By Stuart Moore, Jacopo Camagni, Israel Silva, and Joe Sabino
Deadpool as a duck, ’nuff said. Oh, that’s not enough information? Well it’s more that Howard the Duck and Deadpool are sharing a duck’s body and wear a mini Deadpool outfit, is that better? Okay okay, because of things Deadpool and Howard the Duck have been teleported together into one body thanks to technology from Doctor Bong (real name) and Roxxon security chief, Mary. Deadpool the Duck #5 is a light-hearted romp in the last issue in this mini-series that features some guest cameos from Rocket Raccoon, Dum Dum Duggan, and a few others as Deadpool the Duck attempts to separate himself back to Howard and Deadpool while also battling against Doctor Bong and his quest to breed an army of savage beasts who answer only to him.
This book, at best, is a good distraction from other poorly written comics out there today. It has some funny moments, but not enough to warrant the book’s existence. Writer Stuart Moore and artist Jacopo Camagni were given a hard task: make a family friendly version of two comic heroes who are known and enjoyed for their non-PG behavior. The story holds together just barely, which could be tolerable under a different ‘poking at fun itself’ type of delivery, but there is just not enough substance there to make this story fun.
Two of Marvel’s badasses come together with high expectations, both known for parodying the comic industry while also handling very adult topics. Deadpool and Howard the Duck just seem like watered down versions of themselves throughout this issue. Deadpool the Duck #5 did present many opportunities for some extreme grossness, violence, and sexually suggestive material that neither Moore nor Camagni took full advantage of. There is a part where Deadpool the Duck, who, again, is both Howard and Deadpool together inhabiting one body, are attempting to extract themselves back into their own bodies. The only way to do so is to eat their vomit that contains nanobots. If they absorb enough of the nanobots, they can will themselves to separate. A familiar comic premise with a Deadpool and Howard twist that could be extremely funny or gross. Either way, it really shows how ridiculous comic premises are and here it is going to show why by making it over the top. The art and writing during these panels feels like a missed opportunity to make this comic have more personality, which is easy with characters like these two who lend themselves to hilarity.
Technically, the book has some sound art. Camagni is accompanied by colors from Silva and letters from Sabino. The book has a classic comic feel, with lots of great hero poses from Deadpool and Howard, as well as some solid bad guy posturing from Doctor Bong. The creative team did have a hard task showing the dueling personalities of Howard and Deadpool inside Deadpool the Duck. The compromise and brokering between the two going on inside over who was in control, really came through in the art by the two appearing over the shoulders of Deadpool the Duck while actually their beings are manifested in the Negative Zone. The book is definitely fun to look at; the panel layouts and pages are rich with details, and cool character designs. It just doesn’t make up enough for the forgettable and slightly boring story.
Deadpool the Duck #5 had so much promise attached to it. This book could be an entry into new comics for readers of both Howard the Duck and Deadpool, but instead gives us a book that misses the mark. Crossover mini-series like this can be fun little glimpses to see some favorite characters interact and fulfill some comic lovers fantasies, but this one seems to just serve no other purpose than to sell more comics without adding any substance to either character. Without substance or character growth, it better be whacky and hilarious. This book had a good concept, with poor execution. It comes across as a kid friendly version of the two characters, but even a young comic reader would be a little bored with this book.