Cullen Bunn, the man who penned Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, Deadpool Killustrated and the (not really) upcoming Deadpool Kills Whoever Else We Need Him to Kill to Make a Quick Profit brings us the latest in the line of Deadpool-centric series: Deadpool vs. Carnage.
Can the Merc with a Mouth outcrazy wacky ol’ Cletus Kasady? Is it good?
Deadpool vs. Carnage #1 (Marvel Comics)
We open in a diner on the Kansas state line. A local cop peruses the latest “Carnage On the Loose” headlines, griping about how the world has gone down the crapper and how he’d show Carnage a thing or two if the maniac was ever “unlucky enough to cross [his] path.”
Which of course, in the Marvel Universe, means Carnage is sitting right next to him. And is ready to fill the next couple of pages with gratuitous symbiotic slaughter. Including this trio of dumbasses:
A well-documented serial killer with an alien super suit just killed an armed police officer. With his forehead. Let’s try punching him with our bare hands.
Cullen Bunn is a good writer. He’s also a busy writer. He wrote Magneto #2, which also came out this week; he’s written acclaimed titles such as The Sixth Gun and Helheim and is prone to popping up to write other titles for Image Comics, Oni Press, and more. Why do I bring this up? Because although Deadpool vs. Carnage #1 is pretty good, you can tell that Bunn’s work here was restrained by a deadline and/or being stretched too thin.
It’s not bad stuff; it just could have been better, given the man’s ability. Sure, there’s a solid fight scene between Carnage and Deadpool. The events leading up to the whole shebang are entertaining enough. There’s a little bit of banter, such as Deadpool’s “You may be a homicidal maniac… but when it comes to crazy, you’re simply outclassed” line — but we need more instances of this for the series to achieve the sort of singularity that it should. Besides one or two standout moments, there’s nothing that leaves you thinking “Man, what an unprecedented, exciting game of cat and mouse between two consummate psychopaths.”
Also, Deadpool is one of my favorite characters, but it seems strange to see him taking on a dude that has been able to face-mash Venom and Spider-Man simultaneously with such adroitness; then again, different fighting styles are in effect, and Deadpool comes correct with his full arsenal. Given the situation, using missile launchers and pistols is a tad more advantageous than what Spidey usually has to work with. (Especially since this fight takes place in the middle of nowhere, with none of those pesky “innocent bystanders” to worry about.)
The art by Salvador Espin is solid; it has touches of Ed McGuinness’ excellent cartoonish style with a few more dashes of realism thrown in. His Carnage symbiote renditions are more subdued than say, Mark Bagley’s, but every bit as intimidating.
Is It Good?
Nitpicks aside, the issue ends on a cliffhanger and will have me checking out the rest of the series; it’s worth a pick-up if you’re a fan of either character, but don’t expect anything mind-altering. And hopefully when the symbiote merges with Deadpool we get something a little more interesting than Venom-Pool.