Deadpool: World's Greatest, Volume 3: Deadpool Vs Sabretooth.
Collecting issues #8-12
Writer: Gerry Duggan. Artist: Matteo Lolli (#8-11) & Scott Koblish (#12).
Last volume, we had a whole bunch of filler, introducing the somewhat less than interesting members of Mercs for Money. We also had a Spanish language chapter, all about Massacre, who is actually pretty awesome. But, surrounding that nonsense, we got two actually pretty great chapters. The first featured Deadpool "remembering" that Sabretooth killed his parents, and the second saw us jumping forward to 2099 to meet Deadpool's daughter, Warda. This volume, we see Deadpool and Creed engage in the most civilised duel to the death in Marvel history, and things get familial in Deadpool 2099. Let's FIGHT!
Issue 8: Nightmare on Memory Lane. While the Mercs for Money keep business going smoothly under the totally-not-spying-for-S.H.I.E.L.D. eyes of Adsitt, Wade journeys to the land of Maple Leaves and murderous memories, Canada, to track down some clues to his sordid past, and potentially find the man he thinks is responsible: Victor Creed, AKA, Sabretooth!
Issue 9: To me, my Ex-Man! Sabretooth VS Deadpool, Round 1! The unending brawl begins, and then quite quickly ends, because apparently there are school busses everywhere, and we don't want to mentally scar those kids more than the school system already will. Then, Steak! because everything is better with steak.
Issue 10: Bloody meat. Sabretooth Vs Deadpool, Round 2! After a nice steak dinner, Wade and Victor decide they probably won't go on another date. They'd rather murder each other, and see what happens then. Spoiler warning: it involves a lot of trees, a couple of helicopters, and a canister of very dangerous gas.
Issue 11: Fahrenheit .357. With Sabretooth a little tied up, Wade takes a call from a friend. It's not what he wanted to hear, but deep down I think we can all agree, it's what he needed to hear. With his new outlook on life, Wade decides it's time to see a Doctor... Doctor Strange, that is!
Issue 12: ... It's a dead city. It's time for Deadpool 2009 chapter 2! In the distant future, Wade is rescued by the mysterious Zenpool. But just who is his guardian angel? All will be revealed! As many old faces make their returns, and I do mean OLD!
Whew. Now THAT was a freakin volume! Easily the best so far in Deadpool: World's Greatest. We got some laughs, some shocks, some fights, and some heartache. While 90% of the volume was taken up with the brutal showdown between Wade and Victor, Duggan expertly wove a little story and some lore into the gaps. Then finished it all off with another excellent, totally cyberpunk chapter of Deadpool 2099! What more could you ask for?
Now that's more like it! I might have been a little harsh on Volume 2. But only because it did a lot of things really badly. Want evidence that it could have been better? Look at this volume! All the tragedy and comedy that makes Deadpool great, woven into one grand tale, with more references than you can shake a chimichanga at.
On the surface, this is a fairly light volume. It's mostly just Deadpool and Sabretooth ripping chunks out of each other, talking about what Logan would have done, and then going back to pulling each other apart.
But that's the thing, about Deadpool. If you really want to understand, you have to dig a little deeper. A lot of the story this time around is in the subtext, the inference.
The message of this volume is one of catharsis. The pressure has been building up for a while now, inside Deadpool's broken psyche. The brief snatches of memory of his time working for Butler, and the terrible things that monster made him do are slowly trickling out, and it's obviously starting to have an effect on Wade. Add in his recently showdown with Madcap, and the ever-present worry that he could return at any time to inflict even more chaos, and it's obvious that something bad was going to happen, and pretty freaking soon.
So, when the present day storyline ended last volume, with Wade becoming convinced that Sabretooth had murdered his parents, it was finally time for that dam to break. Of course, the obvious tragedy for us readers is that we KNOW he's wrong, because we know what really happened...
So, while Deadpool charges off, terrible plan primed and ready to get vengeance on the bastard he believes kill his family, we have no option other than to sit there, watching Butler's last cruel joke play out.
But, there's one thing we hadn't accounted for.
Sabretooth is fully aware than this is one murder than can't be laid at his feet... but he's willing to take that hit, if it means sparing Deadpool a little pain.
This all leads to what can only be described as the most civilised death brawl ever. Deadpool is throwing everything he has as Victor, who takes it all and just keeps trying to apologise.
They fight for a bit, and then stop because a school bus pulled up alongside them and they don't want to scare the kids.
So, they stop for a steak, and when it's time to fight again, they even make sure to pay and tip well, because their waitress guilts them into it.
They then get into a long and suitably awesome bike chase through the highways and byways of Canada... but stop their brawl to rescue some chopper pilots, that crashed trying to follow them.
It's the exact mix of action, comedy, and heart that makes this run so amazing, for me. Here are two of the baddest anti-heroes in Marvel, hell-bent on ripping each other to shreds... but they keep stopping to help people, because while they want to hurt each other, they don't want anyone else injured because of it.
Much like in my favourite Disney film of the 2010's Wreck-it Ralph, the idea runs through this fight, that just because you're a bad guy, doesn't mean you're a bad guy. Add in that throughout the whole fight, Sabretooth is trying to apologise for two murders that he didn't even commit, and helping Wade move on from his past, and the whole thing is so bizarrely heart -warming, in the most confusing way possible.
But, of course, Deadpool can't have nice things... so, eventually his friends get through to him, using some gross magic, and Wade finally finds out the whole truth. HE was the one that killed his parents, not Sabretooth, also, his daughter is a mutant. Yeah. all told, it was a pretty shitty few minutes for Wade. He also got his ass a little bit kicked by Magneto, but you shouldn't feel bad about that; Mags can kick most people's asses.
Then, our journey through Wade's awful day comes full circle, as he goes back to the seedy strip joint it all started at, and finally gets a full accounting of all the terrible things he did, when he was under Butler's control. Finally, he'll know everything!
So, naturally, he burns the whole book, without reading it.
Because, catharsis! His fight with Sabretooth seems to have achieved one goal, at least. He now realises that his memories are UTTERLY FUCKED UP... but he can't let that control him. If he keeps living in the past, all that's going to do is ruin his future, and he won't let that happen....
HAHAHAHA, of course not! This is Deadpool! Deadpool is never allowed a happy ending (well, he is, but he has to pay extra for it...)
Yup, it's time to go back, to the future!
The volume wraps up with another chapter of the hugely underrated Deadpool 2099. Where Wade's daughter Warda is zooming around the cyberpunk metropolis of New New York, causing all kinds of trouble in his name. Except, she's not the only 'Pool in the pool. Our mysterious friend from last chapter returns, for a fairly awesome fight.
Yes! the identity of Zenpool 2099 is revealed as... Ellie! Deadpool's other daughter, looking a bit older, but not older enough to account for the fact that it's 2099... I wonder what big news from this issue might point to the reason for that! Yup, it's a family showdown, as Deadpool's two daughters battle for the right to use the Deadpool title. (see, my headline makes sense now, right?)
Honestly, genuinely, I don't understand how Deadpool 2099 didn't get a run all on its own. It's such a fun arc and I really wish we could have seen more from it. Everything from Deadpool's two daughters, to super-old, even more mad than usual Wade, and the horrors of news in 2099 is just perfect. They even have an army of HYDRA Bobs, for Stan's sake! Who wouldn't want more of that?
Overall, Volume 3 is easily my favourite volume of World's Greatest so far. Despite being mostly an excuse for a huge fight between two unkillable titans, Duggan managed to tell a story that shows just why Deadpool is such an enduring and endearing character. Wade gets more character growth in this one volume than many comic characters get in their whole run, and sets the scene for even more growth and horror to come. Then, you cap the whole thing off with a great tale of what's in store a little down the line. How can you not love that?
Whew, made it through a whole volume without misspelling Sabretooth again! If you want to see whose name I get wrong next time, come back for Deadpool: World's Greatest! Volume 4: Temporary Insanitation (is... is that even a word?) Collecting Deadpool (2015) #13, and Deadpool: Last Days of Magic #1. Deadpool plays host to an epic crossover with Daredevil, Power Man, and Iron Fist! When Wade Wilson takes a gig protecting a banker who betrayed his cartel partners, they seek the help of Assistant District Attorney Matt Murdock. In turn, he calls in Luke Cage and Danny Rand. That sounds like a recipe for one mega-violent, street-level, face-punching, gut-busting, kung-fuing, ninjitsuing crime story guaranteed to knock your teeth out! And for his next trick, the Merc with a Mouth tries to fix one of Doctor Strange's messes! The Empirikul are waging a war on magic and wiping the fantastical from existence. And that includes Mrs. Deadpool, a.k.a. Shiklah! As the Empirikul forces lay siege to Monster Metropolis, Deadpool wades into battle alongside his most spellbinding friends!
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.