The Good And The Bad: The first issue of Deadpool’s new series delivers everything I want from a comic featuring a team-up between Deadpool and Hercules. Fred Van Lente’s script is funny, action-packed, and surprisingly clever. And since the writer manages to find a sweet spot between what a Deadpool comic is like and what a Hercules comic is like to great effect, Deadpool Team-Up #899 is filled with all the violence, wacky comedy, and mythology you could ever want from a team-up between Wade Wilson and the Lion of Olympus. The only real downside to Van Lente’s script is that it follows a fairly predictable team-up formula. The heroes meet, they fight, they team, and they win out in the end. You’ve seen it before.
Dalibor Talajic’s work in Deadpool Team-Up #899 is impressive all around. His action scenes are dynamic and brutal, his character work is solid (I especially like how accurate his Hercules looks), and his storytelling compliments the script extremely well. My only real complaint about his work is that a few scenes look slightly “off.” Bodies look either disproportionate or awkward at times.
Assault on New Olympus #1
“Assault on New Olympus Prologue” by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (Writers), Rodney Buschemi (Art), and Guillem Mari (Colors)
“Godmarked” by Jeff Parker (Writer), Gabriel Hardman (Artist), Elizabeth Breitweiser (Colors)
The Story: “Assault on New Olympus” begins with a reveal about what the mysterious Continuum project is and a fight between Hercules and Spider-Man over the affections of Hercule’s wife Hebe. In “Godmarked,” the Agents of Atlas take on the god Phorcys in order to save Venus.
The Good And The Bad: While previews make the plot of Assault on New Olympus sound fairly promising, there really isn’t a whole lot to the first part of the Incredible Hercules event. Sure, the Continuum reveal is interesting, the confrontation between Herc and Spidey is fun, and the visuals by Rodney Buschemi and Guillem Mari are very nice, but, as a whole, it’s clear that Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente are saving the most interesting stuff for later.
The strongest part of the Assault on New Olympus prologue is the Agents of Atlas backup story. Thanks Jeff Parker’s entertaining dialogue and Gabriel Hardman’s outstanding visuals (I seriously think Hardman’s Phorcys attack is one of the coolest scenes of the year), I wouldn’t be surprised if “Godmarked” ends up being one of the year’s best surprises.
“Kill Matsu’o” by Chris Yost (Writer), Harvey Talibao (Pencils), Paul Neary (Inks), and Ulises Arreola w/ Brian Reber (Colors)
“A Girl Called Hope” by Duane Swierczynski (Writer), Steve Dillon (Art), and Matt Hollingsworth (Colors)
The Story: Psylocke heads to Japan and finds out that her past isn’t as far behind as she thought. In the backup story, Hope deals with a wound and Cable deals with a sniper.
The Good And The Bad: The story that begins in Psylocke #1 isn’t all that inviting to people new to the title character, but Chris Yost deserves credit for attempting to make sense of her twisted continuity regardless. Yost does a fine job of letting Psylocke’s somewhat cold personality come through in the dialogue and it goes a long way towards helping make up for the inaccessible nature of Yost’s continuity heavy story. The artwork throughout the book is pretty slick (thanks, largely to the impressive color work), but it’s also obnoxiously heavy on T’n’A fan-service and posing. Also, it must be noted that Harvey Talibao has a problem keeping Psylocke’s face looking consistent. She looks like a completely different character in a more than a few panels.
The backup story about Cable and Hope is an effective character piece that establishes the relationship the characters share for those that haven’t been following the Cable series. There isn’t much to Swierczynski’s tale, but Steve Dillon’s visual storytelling more than makes up for that. One odd thing about the backup story is that it makes Hope seem younger than I believe she is supposed to be at this point. I could be wrong through, so if I am, feel free to correct me in the comment area.
By Robert Kirkman (Writer), Greg Capullo (Layouts), Ryan Ottley (Pencils), Todd McFarlane (Inks), and FCO Plascencia (Colors)
The Story: Daniel Kilgore finds himself getting pulled deeper into his brother’s former life as he learns to adjust to his new powers.
The Good And The Bad: In all honesty, Haunt #2 is only a tiny bit better than the first issue of the series. In other words, it’s a pretty bad comic. Alex covered all that’s wrong about the series in his review of Haunt #1, so instead of repeating everything he said, I’ll just say that the only thing Haunt has going for it is a somewhat interesting story. A nugget of potential exists somewhere within the plot Kirkman and McFarlane are developing. I’m sure of it. It needs to reveal itself soon though or else Haunt is going to be remembered as nothing more than a failed vanity project.