DEADPOOL VERSUS PUNISHER #5
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Penciller: Pere Pérez
Colorist: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Release Date: 6/28/17
Deadpool Versus Punisher had been building up to a dramatic conclusion for some time now and that’s exactly what we got with the fifth and final book. Fred Van Lente delivered a pop culture masterpiece and the winners were, indeed, the readers of the series, as proclaimed at the end of the book. The Martha bit is an all-timer for Deadpool principally owing to Frank’s complete bewilderment and frustration. We had been waiting for Deadpool Versus Punisher to pay out and Van Lente et al. lined our coffers with riches beyond our wildest dreams.
Plot: Deadpool Versus Punisher begins with the most comic-y of explanations for how Frank got shot in the head and survived no worse for wear. In fact, Van Lente makes it a point to mention they borrowed the concept from Denys Cowan and Denny O’Neil. From there, Deadpool Versus Punisher rewards fans with an epic battle that goes a full 13 pages. There are some major blows exchanged between the two, plenty of guns being used, and stone money from the Island of Yap.
Deadpool Versus Punisher really delivers on the action scenes. This can’t be stated enough, but eventually the fight comes to a half once Castle says “mother” and Deadpool hears “Martha.” From there we get a hilarious take on the oddity behind the reason Batman and Superman bonded in their recent film together. As this is going on, The Bank uses the opportunity to try and kill Wade and Frank, much to the chagrin of little Hudson. Frank ends up saving Wade, the two of them assassinate The Bank, Hudson remarks that he’s going to become a super villain when he gets older, and Wade asks Hudson where they are since they’re on a floating bank.
Story: The story for Deadpool Versus Punisher delivered on every front. There were great subplots, fantastic uses of art, and an epic for a concluding fight. You buy these books for the action and the comedy and that’s exactly what this book delivered. This may have been the funniest of the three when it comes to the story, but it was not short on action. Deadpool Versus Punisher book five takes the cake.
As a series, this was everything you want. I mentioned the subplots and Taskmaster, as usual, was more than up for the job of delivering a worthy fight. There was even a point where bricks of gold were used as an assassination attempt plot. It takes a team to deliver a story that spans this many books and delivers on every one of them, so kudos to Van Lente, Ruth Redmond and Pere Pérez for giving us Deadpool Versus Punisher, it was as much a joy to read as it was to cover.
Art: This was Redmond and Pérez’s masterpiece. They way they set up the template for the initial face-off between Frank and Wade was fantastic. It popped visually as well as having a nice aesthetic. The fight scenes were choreographed well and executed to perfection. The improvised weapons were also a nice touch. I mean, any fight inside of a floating bank should feature stone money and Frank getting hit in the face with a bag of gold coins, right? Don’t answer that because the answer is “yes.”
The hardest part of any comic is keeping the fans pleased over a run. When you have a limited run, that task gets monumentally more difficult. Thankfully, Redmond and Pérez decided they were going to kick as much tail as the two stars of this book and we got quality throughout. There are many moments that I’ll remember from this comic and plenty of them are because of the visual accompaniment. .
Verdict: Deadpool Versus Punisher was an outstanding series. My only regret is that I won’t be able to read more of it, I’ll have to settle for re-reading this every couple of years to remind myself just how awesome it was. Five is an easy five for me, here. Aside from the fact that I enjoyed this book immensely, I enjoyed the series even more. I truly loved each book and I didn’t give anything lower than a 4.25 on this run because it didn’t deserve anything below that. The five is for pulling off all five with remarkable consistency and delivering at the end.. — JW
Rating: 5/5 Stars