“Deadpool” #19 begins the story arc where Spider-Man and Deadpool meet and, if we’re all very lucky, team up. Unfortunately, just four months after the hilarious and insane “Amazing Spider-Man” #611 showed up to do a Deadpool/Spider-Man meeting right, this issue falls short, lacking the funny jokes and madcap pacing that made that previous meeting such a joy. Daniel Way and Carlo Barberi approach this meeting a little straighter and, as a result, it’s a lot duller. I don’t mean to seem unfair by comparing this issue to another comic from November, but considering that this issue is hyped as a team-up with Spider-Man, many of the readers drawn in by that premise no doubt read the other meeting of the two.
Deadpool arrives in New York, hoping to find Spider-Man and learn to be a hero, because he’s back doing that again. The issue begins with the two crossing paths with only Spidey aware of who the other truly is before a room full of dead bodies makes an official meeting unavoidable. There is some initial humor in Deadpool welcoming Spider-Man with open arms only to receive various punches and kicks, and Way uses a running hot dog-related gag to good effect in places. Largely, though, it’s pretty standard fare as Deadpool protests his innocence, Spider-Man doesn’t believe him, Deadpool proves his innocence and wants to help, and Spider-Man reluctantly agrees.
For those that bought the “Hit-Monkey” one-shot, that character makes an appearance and looks to be the villain of the story, though Way doesn’t develop that much. When the character is seen, it’s in one of the most clichéd and groan-and-eye-rolling-inducing scenarios one can think of complete with a horrible cliché character that was funny 15 years ago, but has since lost its charm.
The art doesn’t improve things as Carlo Barberi shows some skill at times, but only when dealing with the masked Deadpool and Spider-Man. When called upon to draw actual people, they have squished and misshapen heads with haircuts that I’ve never seen in real life and aren’t stylized enough to be ignored as fun, exciting drawing. Barberi does handle the two leads well, getting a lot of expressions out of their masked visages and conveying their quick movements with energy. His depiction of Deadpool makes the hot dog joke work in one panel to decent effect.
Given the high standard set by Joe Kelly and Eric Canete four months ago, a return meeting of Deadpool and Spider-Man no doubt has some fans excited and this issue is a let down with a lame plot and even lamer jokes.