Monday, 9 April 2018

Deadpool vs. The Punisher Review (Fred Van Lente, Pere Perez)

Frank Castle follows the mob’s money to their head accountant, The Bank, and plans to deal organised crime a lethal blow by taking him out. The Bank also happens to be bros with Deadpool. Because see title of book. That’s right, it’s time for yet another “Deadpool Vs…” book and this time Marvel’s ever-popular chimichanga-chompin’ clown takes on ol’ grimpants skull-tee himself, The Punisher!

Aside from the odd clanger like Deadpool v Gambit, the Deadpool Vs series is mostly ok and Deadpool Vs The Punisher is no different. It’s obviously no masterwork – if anything you might lose brain cells! – but it’s a fairly entertaining romp with the occasional laugh. 

The set-up is pure contrivance – Deadpool’s mates with Frank’s hit and has a close friendship with his family? Uh huh, sure he is - bet they’ve been friends a loooong time, even though this is the first time we’re seeing these characters! And Frank just happens to be targeting this crooked accountant? Ain’t that convenient?? The Bank and his family’s storyline wasn’t very interesting and the various wacky gunfights between Deadpool, Punisher, Taskmaster, Don of the Dead, etc. are as inconsequentially mundane as ever. The irony of “vs” books being that there’s never a clear-cut winner. 

Still, Fred Van Lente sprinkles some amusing little moments throughout to save it from being completely boring. Like someone (usually Deadpool) getting shot in the head at the end of each issue a la killing Kenny at the end of each old South Park episode, or what happens to the hired goon “students” paying Taskmaster for work experience going up against the likes of Frank Castle. Deadpool taking the piss out of the infamous Martha scene from Batman v Superman was really funny and I enjoyed Deadpool turning to the reader at the end for a “what did we learn today?” after school special-type moment. Pere Perez’s art looked very sharp on every page. 

Deadpool Vs The Punisher is fairly predictable and as a result isn’t the most memorable or compelling read but the writing and art is decent and there are a few chuckles along the way.

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