Issue(s): Deadpool #3, Deadpool #4
Makeshift and Rive won't appear again, but as Berend notes in the comments we'll see clones of them in the future. Note also the line about them having fought a "red guy" in Australia.
The third member of the Executive Elite is Commcast, who will appear again (as noted above, i think only in Nicieza books). I'd make fun of him, but Deadpool does it for me.
Commcast uses a device to see Deadpool's memories, and we get a view of him (with Copycat) before the Weapon X program.
We also see him at Weapon X with Kane prior to Kane's cybernetic upgrades. And we learn that Deadpool had cancer.
This culminates in a revelation that the Weapon X program cured Deadpool's cancer by accelerating his healing factor, but it doesn't make him pretty.
Deadpool is then rescued by Weasel.
Since the Executive Elite had the other disc, Deadpool and Weasel are able to get info on Tolliver's Will, and we learn that the weapon is Stryfe's Zero unit.
The unit is being kept at a temple in Nepal called the Palace of Tomorrow's Hope (this and the fact that Zero somehow came into his possession are hints about Tolliver's true nature. The latter especially since Zero was still with Stryfe after Tolliver was supposed to have died.).
Copycat had been searching for Tolliver's Will, as well. She got information from Gavin/Courier, extorting him over pictures she took while having affairs with his father in various shapeshifting forms. The pictures could otherwise ruin his family's business.
Copycat actually makes it there before Deadpool, but she's captured by Slayback (probably thanks to the Mark Farmer inks, the cover of issue #4 makes me realize how similar Copycat is to Excalibur's Meggan)(just to be clear: Farmer is not the interior inker on these two issues).
When Deadpool and Weasel get to the temple, Slayback waits as they discover the treasure room. After a fun bit with packing peanuts...
...they find the Zero unit. Kane shows up, and then Slayback attacks.
Weasel uses Zero as cover, and it starts to activate. Kane notices it and recognizes it.
We've only seen Zero used as a teleporter, and i thought there would be some symmetry since Deadpool started off this series having lost his teleportation ability. But we learn that Zero is actually much more powerful than we realized. When activated, it seeks to shut down all weapons that are a threat to peace.
That includes Slayback, but before anything happens, Slayback stabs Copycat in a jab meant for Deadpool.
We then see Zero deactivate Slayback.
It also disables Weasel's weapons. It scans Kane and can't determine if he's a force for good or not, but it moves on to Deadpool and determines that he's a weapon of war, and initiates his nullification.
However, Deadpool is able to convince Zero to wait. Deadpool goes to Copycat, so that his proximity to her will cause her to absorb his healing factor and repair the wound that Slayback gave her. Seeing that Deadpool has "the ability and desire to heal" (my emphasis), Zero decides that further analysis will be needed on him as well, and it teleports away. Copycat tells Deadpool that she doesn't love him anymore and it's time for him to "get beyond everything that drags you down... most of all... yourself", and then Kane takes her away for further medical attention.
Deadpool says to Weasel that he can do more than kill, and that there is maybe hope for him yet (of course, he says it while pocketing a golden candlestick).
I said in the previous entry that this plot made sense since it didn't require Deadpool to be a good guy, but you can see that the ending is designed to set up the possibility of him becoming one, with Zero working as an authoritative voice to say that it's possible. Still, this is not at all like the contrived way that Venom was turned into a hero. And there's plenty of room for ambiguity; there's no definitive change here.
This is a good series. Nicieza's scripting is a lot of fun, and Madureira's art really matches the tone nicely (although i liked it better with Mark Farmer's inks on the first part). The plotting could have been simplified - there's really no reason for the whole Executive Elite thread and that space might have been better used by giving us a more direct rival for Tolliver's Will (e.g. like the Bloodstone Hunt). And i don't really like the existence of Slayback. One problem with characters like Deadpool who have retroactive histories is that it means they come with a cast of super-powered associates, all of whom makes it increasingly implausible that none of these characters encountered any of Marvel's actual super-heroes from the time periods they are supposed to be from. They also don't fit the themes of those time periods. I'm not sure exactly when Deadpool's iteration of Weapon X was supposed to be active, but if, for example, it was supposed to have been the 70s, then make the characters look like that's when they were created, instead of suggesting that these uber-90s characters were running around back then and no one noticed.
But Nicieza and Madureira manage to power through the flaws with deliberately lowbrow humor and fun action, and it's a promising start to Deadpool as a solo character.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's not said how much time passes between issues #2 & 3, and that allows for the back-up in Avengers #366, which takes place while the search for Tolliver's Will is ongoing, to take place. That story takes place after Avengers annual #22 and Infinity Crusade, so that affects placement for this entry as well.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showCommcast, Copycat, Courier (Jacob Gavin), Deadpool, Kane, Slayback, Weasel, Zero
They literally call a villain in this "Commcast"? Having dealt with that company since they came to Philly in the late 80s, I think Deadpool said the right thing about that name.
Posted by: Ataru320 | January 13, 2017 1:54 PM
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