Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness deserve all the praise the world has to offer for their work on the Spider-Man/Deadpool series, which is now four-issues deep.
This series isn't just hitting its stride, its freaking defining what hitting your stride really means.
To catch everyone up on the storyline through the first four issues:
Deadpool has a daughter, Ellie, and a very successful Mercs for Money company. DP is now an Avenger and one of the world's most beloved heroes and he is head-over-heels bromantically in love with Spider-Man. He's trying to prove to Spidey that he's one of the good guys now,
Spider-Man is now global with Peter Parker running Parker Industries. He quit the Avengers because Deadpool was allowed in. He's skeptical of Deadpool, but agrees to give him a second and third chance to prove himself.
The catch in all of this?
Deadpool has been hired to kill Peter Parker, and he doesn't know that Parker is actually Spidey.
In all honesty, this series hits the level of brilliance with issue No. 4, which hit shelves Wednesday, April 20.
At the start of this issue, we see Spider-Man calling Deadpool asking him to hang-out, which results in the two of them going on a double-date. Spider-Man, who is disguised as a successful African-American Adult Video store owner, is on a date (unbeknownst to him at first) with Shiklah's cousin.
Deadpool used his Avenger-status to call in Thor. That's right, Deadpool's date (unbeknownst to her) is Thor. Now what's that you ask? Isn't Deadpool married?
Well, yes, he is, but everyone has heard of the "OK to bangarang list," right?
It just so happens that one of Deadpool's approved hook-up partners happens to be Thor with "if he ever turns into a woman" in parenthesis under her name.
Once Lady Thor comes into the mix, this freaking issue goes amazingly off the wall. We see a fight between Jenny (Parker's date) and Thor breakout due to a couple-century-old beef. The fight comes to a screeching halt when the two ladies discover this wasn't meant to be a double-date, but a ploy by Deadpool to have Thor mud wrestle at his club.
It's freaking glorious and ends with an underwear-clad dance routine featuring Spider-Man and Deadpool to make amends to their lady friends.
In classic Deadpool storytelling fashion, we go from side-bursting comedy to cliff-hanger drama. The issue ends with Deadpool showing up at Parker's apartment and shooting him in the face.
Deadpool calls Spider-Man to thank him for bro-ing out, and we see Spider-Man's caller ID picture for when Deadpool calls.
Seriously, Kelly and McGuinness take us from this:
The balance between these two characters is almost too perfect. It shows that Kelly and McGuinness spent the better part of a decade creating this book, because it shows.
I have no complaints with Issue No. 4. It focuses on what it needs to focus on and perfectly pulls at our heart-strings when it needs too. These two icons of the business have crafted a series that has people itching at the bit for the newest issue.
Rating: 9.5/10 Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness have built something extremely successful in this series, which just so happens to hit its stride at lightspeed with Issue No. 4. This is a must-own for not just Spider-Man or Deadpool fans, but for anyone who can read.