Web-head meets pizza-face
It’s a pretty great year to be Deadpool. First, he headlined a movie so faithful to his foulminded sensibilities it got slapped with an R rating. Now he’s co-fronting a comic with one of Marvel’s flagship characters, a fan favourite who’s just made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Civil War, your friendly neighbourhood… Well, you don’t need us to tell you, his name’s in the title.
Putting Deadpool and SpiderMan together makes so much sense that it’s hard to fathom how this is their first ongoing series. Both constantly quip in the face of danger (Spidey because he’s projecting confidence, Deadpool because his regenerative powers mean he has nothing to be scared of ), their costumes could come from the same spandex-tailor, and both make pop culture references so frequently we wonder how they manage to fit superheroics in between Game Of Thrones/Keeping Up With The Kardashians marathons. But much of the giddy fun of Spider-Man/Deadpool comes from revelling in the differences between the characters. It’s no coincidence the mouthy merc promoted his movie with a twist on one of SpiderMan’s key catchphrases, bellowing, “With great power comes great irresponsibility” at anyone who’d listen – the two have very distinct core philosophies. As a result, the comic plays like a glorious twist on the buddy-cop movie, with Spider-Man (who’d be the rebellious one in any other book) playing straight-man to Wade Wilson’s flirtatious and trigger-happy heel.
The high concept bringing the pair together is inspired: Deadpool’s hired to assassinate Peter Parker so, as he only kills bad guys, he hangs out with Peter’s “pal” Spider-Man, to get the intel he needs to make up his mind about taking the job, all the while hoping the webslinger will still be his friend/crush after he’s done the deed.
The Deadpool legends behind Wilson’s solo title from back in 1997 deliver the premise in spades,
The high concept bringing the pair together is inspired
with Joe Kelly walking the spider-web tightrope of keeping ’Pool and Spidey’s snark distinctive, and Ed McGuinness’s cartoony art adding layers of fun to proceedings.
This is an extremely fast-paced book, feeling more like a limited series than an ongoing one. Time will tell if Kelly and McGuinness can maintain the pace over the long stretch, but with the first four issues seeing the boys busting up drug-rings, taking down sewermonsters, escaping giant demons and, um, mud-wrestling, not even the sky’s the limit.
2016’s been good to both Deadpool and Spider-Man. For fans of both, it’s now got even better. Sam Ashurst
Working on a comic with Spidey in it has its limits: Kelly had to cut Deadpool choking someone with his own intestines.
They occasionally stop the quipping…