“So apparently if you look up Peter Parker on wikitionary your computer cracks open, kills your aunties, and pus. Dead puppies and needle toothed clowns fall out.” – Wade Wilson on Parker Industries CEO Peter Parker, Feb 2016
Writer Joe Kelly
Penciller Ed McGuinness
Inker Mark Morales
Colour Artist Jason Keith
Letter Joe Sabino
Editors Jordan White and Nick Lowe
So it has been a month since we got our hands on Spider-man / Deadpool 1#. This book has ranked high on the sales charts. Issue 1 was the 3rd best comic for Diamond in the month of January (behind Walking Dead 150# and Secret Wars 9#). Amazing taking the 11th spot for January. Now it should be said that issue one obviously has a first issue sales bump going for it but could it be possible that this title will be the number one selling spidey ongoing for awhile? Lets take a look at the second issue and see if the magic will go beyond issue 1
Parker industries launches Webwear 2.0 software while Deadpool ponders to his wife the ethics behind his recent contract to kill Peter Parker. She convinces him to find out if peter truly is an evil man, then he can kill peter guilt free. Deadpool sets out to get spider-man’s attention since he doesn’t have his phone number but gets the wrong spider-man’s (Miles) notice instead. Soon Spider-man (peter) arrives to find out what Deadpool wants. Deadpool begins to ask about Peter Parker when the Spider-men accuse Deadpool of working with the suddenly attacking Goblin army. Deadpool who can’t see the goblins works out it’s a hallucination caused by Webwear 2.0 and dismantles the webshooters which where causing the visions. The three team up and head to parker industries to the source of this hallucinogenic signal affecting all Webwear users only to discover its mastermind Mysterio! They take care of him quickly by running him over with a car. Spider-man (Peter) thanks Deadpool for the assist and gives him his number to uses if he needs to contact him again. Deadpool takes advantage of lowered security at Parker Industries to investigate, finding a secret room were human beings are being cruelly tested on. Deadpool calls his contact and accepts the contract to kill parker and starts killing P.I. scientists as the issue draws to a close.
Lets get the worst part out of the way first. I dislike this cover. I don’t fell the sterile font of the Spider-man/Deadpool title in the top left corner captures the feel of the book. The giant half spider-man half Deadpool looks more like a smiley badge had something caught in his eye than an iconic symbol that one could see on t-shirts down the line. The artwork shows Spider-man and Miles Morales swing kicking Deadpool from a skyscraper while multiple goblins fly around below. At first this image didn’t bother me. At first glance I originally focused on the goblins and pondered the story possibilities. I had totally missed Miles being on it and was actually surprised when he turned up in the issue. With my second glance my attention was unfortunately drawn elsewhere. Deadpool on this cover looks odd. His kicked face makes him looks fat rather than injured and his shoulders and left and right legs look out of proportion with one another. I could not draw a better image than this myself but I am disappointed a talented superstar artist like Ed handed it in as a cover. Maybe he was rushed or other circumstances going on so I don’t want to knock him to badly for it unless we see it become a trend with future issues
Wow! So the first thing I noticed upon closing the issue is A LOT happens in this comic. Joe Kelly is not telling a decompressed story at all. This could have been a whole arc/trade under some writers. On Several pages I thought surely I will see a ‘To be continued’ in the bottom corner but the story kept on going.
I was a little upset to see the opening page of the story focusing on Parker Industries (P.I). I was hoping this title would focus very minimally on Spider-man’s current continuity. My own issues with P.I stories aside I am happy with how Kelly handles Peter at P.I. What I mean by that is this does not seem like a scene you could just add any comic superhero billionaire too (Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne ect ) it is still the character of Peter with the classic ‘Parker luck’. Peter right before a press launch of webwear 2.0 spills his drink over his shirt, he tries to cover it with a tie made larger by multiple neck ties , when called out on it by the press he states it’s a “amasscot” and is the latest fashion trend but people just last at him making him feel like its high school all over again. Quite cleverly this Parker luck takes up much of your attention and I myself missed the ‘mcguffin’ of the issue’s plot right their with his new product Webwear 2.0. I found it interesting that Anna Maria was in this scene as it takes place in New York and I thought she was based at P.I London. I’m going to ‘no prize’ this as her being flown out for the product launch.
The next scene we see Peter swinging through New York feeling sorry for myself after being made a fool of. It felt like sliding into a warm bath. There was something comforting slipping out of globe trotting P.I stories and getting back to basic spider-man panel. I was delighted to see when peter arrives at the scene of the disturbance that it was at Rockefeller centre. I do think Time Square is a little over used by Marvel and always wondered why they didn’t use the 30 Rock location more.
I got to say I love the introductory banter between Deadpool and Miles Morales. For example DP: ‘You, sir are spider-adjacnt. Probably a clone. He has a thing for clones’. Miles:‘I am NOT a clone’. DP: ‘That’s what clones always say’.
The following battle between Spider-men v Deadpool v imaginary goblins is a fun scene. Little Easter eggs like the homeless men being three stooges while slapstick violence goes on around them. However I did find this scene confusing on my initial read through. It was a little hard to tell that only the Spider-men where seeing the goblins. This might have needed a few panels to help clarify. However all is redeemed by the vehicle deadpool used to leave 30 Rock and get the Spider-men to P.I HQ at the Baxter building … ‘The Dead-Buggy’. I know it’s a cheap joke but isn’t this ‘the thing’ we love about these comic crossovers. When they start playing in each other’s toy box us comic nerds get delighted.
It was nice getting another classic Spidey villain here in Mysterio and lets be honest who else would be behind a hallucination attack in a spider-man book. The battle is over quick with Deadpool running him over with the Dead-buggy. It should be noted that we don’t know if this is Beck or not, Kelly does choose to leave the identity of this Mysterio vague and I think that is the right choice as it may not be taken well but Mysterio super fans having him go out easier than if he was in a Kevin Smith book. Personally I read it as Beck and he just wasn’t expecting a car to come through the wall as it is not a regular Spidey battle MO .
Spider-man giving Deadpool his number at the end because Deadpool saved Mysterio’s life by performing CPR a little cheesy but I can see its value in bringing the two together for further adventures. (I did however feel it a bit of a dickish move for Peter to just watch and not use his new electric webs from issue 1# as an AED. But maybe between panels they check for a pulse and Deadpool just needed to provide oxygen to the airways).
The rest of the issue is Deadpool following his lead on Peter Parker performing experiments on humans for his client Patient Zero (who I believe is a new character but I could be wrong ) . I’m assuming every reader realizes its not the real Peter having these people tortured so the mystery remains about who is impersonating Peter and what is the connection to Patient Zero. While this Subplot doesn’t have Spider-man in it as of yet, it is probably the best ongoing story involving P.I. I can think of at the moment.
Ok so I might not have been kind to Ed McGuinness for the cover. His Interiors on the other hand are glorious. This guy can really nail the look of both main characters in this title. I am also really appreciating seeing Ed grow even more as an artist. One of the biggest complaints lobbed at Ed by his critics was that all his bodies looked the same. However in this book he proves those critics wrong. You could easily tell Peter from Miles if they where in silhouette in Ed’s art. My only character nitpick I have is that I felt Anna Marie was a little inconsistent facially. All in all though this book is stellar work and Ed should be very proud of it. Jason Keith also dose a stellar job on colours, Deadpool, Peter and Miles all use different reds on their costumes and it works so well to give them distinct characteristics.
So to sum it up despite a few minor nitpicks I do honestly believe this was a great second issue for the title. In fact I’d argue this issue was better than the first. It built the story, characters where even more on point, art was fantastic, and it is building my interest in what is to come in a way most comics just don’t any more… all this and I feel like a got a complete contained story for my money. With two solid issues and hype for Deadpool with the movie building to it’s release (movie comes out tomorrow at the time of writing this). I imagine this will remain a top Spidey book for awhile yet . High recommend for Spider-man (or Deadpool )fans