“Deadpool Team-Up” #894 features FrankenCastle as the special guest-star, creating what may just happen to be the peak in this recent "Age of Awesome" in comics where high concepts that never progress beyond a reaction of "That’s so awesome!" dominate certain segments of fandom. All that this comic is missing is an appearance by MODOK for the sheer awesomeness of it to create a rip in the space-time continuum, I imagine.
I’ve liked what I’ve read by Ivan Brandon so far. He’s got a weird sensibility and keen imagination in his writing, unafraid to present stories in ways that require readers to actually do some of the work. Here, he delivers a few chuckle-worthy moments and a cute ending, but it’s a mediocre story that doesn’t even entertain. Deadpool tracks down the Punisher in the sewers, tasked by the widow of a mobster that fears Castle will return to kill her. It’s a premise that doesn’t quite make sense until the end, telegraphing the ending somewhat as a result.
Deadpool’s adventures underground never go anywhere. He encounters a big mute white furry monster that shows us a somewhat amusing embarrassing moment from Deadpool’s childhood, there’s a joke made about Man-Thing being ‘giant-size’ that everyone has made before, and FrankenCastle being angry and violent. Deadpool and FrankenCastle barely have any interaction with most of the issue being a Deadpool solo adventure that isn’t much of an adventure.
Sanford Greene has a cartoony look to his art that gives each character a unique look that works with the content of this issue. He draws monsters well, though his Deadpool is one of the weaker ones I’ve seen. Without a mask, Greene doesn’t seem entirely sure how to depict Wade Wilson’s face. While, in mask and costume, he often looks like a teenager in a Deadpool costume. He’s too small and skinny. Greene’s art is dynamic, but doesn’t pull off any of the visual gags that Brandon writes. The projection of the incident from Deadpool’s childhood doesn’t look funny.
Given that much of the appeal of both Deadpool and FrankenCastle is the big stupid violence that each gets into, the lack of that here is questionable. The joke that the issue ends on should come at the midway point, because what it suggests next would be entertaining to read. This comic, not so much.