The last issue of Spider-Man/Deadpool ended with one hell of a cliffhanger: namely, Deadpool blasting Peter Parker point-blank in the face with a gun. (And then twice more after he hit the floor.)
So, uh, has this become yet another solo Deadpool title? For marketing reasons, probably not (or should that be probably, yeah?) — so let’s see what crazy ace writer Joe Kelly has up his sleeve…
Spider-Man/Deadpool #5 (Marvel Comics)
- Joe Kelly has made it pretty clear that this is not your father’s team-up book. Why? Namely, Peter Parker/Spider-Man is dead and Deadpool is the one who busted a cap in his forehead. Let’s look on the bright side though; surely an honest, respectable guy like Peter is greeted in the afterlife by big piles of money, 72 naked, undulating Mary Janes and all the steaming, Aunt May-prepped wheatcakes he can eat, right?
- Nah. But there is a paralyzed, blind, old woman with a spider fetish waiting for him: Madame Web. Looks like this issue of Spider-Man/Deadpool is about to get all mystical. Good thing Deadpool’s got a mystical hook-up these days too.
- No, not Dr. Strange, but wifey Shiklah, who wants to make a date out of the “eternal torture of [Parker’s] soul” occasion. (Deadpool thinks Peter Parker is an asshole, but he thinks Spider-Man is chill. C’est la vie.) Deadpool gets to wear an outfit like one former Gwar frontman Oderus Urungus would’ve worn and his wife says he looks “fantastic.” Who says married life is hell?
- Leave it to Deadpool to hurt a soul-torturing demon’s feelings.
- Wait, if Peter’s stuck in the afterlife right now, then who’s the guy high-fiving employees in Parker Industries that looks and sounds… exactly like Peter Parker?
- That might be the first time I’ve seen Deadpool use a shotgun. And it’s every bit as bad-ass as I thought it’d be.
- Uh… does it classify as sexual deviancy if one were to find Ed McGuinness’ rendering of Death sexy? Not that I think that or anything. I just think some people (again, not me) are going to have the weirdest boners after this issue.
- Did Deadpool really just say ”Why do you smell so damn good?” to Death? That’s fucking weird. And funny as hell. Also, “There will be a price” is about as ominous as it gets. Kelly did a great job mitigating Deadpool’s healing factor in a believable way back in the day on his regular series Deadpool run, so I’m interested to see what exactly that statement foreshadows.
- That Mysterio/Eye of Sauron conflation, though. Bad-ass.
Is It Good?
Yes. Spider-Man/Deadpool #5 is another solid issue in what continues to be a must-pull title every month.
I’m not usually one for “fighting for one’s soul in the afterlife” stories in comic books, but Kelly does an excellent job throughout here. His dialogue, creative narrative and thorough grasp of each protagonist’s history (including impeccable use of ancillary characters) are ample proof of why he’s the perfect one to script this series.
And as is custom, artist Ed McGuinness holds his weight and then some. I’m starting to sound like a broken record in my reviews of this series but McGuinness’ art is top tier. Kelly gives him plenty to work with this issue — from surrealistic, hellscape imagery to gruesome monstrosities to Deadpool staring in the mirror sans mask with little tufts of blonde hair cropping from his cancer-scarred head — and he nails every aspect. His panel composition, dynamic perspectives and broad range of character expressions and anatomies are excellent and combined with Jason Keith’s skillful coloring, the ambiance of this issue shifts from despondent to void-like emptiness to ethereal to unnerving in consummate fashion. Simply put, Spider-Man/Deadpool #5 is a visual feast on every single page.