[Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Spider-Man/Deadpool #13.]
Deadpool and Spider-Man team-ups are so right they’re wrong and so good they’re bad - at least for the faint of humor. Despite being loosely-based off the Web-head, Wade Wilson is worlds apart when it comes to job description and moral compass. But when you put little goodie two-shoes Peter Parker in the same room as baddie two-boots Deadpool and their hilarious chemistry lights up each panel.
Throughout their latest story arc, however, their bromance and their barrage of banter has taken on an interesting twist. It seems as though Wade and Peter’s natures are slowly shifting: Spidey has taken a darker, more cynical anti-hero bent; while Deadpool seems to be slipping into a new role as the happier-go-luckier, do-gooder of the pair. Either way, the boys have some work to do with their twisted superior clone, Itsy-Bitsy, on the loose.
After a two issue hiatus – which included a Penn Jillette guest-written stint and a few good-natured, holiday barbs thrown at Zack Snyder – scribe Joe Kelly and artiste Ed McGuinness dive back into the main storyline. The last chapter left our titular heroes on the brink of exploded – even though it would be hard to do the next SM/DP without them – after they blew up Deadpool’s bachelor pad in the hopes of taking their treacherous foe with them.
Survivor: Weirdworld Edition
Despite their sacrifice, their deadly genetic duplicate managed to swing away from the now-shredded Dead-cave. Fortunately, the dystopic duo also managed to escape the blast by ducking into a pocket dimension via a “gray market” mystical mirror (we'll call it the Deus Ex Machina mirror) that Wade had stashed in his hideaway. The magical object zapped them into Weirdworld, where Deadpool set them up in a hut, removing shrapnel from Spidey’s body and nursing him back to health in preparation for their next encounter with Itsy-Bitsy.
As they debate their next course of action, the realm’s ruler, Morgan le Fay (twisted half-sister of King Arthur in Earth-616), drops by with her massive dragon and an army of enslaved warriors. Normally the first to jump into the fray against any evildoer, Spider-Man seems mostly annoyed with the threat, and the need to free her minions, putting minimal effort into defeating her. And this theme, Deadpool taking up the “great power” side of things, while Spider-Man reluctantly sallies forth, continues pulling the old switcheroo between the two otherwise wildly-divergent heroes.
Deadpool’s Life Lessons
Spider-Man/Deadpool #13 finds its most amusing balance somewhere between silliness and poignancy as the fourth wall-breakers tackle a string of major (at least for Weirdworld) events in a trivial manner. They manage to quell a war, battle a hoard of imps with miniature drill-mounted cars, and battle a cynical Elder God – all while trading barbs and moralizing and making their brand of super-heroics look like a walk in the park. This exchange also leads to one of Wade’s best pep-talks ever, directed at the Lovecraftian creature (slightly truncated, below):
“I used to think that life was cancer. Life was something that babies caught when they were born…that’s why the first thing they do is cry…I was ready to die because, hey? Why live? And then I was given a gift. A second shot. Over time, I learned the difference between dying and living. Now, I got friends. I got a kid who lights up a room like a bouquet of suns…a wife—well, she’s not the best example right this second, but…Point is, with all of its warts and dirty bits—even its pain—we give meaning to the meaningless of life…just by living. And damn it. I want my life to count for something. I learned a lot of that from this guy right here. I learned what it means to be a man. A hero…”
Wrapping his motivational speaker gig, Deadpool points to his inspiration, Spider-Man, just as the Wall-Crawler jumps a mini-drill car right through the monster’s head, crushing his spine (which will take a thousand years to grow back, apparently). After they patch up the ancient deity, Spidey reveals that, since his time spent in the afterlife with Mephisto (in SM/DP #5) – he’s felt as though something is missing. The devilish reflection in the mirror doesn’t bode well for Peter’s severe persona either, suggesting that something dark and disturbing is influencing Peter’s bleak worldview.
Of course, it doesn’t help that, upon zapping themselves back to the Prime Earth, they discover Itsy-Bitsy’s been quite busy, putting together a PR nightmare for the pair – a massive web full of dangling corpses.
Back to the Action
Deadpool and Spider-Man certainly kick off 2017 in style. Their trek through Weirdworld may have been a quick one, but they certainly left an indelible mark on the pocket realm (including an amusing, unzipped cameo from Eternity). After an amusing few off-topic chapters, it’s good to watch the action wind back to the pair's main plotline, in preparation for some more machine gun repartee between Spider-Man, Deadpool, and their cloned nemesis.
Before they can “unalive,” or at least wrap up Itsy-Bitsy in a web of their own, though, it appears their her run of bad publicity might've attracted some devilish mutant attention. The teaser for Spider-Man/Deadpool #14 suggests that Nightcrawler will be bamfing in for some crossover action. After all the trouble they’ve had, between Patient Zero, Itsy-Bitsy, and Weirdworld, the snarky set of heroes could use a little help with their antagonist, assuming Kurt Wagner’s visit isn't an aggressive role, rather than a supportive one.
Of course, we'll keep you up-to-date on all of Peter and Wade's misadventures.
Spider-Man/Deadpool #13 is currently available online and in print.