Not only is this the best Deadpool title currently available but it is also far more entertaining than ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ as well. So what do you do to improve upon something that’s already good? You add the Mercs for Money of course.
The enjoyability of the first two installments in this limited run series hinged largely on the dynamic being built between Spider-Man and Deadpool. Over the course of the three issues that relationship has gone from being entirely one sided, with Spidey wanting nothing to do with ‘Pool, to a more cohesive one as he begins to realise there is more to ‘Pool that first meets the eye.
Issue three continues to build on that dynamic as Deadpool tries to win the trust of his web-slinging partner through some very contrived means. The action shifts to a poor Bolivian village and it is here that Spidey meets the Mercs for Money. This encounter is very brief but it does give birth to the issues funniest few moments as each member of the group takes turns in giving increasingly insincere compliments regarding their boss. It adds to this sequences that Masacre is the only one who gives a genuinely impassioned response when Spidey cannot understand him as he only speaks in Spanish.
It is a bit of a shame that the Mercs did not feature very much at all after that moment but the entertaining repartee between the titular heroes more than made up for that. Seeing them work together to take down two highly powerful enemies gave readers the impression that they’re on the right track to becoming a genuine partnership.
A final, brilliant touch by Joe Kelly saw Spider-Man fitting Deadpool with a truth detector that electrocuted him each time he was caught in a lie. The comedy that resulted from such an addition should be obvious to even those who did not read the comic but what it also did was allow a more genuine insight into the world of Deadpool both for Spidey and the audience. From this you got a more emotionally resonant character who showed he is more than just an insane killer, he is a real person with real feelings.
This is further compounded when it is Deadpool, not Spider-Man, who concisely explains the difficulties faced by the drug manufacturers found in a Bolivian basement, He explains to his supposedly more moral ally why it is not a black and white situation and why it is that these people are deserving of help, not condemnation. To see such compassion and empathy from him was shocking but also a breath of fresh air as it added yet more dimensions to an already extremely versatile character. The ending moments with his Daughter proved this even further.
Of course, all of the pretense of friendship has a purpose and this issue also edged closer to the eventual, inevitable showdown between the two men as ‘Pool strengthened his resolve to kill Peter Parker and revealed that this entire outing was set up only to see just how tough Spidey really is. The climactic moments of this series should prove to be exhilarating even though it is quite obvious that neither man is going to die.
It was not all perfect however, as one writing problem caused for a slightly disjointed read. At the beginning it is established that Hobie is under the Spidey hood in the hospital scenes but it is never established that Parker takes over once those scenes are done with. Logically one would assume that it must be him for any of the rest of the issue to have the required resonance and impact but it is never explicitly stated and this can easily lead to brief spell of confusion that could so easily have been avoided. It doesn’t ruin the book in the least but it is something that should have been picked up on in the editing process.
Despite that small problem this proved to be yet another superb outing for the unlikely duo. Ed McGuinness and Mark Morales continued to deliver in a big way on the art side of the book whilst Kelly’s writing largely shone on the other side. The last few issues should be even more entertaining as the stakes are likely to get raised higher still as ‘Pool closes in on Parker.
Score: 4 out of 5.
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