With a wink and a chuckle, writers Paul Scheer and Nick Giovanetti pick up the reins for the Merc with a Mouth to script the adventures contained in “Deadpool Bi-Annual” #1. As explained on the credits page, Deadpool has already had an Annual published this year, and since Marvel is publishing another Annual-sized comic starring Deadpool, the label “Bi-Annual” fits.
“Deadpool Bi-Annual” #1 gives readers two adventures, although one is astonishingly quick. Set on a mission to apprehend a new Hydra division chief, Deadpool fills out a two-page tale with a fart joke, a dismemberment, piercing the fourth wall and a reference to Captain America both in film and television, proving Scheer and Giovanetti have enough to hang with regular writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn. The “Bi-Annual” writers even get a dig in at their counterparts on the way.
Lest readers think this adventure is all fun and games, Scheer and Giovanetti do craft a tale worthy of Deadpool’s knack for absurdity. Certain to spark speculation and send readers into a tizzy to find the comics, “Brute Force” is pressed into battle. That’s right, the Marvel Comics (not-so) sensation from the 1990s makes a triumphant return in a cliched case of comic book team-up. “Deadpool Bi-Annual” #1 puts Deadpool against the quintet of mechanically-enhanced animals and does so in a manner that almost makes sense, and certainly proves to be entertaining. Deadpool is in character and on spot as much as he is anywhere lately and when faced with a (relative) threat in Brute Force, robotic-animal hybrids.
Salva Espin delivers the comic book equivalent to a montage sequence following Deadpool’s initial meeting with the fearsome fivesome, and even sneaks in an appearance by the Crimson Dynamo. Espin tempers the animalistic characters with anthropomorphic qualities and animates Deadpool in an excessive manner that creates a nice common ground for the characters to meet on without being too preposterous. Aw, who am I kidding? “Deadpool Bi-Annual” #1 is ridiculous from top to bottom and Espin has fun with it the entire way through, including some ludicrous facial expressions from Deadpool and bizarre, gory mishaps. Veronica Gandini’s colors propel the visuals over-the-top with brash, unmuted tones while Joe Sabino’s letters visually congeal with Espin’s artwork. Sabino brings Deadpool’s expected tone and shade, and even assigns other voices to the rest of “Deadpool Bi-Annual” #1 cast.
Stamped with a fairly steep pricepoint, but loaded with snappy, Deadpool dialogue like, “Great! I’m much better at killing than capturing,” “Deadpool Bi-Annual” #1 is a fun, end-of-summer romp that is as insubstantial and sugary as Kool-Aid. Packed with pop culture references stretching from Voltron to A-Team and returning Brute Force to the Marvel Universe, this comic book is sure to please Deadpool fans, die-hard and pedestrian. After all, something like this only happens twice a year. Or maybe three times.