Deadpool vs. Carnage by Cullen Bunn
Art by Salvador Espin, Mike Henderson, & Kim Jacinto
Comic Book | Superhero
Published by Marvel
Released September 9, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon
I want to like Deadpool, but what I’ve read of his character so far I’m just not feeling. My boyfriend keeps telling me that Deadpool’s character when he was first created – when he was a very NSFW, brutal, insane, and very much not silly mercenary – is considerably better than story arcs that have been published in the last decade, especially since the movie was released.
This collection is exactly what you’d expect, which is Deadpool fighting Carnage. That sounded awesome to me, as I’d never seen those two characters go after one another before, but the execution of it was poor.
Basically, Carnage breaks out of prison and goes on a random murder spree, which is nothing new for him. After all, Carnage is an insane mass murderer. Deadpool learns of Carnage’s rampage while watching television and decides that he can find Carnage, so he sets out, following a pattern that only he can discern, and tries to find Carnage.
As far as the plot goes, this one is fine. The execution of it, however, left a lot to be desired.
Let’s start out with some positives. The pacing of the story is good, and it’s easy to read. I feel that people who like modern Deadpool – the silly, meme-y version, might enjoy this story arc more than I did. Also, Cullen Bunn’s writing is fine. While I didn’t enjoy many of the jokes, the story was easy to understand and it was wrapped up nicely.
Also, the art, which was done by Kim Jacinto, Mike Henderson, and Salva Espin, was good. Not the best I’ve ever seen, but good.
Okay, now for the rest. My biggest complaint with this collection was that Deadpool and Carnage were essentially the same characters – they were both telling the same jokes, and seemed to have exactly the same personality. While Carnage and Deadpool do have some similarities, such as murdering for fun and being insane, they are far from being the same. I feel like if you were to switch their dialogue with one another, the story wouldn’t really change.
I didn’t enjoy reading this story arc. The only reason I finished it is because it’s very short – 120 pages – meaning I could finish the whole thing in roughly half an hour. I want to like Deadpool, but I think I’m going to have to go back and read some pre-2000s Deadpool to get to know his character a little better.
In the end, I’d recommend skipping this story arc. It doesn’t have much to do with any other story, so it’s not essential reading, and there are much better comic book collections that you can pick up with both characters.