Cull Bunn's DEADPOOL VS. CARNAGE continues to deliver exactly what you'd expect: 100% madness. By focusing purely on action and comedy -- right now, at least -- Bunn's able to produce issues that feel like a fun escape from the norm. His version of Deadpool is giving into his goofier (yet still deadly) side and his version of Carnage is honing in on just one thing: unpredictable chaos. Sure, I have my gripes with the plot device being used to bring these two together (see "The Bad"), but there's no denying just how exciting and enjoyable these issues can get. I mean, how can any fan of these two not want to see them get tossed at each other?
This chapter feels like the strongest one yet. Not only does it offer two fights between these two (well, one is more of a slaughter, but it counts!), but it also has a couple of lines that legitimately made me laugh out loud. Additionally, this issue even sends the story on a whole new -- and oh-so-appealing -- path. It's an attention-grabbing ending, that's for sure. I may not love this series just yet (which is a bummer, honestly), but this chapter definitely feels like a bloody and funny step in the right direction.
Artist Salva Espin and colorist Veronica Gandini are an awesome fit for this book. When things get violent -- which is quite often -- these characters look terrific, formidable and every bit as fearsome as they should. The violence never seems over the top, but it's just enough to shock and make you appreciate how brutal a fight between these two can be. On top of that, they're able to sell non-action moments in a way that compliments the more comedic and sometimes silly tone this book is going for. Carnage's expression as he's being questioned by a child is every bit as funny as the dialogue, and Deadpool looks seriously lovable (injury close-up aside... but that also looks disturbingly good!) and full of energy. Overall, Espin and Gandini both do a terrific job with Bunn's eccentric script.
Honestly, I'm still left with pretty mixed feelings on the core concept of this limited series. No, not the idea of these two characters fighting -- I can't get enough of that -- but the force that's bringing them together. Bunn has a clever way of presenting a new clue, but it's surprising it took Deadpool this long to recognize that he and Carnage are not on the same page. Sure, Wade has a dark past and walks a line that "true" heroes tend to avoid, but at the end of the day, he's been an anti-hero for some time now and has recognized that several times. I'm sure some of you love the idea Bunn's presented, and, if so, you're probably getting way more out of this, but it's a little too out there at times for me.
DEADPOOL VS. CARNAGE is living up to what the name implies. Bunn goes all out with the action and it's a consistently good looking book. The finer details of the story may not be for everyone, but what it generates is most certainly a good time for any fan of these two characters. Bunn's managed to keep the encounters mostly balanced, but it's good to see this issue recognize that yes, there is a physical gap between these two and if Deadpool wants to stand a chance, he needs to bring some extra gear to the table. All in all, this is a fun issue that successfully shifts the book in a new direction. Bring on the next chapter!