Deadpool Team-Up might be the ballsiest, funnest book that people are ignoring. Previous editions have found him and the Thing wrestling monsters (which I believe the scientific term for is “awesome”), but in #885 he finds possibly his wackiest partner- the dreaded Bovine Blacula himself, Hellcow. Writer Rick Spears (of the delightfully grotesque Teenagers from Mars) and boyfriend killer Phillip Bond have crafted a hilarious chapter of this terribly underrated series, with the true testament to their talent being the first two pages, where I was simultaneously gleeful and grossed out in a matter of seconds (both because of the very same anvil).
The story finds people’s most favorite Liefeld creation doing the usual meta-bits until he gets slammed by the aforementioned anvil and wakes up caged in by a fiendish scientist (a trope that should resurge more often in comics) that has an addiction to the milk of the vampiric cow, as well as the desire to steal Deadpool’s pituitary gland in order to make himself immortal. Not only is this scenario impossibly great, but Spears and Bond have a fantastic understanding of comics language, and this issue features Deadpool at some of his most meta moments, including slicing back through a few pages of the story to remind himself of a crucial moment.
Spears has excellent comic timing on the page, which makes Deadpool and Hellcow’s conversations particularly clever, even though Hellcow’s only response throughout is “Moo.” Deadpool’s quarreling captions are also among the most fun they’ve been in a while – that device can easily become a crutch, but in Spears’ able hands it fully forms the “third person” that makes Deadpool so much fun. If you’re like me — dissatisfied with the low amount of high-fiving in comics, then Deadpool Team-Up #885 is the one for you, with Spears having Deadpool and Hellcow express their bromantic feelings for one another on multiple pages.
Spears’ retelling of Hellcow’s origins is another highlight, including a wonderful cameo by Howard the Duck acting as Kolchak the Night Stalker – a matryoshka doll reference that brings me great esoteric joy. Bond’s art is not to be discounted, either – his bright and clean style fit perfectly with the mood of the book- perhaps only Rick Geary could have done better. Colorist Dan Brown makes Bond’s art pop, giving the entire book the “look” of a comedic title that definitely helps capture the atmosphere that Spears and Bond were going for.
While this issue would certainly not be the best intro to what Deadpool’s about, if you’re a fan, then you’ll definitely enjoy what Spears and Bond have done with the Merc with a Mouth. As Deadpool himself says, “And now for the team-up no one’s been waiting for!” But wouldn’t you know it — it’s worth the non-wait.