Marvel NOW! Deadpool, Vol 6: Original Sin (2012).
Collecting issues #29-34
Writers: Gerry Duggan & Brian Posehn, Artist: John Lucas.
Last time, things got celebratory, as Deadpool got hitched, and we took a look back at all the times that he'd done that before. Which was about as depressing as you'd expect, because Deadpool's life is basically a collection of disasters, loosely bound together with Golden Girls references. We then took a trip back in time, kinda, to see the time that Deadpool shared his body with the weaponised Toonforce that is Slapstick. I'm sure nothing terrible will come from that, not at all... This time around, we see the newly wedded Deadpool doing what all husbands do. Failing to follow through on a promise to his wife! Fun times ahead.
Issue 29: The Honeymoon is over! Deadpool is officially married, woo! Only problem is, his new wife's old fiance is PISSED. Which wouldn't be a huge problem, if the spurned lover in question didn't happen to be Dracula, king of all Vampires. So, Deadpool does what any normal hero would do: he travels back in time to recruit the ultimate Vampire Hunter... Dazzler ?!?! Meanwhile, in the greater Marvel Universe: Original Sin kicks off, and Preston and Adsit get a headful of stolen memories.
Issue 30: The Brave and the Blonde. Adsit struggles to deal with his new memories, but Preston decides to put hers to use, by tracking down Deadpool's missing daughter! Meanwhile, Deadpool and Dazzler go on a sequined murder spree, taking down as many Vampires as they can shine a light on!
Issue 31: My Robot Buddy. Preston has successfully located young Ellie. Which would be great, if ULTIMATUM hadn't found them both, as well. Deadpool would help, but he's currently wrapping us his Vampire Massacre with the sparkliest X-Man.
Issue 32: Daddy/Daughter Day. With Utler and Ellie on the run, Deadpool races to the rescue, but ULTIMATUM are hot on their heels. Dazzler is stranded in New York and surrounded by Vampires, but she's not totally alone...
Issue 33: Out The Window. Deadpool does what Deadpool does best: Murders everyone. But, when he can't murder enough people, fast enough, and things go south, he calls in an assist from an old friend. Plus, Adsit finally reveals what he saw, in those stolen memories.
Issue 34: The one with the super-rare 3-D cover! (yes, that's actually what this issue is called. No, the cover doesn't seem to be 3-D). In a flashback to the '90s, Deadpool goes on a messed up road trip to Canada with Sabretooth, to conduct a mission that means a lot more to him than he could ever realise. When he returns, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are waiting for him, with another familiar face...
Wow... There is a LOT to unpack here. In typical Deadpool fashion the tone of this volume is fairly upbeat, but there is some horrifically dark shit going on, if you happen to go a little deeper (that's what she said... sorry...). There are very few series that can go from fighting vampires with Dazzler to watching a man burn down his childhood home, with his parents asleep inside, and make it all feel totally reasonable. Welcome to the messed up world of Deadpool, I guess?
This volume returns to something resembling a coherent plot structure, thankfully. There are two main arcs, and while some of the tangential nonsense may seem unconnected, it actually all forms together rather well. I'll start off with the less soul-shattering arc, because you always need to warm up a bit, before you do the rough stuff.
So, Deadpool is happily married! And the only slight problem is that in getting hitched, he's managed to piss off Dracula, who has sent an army of superpowered vampires after him, while also turning as many people as possible into Vampires, in order to create an overwhelming army of undead, to destroy everything. You know, typical newlywed problems.
This is a really bizarre, but ultimately very fun arc. There's not a huge amount of weight to it, and it mostly seems like an excuse to keep Deadpool distracted, while more important things happen in the background. Namely: Original Sin! Yup, the line-wide Marvel event that Jason Aaron wrote, mostly to set up his Thor run. (If you want to know more about that, check out my Jason Aaron Thor Retrospective! ) The Watcher has been murdered, and one of his eyes exploded, which is super gross. To make matters worse, anyone caught in the explosion saw various secrets that until that point, only the Watcher had known.
Do you see what they're doing? Basically, this whole run is based around the premise that Deadpool doesn't remember 90% of the horrible things that he's done over his years of being a terrible person. SO, they concocted this whole insane "Deadpool fights Vampires with Dazzler" mini-arc, to make sure that he was out of the picture when the big boom went boom, and thus, his memory remains as clear as the freshly fallen yellow snow.
Of course, that doesn't mean that we can totally ignore this event! Preston and Adsit both got the full whammy, with Preston finding out that Eleanor is very much still alive, and currently in the care of Butler's estranged brother (you remember Butler, right? He's the dickhead Doctor from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, that was doing terrible things to everyone). Adsit had a less pleasant time, but more on that later.
So, Deadpool dusts a bunch of vampires, with the help of a slightly naive Dazzler, who is only helping him because she thinks he's part of the Fantastic Four... And this all goes fairly well, right up until Preston makes contact with Ellie, and that leads up to our second major arc.
Yup, while Deadpool was getting his Disco on, Preston used her S.H.I.E.L.D. connections to track down young Eleanor, who now goes by Ellie. And when she eventually tracks her down, she's shocked to find out that Ellie is actually just a normal, healthy, happy kid.
Yes, Ellie has lived as an Utler for 8 years, without a single bad thing happening to her. Then, within 60 minutes of finding out she's really a Wilson, ULTIMATUM attack her. Because this whole bloodline is just freakin CURSED.
Man, this arc is just wrong. SO freakin wrong. I know by now I should be used to it, but I just can't help it. So, we finally meet Ellie, and she's alive and well... but then everything goes to shit, because Deadpool can't have nice things.
Apparently, Dazzler can't either. Because the moment he finds out that his daughter is alive, and WAS safe until he came into her orbit, Deadpool abandons Dazzler in the middle of a Vampire nest, and runs off to Chicago to save her. Yeah... kind of a tool move.
It's fine, though. Shiklah saves her, and returns her to the past, the timeline will be fine.
Yes, the timeline is safe. Ellie, not so much. With her home under attack by terrorists, her adoptive father getting killed to keep her safe, and her robot guardian temporarily incapacitated, things are looking pretty grim, for the youngest Wilson.
We're then treated to pretty much an entire issue of Deadpool once more murdering his way through a horde of ULTIMATUM redshirts, before confronting their leader, Flagsmasher.
It's a cool sequence, the gore levels are through the roof, and Deadpool alternates between badass and hilarious the whole time, laying down the law with Flagsmasher to make sure that he leaves Wade and his family alone forevermore. Wade even drafts in Evan and Quentin Quire to safeguard Ellie going forward, and convince the world she's dead.
It's all very sweet, really. Deadpool steps up to save the daughter he never knew he had, the bad guys are defeated, and promise never to do it again... it's all wrapped up nicely, right?
Hahaha, of course not!
Because just as it looks like everything is wrapping up nicely, we get one final fuck you. Adsit reveals what he saw, in his new stolen memories: Deadpool killing his parents...
We then get the final issue of this volume: another flashback arc! This time we're headed to the '90s. Where we find Deadpool, under the effects of "Butler's" Tabula Rasa, working with Sabretooth and pulling odd jobs.
But as we know, Butler is a tool. He's not convinced that his memory wipe tech is working to its full potential, and wants to see how far he can push the 'Pool. So, he sends his team to the frozen north, on one final mission: Take out the Wilsons.
It's... a pretty hard read. Deadpool, totally unaware, burns down his childhood home with his parents asleep inside. The whole time, you're PRAYING that he'll snap out of it, or remember something, but he doesn't.
So, writers Duggen and Posehn give us something truly terrible, but also strangely beautiful: Total silence.
It's a genuinely remarkable sequence. For about eight pages, as he goes about his mission, not a single word is said. We see him walking through his home, collecting the key from under the mat, without realising why he knows it'll be there. We see him walk passed pictures of his family, without knowing who they are. We see him disable the fire alarms, that he instinctually knows the locations of. We even see him go into HIS OWN ROOM, look at all his trophies and the mementos that mattered enough for a younger, more innocent Wade to hold onto. He reaches under the bed and pulls out his catcher's mitt, not understanding why he knew it was there... then lastly, he walks passed his parents' room and takes one last look at them, not realising that he's doing it. Then, still blissfully unaware, he blows the whole place up. The last thing we see is him getting into the car with Sabretooth, tossing aside a now burning mitt.
It's chilling, really. Knowing what he's doing, knowing what he's giving up, without even realising. It's the kind of sequence that once seen, will never leave your mind. It's so perfectly grim, that even Sabretooth's inexplicable hair isn't enough to take you out of the moment.
Then, because Duggan and Posehn aren't QUITE done hurting us, Deadpool returns to Butler, the next day, and runs into Carm and the newly born Ellie, and we finally see the scene that was briefly alluded to, a few volumes before. Deadpool is confronted with his child, and shocked at how perfect she is. He tells Carm that she CAN'T be his, she's too beautiful, and that she needs to leave him and never come back, to stay away from Deadpool and to stay away from Butler. Yet again, Deadpool tries to do the right thing, and yet again we know it all ends horribly. Bless him, he'll keep trying, though.
Because, tucked away in what could almost be a throwaway panel, there's one final revelation for the volume: Ellie's X-Gene has activated!
Yup, this is going to end badly.
Overall, Volume 6 was another very strong book. I've said from the start that one of the things I love most about this run is the balance of comedy, action and tragedy, and I think this is one of the best volumes for that.
We get the utterly insane Deadpool, & Dazzler Vs The Vampires arc, that is just pure comedic nonsense, but it's balanced by the Preston and Ellie Vs ULTIMATUM arc, which just seems to get more brutal as it goes on. Then, for no reason, they decide to wrap the volume up by ripping our heart right out and stamping on it, leaving the whole book on such a brutal note. Seeing Deadpool sitting on the swings, laughing with his daughter, totally unaware of the horrors he's committed... it's an almost perfection summation of everything that makes Deadpool great. He's the clown, laughing on the surface, but crying underneath.
Ordinarily, this would start to really drag after a while, but Duggan and Posehn manage to get the balance just right, to make sure that whenever you're starting to get a little sick of Deadpool the clown, they throw in some horror to shock you back to earth, and once you start to get too depressed from the various horrors in Deadpool's history, they throw in a moment of happiness and humour that buoys your spirits.
I'm not sure how much more of this rollercoaster I can take. My heart just isn't strong enough!
If you think yours can take the punishment, come back next time for Deadpool Volume 7: AXIS! Collecting Deadpool (2012)# 35-40: Get ready for a different spin on the Merc with the Mouth! Since the events of AXIS inverted him, Deadpool has given up violence in favor of enlightenment! You heard right: Deadpool has gone Zen and found peace! So how is he going to help his "FauX-Men" friends live through an attack by the real, also-inverted X-Men?! I don't know. Probably not very easily. It might involve cowboy stuff. Then, our wall-crawling hero is stalked by a classic Spider-Slayer! Wait, this isn't a Spider-Man book. So what is a Spider-Slayer doing here? Deadpool had better find out before it mistakes one red-clad, wisecracking hero for another ... and mashes DP into spider-paste! Plus: The Roxxon Corporation brings us a special educational story! Learn about gracking, the energy source of the future!
If you want to read along, you can find this volume on Comixology, collected volumes on Amazon, or from your Local Comic Shop! Enjoy!
Taheg Gloder is a Freelance Copywriter from England. Obsessed with comics and Manga since his teens, he now splits his time between writing comic reviews and retrospectives for POP, and doing reactions on his YouTube Channel, The Dragon & The Hound. He lives alone, because he’s a hermit.