Writer: Fred Van Lente / Artist: Pere Perez / Marvel Comics
This book is doing some cool things. While much of the Marvel Universe is engaged in open quasi-galactic level moral conflict, Deadpool vs The Punisher is fleshing out Marvel’s greasy criminal underbelly in amazing fashion. The gangsters are getting their due out here!
The Bank is revealed to have his hand in everybody’s pocket. With his home, family, and identity compromised, his phone is blowing up. Kingpin gave his condolences, checked up on his money, and issued the illest threat ever. The homie Taskmaster (of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 fame) is, you know, tasked with merc-ing out our favorite Merc (the one with the mouth).
The plot (literally) thickens as Frank and Wade track The Bank’s access codes to the Mexican border, only to find *gasp* the previously exploded wife and son of The Bank! Frank and Wade are on friendly talking terms for some reason, setting the stage for Mexican crime boss the Don of the Dead (who was ‘meh’ but for the cultural quips he shoots at Deadpool).
When the ‘bang-bang-shoot-em-up’ parts of the story fade away (which they don’t, thank goodness) Deadpool vs The Punisher opens the floodgates on identifying how the upper echelons of the organized crime community operate. We as readers have never been granted clarity about that structure, only that it manufactures needed opposition for the heroes. Sharp storytelling that focuses on the nuts and bolts of what keeps the villains day-to-day busy returns us to what we love about the Marvel Universe: a relevant, grounded, plausible, and relatable narrative. The popularity, influence, and in-universe reach of Punisher and Deadpool threatens to give tremendous depth to this aspect of the 616. All the grit, gore, and wit of a Tarantino flick with the plot mechanism from Total Recall, right in the palm of your hands.
Turns out the ‘winner per issue’ dynamic is strange given that Deadpool has a high-level healing factor.
Reading Deadpool vs The Punisher? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.