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Amazing Spider-Man #611

Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
By: David Wallace

Joe Kelly
Eric Canete (p & i), Andres Mossa (colours)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Amazing Spider-Man #611 arrives in stores tomorrow, November 11.

"This Man, This (Expletive Deleted)"

Deadpool. At the moment, most readers seem to either love him or be heartily sick of him, following his slew of guest-appearances across the Marvel Universe in recent months, and the concomitant boost in the character's profile.

Personally, I don't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other. When written poorly, he can be irritating and unfunny, and his schtick can quickly wear thin. However, when written well--as he is here--he can be a hilarious antidote to the po-facedness of so many superhero comics, and the perfect foil for an earnest, grounded character like Spider-Man.

Joe Kelly has an excellent grasp of Deadpool, which is perhaps unsurprising given his past work on the character. The opening sequence of this issue (in which Deadpool attempts to impress a cohort of superhero-inspired strippers by talking to President Obama on his cellphone) sets up the character perfectly for those readers who might not be familiar with him, and the writer quickly introduces a reasonable justification for Wade Wilson's intrusion into Peter Parker's world, leaving the rest of the issue free for a chatty extended fight sequence between the two characters.

With Spider-Man and Deadpool sharing the same comic, you'd probably expect this to be one of the funniest books this month--and it doesn't disappoint. There's nothing less amusing than explaining a joke (so I won't try to do so here), but among the subjects tackled by Kelly are the current vogue for female knock-offs of male villains; Blackest Night and Geoff Johns, and the world's most dangerous "yo momma" joke (yes, it's inevitable that a showdown between Spidey and Deadpool would end in a battle of one-liners).

In addition to this, Deadpool's running monologue provides plenty of laughs, commenting on both the in-story action and the editorial boxes and narrative captions themselves. And a few of the book's extra little touches (like the contributions from Marvel's editorial team on the recap page) suggest that everyone has enjoyed themselves whilst putting this book together.

Eric Canete's artwork is cartoonish and exaggerated, with a certain roughness and sketchiness to the linework that gives the pages a dynamic, vibrant quality. It suits the tone of the story well, and in conjunction with the excellent Skottie Young cover it makes for one of the most fitting art packages that I've seen in a long time.

This is one of the best issues of Amazing Spider-Man in quite a while, and one that's worth a look even if you're not a regular follower of the title. For regular readers, however, there's added interest here, as elements of this story play into the setup for "The Gauntlet," the latest big Spider-Man epic to be lined up by the Spidey braintrust. Whilst I still can't say that I'm hugely enthused for that story, I had a good time with this one.






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