In one corner, we have The Punisher, and in the other, Deadpool. Saying that this fight is fair is, in my humble opinion, a crock of rotten chimichangas. Right off the bat, Wade Wilson’s healing factor marks him as a ringer in this bout, and sure, Frank Castle’s discipline and dedication to being a total badass are uncanny but come on, he can’t take half as many shots as Deadpool can before hitting the deck for good. But that’s enough of that, on to the review, shall we?
What’s Deadpool vs. the Punisher about? From the publisher:
It’s the Merc with a Mouth vs. the One-Man Army! When a man known simply as the Bank hires Deadpool to kill Frank Castle, it should be a simple task for Wade Wilson to execute, right? Except taking out the Punisher is a lot harder than Deadpool could have anticipated–especially since he likes the Punisher. A straightforward job becomes a knock-down-drag-out fight as they trade shot for shot. But things get complicated when the mercenary and the merciless Castle wind up embroiled in a bigger, messier conflict with the Bank front and center. The bloody and brutal fight never ceases regardless of what side Wade and Frank are on, even when it’s seemingly the same side–just because they have a common enemy doesn’t make them partners in crime. To the victor belong the spoils, but is there a clear winner here?”
Aside from the whole ‘Healing Factor Handicap’ and all, my main concern about this crossover had to deal with integration. In short, the world in which Frank Castle kicks ass is entirely different from the one in which Wade Wilson kicks ass. Yes, I know that they really do exist in the same world (universe), but Punisher comics are very different than Deadpool comics, right? Yes, they are, and regardless of this, writer Fred Van Lente does a fantastic job here blending the two worlds into one where Deadpool meeting the Punisher not only makes sense but works very well.
Van Lente wastes no time giving readers what they want. Bullets begin to fly within the first few pages, and before long, this tale is off the ground and moving in a direction that promises a huge payoff.
As one would expect, Wade and Frank’s interactions are quite entertaining, and often, inspire laughs. For a majority of this book, Castle and Wilson fight on the same side with a similar goal in mind, which, removes the ‘Healing Factor Handicap’ from the equation. Thus, with that issue out of the way, Deadpool Versus the Punisher ends up being an enjoyable read that entertains from the first page through to the last.As one would also suspect the panels that stand out most in this book are those that depict action and combat. Pere Perez does an excellent job of injecting life and intensity into Van Lente’s script. One of Perez’ strengths, made obvious in this issue, is his facial expressions, or more specifically, the way that he illustrates them.
My only complaint about this collection is that I would have liked to have seen Deadpool and the Punisher come to blows more often than they did, but overall, Deadpool Versus the Punisher is a worthwhile read that will appeal to fans of both the Punisher and Deadpool.