After the fun Deadpool vs. Gambit series it seems logical they’d pit the Regeneratin’ Degenerate against the Punisher. The first issue drops today, but is it good?
Deadpool vs. Punisher #1 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the full preview!
Why does this book matter?
Fred Van Lente is a writer you can trust. Hell, he wrote a series about the history of comics so you know he understands this medium. Given the type of book this is, with each issue ending with a round winner, you know it’s all in good fun which isn’t something you can say for comics every single week!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
A vile bunch.
The biggest issue I have with fight comics like this is there’s usually a poor reason, if any, for the characters to fight at all. Luckily Van Lente has a clever reason tucked away which actually makes sense: Deadpool has befriended a guy who hires him for contracts and it’s rather obvious the guy isn’t a good one. Punisher comes calling and a beef is made. Aside from that, Van Lente takes us into an underground betting club called “Vs.”, where average people can take bets on superhero battles.
Essentially Van Lente uses Punisher as a means to kick the story off and introduce this club. It’s also a way to introduce the character and get a bead on what he’s all about. From there, we learn about Deadpool via his first person captions as he hangs out with the mark Punisher will eventually be after. The writing does well to bring the reader in and get a sense of their very different personalities.
What’s a comic like this without some fighting too? These two do spar, though it’s brief. Given they use guns you’d expect this battle to be short since Deadpool has a healing factor, but it gets broken up in a way that makes Deadpool far more invested in Punisher. The issue closes out with a nice dueling of words which reminds us they may both use guns, but there’s a key trait that separates them.
The art by Pere Perez is sharp and clean. A fun layout is a good example of the storytelling ability, as shard like panels show Punisher, Deadpool, and the father of a potentially very dead little boy react to most of the page’s explosion. Earlier in the issue, there’s a tension filled page of Punisher asking a perp some questions with his gun in his mouth. The unchanging–and unfeeling–facial expressions of the Punisher hammer home his stone cold nature.
What the heck?
It can’t be perfect can it?
There are two bits of dialogue in this issue that had me scratching my head and both involved sticking things inside of things. The first is a bit of dialogue (above) with a character telling his guard to not hide guns up his butt. Huh? Later, Deadpool makes a point to, “Fill it full of bullets” and in this case the “it” is the world. Okay…that’s odd too. Minor gripes for sure, but both made me scratch my head.
Is It Good?
This is a good first issue in that it believably sets up the battle and introduces each characters differing personalities. With meaningful stakes the battling will have purpose, which is the toughest thing to do with this kind of fight comic.