Superhero movies are now mainstream - and Deadpool has always mocked the mainstream! With the Marvel Cinematic Universe still the biggest game in town, and the fledgling DC Extended Universe struggling to course-correct after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the time was ripe for the Merc With A Mouth to chip in. After all, hasn't this year also seen the phenomenally successful Deadpool film? So fans were waiting expectantly for Deadpool to make his voice heard, but we never expected him to team up with Spider-Man to do it!
That's just what happened in Spider-Man / Deadpool #6, where Deadpool and Spider-Man had what's openly called a "fill-in issue". Writer Scott Aukerman decided to break the Fourth Wall in spectacular fashion for this issue, offering a stinging critique of superhero movies, and giving Deadpool a chance to offer his own advice on how to make a good superhero movie...
BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE!
It doesn't take a genius to work out which film's being trolled there! Hammering the point home, Nighthawk and Hyperion are part of the Squadron Supreme, a superhero team created as a riff on the Justice League. You can easily tell which two characters they were the Marvel versions of!
What's more, it's pretty clear Deadpool and Spider-Man are critiquing Batman v Superman. The jarring transition from friends to foes led to a lot of comments (elsewhere in the comic there's another scene that jibes at the "Martha" plot). DC was critiqued for trying too hard to set up the DCEU, to the detriment of the film itself.
SPIDER-MAN GETS MOCKED TOO!
Spider-Man / Deadpool #6 doesn't just troll DC films, though - it even trolls Marvel's own! The issue revolves around Deadpool seeking out Spider-Man for help in Hollywood - because he knows Hollywood "better than anybody"! Later, he's described as a "total sellout".
But let's face it, given the number of reboots Spider-Man's had, that scene above is easily the greatest troll!
TIME TO TAKE A SHOT AT THE X-MEN!
This is probably my favorite troll in the comic. In the '90s, Marvel - struggling to deal with near-bankruptcy - sold the film rights for their superheroes to major film studios. Nowadays, Marvel Studios is having to deal with a reality where they don't have the rights to all their characters. Most notably, that means building the Marvel Cinematic Universe without mutants!
Notice that extra bit of trolling in the background? It's well worth looking into the Captain America "Hail Hydra" controversy and having a laugh at Marvel's own expense!
BUT THE ULTIMATE TROLLING?
Spider-Man / Deadpool features Spider-Man coming up with the idea for how a Deadpool movie could play out. It's an amusing scene, basically suggesting that the best superhero movies stay true to what fans love.
But here's the beautiful irony of this scene. I'm assuming it's intentional, but it might not be. You see, Deadpool was the best Marvel movie that Marvel never made. Deadpool was made by Fox, with minimal Marvel involvement, and relations between Marvel and Fox have always been pretty tense. So the idea of Marvel giving advice over the Deadpool film is more than a little amusing.
The real question is whether or not the studios will learn from this. Too many fans seem to have fixated on the idea that Deadpool succeeded because the film had an R-rating, but the comic argues that it worked because it was true to what people love about the character. It's an entertainingly bold move to offer a critique of the superhero film genre in a comic, but - as with all things Deadpool - it works surprisingly well!