Friday, 27 June 2014

Deadpool vs. Carnage Review (Cullen Bunn, Salva Espin)

Carnage is roaming free and causing carnage because the dude's got no imagination. Watching the chaos unfold in between looking for shows starring Kat Dennings, the TV tells Deadpool that he’s the only one who can track Carnage as they’re both on the same crazy wavelength. That’s all it takes as Deadpool Beautiful-Minds his way to Carnage, “reading” the secret messages in the everyday that, against all odds, lead him to the bloodthirsty symbiote; yup, disturbingly, Deadpool’s madness method works! And the rest of the book is fighting between the two. Who wins? Well, they’re both invincible so… yeah, it plays out as you’d expect.

Following the success of the Deadpool Killology (Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, Deadpool Killustrated, Deadpool Kills Deadpool) and Night of the Living Deadpool, Cullen Bunn’s Deadpool four-issue standalone miniseries seem to be a staple of Marvel’s publishing schedule now. This latest is a throwback to ‘90s superhero comics with a Vs storyline starring two quintessentially ‘90s characters, Deadpool and Carnage.

Bunn delivers what you want from a Deadpool Vs Carnage comic – lots of bloody violence (this is not a comic for kids) as the two indestructible characters have at it with gusto. Deadpool stuffs a grenade down Carnage’s mouth, Carnage dismembers Deadpool, Deadpool drives a thresher into Carnage, etc. It’s a lot of fun, silly stuff!

Where things take an unexpected left turn is when Bunn introduces philosophical discussions on free will into the dialogue, and the finale, far from being an over the top gore-fest, becomes a surprisingly cerebral conclusion. But I don’t want to overplay the intellectual angle too much as its more of an interesting element thrown in the mix than being representative of the whole book – it’s mostly as crazy and action-heavy a comic as you’d think with some great scenes between the two.

Artist Salva Espin’s Deadpool expressions and body language are pitch-perfect, and I love the little details he throws into the panels, like the opening scene in Deadpool’s house where there’s a roll of toilet paper in every room. What the hell is Deadpool doing – what’s wrong with him?! I kept wondering, and then I realised, oh yeah, he only eats chimichangas and beer. Little (gross) detail, but shows how much the artist knows the character.

Deadpool Vs Carnage is a decent version of the overused superhero staple, the Vs comic, and it’s enjoyable while it lasts but essentially it’s pretty forgettable, disposable entertainment.

Next up: Deadpool Vs X-Force!

Deadpool vs. Carnage

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