Issue(s): Deadpool #1, Deadpool #2
The plot of this miniseries is a fairly standard one wherein factions search for the legacy of a criminal mastermind that has passed away. see Daredevil #317-318, for example. This works well for Deadpool since it doesn't require him to be a good guy. In contrast to the Daredevil story, where it felt like everyone and his cousin was involved in the search, this is kept fairly under control and isn't as chaotic or zany (which kind of ironic). A flaw of the book, in my opinion, is that it introduces a number of characters that feel throwaway and indeed don't turn out to have the level of importance that you'd expect of characters introduced in Deadpool's first solo series, but who overcomplicate this plot. Some - mainly Commcast and Courier - do appear again but i think exclusively in stories written by Fabian Nicieza; they're not core to Deadpool's mythos.
In this case, the dead criminal mastermind is Tolliver, and "Tolliver's Will" is rumored to be an immensely powerful weapon. Deadpool and other former associates of Tolliver, like Copycat, are targeted because it's thought that they have information on the will.
Deadpool's teleportation systems are "on the fritz", causing Deadpool to have to travel around by conventional methods.
The story starts in Sarajevo during Yugoslavia's civil war. Deadpool is attacked by a group of mercenaries, and we see that Deadpool's 'asshole Spider-Man' scripting style continues.
Deadpool is actually seeking out Weasel, Deadpool's information broker first seen in Cable #3.
Kane shows up, also looking for Vanessa, and calling Deadpool "Wade Wilson", i think for the first time (he's definitely been called "Wade" before, but not sure about the last name).
This results in a pointless fight between Kane and Deadpool (Deadpool thinks, or claims to think, that Kane wants to kill Copycat, which isn't the case).
Nice Joe Madureira art. The JoeMad/Mark Farmer combination on the first two issues is really great. I love the squinty eyes and exaggerated facial expressions.
A point about the script, though. I noted that Deadpool is scripted with his trademark insane banter. But the truth is that everyone is scripted that way, so it's less that Fabian Nicieza was creating a unique voice for Deadpool than that he was just writing this way. It's still fun, though, and it definitely sticks as a character trait for Deadpool.
During the fight, Kane mentions that he and Deadpool were part of the same Weapon X program along with the barely developed Sluggo (who had been appearing in X-Force) and a character named Terraerton (who we'll learn has an alias of Slayback, although it's a bit confusing because Kane refers to both Terraerton and Slayback in this scene without indicating that they're the same character).
Meanwhile, Juggernaut is at a genetic research facility in France, and he's become impatient about Black Tom's treatment.
A Louis Banque (Director of Direct Directions) brings Juggernaut to Tom. When we last saw Black Tom, he was nearly fatally shot by Cable, and Deadpool brought him to Tolliver (note random character Banque also talking 'Deadpool style' with the Murder She Wrote quip).
We now see that Tom has been repaired with wood.
Black Tom's mutant power has always required him to touch wood (namely his shillelagh) in order to generate his "bio-blasts". The idea with this upgrade is that he's now always touching wood (aaaand i'm realizing the retroactive appropriateness of introducing this in a Deadpool comic). This is another example of what seemed like a trend of giving classic characters upgrades that made them more strange and aggressive, more extreme (Toad's poison, Iceman's spikes). Black Tom's value was never really in his super powers - it's more about his relationship with Juggernaut - and there's really nothing you can (or should) do to bring him up to the Juggernaut's level (a point made literal in Marvel Team-Up #150), so this seems unnecessary. I probably harbor bitterness because it was this version of the character that was made into an action figure.
Also meanwhile, a Nyko Halfghanaghan hires a man named Courier, aka Jacob Gavin, to hire a group called the Executive Elite to kill Deadpool.
This is an example of the overcomplication that is going on. Nyko is a twin brother to Pico, a minion of Tolliver's who was killed by Cable. But Nyko wants Deadpool killed (it's later said that Deadpool, Cable, and Copycat are all suspects, but Nyko wants to start with Deadpool). And to do it, he's hiring one person to contact some other people. And none of this relates directly to Tolliver's Will, except that Nyko is using a disc with information about the Will as payment.
It's also worth noting that yes, Nyko is said to be Pico's twin brother, but he looks identical to Pico right down to the clothing. I wonder if the original intention was for him to be Pico until someone remembered that Pico was already dead. Not that it really matters either way. Pico wasn't a major character, and Nyko won't ever appear again.
We see Gavin meeting with a Mr. Bashur, who we'll learn is Commcast out of costume (note the line from Gavin about communicating).
We'll see Commcast in costume with the rest of the Executive Elite in issue #3. For now, back to the Juggernaut and Black Tom.
It seems a little out of character for Juggernaut and Black Tom to go after Tolliver's weapon, since (as the Juggernaut himself points out) the Juggernaut is already as powerful a weapon as most people can imagine.
But that's how they come into conflict with Deadpool. Both are chasing a guy who (for reasons not all that clear or important) has wound up with a briefcase containing a second disc with the other half of the information on Tolliver's Will. The fight between Deadpool and these villains is probably the highlight of the series.
Aside from the fact that we're continuing from threads in the X-Force series, Juggernaut and Black Tom don't seem like natural villains for Deadpool. I think of Deadpool as more of a street level character, same as how i think of Wolverine. But Weasel does say that it would basically take a nuke to stop Deadpool thanks to his healing factor, so i guess regular street level opponents are too weak to be a challenge (but on the other hand Domino was able to stop Deadpool cold with a gun blast in X-Force, and the character has actually been beaten in that book regularly). The main thing is that it's not so much about how Deadpool physically defeats Juggernaut but how he manages to keep away from him and, ultimately, outmaneuver him by throwing Black Tom out of a plane, forcing Juggernaut to jump after him. Deadpool then hijacks the plane.
Meanwhile, Sluggo seeks out Vanessa and finds her at her mom's house. We see her true form for the first time.
She dispatches Sluggo and goes after Tolliver's Will herself.
And Slayback, after searching Department K's Weapon X records, locates Kane and asks him for information on Deadpool.
Madureira will later draw the techno-virus/Phalanx characters in a style similar to Slayback (and with a similar color scheme), but that seems to just be a coincidence.
I'm stopping here due to some placement considerations (see below). Next issue does not continue directly.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: This explicitly takes place after X-Force #22, when Copycat got away from Deadpool. Copycat's subplots more or less continued directly from X-Force #22 through X-Force #24 and Cable #4, so this takes place after all of that. It's not presented as such, but Kane might be looking for Copycat after she slipped away from the Six Pack in Cable #4 (although his stated reason is that he knows she's a target because of Tolliver's will). Juggernaut next appears in Thunderstrike #2, looking for help for Black Tom from Genetech after the modifications that were done to him in this story (said to have been "a few months ago"). Sif appears in Thunderstrike #2-3 between Thor #463-466, which are Infinity Crusade tie-ins. So this story takes place "a few months" before Infinity Crusade. Avengers #366 has a back-up that takes place while the search for Tolliver's Will is still ongoing, so it takes place in the middle of this series. Avengers #366 takes place after Avengers annual #22, which takes place after Infinity Crusade, whereas these issues take place prior to Infinity Crusade due to the situation with Sif and Thnderstrike. It's not stated how much time passes between issues #2-3. #3 begins with the Executive Elite having caught up with Deadpool, and it could have taken a while for them to locate him and prep for the mission.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showBlack Tom, Commcast, Copycat, Courier (Jacob Gavin), Deadpool, Juggernaut, Kane, Slayback, Sluggo, Weasel
So this is where Slayback and Commcast came from! I think I used their action figures as Reaver substitutes back in the day.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 28, 2016 4:04 PM
A whole host of clones of Makeshift and Rive will appear in Cable & Deadpool. That series will also get more millage out of Commcast in his guise of Black Box. And Nicieza will use Courier much more extensively in his Gambit run.
Heck, between all the minor characters, Deadpool's turn to the (somewhat) good and the general "confusing chase with a whole host of characters"-plot this whole mini feels like a test run for Nieceza's later work!
Posted by: Berend | November 28, 2016 4:18 PM
Fnord, I think the Deadpool series needs to be split up. Deadpool's appearance in the second story in Avengers 366 takes place while he's searching for Tolliver's will, so it has to take place sometime before this story. Moreover, at least part of this story needs to take place after Infinity Crusade. In Infinity Crusade 1, the Black Knight is shown riding Valinor. But he loses Valinor to the Bloodwraith in Avengers Annual 22 and Bloodwraith still has Valinor in Avengers 366. So the second story in Avengers 366 has to take place after Infinity Crusade. In Thunderstrike 2, the Juggernaut says that Genetech did the modifications a few months ago but it's possible that Genetech only did part of the work on Tom, and completed their part several months before Deadpool 1. OTOH, Thunderstrike 2 has to take place after Deadpool 1, since Cain knows about the experiments on Tom. I think the most likely sequence of events is this- issues 1-2 take place shortly before Thunderstrike 2, then Infinity Crusade concludes, then Avengers Annual 22 and the second story in Avengers 366 takes place, then issues 3-4 take place.
Posted by: Michael | November 28, 2016 8:10 PM
The reason for the Executive Elite thread was that Nicieza planned on using them in Cable as rivals to the Six Pack- the "red guy in Australia" that they captured was supposed to be Grizzly. This never happened, so that thread seems pointless.
Posted by: Michael | November 29, 2016 8:18 AM
Thanks Michael. I swore that i remembered a scene from somewhere else referencing the ongoing search for Tolliver's Will, and i re-read a bunch of X-Force and Cable issues trying to find it. I forgot that it was in the Avengers back-up, which i stuck back in the pile behind the Avengers annual. I agree with your suggestion of splitting this series up. The one place i'll differ is in saying that the first two issues should take place "shortly before" Thunderstrike #2, since i want to honor the "a few months ago" line without inventing multiple waves of treatment (especially since Juggernaut is so agitated at the beginning of this issue, like he hasn't seen Tom in a long time).
Posted by: fnord12 | November 29, 2016 11:58 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|