By Mike Benson (Writer), Carlo Barberi (Pencils), Juan Vlasco (Inks), and Marte Gracia (Colors)
The Story: Deadpool and the Luchadore wrestling-masked bounty hunting Zapata Brothers team-up to cash in on a bounty the brothers got screwed over on and Deadpool got whacked with a shovel for.
What’s Good: Did you enjoy what Mike Benson and the rest of the creative team did with the Deadpool: Suicide Kings mini-series? If you did, chances are you will find quite a bit to like about Benson’s Deadpool Team-Up story. While Benson focuses more on the Zapata Brothers than Deadpool, his script succeeds because there is a nice balance between highlighting the shady figures that use bounty hunters and the odd, funny lead characters he writes about. Is Benson’s story perfect or even special in any way? Not really. But that doesn’t mean that Deadpool Team-Up #898 isn’t an entertaining comic worth checking out if you are a Wade Wilson fan.
The highlight of the second issue of Deadpool Team-Up is the dialogue. What makes it stick out is that Benson does an impressive job of capturing a “realistic” dialogue flow. The conversations have a natural feel to them in regards to the back and forth between the colorful characters. In addition, Benson has quite a knack for writing shady characters. The writer is clearly comfortable handling the seedier side of Deadpool’s world. Now that’s not to say Benson’s script is all serious business or anything, but the fact that Benson gives Deadpool Team-Up a somewhat dark edge is a positive.
The artwork by Carlo Barberi is flawed, but as a whole the visuals tell Benson’s story well enough. One thing worth noting about it though is what a great team Juan Vlasco and Marte Gracia make. Their work on the Daniel Way Deadpool series is always consistently impressive and that carries over into Mike Benson’s Deadpool Team-Up book. Vlasco’s distinct, yet complimentary inking helps Garcia’s vibrant colors really pop off the page. In that sense, the latest Team-Up is a slick looking book.
What’s Not So Good: The biggest problem with Deadpool Team-Up #898 is that it follows the impressive Fred Van Lente installment of the new series that came out a few weeks back. Van Lente’s issue of Team-Up is smarter and more satisfying all around than Benson’s in almost every way. That said, Benson hits the important notes and I’m sure that some portion of Team-Up’s audience will prefer the second issue of the series over the first.
If you read my Suicide Kings reviews, then you probably know what I’m about to say regarding Carlo Barberi’s artwork. While it certainly works and is solid enough all around, only a few panels stand out as impressive. The problem is that some of the action is stiff/ awkward and body proportions are all out of whack from time to time.
Conclusion: Deadpool: Team-Up #898 doesn’t stand up all that well compared to the series debut. It’s still entertaining and worth a look though, especially if you liked the tone and style of Deadpool: Suicide Kings.