Two of the funniest heroes in comics are at it again and this time they’re talking directly at us. In this fourth wall-breaking trade paperback, Robbie Thompson explores the concept of comics while telling a hilarious story. It’s a road trip issue, but also not.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Ever read On the Road? Or seen Tommy Boy? This is just like that, but with Spider-Man and Deadpool. The two red-clad heroes are traveling across America, discovering their country and true friendship — and just like every other great road trip, this one ends up in the Negative Zone! Our heroes are way out of their element — and need to get the heck back to their world pronto, or they’ll miss the rampaging bug monsters laying waste to the Marvel Universe! But the Negative Zone-threat known as Blastaar the Living Bomb-Burst doesn’t care about any of that. One thing’s for sure: Spidey and Deadpool can’t face this threat alone. They’re holding out for a Deviant hero!
Why does this matter?
If you like either of these characters this is a no brainer comic book to at least check out. It’s also highly hilarious on the Deadpool side of things (Spider-Man is the straight man, how often does that happen?) and it plays up Wade’s ability to break the fourth wall. Like, that’s all this book is. And it’s glorious.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I’ve checked out Robbie Thompson’s Spider-Man/Deadpool here and there and either loved it or at least liked it. Put this one in the “love” category. Thompson has a great handle on the jokes that range from visual knee slappers to deep cut comic book commentary jabs. Fans of Mister Miracle need to check this one out, for instance.
Like I said, the fourth wall-breaking humor is really the main event in this series. For example, a running gag ensues involving Deadpool pointing out the captions or “To be continued” at the end of the book. It feels like it’s building towards something even bigger since Deadpool is actively trying to explain the audience to Spider-Man. At one point Spidey even tries to talk to us. Another fourth wall breaking joke that works very well is how Deadpool knows he’s in a comic and even knows the vernacular.
The art comes from Matt Horak with Nick Roche for the first two issues and Jim Towe for the last three. Colors are all by Brian Reber. The change isn’t jarring at all thanks to the narrative shifting away from the road trip and into the Negative Zone. Art throughout is quite solid and about as inventive as the main narrative, like a fun 2D side glance of the heroes running down tunnels, impressive upward angled looks at alien spiders, and a fabulous full-page splash of some Eternals characters. Towe gets quite creative with the Spider-Man eye emotions, some of which I’ve never seen before.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Not every joke works like a poop joke that is used midway through the book. But that’s comedy, right? The use of Bug is also interesting, albeit kind of pointless. He serves as a means to get out of a Bug-centric problem but he’s sort of just there, then not after awhile.
Is it good?
A sometimes hilarious and always inventive spin inside the mind of Deadpool and Spider-Man. Where else would you want to be?