Deadpool’s got a brand new name on his “To Kill” list: Peter Parker.
Well, hell son — that means Spidey and DP have to throw down, doesn’t it? And if the cover implies anything, Miles Morales is throwing his webbed hat into the ring as well. It’s hot Spider-Man/Deadpool three-way tango time in Spider-Man/Deadpool #2. Is it good?
Spider-Man/Deadpool #2 (Marvel Comics)
The issue kicks off with CEO Peter Parker prepping for a TV interview while a voice-over from Deadpool relates just how much he despises the man. “Evil-genius scum of the earth who puts the ‘D’ in D-bag,” is just one of the many disparagements DP has for Peter, and these sentiments are made even more amusing as they’re juxtaposed with scenes of Peter being anything but what DP is describing.
On the contrary, the scene does a great job of making us empathize with Peter even though he’s the head honcho of high-rolling Parker Industries: the guy’s spilled black ink all over his white dress shirt like a klutz just before his scheduled TV appearance and when he hastily tries to cover over the stains with a French-braided entanglement of neckties, the media outlets mock him. Becoming CEO hasn’t instantly transformed the guy into some super-suave Tony Stark analogue, something which he notes himself as he’s web-slinging through the city later on: “Being a slick CEO-type is not as easy as Tony made it seem,” he soliloquies. “For all the good we can do at Parker Industries, I am not down with the meetings and the hand shaking and the camera time and… C.E.Overload.”
Writer Joe Kelly is oft-regarded as the benchmark when it comes to writing Deadpool, but he does a fine job with Peter Parker/Spidey in Spider-Man/Deadpool #2 as well. He’s able to capture the character’s frustrations as well as the commensurate feelings of reprieve once he dons the Spider-tights. Who would’ve ever thunk being a crime-fighting vigilante would be less stressful than your day job? (Quiet, Bruce.)
That being said, Kelly is no slouch with his boy Wade either — his characterization for DP is as strong as it’s ever been and he’s able to evoke pathos for the guy in surprising fashion. Most of us have been in the situation where our efforts to impress someone did nothing but backfire and Kelly channels that with consummate skill once more in this issue. DP’s hatred for Parker and admiration for Spider-Man is a fun inversion of what we’re usually accustomed to with Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson and other ancillary Spidey characters and it makes scenes like his pillow-talk bedroom one, where he relates his moral quandary of assassinating Peter Parker to wife Shiklah shine all the brighter. I was especially impressed with the interplay between Wade and his succubus wife (perhaps the best I’ve seen between the two) — their banter in Spider-Man/Deadpool #2 is the sort of stuff that would make Al and Peggy Bundy beam with pride. Deadpool’s grumbling also serves to accentuate an underrated aspect of DP’s character that most writers overlook: the fact that he actually ponders the repercussions of his actions and doesn’t just dive headlong into situations like a Looney Tunes character.
Is it simply artistic flair on artist Ed McGuiness’ part or did I miss something and Peter’s assistant suffers from macrocephaly? I mean, just look at the size of that noggin in relation to the other people in the panel from that first image up above.
Cranial defects notwithstanding, Ed McGuinness’ art is absolutely lights out. The dude just does not take a single page off. Seriously, every page in Spider-Man/Deadpool #2 is straight visual fire — this is mesmeric stuff from start to finish. Characters are rife with expression, action scenes are masterfully choreographed and the camera angles are dynamic and imaginative.
Back to Kelly’s writing — his comedy game is strong in this issue. Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 had me a little worried that he might be trying to pander too hard to the desultory humor younger fans would find more enjoyable — but with Spider-Man/Deadpool #2 — all my fears have been thankfully assuaged. Grade A dialogue, excellent comedic timing and hilarious sight/physical gags coalesce for one of the wittiest, most enjoyable Deadpool or Spider-Man comics in recent memory. If the first issue didn’t sell you on why these two are a marquee pairing — then this one definitely will.
And just wait’ll you get a load of Deadpool’s whip: The Dead-Buggy.
Is It Good?
Gimme a hell yeah. Kelly, McGuinness and colorist Jason Keith are creators at the top of their game bringing us Spider-Man/Deadpool action that should more than satisfy fans of either character. A big step up from an already impressive first issue. I’m locked in for the ride now.