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With Great Ape Comes Great Firepower: Deadpool Team-Up #889

It’s great to watch shared hobbies bring people together despite their differences. You see it all the time in comics fandom, when people of different ages and economic, ethnic and educational backgrounds come together around a shared love of a favorite character, and it’s touching. This week, though, it’s actually happening in the story of a comic book in “Deadpool Team-Up” #889, as the not-quite-right-in-the-head product of a secret Canadian military experiment, and Gorilla-Man, the former international mercenary cursed with an immortal gorilla body since the day he killed the previous Gorilla-Man in the 1950s, find a way to bond over their shared background as soldiers of fortune. Which admittedly isn’t so much a hobby as it is a dangerous occupation frowned upon by the Geneva Conventions.Still, it’s enough of a connection to make the two stop shooting at each other and redirect their newfound friendship, along with a small artillery of worth of weapons, long enough to defeat a shared foe in “Deadpool Team-Up” 889. Written by Jeff Parker with art by Steve Sanders and colors by Matt Wilson, the book is a great one-shot story featuring the standout wisecracker from Parker’s excellent “Agents of Atlas” alongside the merenary character who has become, to the cheers of some and the despaired sighs of others, the most prominent comic relief in the Marvel Universe.

We’ve seen Wade Wilson first fight against and then join up with guest stars in many issues of “Deadpool Team-Up,” but this week’s installment handles it all particularly well, giving each section a different feel to go along with some great action scenes by Parker and Sanders. What I most enjoyed about the issue is how the fight between Deadpool and Gorilla-Man reminded me of a scene from a classic Warner Brothers cartoon where two characters keep one-upping each other by pointing larger and larger guns. A few of these pages also forego standard dialogue and instead use only pictures in text bubbles to convey character reactions, which is a nice touch.

It is a little quiet for a Deadpool book, as Parker makes the choice not to include any inner monologue, leaving the Merc with a Mouth to communicate with his mouth only for a change. And in this case it’s a good decision as there’s enough going on between Deadpool and Gorilla-Man as they talk their way through a fight with Borgia Omega, the villainous descendant of the Borgia Clan who previously appeared in Gorilla-Man’s solo title.

The chase across Borgia’s private island includes man-eating plants and airships, but the reason I’m most recommending the book is the inclusion of laser pterodactyls. Which, as you may or may not have guessed from the name, are pterodactyl robots that shoot lasers from their eyes. Honestly I’m a little confused why the words “laser pterodactyls” do not prominently feature on the cover of this issue, but that’s my biggest complaint about a highly enjoyable issue.

“Deadpool Team-Up” is a title that’s easy to miss, because as creative teams and characters appearing change from issue to issue the book has major jumps up and down in quality level. But if you’re a fan of Deadpool, or of Gorilla-Man, or of Parker’s work in general, this’d be an unfortunate week to forget about the book. It’s well worth the read.

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