Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Marcelo Ferreira & Jack Jadson
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release date October 16 2019
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
Well, it is time for another of the first wave of Absolute Carnage tie-ins to take a bow and end its time in the event spotlight. It hasn’t been a consistent ride, this one. What started out as a book I enjoyed, took a dive by its second installment. If you want to see where its final entry lands…skip to the end. Or you could read on through a few paragraphs and let me build up towards a score.
You really have to approach this limited series with the notion that, yes it is spinning out of the current happenings of Absolute Carnage, itself a very dark, tonally serious story, but this is at heart always firstly a Deadpool story. It may have all the trappings and decor of the gritty and moody Absolute Carnage, but this AC story has to bend to the whims of a Deadpool comic. This should not been approached as an Absolute Carnage-related book, so if you are here for the sake of keeping up with this events chronology, and more importantly, if you expect this to add to or even respect much of that events overall story, you won’t get much out of this. You really have to be a Deadpool fan, coming into this with your mind set on just reading another random shenanigan of Wade Wilson, if you hope to appreciate this as intended. You probably figured that out by know if you’ve been reading this Deadpool limited up to its final issue.
Nothing is really ventured or gained here. Carnage (again, not Cletus Kasady but his stand-in and body-double Norman “Think’s he’s really Cletus” Osborn) proceeds to have an extended fight with Wade on the streets of New York. Spider-Man eventually joins the fray, and the book becomes more of a spiritual successor to Spider-Man/Deadpool, with Absolute Carnage as a backdrop, than just a straight-up solo Deadpool comic (with Absolute Carnage as a backdrop). The action makes up a pretty good chunk of the page count, and there is a surprising amount of dialogue to wade (heh…) through. Most of it is made up of Wade making his quips and retorting to every single thing Spider-Man or Carnage has to say with a joke. Yes, I know. THIS IS DEADPOOL. That’s what he does. But when you have this much dialogue and every panel, every word balloon that comes from just HAS to be a joke, where for me none of them landed at all, it became exhausting. On my first read-through of this issue, I had to stop and skip ahead because it became too much for me. Carnage delivers the typical villainous threats and one-liners which just read a little too two-dimensional for my liking, and even Spider-Man, who you’d think dialogue wise would come out the best of these three, at times doesn’t sound right. Near the end of the book, we have a scene where (after Deadpool gives attempts to blow the real Cletus up with dynamite) Spidey is surveying the wreckage and is just going on out loud about how one of Cletus’s followers cushioned the explosion from Cletus by jumping in front of the blast, and it reads too much like corny exposition. Spidey may be a chatty guy, but I hate it when characters pretty much “narrate the script” out-loud for the reader, or viewer.
It was weird reading another earlier scene in the book, where after Spider-Man shows up to give Deadpool support, Deadpool has to inform Spidey that this Carnage they’re facing, is Norman Osborn who thinks he’s actually Cletus Kasady…and Spider-Man is genuinely surprised by that fact. “What? Norman think’s he’s Cletus??!”
But why…?! This is something Spider-Man already knows! Not just compared to the other tie-ins, or even Absolute Carnage itself since its first issue and the start of this whole thing…as far back as Peter’s native flagship book! Amazing Spider-Mann 800 had Peter and Norman fight, and the end result of their battle left Norman brain damaged and believing he was Cletus Kasady! Spidey knows this firsthand!
The art duties are shared by both Marcelo Ferreira and guest penciler Jack Jadson. They complement each other well enough, but I think I had waned on the art style of this book by this point in the run. I won’t say its bad, and I’ll admit at the very beginning of this run I was positive on it, but I think my attitude had changed on almost every aspect of this arc as it continued on.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but this ends up being a non-essential “addition” to the Absolute Carnage event, with a sense of humor and style that may make the Deadpool fans happy I suppose, but I’d gamble the crowd who show up for the Absolute Carnage branding won’t connect with this one. As a whole, things started out fun, but the humor diminished, and my personal tolerance of Deadpool and his tinge in the Absolute Carnage spectrum wore thin.