One of the stranger cross-pollinations launched in the wake of Marvel’s successful movie franchises was this meeting of Hawkeye and Deadpool, and stranger still, it was was the second stringer that got top billing. Hawkeye’s personal life might be a car crash, but his agent obviously works hard on his behalf.

The sample art demonstrates two things. Firstly that Matteo Lolli is one hell of an artist, and secondly that when it comes to folk in superhero halloween costumes Hawkeye and Deadpool have a hard time dealing with them. Lolli incorporates a fair amount of the visual tricks established during David Aja’s run on Hawkeye‘s solo graphic novels. We have the pictograms, the diagrams and plenty of dog shots, and Gerry Duggan uses Deadpool well around these, breaking the fourth wall by commenting on them. Lolli’s pages don’t look as good when he needs Jacopo Camagni to ink them late in the story, with Camagni’s method of exaggerating expressions taking them over the top.

It’s trick or treating that first brings Deadpool and Hawkeye together, but the attack from costumed impersonators is followed by the discovery that law enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D.’s database has been hacked and the names and locations of their agents could become public knowledge. Throw in a well known villain already fermenting civil chaos, who could find a malevolent use for that information and a scenario is set brewing.

An opening featuring a gag about fun-size chocolate bars dragged on too long doesn’t bode well, but Duggan recovers from this to deliver a fast-paced romp. Some minor details require a familiarity with the individual continuity of Hawkeye and Deadpool, and anyone unfamiliar with Deadpool and his weird form of immortality may find some scenes stomach-turning. There’s also a point near the end where Deadpool transforms from lunatic to voice of reason, and that doesn’t quite gel with his character. To compensate there are a couple of nice pieces of dialogue that appear to be Deadpool just spouting off, but which actually have a relevance late in the day. The use of the Kate Bishop Hawkeye works well, while Typhoid Mary is near anonymous. That pretty well sums up the graphic novel. There’s a lot of yin and a lot of yang, but the art pulls it above average.