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Review Group Deadpool Team-Up #899

doombug had the pick for new comics shipping November 4th and he selected Deadpool Team-Up #899 by Fred Van Lente and Dalibor Talajic.

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The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week that we each take turns selecting. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

Well, seeing as Deadpool now has 647 ongoing series, I guess it was inevitable that the Review Group would eventually have to cover one of them.  We've been dishing out the haterade in bulk quantities, can the Merc with a Mouth possibly joke his way out of this one?
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Review by 48THRiLLS

So this was just bad.

End of review.

No?

Fine.

I like Deadpool fine, Hercules is becoming one of my favorite characters so this should have been a no-brainer but it was a chore to read and the art was kinda eh. The cover had me thinking this was gonna be Herc and Deadpool getting drunk, banging broads, and kicking ass but no I was mistaken. Van Lente who is a co-writer on one of the best Marvel books (Incredible Hercules) tries to tie this into the God Squad story with Nightmare but it just didn't work for me. He had Herc’s voice fine but I think he went overboard Deadpool's voices in his head, it was just confusing and most of the jokes fell flat. I did like how Deadpool broke his sword on Herc's chest hair and the last page made me chuckle but after that this was truly forgettable. The art side of things was ehhh aight? I didn't really care for Dalibor Talajic's Hercules... he looked like a buff Jesus to me, everything else wasn't bad but didn't fly off the pages either, I will not be reading any more of this series after this one.

STORY - 3
ART - 5
OVERALL - 4.5
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Review by starlord

I don't see the big deal about Deadpool, so I was heading into this with my eyes already rolling. So color me surprised when I read this and didn't roll my eyes once! Perhaps because I've still got such an awful taste in my mouth from last weeks disaster of a book, but this was kind of fun.

I still don't plan on buying any Deadpool comics. It didn't scream, here's a really cool character that deserves three books. Personally, I don't think any character deserves three books except Batman. But I do regret not buying Hercules now. It looks like he would be worth checking out.

The art on this book really disappointed me. Just kind of meh. All in all this was a nice diversion and refreshing from Ares or the typical Bendis crap, but left me caring as little about Deadpool as I was before I read it.

Story: 6
Art: 2
My Score: 4
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Review by thefourthman

As much as I bitch about the saturation of the market with Deadpool, I actually like the character. Most of my complaints have to do with the harm it does the industry (big picture) and the problems it will present the property (little picture).

The world and I need another Deadpool title like we need another hole in our head. However, this one is better than Merc with a Mouth and makes me want to catch up on the core book which I fell woefully behind on as the titles he appeared in seemingly multiplied geometrically overnight.

There were bits of this comic that I didn't like. There are some dialogue problems through out the book. Some of it is probably supposed to be Wade being crazy, but it also happens with Herc. Does anyone else feel that FVL doesn't spend as much time on his Marvel books as he does on others? I mean Comic Book Comics is pitch perfect, this one is a little well, convoluted is par for the course with a Deadpool comic, but inconsistency will always bug me and there are hiccups here and there with this one.

There are also problems with Wade's inner narration. I never got the sense that the two different colored boxes were both separate voices from his spoken words before, but that may be Way writing the character wrong for all I know. After I figured it out, I enjoyed the idea and its manifestation in the awakening split of Wade's mind is interesting.

The idea is fun. The incredibly anachronistic demi-god and the schizophrenic fourth wall aware mercenary versus Arcade and Nightmare. (Admittedly I am not as familiar with the villains as I probably should be).

I also like the art. I think the colorist should be shot in the head because the lines and the color do not mesh. It is sort of poor man's Perkins. It is consistent and conveys the script well. Stylistically it is a little off, Herc should only look like he is in Captain America or Daredevil if he is in those books.

It's not a perfect book by any means, but for those who want a fun comic, this gets the job done.

Story 6
Art 5
Overall 6.5

Spoiler:  The book gets a bonus point for having the main character give himself a lobotomy.
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Review by Jubilee

I've let my disliking for the character be known by now, and this issue does nothing to change my opinion.

It worked well for what it is, I normally don't like these stand alone stories, but I understand why this needs to be one. Hercules is a pretty fun character, and I like Arcade.

Unfortunately, Arcade is not used as well as I like here, and I don't think Nightmare would work with him. Deadpool continually makes jokes I don't like, and the plot is wrapped up a little too quick. Cute last page though.

Art is serviceable, nothing special.

4/10
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Review by King Impulse

Not even bothering with credits for this issue. When there's a comic I like, I'll go whole hog on the review. Did you see the size of my Ares review? This was not a comic I liked. FVL does what he can but I'm just not feeling it. No-one has got me to like Deadpool since Joe Kelly and I don't think anyone else will. I liked the bit about Deadpool fighting his inner monologue, it gets an extra point for that.
Bad art, dirty, messy, bad art.

Story - 4
Art - 3
Overall - 3, and I'm being generous.
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Review by doombug

Now this was fun, but so was Fred's story in Deadpool #900 and the other times he's written the character so far but I digress. Our story follows Wade Wilson who is having very strange dreams and soon finds the location where the dreams were taking place and comes face to face with Hercules who was in a very similar predicament.

As with any team up our heroes fight at first only for wade to discover that swords don't really do much to gods. Herc is a great fold for our merc with a mouth who over all drops some of the stuff that I know bothers newer readers. The voices in his head become very literal and Herc meets up with someone who doesn't like to be embarrassed by his god squad via his own title.

The art was decent but being spoiled with Paco Medina and Bong Dazo in its sister titles it really kind of left you wanting Ramos who did the awesome cover. Speaking of that cover, do not go into this issue looking for that scene to take place as it doesn't.

I liked the small character moments in the over all issue and the great uses of continuity for both characters. From Arcade telling Wade he was going to rat him out to merc's monthly to a little fourth wall breaking towards the end I really think this was a fun done in one book.

Score:

Story- 9 (Because honestly done in one's for any title barely happen anymore. Ostrander's Secret Six issue was fantastic as well)
Art: 6.5

Which brings my average to about a 7.5
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Review by Punchy

Story - It's no secret that I hate Deadpool, as a character I find him crass, obvious, and most crucially of all not particularly funny. This is why his current ubiquity both baffles and disgusts me, and when they announced a 3rd (3rd!) ongoing series for the character, I was actually angry. Marvel won't launch a Spider-Man Marvel Team-Up series, but there's a Deadpool one? Jesus fuck, Marvel and the comics fans are both retarded! I would be all ready to give this insult to the industry a big fat 2/10, but... but this issue is written by Fred Van Lente and features Hercules, and I love FVL (and Greg Pak's) run on Hercules, which is an epic (and actually funny) series. This is like something I love mixed in with something I hate! Delicious chocolate cake, but it's not chocolate on the top, it's dog-shit. So in Deadpool Team-Up #899, which side won out? Was it cake? Or was it dog-shit? Actually it's something in between, as Fred Van Lente cleverly mocks the ridiculous popularity of Deadpool and (shock, horror) has some funny jokes and ideas.

The plot is simple, traditional Team-Up stuff, Deadpool and Hercules are tricked by villains, and first fight each other because of a misunderstanding, but then come together and team up to fight the bad guys. It's every issue of Marvel Team-Up or Brave & the Bold you've ever read, but more asinine. But at least the villains are interesting, you've got Arcade, the most awesomely stupid X-Men villain of all (and star of the first Marvel comic I ever read, a Marvel Team-Up where he traps Captain Britain and Spider-Man in a malevolent murder maze), and Nightmare, getting revenge on Hercules for what happened during that title's Secret Invasion arc (continuity!), and the way they team-up is actually very clever, they each represent the right and left sides of the brain, logic and machinations, versus chaos, and together... they can cancel out Deadpool and Hercules; unique abilities, such as resistance to Magic. It's a good idea, but did Deadpool need to be there? This would have been just as good a plot against Herc's usual sidekick Amadeus Cho.

I did like how Van Lente made the fights DP and Herc have tie into their personal history and characters, throughout The Incredible Hercules, FVL and Pak have shown how back when he was a God, Herc was a bit of a prick, and how that haunts him today, and having him fight all of his kids was a creepy and effective idea. Even Deadpool's monster was interesting. Throughout this issue, Van Lente makes use of multiple narration boxes to show each of Deadpool's schizoid personalities, and what at first seems like a clever little joke, is made into something different when Deadpool has to fight these personalities. Clever clever.

But still, it doesn't change the fact that Deadpool isn't funny, and was in fact exceedingly annoying. His humour has always been lowest common-denominator 'hey look at this reference!' humour, and it sucks. I've used this analogy before, but Deadpool is like Family Guy. In a bad way. But at least in this issue Van Lente seems aware of this, and makes fun of it, he has Deadpool himself say how stupid it is he now has 3 ongoings, he has him comment on his sudden and ridiculous ubiquity, and in a legitimately funny bit at the end, when DP stabs himself in the head and is reduced to a bare-bones caricature saying stuff like '[Insert witty non sequitur here]' and '[Breaking 4th Wall with amusing comics reference]', it's knowing and clever. Perhaps it's fitting that Deadpool is only funny when he's not acting like he normally does, when he's being mocked himself. But then again, does making jokes about it make it OK? In 30 Rock last night they had some heavy product placement for Cisco, and although they over-did it and made it a joke, at the end of the day, it was still shilling, still selling out. And in this book, at the end of the day, this is still Deadpool doing the same thing he always does.

In the end, this is an average issue of a comic, featuring a character I really dislike, but it's redeemed by a writer who seems aware of the character's limitations, and employs meta-humour about meta-humour to save it. There's also a lot of good pseudo-science here, and of course the always interesting character of Hercules. It's a shame that this book has a different writer and artist team every issue, as if Van Lente and Talajic were on this book permanently, I could see it developing into a Deadpool worth reading, the character was more tolerable having to share the spotlight here (and in Cable/Deadpool actually). I really wanted to dislike this, and I do dislike the idea and intent behind this series, but this issue was OK. But why can't we have Hercules Team-Up instead?

Art - Dalibor Talajic is not an artist I'm familiar with, but I really liked his work here, especially on Hercules, who was really quite imposing. It wasn't the best art I've seen, but it was effective on this story, capable of comedy, but not stretching to a total cartoon. I'd like to see him draw the regular Hercules book, without Deadpool, that would be interesting.

Best Line - 'And I have to celebrate my third on-going! I'm gonna suck every last dime outta this inexplicable and totally underserved popularity until my lips fall off!' Inexplicable and undeserved is right.

6/10
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Review by young neil

I know Deadpool is either a character you love or hate. But with three ongoings, any love I had for the character is taking a toll. Daniel Way’s Deadpool is fun, witty and stupid, in short everything a good Deadpool book should be. Merc with a Mouth just bored me. This week’s review group book is Deadpool Team-Up #899 written by Fred Van Lente who honestly looks like he only got the gig because he writes incredible Hercules. All the Incredible Hercules plot points and dialogue felt spot on, where as anything Deadpool just felt forced and over the top. It’s disappointing because I know how good Van Lente’s writing can be.

I felt like so many of the jokes fell flat, and as if he was trying too hard. I know this book was parental advisory, but for anyone out there with kids reading this would you really want them coming up to you and asking what “two girls one cup” is. I will say one thing upon opening the first page of this book I wanted to put it straight down again, the artwork and the colouring left a lot to be desired. I think that’s another thing that at least makes me interested in a Deadpool book, nice, fluid almost cartoon-like art-work that suits the tone of the book.

The plot was rather light and felt recycled X-Men plot, as Van Lente grabs at straws to have Herc and Deadpool team-up. With a rotating line-up of writers on this book I chose not to follow it monthly and am fully pleased with this decision. This was a fun comic but nowhere to the standards that I hold for Van Lente or a good Deadpool book.

Story – 5.5
Art – 3.5
Overall – 4.5
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Review by Chris

Story: I hate Arcade. I thought this issue was a chore to get through, despite being a huge Deadpool fan.

Art: Not a big fan of this guy.

Story: 6
Art: 6
Overall: 6/10
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Review by amlah6

I don't like Deadpool so naturally this wasn't something I was looking forward to, but surprisingly it wasn't really all that bad. I like Hercules so that softened the blow a bit and as far as this being a Team-Up issue goes it succeeded in capturing the feel of one of those old Marvel Team-Up comics. Sure it was a bit goofy, but what comic with Arcade isn't?

Deadpool still comes off as more annoying than funny and the breaking the fourth wall bits acknowledging that it's not funny doesn't actually make unfunny jokes funny. In that respect Van Lente seems to have a perfect feel for the character so while it might not be entertaining to me it is a well executed comic on his part.

The art was pretty average. Herc looked a bit fug, but it wasn't a distraction.

Story: 7
Art: 6
Overall: 6.5
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Review by Old Man

Scarface was a stupid movie, and anything that references it is stupid by association.

This is my first, and likely last, Deadpool comic.

The only thing I found funny is this comic was the reference to Steve Reeves. Reeves is dead. He was an actor who hadn't made a movie in the last 40 years, and hadn't made a movie with an English title in 45 years. I'd wager that 2/3 of the readers of this comic would not get the reference.

I seldom look at other reviews before writing my own, but I did notice comments here that said the drawings of Hercules didn't look right. That may be true, but the drawings are consistent with the art in the rest of the book. The drawings of Hercules, Deadpool and other characters are of equal quality. It's just that the ink lines around a costume tend to hide line work.

A friend of mine absolutely loved Deadpool. He used to buy it, then sit down at the LCS and read it before he went home. He would often howl with laughter. I don't. Maybe I'm just one of those clueless people who don't get it. Maybe I am one of those clueless people who just don't get humor. Me? Not get humor? Probably. I never laugh at jokes. I never tell jokes. I'm incapable of making puns. I never mock my lessers, often to the delight of my peers. Not me.

So this is pretty mediocre comics. I didn't love or hate the art. I didn't love or hate the story. It gets bonus points for using Arcade, one of my favorite lame villains. It also gets points for the sadomasochism, bondage, and spanking scenes. It loses points for the 'many voices in my head' meme. And it loses points for trying too hard to be witty, yet coming off as banal.

5

(Btw, my friend quit reading comics because of Civil War.)
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Review by MrBlack

Unlike seemingly everyone else here, I have no real opinion on Deadpool. I am not a fan, although I have found the character to be amusing on the few occasions when I have read his books. Thus, I came into this review with far fewer preconceived notions than most others reading this book.

I liked it. The story was light, but still a lot of fun. I thought Deadpool's "multi-voice" was a fun gimmick, and it brought a few laughs. Hercules was used to good effect, and Deadpool's solution to the quandary facing him at the end of the book was pretty clever. Sure, it's not the greatest book ever written, but it met my expectations. Fred Van Lente turned in a solid effort.

As for the art, it was serviceable, but not great. Honestly, I really do not have any more to say than that.

Story: 7.5
Art: 7
Overall: 7.5
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Review by PDH

What the fuck? This is an ongoing? I thought it was a joke at the expense of Marvel's dubious grasp of mathematics. A joke able to sustain, at best, a one-shot for people easily bedazzled by funny numbers. What other appeal could it possibly have that couldn't just as easily be satisfied with one of Deadpool's other titles? Well, join me as I venture into the sleazy, strange-smelling, verruca peppered waters of Deadpool Team-Up #899 to find the answer...

None whatsoever.

This is exactly as pointless as it looks. Not just pointless in the sense that every comic book is essentially pointless. Pointless in that it makes a comic book about a super team composed of Twilight author Stephanie Meyer, Barack Obama's wife and, I don't know, Hilary Clinton's dog look like a clear and concise instruction manual for making a raft out of fat people on a predictably calamitous Weight Watcher's cruise through the Bermuda Triangle. This is more pointless than a bald hedgehog that has been sanded down into a perfect sphere and encased in polystyrene. This is...I'm gonna have to start describing the comic soon, aren't I?

Ugh. Anyway, there's not much to say. Deadpool Team Up #899 (i.e. Deadpool Team Up #2) works reasonably well as a Hercules story but I just can't get passed the Deadpool thing. I loved Joe Kelly's Deadpool run. It's a classic that clearly established Deadpool as a uniquely interesting creation. He used to be a genuinely edgy character who did things like incarcerate a blind octogenarian and force her to be his surrogate mother on pain of being locked up in a special torture chamber he had made, whilst gleefully parodying the likes of Spider-Man and Wolverine. It's hard to imagine that version of the character being able to satirise Wolverine with a straight face now. What would he say? 'Hey look, it's that irritating Canadian anti-hero with the easily identifiable mannerisms and Death Star subtle jokes who used to be relevant before they ran him into the ground with a million comic books!'

To be fair, Fred Van Lente does a reasonable job with it. He's a good writer and this doesn't read like he spent months performing sexual favours for Joe Quesada until he graciously agreed to let him write the obscure character, Deadpool. It reads like he got stuck with it and did the best he could. Apparently, Daniel Way's conceit of using various different styles of caption boxes to convey his idea that Deadpool suffers from some kind of mild dissociative identity disorder is now an official aspect of the character we can 'look forward' to seeing in other Deadpool books. Most of the – I shudder as I type the words – funny bits involve playing with this device. I usually reward writers who indicate that they are aware of the problems associated with their books but here that is the problem. The very last thing that Deadpool needs is to be self aware. Like when you accidentally become aware of your own breathing and have to manually inhale and exhale until you can somehow put it out of your mind, there's such a thing as being too self aware for you own good. Deadpool doesn't so much break the fourth wall as walk right off the stage, block the audience's view, steal their popcorn and then spend the whole night describing the show to someone loudly on a cellphone.

Don't buy any more Deadpool books, track down the excellent Joe Kelly stories and read them nine hundred times instead.

Story: 5
Art: 6
Overall: 5

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Review by Kerny

It was ok. Some of the jokes were kinda funny, and thats because FVL is a good writer. I don't get the herc love as everyone else seems too, but I digress. I hate the multiple voices, I was hoping Deadpool stabbing himself would have somehow got rid of them. The last few pages were the best with Deadpool knowing all his promotion is undeserved and puzzling.

This book might have a decent future if FVL was the writer every month, but since they switch it up every month, We'll see how long this lasts

The art is also completely average. I didn't hate it or love it

Story 6
Art 5
Total 5.5

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Review by guitarsmashley

That sucked. What a waste of a comic book.

3

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Review by Mr_Batman

I don't really know if I like Deadpool too much because I don't have much experience with him. I know he's a funny guy, but that X-Men Origins Deadpool was absolutely freakin' terrible. Anyways, this issue was fun. I like the dual thoughts/narration. I felt like too many jokes were attempted, and they were generally hit or miss. I liked the Herc moment where he busted through the wall. The part where his kids came at him reminded me too much of the Fat Cobra. The story overall was simple and such, and could've been more enjoyable. I liked the last page though.

The art was really meh for me. I thought it was ok at first, and it really had its moments; otherwise it was meh. I didn't particularly like it in the end, but what can i do.

Story- 6
Art- 5
Overall- 5.5

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Review by SuperginraiX

Deadpool was one of the first comics I read when I was getting hooked on comics way back in the early nineties. I picked up Spider-Man 2099 and Deadpool: The Circle Chase. I also gorged on X-Men comics but I still think those two titles were my first attempts to read comics after reading GIJoe and Transformers (and other random comics-- I remember reading the Spidey anti-drug story back then as well).

Since he's one of those "first characters," he holds a special place in my collection and I feel obligated to get nearly everything Deadpool related when it shows up. Back in the nineties, that was as easy as getting a random Wolverine issue or two.

Nowadays, it's frickin' insane.

There is absolutely no way Deadpool deserves three titles no matter how much people like Ryan Reynolds. I mean, he didn't even wear a DP-like costume! Why is there suddenly hype here? Is this a big joke on Marvel's part that will eventually cost them millions?

I mean, let's look at this logically. Deadpool couldn't even hold down his buddy book with Cable a couple years ago (and this was after his own title had been ended, renamed, and then ended again). Wade Wilson is one of my favorite characters but there is no way people like him enough to buy three titles. It just boggles my mind and I'm seeing an eventual crash for the character that will bury him forever with the likes of chromium covers and shoulderpads.

And for a lot of comic fans, they really can't wait. Me, I'd just settle for one good title. So is Deadpool Team Up that title?

Eh.

Don't get me wrong, the idea of Deadpool Team Up strikes me as awesome. If Deadpool was an easy character to write or a good writer with a singular vision for the character took over the entire line of Deadpool titles (the idea that we have a "line of Deadpool titles" is still hard to believe) then this idea could sing. As it stands, Deadpool is NOT an easy character to write. He just looks easy. He's surprisingly complex but the only title that seems to get that even slightly is Daniel Way's Deadpool book (and even there, DP seems more simplified and forced than he should). Van Lente does an admirable job but there's still a hollow ring to a lot of this.

The saving grace of the book is that it's really a Hercules book disguised as a Deadpool book. Van Lente DOES get Herc and the team up is fun to watch. This book actually shows some fallout from Hercules' Secret Invasion arc with the God Squad. Deadpool seems sort of tacked on just to make it work and to provide a bit more comedy relief (it did make me smile a few times. That's almost like success!).

The art wasn't anything you're gonna write home about. It's passable, looks good on some of the action shots, and is suitably gory. We just don't have that many over-the-top action artists willing to work on books that would really benefit from that sort of thing. Still, the trade off is that this book reads well and is easy to follow from panel to panel. Over-the-top action artists usually have the most trouble with that.

In short, I'm waiting for Deadpool to fall back into obscurity so that he can barely support one book that is actually good instead of riding the popularity gravy train and getting three books that just pass into mediocrity.

Deadpool Team-Up #899, you get a 6. I might be back next month but it's probably because of misplaced nostalgia.

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That gives Deadpool Team-Up #899 a group score of 5.29.  Holy snausages, this was the 4th highest scoring book we've ever reviewed!  Wait, that doesn't sound right. *checks Spreadsheet of Doom*  Holy snausages, this is the 4th highest scoring Deadpool book we've ever reviewed.  Sorry for the mix-up there folks, I got a little excited for a second.  And really, we've reviewed 4 other Deadpool books?  Dang!

For further discussion of this week's book and an unrelenting mocking of Deadpool's seemingly sudden popularity surge, feel free to join us in this week's thread (http://www.theouthousers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31604) found in the News Stand forum where you are also invited to post your own review.
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Chubbles has the pick for November 11th and he has selected Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows #1 from IDW.  Go out and buy the issue because Locke & Key is awesome and look for the new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning to post your own review.

Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows #1

Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez

Prologue: 'The Haunting of Keyhouse.' Sam Lesser may be dead and gone, but Dodge still has uses for him, and in the first chill days of October, will make contact with him again. The dead know things the living may not, and Sam's restless spirit has had time to discover the thing Dodge wants to know most of all... where to find the key to the black door. The third storyline in the Eisner-nominated series begins here! 32 pages, $3.99

The Outhouse is sponsored this week by Late Nite Draw. Recently featured on ComicsAlliances' Best Art Ever, he is a Chicago-based commissioned artist with a self-published Digital+Print one-shot coming out in October about the abominable snowman called ABOBAMANIMABBLE, and is also available for commissions. Check out some amazing art by clicking here or by clicking the banner at the top, and support the people who support The Outhouse.


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