Isn’t It Bromantic? has thus far been alternately ridiculous and intensely serious. In the case of Spider-Man Deadpool #4, Joe Kelly suckers us into thinking this issue is a comedic break from the seriousness of a world-class assassin trying to kill Peter Parker. The chapter appears to focus entirely on the silliness of a world-class assassin marking out hard to Spider-Man and desperately trying to gain his approval. Just when the action in this issue can’t get any goofier, Kelly turns your expectations around and uses them to bludgeon you over the head.
Spider-Man is starting to think Deadpool is a pretty okay guy, so much that he calls Deadpool and invites ‘Pool to hang out. Deadpool sets the whole evening up, and Spidey ends up on a blind double date wearing an image inducer that gives the appearance that he is not wearing his costume. It also gives the appearance that he is a young black man.
Spider-Man’s date seems too perfect. She’s gorgeous, and is interested in every subject Spidey brings to the table. She even edits scientific journals. How appropriate is that? Spider-Man is falling in love. Deadpool’s date hasn’t yet arrived, and he hasn’t mentioned who his date will be. Since ‘Pool has orchestrated the event, you’re kept wondering when the other shoe will drop.
When the second shoe does finally fall, it’s a sucker punch. One page after a brilliant Dirty Dancing sight gag, the series is dead serious again. Kelly spent an entire chapter setting up the punch line of the last two page spread, and then leaves you hanging until next time.
This series keeps surprising me by being way better than I expected. The pacing seems a little disjointed, until you realize it’s being done intentionally to keep you off balance and finally give in to it. Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness are in rare form. I’ve started counting the remaining issues in this series, wanting to know how it will end, while simultaneously wishing it wouldn’t.
Review by Brendan Allen