Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Declan Shalvey
Artwork: Mike Henderson
Colours: Lee Loughridge
Lettering: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: 11th April 2018
My lukewarm feelings (at best) towards Deadpool have been well documented over the years here on the Big Comic Page, and while Old Man Logan has certainly had his moments, the prospect of him crossing claws/swords with Wade didn’t exactly fill me with giddy excitement when I first heard about this latest Marvel crossover. However, with the supremely talented Declan Shalvey and Mike Henderson providing words and pictures respectively, I figured this new miniseries was at least worth a look, right?
The story itself is fairly straightforward, and sees Wade and Logan inadvertently crossing paths while trying to save the same young mutant girl from Genform Industries. That’s about as in-depth as things get, and in spite of a relatively unexpected conclusion in the final issue, the series is essentially a parade of smart-ass quips, grizzled put-downs and surprisingly graphic violence, all tied together by what is, let’s be honest, a fairly flimsy premise.
That said, Henderson is clearly having an absolute blast with the visual side of things, and it almost feels at times like Shalvey is writing the story specifically to give the Nailbiter artist cool stuff to draw. As you might expect, there’s a ton of action over the course of these five issues, and Henderson pulls absolutely no punches, with heads, arms and legs all being lopped off in showers of crimson as Wade and Logan do their thang. Henderson also shows an impressive knack for delivering visual comedy beats, something I wasn’t necessarily expecting, and from the opening sequence which sees our heroes being assaulted by a variety of gradually escalating flying vehicles, this is a book that likely to put a smile on your face – from a visual perspective, at least.
The dialogue and aforementioned quips are pretty much your typical Deadpool fare, although they’re made slightly less irritating as a result of Shalvey’s reluctance to lean too heavily into the annoying fourth wall breaking that has become synonymous with the character. It’s all pretty much what you’d come to expect by now, and Wade and Logan’s relationship dynamic is pretty much the same as Wade’s relationship with Cable, with the latter playing the role of increasingly frustrated and angry straight-man for DP’s shenanigans. However, it’s worth mentioning that Shalvey does drop a couple of absolute gems into the proceedings, including a fantastic moment where Logan casually cuts Wade’s throat to stop him talking, and a brilliant “Fist Bump” exchange near the end.
The resolution does feel slightly underwhelming, and it’s perhaps a little frustrating that the “versus” promised by the title only accounts for a tiny portion of the story. At the end of the day though, if you’re a fan of either character then this one’s definitely worth picking up, and honestly, Henderson’s gloriously over-the-top violence is probably worth the cover price on its own.