One wears a red mask with big, white eyes. The other wears a red mask with slightly smaller white eyes. Two masks that cover two of the biggest mouths in the Marvel Universe. This could only mean your Major Spoilers review of Spider-Man/Deadpool #6 is about to begin.
SPIDEY-POOL BANG! BANG!
Filling in for Joe Kelly on this issue of Spider-Man/Deadpool is Comedy Bang! Bang! host Scott Aukerman. This isn’t the first time a comedy writer has taken on a book featuring the Merc with a Mouth as comedian-actor Brian Posehn (with Gerry Duggan) also had a notable run with the character in the early 2010’s. Deadpool is a niche character known for his metatextual humor so having a comedian write dialogue for Wade Wilson isn’t much of a stretch. Likewise, Spider-Man is a character known for cracking wise and spouting off quips in the middle of battle, so for a book that combines the two of them, it makes sense that Marvel would turn to someone like Aukerman to script an issue.
The story begins with Deadpool learning that a big-budget blockbuster based on his life is currently in production. Not wanting to see the flick end up a flop, he enlists Spider-Man as an Associate Producer because thanks to some breaking of the fourth wall, Wade points out Spidey’s familiarity with being on the big screen. The entire issue is essentially a humorous commentary on the modern film industry, with a focus on superhero movies in particular. It satirizes much of the real-world gripes movie-goers have with Hollywood these days and being that this is a Deadpool book, of course his titular film is referenced a few times. In fact, hardly a single page goes by where we don’t see someone break the fourth wall. From the X-Men acknowledging that they’re ignored due to their movie rights being owned by Fox, to Captain America responding to Daredevil’s explanation of his hyper-senses by exclaiming, “Hail Hydra”, no medium is off limits.
There are lots of laughs throughout the book and as a fill-in issue, it works very well. The problem I had with it, though, is that at times it feels like Aukerman is trying a little too hard to ramp up the humor at the expense of telling a good story. Maybe because of the fact that this is a fill-in issue, this wasn’t a concern for Aukerman but up until now, every issue of this series has been able to strike a careful balance between the comedy, action and storytelling. The inclusion of the editor’s notes helped make up for this to some extent as they served as a fun little callback to Marvel’s earlier days. In the end, we got a standalone story that was, if nothing else, an enjoyable read.
IT’S ONLY A FILL-IN ISSUE
Filling in on art for Ed McGuinness in this issue is artist/writer Reilly Brown on Pencils and Jason Keith on Colors. The Inks are divvied up between Rick Magyar, Le Beau Underwood and Scott Hanna. I don’t have any major problems with Brown’s pencils but there are a few distractions elsewhere that I picked up on. In some panels, Spider-Man’s webbing is white while in others, it’s transparent. There is even a panel where the webbing looks to be a shade of grayish blue. I understand minimizing certain details to imply that a character is in the background or further off in the distance but I wish this was handled with a little more consistency. The characters look great when they’re in the foreground and in particular, I really enjoyed Brown’s close-ups of Spider-Man. However, some of those shots reveal more inconsistencies, like the fact that the width of the lines on Spider-Man’s costume change from panel to panel, a problem I attribute to having three Inkers on a single book. The colors are alright but not to sound like a broken record, a lack of continuity hurts the final product as some of the colors seem a little off in the panels that take place in Katz Berger’s office. I’m not sure if this was meant to be because of the fluorescent lighting, but it feels like someone put that page in particular in Photoshop and cranked up the Color Temperature setting.
BOTTOM LINE: WELL… AT LEAST IT’S FUNNY
Overall, this is an OK issue of Spider-Man/Deadpool that you could pick up if you’re in the mood for a few laughs, but I don’t think you would be missing out on a whole lot if you decided to pass on it. The humor definitely works but the art, at least for me, leaves a lot to be desired.