Slapstick!: That’s Not Funny

slapstick thats not funny cover trade paperback tpb
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Interesting art

Story doesn’t push it far enough

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Slapstick! (Limited Series Volume 2)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Reilly Brown/Fred Van Lente

Artist: Diego Olortegui

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2017

slapstick #1 cover variant deadpool daredevil punisher parody

Slapstick! #1 Variant

Reprints Slapstick! (Limited Series 2) #1-6 (February 2017-July 2017). Slapstick is no hero. In fact, Slapstick is trying to set himself up as a mercenary and has been working with Deadpool as a result. When a cartoon hero named Bro-Man invades Earth, Slapstick learns that the key to his humanity could be back in Ecch which originally gave him his powers. Slapstick finds the S.H.I.E.L.D. division A.R.M.O.R. is threatening to throw him in jail and that he and his friend Mike might be in for the adventure of a lifetime.

Written by Reilly Brown and Fred Van Lente, Slapstick!: That’s Not Funny reprints the second Slapstick limited series that was released as part of the Marvel Now! line. The collection features art by Diego Olortegui.

Slapstick was an interesting idea in the 1990s. The original series which introduced the character Slapstick #1-4 (November 1992-February 1993) was a blending of comic book heroes and cartoon book plots along the lines of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  While ultimately, the series didn’t work, I always liked the idea, and I was kind of excited when Slapstick returned as part of Avengers: The Initiative. This series branches off of Slapstick’s recent appearances, but it feels like it doesn’t push the concept far enough.

slapstick #4 cover gi joe review

Slapstick! #4

The fun of Slapstick is that he’s a manufactured cartoon hero. He is a regular guy stuck with a cartoon body like Jim Carrey in The Mask, but the idea that he’s bitter and angry about it feels like it should be R-Rated instead of PG-13. The jokes about his “lack of endowment” don’t quite work in this format, and I wanted it either pushed farther or not do it at all. It needed to be incredibly violent for it to be effective.

The character design for Slapstick did always work for me. It is a challenge to try to create a cartoon in a comic book world, and Diego Olortegui does a nice job envisioning that look. The series has a lot of fun playing with classic cartoon tropes and characters resemble classic Looney Tunes, G.I. Joe, My Pretty Pony, He-Man, Disney, and more. It is the type of series that background art is rather rich and fun.

Slapstick!: That’s Not Funny almost works but fails to make it over the hump. The collection is rather short and with references to the original limited series, it would have been nice if the collection had just included the original Slapstick series in addition to this. Slapstick will keep popping up in Marvel comics, but Deadpool’s behavior and style makes him a bit irrelevant now since it is the same humor. Maybe a harder “completely adult” version of the character would be more interesting…of course with Marvel movies coming out of the woodworks, Slapstick could theoretically take the lead again.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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