Deadpool is a popular guy these days,hence this third ongoing of his, which proves that, if the people want to see familiar characters that they love in as many comics as possible, Marvel is more than happy to oblige despite the risk of releasing mediocre comics like “Deadpool Team-Up” #897.
This time, it’s Deadpool teaming with the Ghost Riders (both Johnny and Danny) in a fairly by-the-books, cookie-cutter, not terribly entertaining adventure that combines Deadpool hired to kill someone, a carnival, and demonic possession. There’s not much more to this comic than that and even those elements fail to impress.
As always, Deadpool has a quality about him that’s intrinsically entertaining: his complete lack of caring what anyone thinks about him; the lackadaisical manner in which he goes about his business is refreshing. He torments children and tries to kill his target without worrying about the consequences. Put together with the Ghost Riders, each of which has his own perspective on matters, should lead to some interesting contrasts, but falls flat as none of the parties offer any unique viewpoints and sleepwalk through their adventure together.
Deadpool is hired by some circus/carnival performers to kill their boss, who happens to also be the mayor and landlord of the town they live in, which is devoted to the stars of the ‘freak show.’ The boss turns out to be possessed by a demon and, coincidentally, the Ghost Riders have stopped by so Johnny can visit old friends from his performing days. Deadpool and the Ghost Riders versus an army of possessed ‘freaks’ sounds like a madcap romp geared for guilty pleasure reading, but is fairly straight forward with few gags or innovations.
Artistically, Chris Staggs’ style is suited to the material as he’s still very fresh and loose with his work. He also gets better as the issue progresses with early pages quite tame visually compared to what comes later as he lets loose. His pages of the demonically possessed circus folk let wild are the best in the issue and add more entertainment to the concept than the writing ever approaches. But, nonetheless, Staggs’ work is also very rough in places, lacking detail and completion in many cases.
Dan Brown’s coloring of this issue is its best feature, as he brings the same visual style to this issue as he uses in “Ghost Riders: Heaven’s on Fire,” a washed-out, pencil crayon-looking approach to the colors. It looks rougher and ‘dirtier’ than normal colors, suiting the story and its carnival setting. It brings out the looseness and energy of Staggs’ art, helping to cover up some of the weaknesses that would be highlighted normally. One of the deftest touches is the differing color of each Ghost Rider’s flames, making them easier to tell apart.
Fans of Deadpool will find something to enjoy in this comic (namely, Deadpool) and, perhaps, fans of Ghost Rider will as well but, for anyone else, this is nothing more than a mundane team-up book that fails to reach the expectations set by the quick, one-sentence summary of “Deadpool and the Ghost Riders fight a demonically possessed