Spider-Man/Deadpool has been an absolutely ridiculous ride so far and it shows no signs of letting up any time soon in its fourth instalment. This is a series that can best be described in one word and that is ‘fun’. There comes a time however when fun needs to be put to the side and an emotional gut punch delivered in its place. That is what fans got with this book and it marks a massive turning point for both titular characters.
If it weren’t for the shocking ending there really wouldn’t be a massive amount to write about with regards to this issue. Whilst it advanced the character’s relationship to the bromance levels that readers have been wanting for so long now, it did precious little else to warrant being full price. The primary focus of the book was on a prolonged night out where Deadpool and Spidey hit up ‘Pool’s nightclub for a little double date.
The scene, which spans almost the entire issue, is highly entertaining considering the unusually small scope of the narrative which makes up for having so little happen within it. Seeing Deadpool manipulate the situation to force Thor and one of Shiklah’s succubus friend into a mud wrestling match should have provoked a smile from readers at the very least. The subsequent underwear clad dance that he and Parker were forced to perform as recompense will undoubtedly have provided a few more laughs for good measure. And then everything got flipped on its head as the tone changed and Joe Kelly slammed fans with a totally unexpected finale to an otherwise uneventful issue.
Usually such a large spoiler wouldn’t be given in these reviews but since it is all there is to talk about and explore an exception will be made. At the climax of this book the story arc that has been bubbling away in the background for the last three issues came to a sudden, jolting stop as Deadpool shot Peter Parker, seemingly killing the legendary character. It wasn’t a moment full of epic back and forth action or hilarious quips. It didn’t feature a single solitary explosion either, instead it played out in much the same way that one might imagine a real life hit would. Deadpool rang Peter’s doorbell and when Parker answered the door ‘Pool shot him multiple times with a silenced pistol. If that was it then it would have made for one of the most gut wrenching endings in recent memory, made even more jarring due to the lighthearted nature of the previous pages, but Kelly wasn’t content to leave it without one more heart string plucking scene.
With the deed done, Deadpool phoned his new best buddy to see when they could next hang out. In the next panel you see Peter’s phone light up with a picture of the two men as it lies next to his blood soaked body. It’s a heavy scene that will get a rise out of even the most hardened of comic fans. Yes, everyone is fully aware that they’re not going to kill off Spider-Man but it doesn’t really lessen the impact of seeing him gunned down in such a cold and clinical manner. It also doesn’t change the fact that the door is now open for a major reveal as Deadpool is sure to learn who exactly is under that web lined mask, a moment that will have huge ramifications for both men. No matter how you look at this one thing is for sure, Joe Kelly achieved what he set out to do as he shocked everybody who picked up a copy of this fantastic title.
As is always the case, Ed McGuinness and Mark Morales were on fine form as they drew yet another winner of a book. The playfulness on display in the previously mentioned nightclub scenes really added to the story to an immeasurable extent. The colours for these moments were deep and rich, creating a lively atmosphere befitting of such an energetic setting. When Kelly flipped the script and turned serious, McGuinness and Morales were right there with him as they drew everything in a far more subdued and meaningful manner. A lesser artist would not have been able to pull off such a switch with such grace but this pair delivered it with ease.
The future of this comic is looking very bright indeed as the narrative is now guaranteed to take a massive sidestep into completely foreign territory. There hasn’t been a poor instalment as of yet and this certainly didn’t change that trend, if you haven’t already then you really should consider getting your hands on a copy of all of the issues thus far.