“I literally made a deal with the devil to excute revenge on Deadpool and Peter Parker and you idiots are making fun of me?!” – Patient Zero
Itsy Bitsy Part 2
Writer: Joe Kelly
Pencilled: Ed McGuiness
Inkers: Mark Morales, Jay Leisten and Ed McGuiness
Colours: Jason Keith
Letter: VC’s Joe Sabino
Editor: Jordan D.White and Nick Lowe
The saga of patient Zero continues with Spider-man and Deadpool currently facing the new disturbing threat of Itsy Bitsy. Do we get some answers or do we get some much larger questions
Spider-man and Deadpool regroup at Deadpool safe house after getting their rears handed to them back in the previous issue. Spider-man sets a tracker if lure in Patient Zero looking to make a truce. Upon the verge of revealing his identity Patient zero is seemingly killed by Itsy Bitsy. A battle ensues leaving our hero’s no choice but to blow up the ‘Dead-Buggy’ seemingly killing them while Itsy swings away.
Story here is actually fairly thin.
Don’t get me wrong I enjoy what I’m being served up here but in the grand scheme of the books ongoing story I feel a little let down. This book teased us with finally getting some answers but instead raised more questions without really moving the story forward that much.
We are still being given the idea that Peter is becoming more like Deadpool in attitude in this issue that was hinted at in the last issue. Peter stating here that Wades worldview is making more sense to him. I am yet to believe it is by choice however. Wade is still handsome from the trip to the underworld. I got to think that trip had a mystic toll on Peter as well.
The big mover of the plot is the ‘death’ of the books main antagonist Patient Zero. Now I use the term death lightly here, as I am not confident he is actually dead. Though we do see him cut into pieces, I’m hard pressed to think his story is over.
We do have some information confirmed about him before his death.
· He is running from Itsy Bitsy
· His beef is with Peter Parker and Deadpool
· He has “made a deal with the devil”
· Shocked they haven’t figured out his identity
· His identity starts with an ‘A…’
Obviously the main point here of interest to Spidey fans is the Devil comment as it does hint at Mephisto playing a larger part in future issues and I don’t feel I need to point out why that’s important to spidey lore.
As for his identity, I’m trying not to play the “who is he game (or maybe She?) ”. I do want the story to take me there naturally. I was hopeful we might have found out this issue but alas no luck. Being that drawn out identity reveals is a classic part of spider-man storytelling I can’t fault it however
Itsy Bitsy on the other hand is where I have some trouble. She does nothing new for me here. I almost feel you could have combined some of last issue and this issue together and gotten though this story much quicker. She once again shows up, kills the villain, and attacks the hero’s while preaching creepy incest talk and suggesting harsh vigilante team ups before slipping away and leaving our hero’s to lick their wounds.
Itsy is an interesting and disturbing character. Her plot so far sadly has not been. If I didn’t respect Joe Kelly so much as a writer I might even accuse him of trying to create a Harley Quinn -esque character here for SM/DP. I’m going to hold off judgement till the story is over completely and hope we get something more establishing in the coming months.
There true gold of this series is still here however as harsh as I may sound above. Kelly’s dialog is still outstanding. He is one of the funniest people in comics (even if he does crib from south park from time to time). I am enjoying the flip in the relationship as Peter is becoming more like Deadpool and immature Deadpool is becoming more annoyed and frustrated with Peter at the same time. Kelly does a marvellous job writing the characters in character while actually being taken out of character in the story. (Also on the CRAWLSPACE note Spidey is playing Overwatch in this scene so watch out George and Ashley.)
We are left with the cliff-hanger of an explosion that may have killed out heroes. One of the oldest comic book troupes. We of course know they are alive. Right before the explosion Deadpool is seen reaching for a mirror. To me it looks like the same design as the magnifying glass necklace from ‘the Evil Dead’ franchise. Is this a hint to how they escape or just a nod to Spider-man Director Sam Raimi. I do look forward to seeing this story grow from here. Mephisto playing a larger role down the line has perked my ears.
While parts of the story may have faulted a little the art by Ed and team is still top notch. There were multiple inkers on Ed for those keen of eye, but nothing that would take the average reader out of the comic. I loved all the hidden jokes in Ed’s art. His splash page of Deadpool’s clubhouse is the type of thing you take minutes to pore over. I also loved (and am biased for liking) the Deadpool action figures based on the 97 Deadpool ongoing characters.
All in All
Not a solid step but still a book on solid ground. Not every issue can be a winner and even as a lesser SM/DP issue it still one of the higher quality Spidey issues on the stands in the grand scheme. Easily still be best for delivering beautiful pages and tremendous dialog. We just need the main plot to move a little more.