Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Marcelo Ferreira
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date August 21 2019
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
One half sequel, one half event tie-in, Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool wasn’t originally one of the Absolute Carnage books I was champing at the bits to read compared to the others in the event’s purview. I didn’t really enjoy the original 2014’s Deadpool vs. Carnage mini, so I may have raised an eyebrow in skepticism over this new installment. Well, I’ll admit my attitude going into this one was not the same after I finished this book, which left me entertained and happy to be the one reviewing it for the Weird Science Marvel site.
We open with Spider-Man and Deadpool running away from a stampede of Spider-Man villains, all of which showing up due to Deadpool inviting them to a location where Deadpool was throwing Spider-Man a surprise birthday party. Nevermind how obviously a bad idea it was amassing super-powered people who want to kill Spider-Man together in one location, but its not Spider-Man’s birthday. After escaping with their lives, Spidey makes a serious ultimatum and demands Deadpool go to Ravencroft Institute to get mental help.
Weeks later, Deadpool caves in and arrives at Ravencroft, after its been taken over by Carnage and his cult. Oblivious at first, Deadpool mocks the appearance of Carnage and his henchmen as some poor attempt at visual therapy, until he realizes how wrong he is when everyone tries to kill him. Deadpool escapes by setting the building on fire, and Carnage realizes that Deadpool, who he already wanted to kill on principle, has hosted four symbiotes at once, once upon a time (see: Deadpool vs. Carnage). Time to go get his codex.
If you’ve been following Absolute Carnage so far, tie-ins and all, you’ll already know this event doesn’t stray far from its dark, grim, serious tone. Here, we take a huge detour that only Deadpool could get away with pulling off. Frank Tieri had me smiling with the first half of this book. To think this all started with Deadpool doing something as evidently terrible as gather Spider-Man’s villains together to celebrate his birthday out of the random blue. The comedy is on point. I especially loved the bit with J. Jonah Jameson sitting alone in a decorated room with cake and party favors. The comic doesn’t try to be funny, it succeeds (the Rhino was the only villain that actually brought a birthday present). Can you blame Spider-Man for blowing up at Wade? I felt like the second half of the book didn’t tickle that funny bone of mine nearly as much as the beginning, but the damage had already been done; I was in good spirits with this book and nothing short of a missing the landing at the end could ruin my mood. Marcelo Ferreira is an artist I would like to see on a actual Spider-Man on-going. Getting to draw most of Spidey’s villains felt like a great sampling of what we could be seeing on a regular monthly basis. I don’t care if its the coveted “Amazing” title or one of the secondary Spidey books like “Friendly Neighborhood”, I would be very happy if Marvel made him a long-term Spider-Man penciler.
Well, as of this first issue, I cannot say I see this being one of the bigger or more impactful of the Absolute Carnage side-stories. Its a fun little distraction within the event’s orbit, but how much weight will Wade Wilson have in the main story? Will the events of this three-parter feel isolated form the rest of the event? Also, if you’re following Absolute Carnage for your Venom and Carnage fix, this issue is heavy on the Deadpool, as it SHOULD be, but it looks like you’ll have to wait a bit to see some of Carnage’s darkness blend with Deadpool’s cartoonish antics. It’s definitely more than worth a read for you Deadpool fans, and it not hurting anything to those who are seriously invested in the happenings of the main event. I’ve yet to see Deadpool actually “verse” Carnage here, and I’m already happier with this rematch than I was with 2014’s Deadpool vs. Carnage. I have a lot more interest in continuing this.
Deadpool interrupts the doom and gloom of Carnage’s masterplan with his trademark shenanigans and becomes the next target of the dark symbiote. You got your humor in my horror, and I just so happened to like it! Don’t worry about how much weight this will have on the event at large, treat yourself to some fun.