Wednesday, July 17, 2013

CBR Identity Wars


Here's another Marvel comics review. I'll be back to some smaller indie titles soon.

For more stories of AMAZING FANTASY check those out!!

Comic title: Deadpool/Amazing Spider-Man/Hulk: Identity Wars 
Art by Lee Garbett, Juan Doe & Al Barrionuevo
Story by John Layman

Published by Marvel Comics
From 2011
Lineup Spider-man/Deadpool/Hulk series
Format: Hardcover trade paperback collecting the annual issues Amazing Spider-Man Annual #38, Deadpool Annual #1 and Incredible Hulks Annual #1.

Here's something different. This book isn't part of any of above mentioned three character nor part of a super-duper-giant sized-epic-crossover story.

Instead it's just a random little crossover title, with a bit of "What If...?" alternate universe thrown in there for good measure.

Identity Wars ran through Spider-man, Deadpool and Hulk's annual issues.

It's sort of a crossover parody that gives us a little look at some alternate lives our three heroes could have been living had some things turned better in their life (at least, on the appearance, they all have some skeletons in their own closets...).

While DC always resort on Crisis for these sort of things, Marvel always has some sort of War(s) after another. There's been a Civil, Infinity, Chaos, Silent, etc.-War. This one being more of a spoof of one Universe clashing with another, it does have a little nod to DC's Identity (Crisis) in the title since they're the ones that usually ran these sort of events.

The story only takes place because of a huuuuuge unfortunate coincidence that sees Spidey, the Hulk and Deadpool at the same place for some reason.

One day, as Deadpool was breaking into a laboratory for a merc' job (like he hadn't taken in a long while), Peter Parker had been working later than usual. It turns out the lab where Pete has been working some extra hours here on the side also employed the brilliant Dr. Bruce Banner at night, to minimize his interactions with other people (and avoid Hulk-stress!).

And if you thought this was some pretty unlucky day, it get worses.

This was probably the shadiest in the entire Marvel Universe. They were actually working on trans-dimensional technology. Alternate universes! Parallel Earths! Deadpool was actually hired by the goons because the portal created a huge backfire on the mind of the people using the tech.

One thing lead into another, Spider-man leapt into action to put a stop to the bad guys. DP started firing bullets. And it wasn't long before the Hulk joined in the fun.

Then... suddenly...

The story takes our familiar faces into a not-so familiar place.

Like in a strange Sliders-meets-the Twilight Zone kind of way, our heroes discover an alternate reality where their life led their other-self into very different lives.

Peter Parker is apparently there The Amazing Spider. A super powerful A-tier level superhero. Adored by millions (J. Jonah Jameson included!). With stronger more powerful powers than ever, feared by many villains. He has even come to face foes such as Galactus himself!

Dr. Banner can't turn into the Hulk there for some reason. They later discover that the Bruce Banner of this Earth has turned to Doctor Strange to banish the Hulk forever. He has now taken upon the mantle of "Sorcerer Supreme".

Meanwhile Deadpool find a kindred spirit in the form of his alternate self, Deathwish! They wreak havoc wherever they go!

But things quickly go badly once they dig into the actual history of this new world...

Peter discover the Uncle Ben of this world actually survived the bullet that killed our Petey's uncle in his homeworld. Which turned him into a bitter man, almost evil. Ben then took upon himself to re-shape the life of his nephew Peter and decide to improve his abilities by killing other alternate Spider-men...

Our Deadpool finds out Deathwish isn't actually is alternate self but just a crazy guy without healing powers. The local Wade Wilson (Deadpool) has become a criminal master mind at the end of a giant empire, Death Mask!

And soon an Hellish Hulk finds is way back once the spell that banished him is broken...

John Layman (responsible for several Army of Darkness comics) imagined a pretty fun story, a real page turner. It's quite fast paced and well broken over the three annuals, focusing on one character each time and yet moving the plot forward.

The art is fairly similar and constantly good over the three issues. Lee Garbett gives a fun edge on Spidey in the first part., Juan Doe's more humorous art is perfectly fitting for DP. I only had a slight problem with Al Barrionuevo more generic art style, it would be more appropriate on a Ghost Rider title instead. At least Hell and the evil Hulk look great under his pencil.

The story is quite well tight together and comes to an end after the three issues.

It has some great ideas and feature the super random unexpected appearance of... a Ghost Spider!

Overall, a fun little adventure-packed action tale!

Not a must read nor a super necessary story for even completists. But it sure is fun while it lasts.

It probably won't ever bee mentioned again or follow upon, but it's a real treat for fans of any of those three characters or just fans of alternate universe-settings.

It's also one of the best interpretations I've seen of both Spidey and DP recently.

I give it:
2 / 3 SpiderHams!

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