Marvel Comics is a smart company when it comes to their characters. If you have an event coming up, especially a violent one, smashing Deadpool into the mix is a no-brainer. Frank Tieri and Marcelo Ferreira are in charge of making a Deadpool vs. Carnage event make sense and do a pretty damn good job of it. It makes sense Carnage would want to kill Deadpool since he’s worn four (and if you count Back In Black five) Symbiotes. That makes Deadpool a high-value prize. One might wonder if Deadpool healing would have eradicated the Codex in his spine, but nobody is asking questions; this is about laughing and blood!
This book pretty much ticks off all the boxes for Deadpool fun. He kills in creative ways, has at least three belly laugh jokes, and the story includes Spider-Man! What is there not to love. Sure, it’s a tie-in to an event and likely didn’t need to exist, but Tieri and Ferreira have such a great handle on the character it’s hard not to enjoy the ride.
This is a fun book with half of it serving as a Deadpool/Spider-Man adventure and the second half focusing on Deadpool trying not to die. The first half of the first issue showcases Spider-Man and Deadpool literally fleeing from Spidey’s rogues gallery since Deadpool invited them all to Spidey’s birthday. It’s a funny sequence that does well to quell any nerves in regards to Tieri’s depiction of Deadpool. He’s silly, quite bonkers, and looking to party whenever he can get a chance. This first half isn’t aimless though as it all leads to why Deadpool is even close to tangoing with Carnage in the first place.
The second half of the first issue essentially drops Deadpool into a house of horrors, or in this case an insane asylum, that has gone very wrong. Carnage has taken over a bunch of villains with his main focus on J. Jonah Jameson’s son. That connects one of the main antagonists to the realm of Spider-Man further connecting this book to Spider-Man elements that matter. There is nothing quite like seeing Deadpool act so silly while also being chased by ravenous Carnage monsters. It’s a good mix that works quite well and Tieri writes quite a few jokes into the script that keep you grinning for more.
The art is by Marcelo Ferreira with inks by Roberto Poggi, and colors by Rachell Rosenberg who all do an impeccable job with the dark and edgy look. It’s a detailed style that suits the superheroes and there is one hell of a double page splash featuring all of Spider-Man’s villains early on. The body language of Deadpool is on point and Ferreira does a great job capturing his happy go lucky nature further helping land the comedic elements. The gaping maws of these Carnage drones are well drawn too and I especially like the colors by Rosenberg. These monsters paired with a burning building near the end make for quite a nice blend of orange and red.
The story ends well enough–though it’s strange Carnage doesn’t kill Spider-Man just for the fun of it–and it even ends on a silly note with Spider-Man. It’s a graphic violent and silly sort of three part story so really you can’t ask for a lot!
This collection also houses the Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel one-shot by Emily Ryan Lerner and Andrea Broccardo. Somewhat coincidentally this story also doesn’t seem all that necessary to the event itself or the adventure on hand. It’s a fun way to explore what would happen to Carol’s cat if taken over by Carnage. The fact that it ends rather simply–Carol uses her power blasts to be done with the Symbiote–reduces the impact of the struggle by miles.
This was without a doubt one of the most fun tie-in series of the Absolute Carnage event. With a strong sense of style this is a comic book series that is clearly being made by those who love making comics. This book refuses to be just a tie-in, but so much more thanks to the comedy and horror.