Spider-Man/Deadpool takes time out of its current story arc for guest-writers Nick Giovannetti and Paul Scheer to bring us a tale of holiday hijinks.
Spider-Man/Deadpool #12 (Marvel Comics)
- In any other comic, starting your holiday issue off with a someone getting their head cut off is shocking. In Spider-Man/Deadpool, it’s kind of expected.
- (Still kind of shocking though, especially when the victim is wearing a Santa costume and ringing a Salvation Army bell).
- “Sexual Chocolate. Sexual Chocolate!”
- +1 for The Room reference
- +1 more for Room vs. The Room reference.
- Too soon (but still hilarious).
- Violence against innocent people is never okay. Violence against SantaCon bar hoppers is still bad, but a little more tolerable.
- To be fair, that does look like a pretty nice vacuum cleaner.
- This guy has clearly never been to a corporate Christmas party.
- No matter what they do, the Rockettes still end up having to perform next to a narcissistic tyrant.
- Spidey’s definitely freaking out.
- SUPERIOR FOES!!!
- Dragons > Reindeer
- You can’t call a sweater ugly when it looks that awesome.
This one had all the right ingredients for a flop: Guest writers and a stand-alone holiday story. Fortunately, Scheer and Giovannetti completely knock this one out of the park.
For starters, the jokes—and the way they are set up—are actually good. The issue’s many hilarious one-liners are aided by situations and references that make them even funnier.
Scheer and Giovannetti also don’t fall into the common holiday special trap of spewing lazy “Christmas sucks” jokes the whole time—or insulting people (like me) who celebrate it as a religious holiday. Instead, they offer what turns out to be a surprisingly thoughtful (and mostly accurate) historical lesson on some of the modern Christmas’ more pagan origins.
As you might expect, this results in things getting pretty raunchy. But the issue also has a huge heart. What begins as a massacre somehow turns into a wonderfully entertaining tale of friendship and understanding. This might make me sound like a sap, but there’s a genuinely good and uplifting message about the holiday season to be found between the murder, mayhem, multitude of dirty jokes.
Things do start to get a little redundant after a while, but Scheer/Giovannetti never go more than a page or two without providing a laugh-out-loud moment.
On the art side of things, Todd Mauck probably won’t get nearly enough credit for how good this issue is. There is A LOT going on—tons of action, tons of background characters, and every range of emotions you can imagine, all of which he handles superbly. The whole issue looks beautiful and also keeps things sequences in such a way that the narrative insanity is still easy to follow.
I’m normally not a fan of holiday issues, but Spider-Man/Deadpool #12 managed to make my shriveled heart grow three-sizes today…or maybe that’s just some indigestion. Either way, it’s a great issue that deserves a place on your pull list or under your Christmas tree.