If you were a fan of how Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn balanced the comedy of a Weapon Plus reunion between Deadpool, Wolverine, and Captain America with real character growth for Deadpool in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, Deadpool and Captain America will be a treat to read. Duggan takes Deadpool seriously as a character while peppering his script with puns, pop culture gags, and silly, but chuckle worthy jokes about Wolverine’s grooming. Scott Kolins’ figures aren’t as sharp and well-defined as Declan Shalvey’s in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, but he is skilled panel architect, who can turn a mundane elevator ride into an opportunity for humor and character reflection. Kolins adds layers to the comedy with sight gags and slapstick, like when Captain America beats up an AIM. He also frames his action scenes in the mode of a “siege” film, like The Raid or Dredd, to reflect Duggan’s straightforward plot, which leaves more room for character interactions, funny bits, or reflections on Wolverine’s life. However, the coloring and art on the flashback scenes aren’t clearly differentiated from the main plot and potentially nostalgia inducing moments, like Cap’s memory where Wolverine is squaring off against him wearing his John Romita Jr. designed brown costume end up falling flat.
After a one page life summary/joke about how Wolverine’s death was pretty stupid, Gerry Duggan dives deep into the relationship between the opposites that are Captain America and Deadpool. One (even without his super soldier serum) is the paragon of heroism; the other is an irresponsible, amoral and basically the class clown of the Marvel universe. However, they are brought together by the Weapon Plus program and by the fact that Deadpool is willing to cross lines that most Avengers wouldn’t even think about crossing. (Cleaning Wolverine’s toilet, for starters.) But between the bathroom humor and pop culture jokes, Duggan gets to the core of Deadpool’s relationship with and aspiration to heroism that he is showing in his regular book. Even though their relationship was awkward at best and hostile at worst, Wolverine’s achievements, like joining the Avengers even after Cap said he would never be considered for the team, show Deadpool that even a killer and former lab experiment can become a respected hero. Going back to the high school analogy, Duggan characterizes Deadpool as the class clown, who is starting to think about getting his act together and applying for college. However, he doesn’t turn Deadpool into a full-blown do gooder. Kolins’ art keeps things ambiguous as far as his killing and not killing goes. By the last several pages, Duggan and Kolins have depicted a Deadpool, who has potential to be a real superhero or his usual semi-conflicted, joking mercenary self or maybe something a little darker.
As far as Deadpool and Captain America‘s art goes, Scott Kolins’ figures won’t be winning any beauty contests (His Black Widow is ugly in an early 90s way.), but he has good command of setting and atmosphere, like when Deadpool and Wolverine are sharing a beer in a dive bar and talking about their problems with women or the convention hotel-esque headquarters of AIM’s rent-a-cops. He uses these settings for emotion, comedy, action, or a little bit of both. Kolins definitely passes the Deadpool artist test of being able to show visual humor, especially during the fight with AIM. Gandini’s colors are average with the usual greys for the AIM lab and dark red for Deadpool. She adds some little gradients for the flashbacks with Wolverine, but doesn’t add much to Kolins’ pencils, which need an inker in scenes, like one where Deadpool is statically posed doing what Captain America describes as a “great kick”. A few strategically placed speed lines or some sharper coloring on the blood spatters would improve that scene. However, despite its mediocre art, Deadpool and Captain America is funny, occasionally poignant issue that furthers Deadpool’s character and relationships with other Marvel heroes.