Stillanerd Reviews: Spider-Man/Deadpool #20 review


Spider-Man and Deadpool break their vow of “No More Jokes,” but the laugh still won’t return in the second part of Joshua Corin and Will Robson’s tale.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #20

“No Laughing Matter, Part Two”

More from Comics

Writer: Joshua Corin

Artist: Will Robson

Inker: Scott Hanna

Color Artist: Jordan Boyd

Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino

Covers: Will Robson and Richard Isanvoe; and Genzoman (Marvel Vs. Capcom variant)

To sum up my review for Spider-Man/Deadpool #19, I didn’t find it all that impressive. One of the reasons I didn’t was because writer Joshua Corin went with an obvious one-joke premise involving Spider-Man and Deadpool trying not to make any jokes. As you might expect, both Spidey and Deadpool realize how futile an effort this is. Corin must have realized this too. Hence, why he has both Spidey and Deadpool come to their realization within Spider-Man/Deadpool #20’s first four pages.

Does this make part two of “No Laughing Matter” any better than part one? No it does not. If anything, it’s even duller. It certainly isn’t any more humorous. In fairness, they’re not nearly as painful as they were last issue. They’re just obvious gags and one-liners. Well, maybe not the bit where Deadpool says one of his knives comes from “the houseware department at K-Mart.” That at least warranted a mild chuckle. Otherwise they fall as flat as the story.

Credit: Will Robson, Scott Hanna, and Jordan Boyd (Marvel Comics); from Spider-Man/Deadpool #20

What’s worse than an action-comedy with half-hearted jokes? An action-comedy with half-hearted jokes, half-hearted stakes, and half-hearted resolutions.

It does properly build off from the previous issue, at least. Spidey and Deadpool are searching for photographic negatives taken by Peter during his first fight with the Vulture. A wealthy widow believes they contain the last images of her deceased husband, supposedly killed during this battle. Spidey and Deadpool are also searching for Slapstick, the living cartoon mercenary, who stole said negatives for a crime boss named el Tenor. Halfway through the comic, they wind up trapped inside one of Tenor‘s warehouses with all the exits sealed.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to our heroes, el Tenor is really the widow’s still very much alive husband.  Moreover, he double-crosses Slapstick and chains him up in the basement of his restaurant, leaving him to the mercy of a very obscure D-list villain, el Toro Negro. That’s two different subplots involving characters trapped in a room for most of the issue. And in both instances, you don’t care a wit about how these characters will get out of the particular jam they’re in.

Credit: Will Robson, Scott Hanna, and Jordan Boyd (Marvel Comics); from Spider-Man/Deadpool #20

Not that Corin doesn’t try. In the case of Spider-Man and Deadpool, they accidentally trigger several lasers. So what if Spider-Man can easily dodge them, or if they can’t kill Deadpool? They’re trapped, I tell you!  As for Slapstick, somehow Tenor’s basement suppresses magic powers, including the cartoon variety. Too bad there’s no reason why we should sympathize for Slapstick’s plight. He’s nothing more than an opportunistic sellout. Besides, the end reveals he was never in any real danger, so why did it matter?

Later, Spider-Man figures out el Tenor and the widow’s husband are the same person.  What helped solve this little mystery? His telling Deadpool he has a “hunch.” That’s it. There’s no other explanation than this. What’s worse than an action-comedy with half-hearted jokes? An action-comedy with half-hearted jokes, half-hearted stakes and half-hearted resolutions.

Thankfully, there’s no half-hearted art from Will Robson, Scott Hanna and Jordan Boyd. It’s dynamic, expressive, vibrant and deserving of a better story. The genuine comedy this issue has comes from the wonderful facial expressions. Robson illustrates his figures with just enough overemphasis, especially with the eyes, to mimic authenticity better than if he’d gone for more realism. Spider-Man gets this same treatment, as you’d might expect, with his dilating and widening lenses, and Robson uses this stylistic feature to great effect.

Credit: Will Robson, Scott Hanna, and Jordan Boyd (Marvel Comics); from Spider-Man/Deadpool #20

…there’s no half-hearted art from Will Robson, Scott Hanna, and Jordan Boyd. It’s dynamic, expressive, vibrant, and deserving of a better story.

Robson still has the same drawback about Slapstick as he did last time though.  As I mentioned in the last Spider-Man/Deadpool review, it’s hard depicting someone as an animated character come to life when everyone in the comic looks that way too. At least Boyd’s coloring elevates this by depicting Slapstick in brighter pigments compared to everyone else.

Perhaps both Spider-Man/Deadpool #19 and Spider-Man/Deadpool #20 would’ve worked better if they were somehow one issue. Even then, it would still struggle trying to land the jokes. I sympathize though. Coming up with good one-liners isn’t easy. Heck, the best I can do is point out how having “No Laughing Matter” as the title for this story proved remarkably apt.

Stillanerd’s Score: 2 out of 5.

Next: Stillanerd Reviews: Spider-Man/Deadpool #19 review

Stillanerd’s Nerdy Nitpicks (possible spoilers)

Credit: Will Robson, Scott Hanna, and Jordan Boyd (Marvel Comics); from Spider-Man/Deadpool #20

  • First, Spidey and Deadpool tell us what happened last issue in the recap page. Then, on page one, they have a conversation where they explain what happened last issue. What’s the point of the recap page again?
  • “Where’d you learn how to shoot? Stormtrooper academy?” Is there a clause in Marvel’s writing contracts which states, “You must refer to Star Wars and other Disney-owned properties in all your stories” or something?
  • “Nobody goes to McDonald’s for their apple pie.” Au contraire, Wade. Or was that what you actually meant?
  • How did a chainsaw hit el Toro Negro, you may ask? It happened during “The Great Game,” an ongoing storyline which occurred in the comics right around the same time Ben Reilly was Spider-Man. Yes, this character’s another holdover from the Clone Saga, folks.
  • What do you know? Spidey’s glowing chest emblem has a purpose after all. Though why not just use the spider-signal?
  • “How is it I’ve got shards of glass in my eyeballs?” Um … from rolling over on the broken glass, maybe?