Or – “Clobberin’ Time Versus Super-Happy-Fun Time!”


And it’s time to talk about the orange pile of rice krispie treats they call Benjamin J. Grimm…  The ‘Pool knows what happened on the day editorial told you that you were teaming up with the ‘Pool!  The heavens opened, and the Earth shook, and JOE QUESADA himself looked down and said, “Bob?”

“But my name’s Ben…”


What matters is, you’re going into the ring with the most electrifying man in Marvel Entertainment, the Merc With The Mouth, the Mutant What Does The Shootin’, The one and only Rob Liefeld SURVIVOR… 

Dead.  Pool.

If ya SMELL…  What the ‘Pool…  IS.  Cookin!

Deadpool Team-Up #888

Previously, on Deadpool Team-Up:  Wade Wilson has made a career out of shooting things repeatedly while making snotty remarks to the voices in his head.  Ben Grimm has made a career out of punching the living $#!+ out of things while making snarky remarks to his de facto family of super-powered misfits.  Seemingly a match made in heaven, as the Merc With a Mouth and Aunt Petunia’s Favorite Nephew have much in common.  They’re both deformed by the same process that made them powerful.  They’re both possessed of a wicked wit, belying their common upbringing.  They’ve both made careers out of repeatedly appearing everywhere in the world, seemingly at the same time.  (Remember, Benjy even teamed up with Doc Savage, regardless of the restrictions of time, space, dimension, and editorial good taste.)  They also share a taste for the finer things in life, including the phenomenon that is professional wrestling.  Ben is himself a former Unlimited Class Wrestling heavyweight champion, while Deadpool’s rants often remind me of the Ultimate Warrior.  What happens when these two titans hit the ring in search of one last shot at glory?  I don’t know for sure, but somebody’s gonna get beat like a government mule!

What’s a government mule?  It’s what ya get BEAT like when you’re in a slobberknocker! 

Our story starts in a packed arena which I’m going to call Madison Cube Garden, because I can.  The Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation has come to town for their annual blowout Mega-Match Pay-per-view event, and they’ve pulled out all the stops to bring the best show, even hiring former champion Ben Grimm to handle color commentary.  The wrestlers come to the ring, and we find that the upstart heel (that’s villain) tag team known as the Armageddonists are managed by Deadpool himself!  Why?  According to the flashback, DP has a love of both butt-kicking and instant forgiveness, two staples of the Sports Entertainment package.  The match goes in the Arma’s favor, due to the cheating and distracting tactics of their manager, leaving the Thing disgusted by it all, only to pull back in shock as his play-by-play man tells him it’s all in the script.  Both Wade and Ben are horrified (for different reasons) to hear there’s a script for it all, but their dismay is sidelined by the arrival of a strange creature and a robot in mid-ring.

The machine identifies his companion as “Max Intensity,” and informs all present that unless the wrestlers step forth and fight his champion, that everyone in the arena will be vaporized.  The entire roster of the UCWF gets taken down in shot order, causing the Thing to leap into the ring to defend the innocents and the honor of wrasslin’ as he knows it.  “Thing ring, do your thing!” cries Deadpool at ringside…  Heh.  The fight goes well until the devious Max splits in half, amoeba-style, budding into TWO disgusting monstrous creatures, and causing Deadpool to leap in for some tag-team madness!  Things (no pun intended) quickly get out of hand, and both our heroes resort to their finishing moves:  Ben’s spinning spinebuster and Wade’s bag of high-explosives.  One Max is pinned, the other ‘sploded, and the robot manager ends up getting a UCWF contract for outer space pay-per view action from the unscrupulous new federation owner.  Ben watches in sad resignation as The ‘Pool cuts a (highly referential) promo as the story fades to black… 

I don’t expect a lot out of most Deadpool stories, save for a clever hook and some snappy dialogue.  This story has SOME of it’s wrestling patois down, but as with nearly every comic book rendition of the squared-circle, it comes apart in some of the details.  I like the Thing/Deadpool character dynamic, but the concept of an alien coming to Earth to defeat our greatest champion is pretty threadbare.  For my money, the best part of the issue is Ben’s response to Deadpool remarking about the “meet, misunderstand, fight” dynamic of superhero team-ups: “Don’t tell me about team-ups!  I was doin’ Two-In-One’s before you were a regret in your daddy’s mind!”  HA!  Writer Cullen Bunn puts together some interesting dialogue, but nothing with real bite, and the art is…  troubling.  We get a spindly Deadpool, a massive but undefined Thing, some very flabby wrestlers and Max Intensity’s anatomy is just plain hard to look at.  I suspect that there was an intentional attempt to “draw funny” at work in this issue, but the resulting art is muddled and difficult to follow.  Deadpool Team-Up #888 has good intentions, and nearly hits the mark a time or two, but leaves me with an overall disappointed feeling, earning only 2 out of 5 stars overall.  It’s not terrible by any means, but there’s definite room for improvement from these creators.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day:  Can a premise that’s shopworn and cliche deliver a great reading experience?  (Examples are welcome…)

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Brian
    November 2, 2010 at 10:10 pm — Reply

    The scion of a dying alien race is raised on Earth, becoming it’s greatest hero. He can fly, has super strength and nigh invulnerable.

    Dragonball Z – I’ve heard the anime was so drawn out due to it sticking very close to the manga, which took much longer to produce.
    Superman – Superman Earth One
    Invincible – Wait, alien and half alien son that get stronger after getting the crap beat out of them? Haven’t I seen that somewhere…

  2. Damascus
    November 3, 2010 at 2:50 am — Reply

    People still watch wrestling, and that’s about as shopworn and cliched as you can get. I haven’t enjoyed wrestling since the early days of Hulkamania when I was like 8-years-old and had some Hulk Hogan/Macho Man Randy Savage/Ivan The Iron Sheik/Rowdy Roddy Piper/Sting (still with a scorpion painted on his chest)/Tatanka/Jake the Snake Roberts/Junkyard Dog/etc. They were more fun to watch because I was a small child and thought it was real and because they had their own cartoon and they were distinguishable characters unlike many of the guys in the World Wildlife Foundation these days. The Rock was about the last really charismatic “character” that transcended the WWE and took America by storm. I know John Cena’s been doing a lot of movies and things too, but he just looks like the G.I. Joe Duke, so that fits some roles, like 12 Rounds and the Marine.

    With my general distaste for all things wrestling, I still found moments in this issue enjoyable. I love the movie Ready to Rumble with David Arquette, Oliver Platt and Scott Caan, I like the more comedic take on wrestling I guess. “I’ll tell you why, pal! This is the United States of Planet Earth, not some sniveling, back-water planet full of Reese’s Pieces-eating Peaceniks! And REAL wrasslin’ fans NEVER back down from a fight!”

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