Web-head meets pizza-face

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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…

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