Avenging Spider-Man #12
Writer: Kevin Shinick
Art: Aaron Kuder
Color Art: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover: Shane Davis, Mark Morales, and Matt Hollingsworth
Spidey Team-up: Deadpool (Wade Wilson)
***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD***
Deadpool infiltrates Peter Parker’s dreams, telling him that someone is trying to access his mind to get him to do something he doesn’t want to do. They go through all four dream levels until Spider-Man wakes up in prison. As it turns out, it was Deadpool who hypnotized Spider-Man to get him to bust out his employer, none other than the Hypno-Hustler himself!
THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed this issue. While I generally like Deadpool I think sometimes writers go the easy route and make him do absurd antics because, hey, it’s Deadpool. Writer Kevin Shinick (creative director for Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken and the creator of the animated MAD, so he probably knows a thing or two about comedy) writes Deadpool well.
As you might expect, this issue has a lot of meta-humour (some of it at the expense of Marvel). The main plot is pretty bland, and while Shinick is totally parodying Inception (which the issue itself admits), don’t expect the story to be as deep (or convoluted). Spidey and Deadpool are trying to weed out whoever has taken control of Spidey’s mind in the waking world. Every dream stage is in a high school setting for some reason; while it would’ve been nice to explore other dreams Peter Parker may have (some ideas include romantic wishes or recurring nightmares drawn from his failures), the generic setting still allows for plenty of humour.
And that’s where the issue excels perfectly: the dialogue. Spidey and Deadpool play off each other really well. Shinick has a good sense of comedic timing, and while the humour never really reaches “laugh out loud funny”, it’s smart and clever, which is how Deadpool should always be written, rather than just making him silly for the sake of silly.
I’ve been talking too much about Deadpool. That’s because he clearly steals the show; Spidey is basically written as a straight man to Deadpool and only really quips once or twice, thus taking a backseat to the Merc with a Mouth.
Aaron Kuder’s art looks great, and I’m glad to see Matt Hollingsworth back on the book, because I like his colouring work. There are lots of visual cues that Spidey fans will definitely appreciate (mostly in Dream Level Four), such as Spider-Hams in different costumes or Spider High School promoting a “Battle of the Clones.” The cover art is very nice, too.
The twist at the end I did not see coming, given the nature of the issue. I definitely look forward to seeing how Spidey handles the return of this classic (?) villain.
SPIDER-MAN: I’d rather be dressed for action than standing around in my underwear.
DEADPOOL: Some people still consider that underwear, ya know?
Deadpool’s narration box pops up, “RT @DeadpoolMind Some people still think we stole his underwear, ya know?”
DEADPOOL: Shut up. It’s an “homage”!
VERDICT: Avenging Spider-Man #12 is a fun, clever Deadpool book. Don’t expect too much out of Spidey, though. The two, however, have a nice comedic chemistry going, and the art is pretty good. 3.5 Webheads out of 5.
FREE CODE GIVEAWAY: I purposely did not want to give away too many of the jokes. Ask in the comments for the code, and the first person will win. Trust me. There are fun times to be had!
SHAMELESS PLUGS: Follow me on Twitter! @2BitSpecialist.
Also, contrary to popular opinion, Spider-Man can totally beat Batman in a fight.
~My Two Cents