Comics : Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #611

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This review was first published on: Feb 2010.

Background...

Deadpool, who's spending some time with some hired prostitutes, pretends to get a phone call from Barack Obama for an assassination being ordered, but when he gets a real call, the jig is up and he's being attacked by the girls for payment, so he wastes all of them. He accepts a job, which turns out to have come from the Kravinovs, specifically Ana and her mother, who are preparing their gauntlet for Spider-Man.

It's revealed that they have a bruised and battered Madame Web currently in their custody, and it's just the beginning...

In Detail...

"This man, this expletive deleted"
Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #611
Jan 2010 : SM Title
Editor:  Stephen Wacker
Writer:  Joe Kelly
Artist:  Eric Canete
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Articles: Arana, Kravinoff, Ana, Kravinoff, Sasha, Spider-Woman III (Franklin)

Meanwhile, Peter wakes up and hates Wednesdays. Michele tells him to stay away from her stuff, in this case toothpaste, and when he ends up trying to get data from his camera, the information is gone. He goes to work with Jameson, who yells at him as per usual, and soon he's picking up a package but can't afford to accept. As if his day wasn't going any worse, Peter is almost splashed by a big puddle from a passing taxi, only for the splash to now go on a big man who's kid is on his shoulders, and dumps crap on Peter for ducking out of the way of the spray and letting it go on the father/son duo.

When Peter puts on the Spider-Man costume, he finds himself up against Lady Stiltman, although Spider-Man can barely keep a straight face that someone would take up that particular mantle. It's an easy defeat, and soon Lady Stiltman is balling like a baby.

However, Spider-Man didn't do all the fighting here, as lo and behold, Deadpool is on the scene, having just pitched in a bit to help out Spidey in the fight against Lady Stiltman. Deadpool spouts some inane comments, and then asks Spider-Man for an autograph, which he begins to sign, when suddenly spider sense goes off as the pen, which doubles as an explosive, blows up. The two costumed adventurers continue their fight as unseen by Peter a woman is attacked by Ana Kravinov.

Back at the Spider-Man/Deadpool throwdown, the two continue to fight, until it degrades into an insult match by a schoolyard. Finally, Deadpool activates a device and disappears from the area.

Ana and her mother are talking, elsewhere, as it is revealed just what was happening while Deadpool fought against Spider-Man and kept him busy and preoccupied.

Because of the day's turn of events, he never ran into Anya, fought Eddie Brock/Anti-Venom, never met up and teamed up with Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin, who was the girl attacked by Ana Kravinov). It was all thanks to Ana and her mother using Madame Web to turn fate against Spider-Man, in their favour. Ana's mother gives the go-ahead, as finally, the preparations are complete and it's time for the wheel to be put into motion, for the gauntlet to begin.!

In General...

When I first heard that Kelly was going to be writing this issue, and was going to be including guest-star Deadpool, I was excited. I mean, Kelly is responsible for so much of who Deadpool has become in the modern era, as he took the character and refined who he was, what he does, his personality, etc, and really made him into the Deadpool that fans love today.

However, with all of that being said, his one-off issue here featuring the Merc with a Mouth is a bit of lunchbag letdown, as it's never quite great, and instead has various moments where you see the potential of the two characters meeting up and having a fight, but it is never quite fully realized.

Now, the cover to this issue by Young is fantastic, in a way that I can't fully describe using words. There's something so magically simplistic, adorable, and hilarious in the image, from the smiley Deadpool face down to the over-accesorizing of Spider-Man in true '90s-Cable style. But sadly the charm of the issue is quickly lost as you open up the issue.

Canete is a penciller who just isn't ready for this kind of a team-up issue. There are momentary glimpses into what this book could have been if Young himself had drawn it, but they're just glimpses. The book just looks overly rendered, with really odd and misshaped anatomy, which isn't even consistent throughout the issue. The issue just ends up looking quite sloppy, and it really disturbs the flow of the issue, because so much of what can make a Deadpool issue good or bad is found in the artwork, in the subtle ways in which Deadpool is illustrated. These subtleties are mishandled here, and it damages the flow of the story.

The story itself is pretty simple, as Deadpool is hired to annoy Spider-Man, and take up some time in his day. It's a ludicrous job for a ludicrous guy, and for the most part the script seems to work, but Kelly almost seems to go overboard at times with how Deadpool is written. Deadpool is just a tad too inconsistent in tone here, EVEN for Deadpool, which is really saying something about the characterization. The objective for the issue, as revealed by the end, is actually quite nicely put together, and I really like how Madame Web was used for this issue to come about, narrative-wise. But before we even got into the issue, and some classic Parker-luck stuff, we had to wade through an opening sequence which just didn't feel necessary at all, was badly illustrated, and had no real purpose. I would like to point out however that I loved the use of Lady Stilt-Man, and thought it was a great point of commentary and just flat-out comedy that the character was thought-up and used here. Spider-Man and Deadpool are the only two heroes against whom Lady Stilt-Man really works and becomes something hilarious and awesome, rather than just sad.

Overall Rating...

Overall, the issue was enjoyable, and perhaps it was more enjoyable than I let on at the beginning of the review. I think that when I started writing, perhaps I was more bothered about what wasn't was, rather than discussing and reviewing what the issue ended up being. It wasn't a horrible miss, but there were most definitely some missed potential, as the artwork failed to really impress, and Deadpool's characterization wasn't nearly as spot-on as one would expect from Kelly.