Comic Review: Deadpool vs. Carnage #1, 2, 3, and 4 (Marvel)

Published by Marvel, April 2014
Story: Cullen Bunn
Art: Salva Espin
Colors: Veronica Gandini
Letterer: VC – Joe Sabino
Covers By: Glenn Fabry & Adam Brown

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Synopsis: My first thought when I found out that Deadpool was gonna be squaring off with Carnage was quite honestly, here we go again.  My second thought was that it better surpass the mess of the last series Night of the Living Deadpool. I saw potential after reading the previews and realized that for me, this could redeem Mr. Bunn for his previous blunder.  So I eagerly awaited release day for each book and these happy-happy-joy-joy feelings gradually began to grow from within me after each installment.  After reading the final issue I’d have to say this turned out to be a phenomenal 4-issue series.  My personal enjoyment has vindicated Mr. Bunn of my harsh feelings towards him and I can happily report that he has regained the title of top Deadpool writer, if he cared, and I’m thinking he won’t.

Any ways, in book 1 we are introduced to the super villain Cletus Kasady; better known as Carnage.  A psychotic murderer that recently escaped prison in order to fulfill one thing near and dear to his heart (if he had one) and that is random killings.  You know what I mean, “Nothing like the smell of mass murder in the morning!”  Deadpool on the other hand is doing what Deadpool does best, lounging around on his couch waiting for a sign.  Deadpool’s antics while channel surfing leads to a set of entertaining events that setup Deadpool’s next mission; tracking down Carnage.

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With the conclusion of book 1 and the opening scene of book 2 it’s safe to say that our main characters Deadpool, Carnage, and Shriek are well acquainted with one another and in full swing determined to take each other out.  Jokes, puns, threats, and WMDs are exchanged until Deadpool seemingly feels the wrath of Carnage, thus blacking out from his wounds.  After emerging from a Carnage induced coma Deadpool, weaponless, begins his search for one of many weapons cache depots stashed for just such an occasion.  He’ll meet others along the way and quite frankly, just as nuts as he is.  Eventually he tracks down the ignorant Carnage and Shriek cruising the freeway and believing themselves to be free of the Deadpool menace where another confrontation begins.

Book 3 displays Carnage with an eye-opening moment of the possibility that chaos may not be as real as he may once thought, that there may be some merit to Deadpool’s preaching of signs nonsense. This new direction leads him to a group of highly trained special ops soldiers specifically trained and tasked with taking Carnage out  should he ever escape prison!  While Carnage deals with this new menace, swiftly I may add, we see Deadpool yet again wisecracking his way through the many signs presented as a path towards his next run in with Carnage.

In the final book Deadpool has successfully implanted the idea into poor Cletus’s head that there is some almighty figure head in control of everyone and everything, that chaos is a figment of ones imagination.  In our final confrontation between Deadpool and Carnage we see that Deadpool has returned with an upgrade tipping the scales in Deadpool’s favor.  With this upgrade and Deadpool’s unique persona qualifying him as one of the most deadly foes for anyone including Carnage we see that Carnage is mentally no match for his fellow psychotic adversary.  The downfall of Carnage isn’t as one would think.  Deadpool may have defeated Carnage but ultimately he chose to return to incarceration of his own free will…right?

Panel/Layout: First off I just have to say that the retailer incentive cover for issue #1 is freaking awesome!  Second, the series was done really well.  I honestly think that Salva’s art really helps describe Cullen’s story and Veronica’s coloring is the icing on the cake  pops allowing the action scenes to flow well with each panel.  All-in-all the art is consistent with each book adding that polish

Verdict: Yes, I think you should pick this series up.  Unlike the last series Night of the Living Deadpool, Cullen Bunn has redeemed himself with this action packed storyline that simply clicks.  It’s funny without the  overbearing laundry matt of reused and abused Deadpool jokes.  We get to experience the comical side of Deadpool’s mentally insane personality and even gain insight on the very foundation of Deadpool’s approach to problem solving.  He doesn’t fight the signs, he embraces them.  Furthermore we are placed on the path of enlightenment as Carnage copes with the realization that chaos is just an imaginary friend.  I found myself laughing out loud again and taking pleasure in turning each page, eagerly awaiting to see what Deadpool would do next to poor Carnage. Crazy versus crazier, what a matchup.

Series Rating: 5/5

Office Site: Deadpool vs. Carnage

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