"Deadpool Team-Up" #899 is the kind of comic that you want to like more than you actually do. On the surface, it seems like it should be comedy gold: Deadpool and Hercules team up against Arcade and a mystery villain. But the reality? Like the old banana peel gag, it just doesn't feel new.
For someone who brings an immense amount of humor to "Incredible Hercules" every month, I was surprised that Fred van Lente's script felt lackluster in places. Van Lente certainly tries to make it work, but the voices in Deadpool's head (not a van Lente invention, I know) are often unfunny, and Hercules himself just doesn't work when teamed up with someone as off the wall as Deadpool. He needs a straight man to be the crazy one around, which is why he and Amadeus Cho are such a perfect duo over in "Incredible Hercules."
It also doesn't help that Arcade's never been a terribly interesting villain; van Lente tries to update the character a bit here (building amusement parks, after all, is a bit passé) but he still gets a resounding "eh" when he's all said and done. Even Arcade's manipulator is uninteresting, and actually feels a little out of place here. So sure, there are occasional witty lines tossed around, and Deadpool's idea on how to stop from being mentally manipulated is interesting (if also a little gross), but there just isn't enough to sustain the story.
Dalibor Talajic is an artist that I think draws backgrounds better than people, unfortunately. I love the interiors of Murderworld under his watch, with the endlessly winding corridors and the guide thread forever getting underfoot. His characters, though, come across as a little stiff. For characters that are supposed to be as physically active as Deadpool and Hercules, that's unfortunate. Like the script itself, the art is just lacking a bit of a punch.
Every time you turn around these days it looks like there's a new "Deadpool" comic showing up. "Deadpool Team-Up" #899 was a nice idea, but (just like how we had a "Deadpool" #900 last month) it's feeling a bit tired. Maybe Deadpool can go back down to just one comic a month for a while? This feels more like a blatant grab for more sales instead of something that demanded to be published.