Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ultimate Spider-man: Deadpool

***Contains spoilers***
The latest Ultimate Spider-man arc, "Deadpool," concluded with issue #94 after a four-issue run. For a series that seems to come out every other week, this book remains high quality and ferociously entertaining. Sure, there are a few duds here and there, but overall this series is great. "Deadpool" was the story arc that was just waiting to happen since Ultimate Spider-man Annual #1, when Peter Parker got a new girlfriend in the form of Kitty Pryde. She was a girlfriend who could hold her own in dangerous situations; He wouldn't have to worry about her like he would with Mary Jane. So, of course her being an X-Man had to endanger him eventually, and Peter Parker ends up getting kidnapped as the entire Ultimate X-Men team is dragged off to Krakoa Island for round two of Mojo's fight-to-the-death reality television (the first appearance of which occurred in Ultimate X-Men). It's a fun crossover, as the X-Men and Spidey team up to battle Deadpool and his band of cybernetically-altered Reavers bent on taking out "mutant scum." The first issue of the series that led into this situation was top-notch storytelling. A perfect date, Kitty trying out new outfits like she did back in her early Uncanny X-Men days, kicking a little bad guy butt, before the shit hit the fan and Spidey was whisked back to the X-mansion. The two middle issues dipped in quality as the heroes struggled to grasp exactly what was going on and blindly lashed out at the enemy. It was unfortunate that the battles took place amid some very heavy dialogue from Augustus Beezer, who was hosting the reality show; It was really just exhausting trying to waid through some of the pointless play-by-play. An element introduced early in the story was of Deadpool's respect for Spider-man's mask: he refused to let the Reavers take it off. So, of course, they would have to pay off what Deadpool looked like beneath his. At the end of issue three, Deadpool's mask was taken off to reveal Professor Xavier, which was a big fake-out (the Reavers took out the X-Men originally by using image inducers - this was another one). But I'll be damned if I wasn't impressed with how Deadpool actually looked when his real face was revealed. Bendis and Bagley actually did it, gave a great payoff. Not only that, but Kitty got to kick some real ass in this issue too, taking out Reavers left and right when they hurt her boyfriend. It was a cool moment (especially when she took out Deadpool herself) since it just reinforces that she is able to handle herself in these sort of situations, and not just in a passive Look-I-Can-Phase capacity. The end of the story had Peter and Pryde walking into his house together to deal with the repercussions of having gone missing for an extended period of time, but as Kitty says, he "dodged a bullet," since Aunt May wasn't home. I don't even want to go there though. Anyways, Bagley's doing some impressive work for how frequently these are coming out, and Bendis shows know sign of slowing down his creative juices. This is the only Ultimate book I consistently look forward to reading. And man, do I love the whole Spidey-Kitty relationship.

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