If you have to crossover characters at least do it in a fun and new sort of way; having the characters fight each other and then team up is so damn boring. Fred Van Lente has given the story in Deadpool vs. The Punisher a twist that makes the formula feel fresh… but can he keep up the good work in issue #2?
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Pere Perez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So what’s it about? Read our preview to find out!
Why does this book matter?
Aside from giving us a good reason to read the book, Van Lente has also made these two “heroes” cross paths in a logical way. Deadpool’s buddy who also pays him for work is a very bad man. Punisher kills bad men. Deadpool doesn’t have many buddies. Do the math!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Van Lente opens this issue in a surprising way though it makes sense. Last we saw Deadpool (Deadpool vs. The Punisher #1) his brains were blown out and now it appears he has a bit of amnesia. He doesn’t know why he’s tied up in the back of Punisher’s battle van, but assumes they’re on a team up. Punisher understands this and uses it to his advantage all the while the reader needs to play catch up and figure out what Punisher’s plan is even if Deadpool is unaware. Along the way, Van Lente reveals characters we didn’t even know were involved in the story putting pressure on the main players. We also learn what really happened with Deadpool’s buddy’s wife and kid. In between this exposition we get action, surprises, and a downright hilarious moment for Deadpool.
How many battle vans does he have?
Speaking of Deadpool, Van Lente continues to write him very well. He’s zany, ready to kill at a moment’s notice, and incredibly responsive to a little praise. He’s a bit naive, which suits this story since Punisher is taking advantage of the poor sucker. He’s also funny more than once, which you can’t say for every Deadpool comic book.
Pere Perez blew me away more than once in this issue. From Deadpool slicing intestines out of (and heads off of) enemies to all sorts of excellent visual humor there’s a lot to love here. Van Lente effectively builds up The Don of the Dead’s (this issue’s villain) anger towards Deadpool and Perez crafts a hilarious panel of Punisher reflecting on the ridiculousness of the situation as the Don and Deadpool battle. In another panel, Perez turns a bullet cartridge into a panel, splayed over two panels, to show from what kind of gun the bullets are coming from. It’s a neat touch that adds a 3D-like layer.
Stop to think about it Wade!
It can’t be perfect can it?
Given the title, the fight between these two characters is clearly on hold which is a slight bummer. It still seems to be taking score though, and given Deadpool’s naive nature (and temporary amnesia after getting shot in the head last issue) it all sort of makes sense, but we’re getting conned into a story about Punisher using Deadpool and not an all out battle! Personally it doesn’t bother me, though it’s worth mentioning.
Is It Good?
This is another solid entry in a series I’m completely shocked to be loving this much. Give this series a chance, because you just might find the humor and great pacing well worth a look.