Slapping a symbiote on Deadpool makes a lot of sense on paper. They’re both villains turned anti-hero and both have seen bouts of insane popularity; just imagine a funny Venom and you’ve got a good idea of what you’re getting in Deadpool: Back in Black.
The second issue of this new series is set in the 80’s (right after Peter Parker got rid of the Klyntar in the famous church scene) but is it good?
Deadpool: Back in Black #2 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? The Marvel summary reads:
During 1984’s SECRET WARS, Deadpool was introduced to an alien symbiote who went on to become Spider-Man’s black costume and, eventually, Venom. Okay, okay, maybe that really happened in DEADPOOL’S SECRET SECRET WARS. Point is, did you know that after Spider-Man rejected the costume…it went slinking back to Deadpool on the rebound? And they went on adventures together? You didn’t? Well, you will, now, thanks to this series by Cullen Bunn (The DEADPOOL KILLOGY) & Salva Espin (DEADPOOL & THE MERCS FOR MONEY)!
Why does this book matter?
It’s obvious Deadpool is more popular than ever (the movie saw to that), but to have writer Cullen Bunn cooking up a fun story with seasoned Deadpool artist Salvador Espin — you can’t lose! The 80’s setting is also intriguing as it allows the creative team to play with the era, but also not be beholden to any current events in the Marvel universe.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It really happened we swear!
This is a zany issue to say the least, which suits the Deadpool character quite well. The fact that it’s missing potty humor makes it a stronger comedic issue with much of its humor tied to an inappropriate clown and the wacky nature of a Power Pack subplot. The issue opens simple enough recapping Deadpool’s place in the universe, a band of characters chasing him, and then finally gets comfortable in the Power Pack subplot. By focusing on these characters, Bunn gets to play with their powers and the more cosmic nature of the Marvel Universe as a group of lizard aliens aim to kidnap them. Deadpool swoops in and gets a taste of being a Spider-Man like character with funny bits of dialogue that connect them too.
The funniest aspect is the clown surprisingly. Essentially this clown teams up with the heroes of the issue and he allows the story to play up the craziness. Deadpool gets plenty of one liners so don’t worry about him being completely absent from that comedic efforts.
The art by Salvador Espin is aided by some great pop by colorist Ruth Redmond. The clown is quite funny with his facial expressions and general look – at times almost scary even – and the lizard aliens have an adequate amount of stupidity to pull of some humorous moments. Deadpool’s eyes are very expressive and add a surprising amount of reaction given they are basically black dots; Espin adds a bit of depth with shadow which helps bring them out.
This clown steals the show!
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s a bit surprising how little Deadpool is in this issue given it’s his book. By my count he doesn’t appear in 7 of its pages which is nearly half the title! It’s one of the reasons why the clown steals the show for a time. The pages he doesn’t appear in aren’t terrible by any means, but it does make the story feel as though it’s on pause.
Is It Good?
Funny, kooky, zany…these are a few words I’d use to describe this issue. If you’re up for a wacky story you should enjoy the hell out of this. It doesn’t progress the plot of Deadpool, but that doesn’t seem to be the point. After reading this issue I’m sure some folks will cry foul and say this series doesn’t need to exist. The fact is though, it’s still entertaining, and that’s all that matters.