If ever there was a bromance in comic books that deserved an entire series dedicated just to it, it would have to be the one between Spider-Man and Deadpool. Sure this particular love-in may be just a tad one-sided but it’s still the most entertaining pairing you’re likely to see.
Joe Kelly has finally returned to pen a new saga for the two witty, red tight wearing heroes and he hasn’t missed a beat. He first worked on the character of Deadpool in the 1990’s and it was through his work that the modern anti-hero everyone knows and loves came to truly be. He made Wade Wilson into something more than a Deathstroke rip-off by giving the character an enigmatic and layered personality. All of the delicious humour that you now associate with ‘Pool is thanks in large part to this man. He is also no stranger to Spidey as he helmed a number of classic ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ books and showed a real affinity for crafting stories based around the web slinger.
It was with high hopes then that fans picked up this new book combining the two megastars and once again Kelly has delivered in a big way.
The pair bounce of one another brilliantly, creating the type of hilarious back and forth that should always be present in either men’s books. Spidey plays something of the straight man to Deadpool’s offbeat lunatic and it just works from cover to cover. This is the first time since the post Secret Wars reboot that a Deadpool comic has properly brought his humour to the page and it is real treat to behold. Whether it’s in the form of Wade threatening Parker with an erection (yes, you read that correctly) or Peter growing increasingly desperate to just get away from The Merc with a Mouth the hilarity flows freely and not a single page disappoints. There are also some moments of genuine emotion to balance out the rest of the book and they too feel natural and believable, creating a real dynamic between the titular heroes.
In terms of the actual story this installment serves as something of a background piece for the reader and only reveals what the overall arc will be at the very end. The crux of this issue centres on Deadpool attempting to snag Spidey’s services for his new Mercenary group whilst Spider-Man does everything in his power to get as far away from him as possible. The battles along the way are really just background to the central story and don’t offer all that much in terms of progression although they are still entertaining and ridiculous enough to keep you reading. The hook at the end sets up a very interesting premise that promises to be a joy to read and there should be no doubt that this team will deliver on all of that potential.
Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, and Jason Keith are the resident artists on this title and their work compliments the story perfectly. The forced intimacy between the characters at the beginning is encapsulated perfectly by what they have committed to the page and it serves only to enhance the reading experience. McGuinness has worked on Deadpool previously so his history will no doubt have been a huge contributing factor to the successful depiction of the character here. Spider-Man is a little less fine-tuned as he appears to be a touch too bulky in some of the frames and isn’t as visually fun during combat sequences as he is at the hands of other artists. This is something that can be easily worked out as the series progresses though and doesn’t come across as a huge cause for concern. The colourings are also generally good but some of the settings could have done with a little less block colour and a little more shading to really make them come to life.
Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 was an enjoyable start to what should be a fun mini-series. The writing is of a high standard and, despite moving at a slower pace due to being the establishing book of the run, the story kept readers hooked sufficiently throughout. Some slight problems with the art mean that this title isn’t quite perfect but it is as close as a modern Deadpool title has come.
Score: 4.5 out of 5.