I’m not talking about Black Widow II and Deadpool (although that relationship is intriguing, if only so reviewers like me can walk right up to the line with double entendres about how she gave him his head back).

No, the relationship I’m hoping to see followed after this arc concludes is the Deadpool / Taskmaster buddyship that works so well in the closing pages of Thunderbolts 130. I mean, with “facial” reactions like those to the right, who but Taskmaster could truly play opposite the twisted Deadpool?