Spider-man / Deadpool 18 Review
Itsy Bitsy Part 5
Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciler: Ed McGuinness
Inkers: Mark Morales Jay Leisten
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Editor: Jordan D White and Nick Lowe
A year and a half after this title started and here we are at the end of Joe and Ed’s run as the main creative team. (20 years from when the team first teamed up to work on Deadpool). So far the issues of this title these two have worked on have been fantastic. They are some of the best modern stories of both characters. How can you wrap up such an exquisite run? Lets find out.
The dark lord Mephisto can’t stand Spider-man’s purity and has conceived of a plan to corrupt Spider-man’s soul. The plan is close to succeeding, as Spider-man is pushed to his limits and about to kill the villain Itsy Bitsy. There is something standing in Mephisto and his plans way however and that’s Deadpool. Deadpool the ULTIMATE Spider-man fan can’t stand to see his purity corrupted by the machinations of Mephisto and refuses to let his
favourite character friend be changed. Deadpool unable to physically stop Spider-man does the only thing he can do to save Spider-man’s essence. He kills Itsy Bitsy. Sacrificing his newly found purity for the sake of Peter’s.
What a Finale. Where to start?
Let’s look at One More Day. I have avoided going here as it’s more theory than real context, but how can I not as it is the last issue and all summed up here. I believe this book (intentionally or not) is social commentary on the state of Spider-man.
The Story of One More Day is a tale about the essence of Peter Parker being “corrupted”. The figure behind that story is Mephisto. Well the same thing is happening here. Mephisto is corrupting Spider-man. We see in the first story this corruption being initiated about by Mysterio, aka the Hollywood influence and a fake Dormammu hinting at pretence behind the hell that appears later in this title. Going into Brand new day and Big time we saw a Spider-man that for a lot of fans had something missing. A ‘hole’ as it was. In this title we literally see Mephisto tell Spider-man that a part of him is missing. The apex of this modern eras corruption of Peter is the Superior Spider-man arc (I know some fans would argue the current Parker Industries arc but I’m referring more to in story than behind the scenes, although an argument could be held for symbolism of the fake Peter wondering the halls of PI in the first arc). In this and last issue we see Peter as his corruption by Mephisto reaches its peak donning a Superior Spider-man costume. In this arc the enemy is the literally the title itself. Spider-man and Deadpool mashed together in trying to make something sexy for the weasel behind the scene. Last but not lest is my biggest jump in hubris. The fourth wall breaking link to the real world Deadpool aka the Spider-man fan. In the beginning we see that Spider-man has an effect Deadpool becoming a moral compass for him as Spider-man has done for many of his fans. By the ends of the story despite the absolute crazy the adventures Spider-man has gone through Deadpool’s main wish is to keep spider-man intact and a good pure character. As is a lot of Spider-man’s fans wish .
Am I reading too much into this? You are damn right I am… but it is damn fun to think about either way.
It is why I have loved this run so much. It could have easily been phoned in and it would have sold but there is something greater here. Thought has been put into these characters and where they are in this title. They go through arcs. While Joe does the noble thing as a comic writer and leaves the toys in the same condition in which he found them. I still feel at the end like the characters going forward have been enriched by my reading and enjoyment of this story.
The plot of this issue is very basic. It is not like a million characters being balanced in the air like balls as is what happens in a lot of finale arcs. This is kept simple to Spider-man and Deadpool. Both Peter and Wade going through some classic to their characters arcs. Peter overcome by rage at being pushed to far then feeling guilty and Wade trying to be heroic but always ending up sacrificing a part of his soul to do the noble thing.
I also love that this series has been able to bring these two characters together in a way that in my mind I felt genuine affection for their friendship. Spider-man hugging Deadpool at the end feels earned after this run. We also see it in moments like Deadpool being scared in the battle when Spider-man stops talking. He knows Peter enough to know that Spider-man being quiet is a dangerous thing.
We also still see the trade mark humour in this book, Dragon ball references, Deadpool sweetly telling Spidey he will always fill his hole, or questioning what continuity they are in.
Do we see Peter united with MJ? No we do not.
I didn’t ever think we would see that. It was nice just seeing the character used again. So much has been built around him since OMD it feels like many creators, even in other titles, have been afraid to use him. It does seem like they are setting him up for a Deadpool villain in the near future judging by how the story ends. I do like that we get a reason for Mephisto to hate Peter too and that’s the level of purity Peter has. Peter is one of the purest Marvel hero’s but he is often close tothe edge. He probably seems like one a devil might be able to tip over and score a powerful pure soul.
I’m out of words here to describe Ed McGuiness. The guy is a legend and one of the greats. It’s the reason toys and statues have been made of his art. His simple and dynamic style works so well in the genre of superhero adventures. Not only is he beautiful in style but he is a fantastic storyteller. As I referenced so many times before, you really should study his page layouts when looking at unique ways to progress story on a page. This title reads so well even without words thanks to Ed’s art.
All in All
I am sad to see this team go. Truly I am. This is a run that will always have a soft place in my heart. So many times in comics we are shown that a legendary creative team should probably not return to a classic run of theirs… well this is an exception to that rule. If you have not read this title than you should rectify this error immediately. While the run is over the title is not. We will see two fill in issues followed by a new creative that is yet to be named. They fact they are holding back on it makes me think it might be a big name. I’m interested to see and will be here to give my thoughts but I have a hard time imagining it can come close to the masterstroke ‘the Joe and Ed run’ has been.