Deadpool: World's Greatest, Volume 6 Patience: Zero.
Collecting issues #20-25
Written by: Gerry Duggan.
Art by: Matteo Lolli with Paolo Villanelli(#20-24) & Scott Koblish (#25)
Colours by: Guru-eFX (20-24) & Nick Filardi (#25)
Last time, Civil War II kicked off! and while everyone was deciding if it was safe to keep precogs around (boy and I'm glad we're not still debating THAT! *Glances to the X-Men), Deadpool decided that life is better when everyone you know and love hates you. So, he went about systematically destroying all but the most secure and unbreakable bonds left in his life. This volume, he somehow manages to ruin even them. YAY Deadpool!
Issue 20: The Never-Ending Struggle. A young woman stands on the roof of Deadpool's almost-ruined building, moments from taking the final step... and the only person who has a chance of stopping her is Deadpool.
Issue 21: Match Du Grudge. Deadpool is terrible at Secret Santa.Then, we get a little history lesson in the nameless nuisance now known as Madcap, just in time for him to rear his ugly head once more and begin his brutal plan to get revenge on Deadpool.
Issue 22: Patience Zero. Deadpool checks out of hospital, against medical advice. Because it's time to start raising some cash, and 'Pool has a plan that only he can pull off. Then, Wade goes for a delightful dinner with Preston and the family, but it takes a nasty turn!
Issue 23: Do The Truffle Shuffle. Everything is terrible and it's all Deadpool's fault. I mean, Madcap has to take a bit of the blame, but Deadpool has his fair share. So, Deadpool and Preston go on a hunt for answers... and they're not asking nicely! And then, as if things can't get any worse, Deadpool makes a Faustian Bargain.
Issue 24: Deferred Payment Plan. Everything is better again, and it's all Deadpool's Fault! Madcap's evil plan has been foiled, and now all that remains is to track that evil bastard down and make him PAY!
Issue 25: Go Ask The Skrulls, Child. The conclusion of Deadpool 2099! The final showdown between Warda and Ellie ends in a blaze of glory, Wade visits the Monster Metropolis, and we get a lesson in why you do NOT mess with Earth.
Whew, that was a bit of a rollercoaster, wasn't it? From heartwarming, to heartbreaking and everything in between. I've got to say, Duggan really knows how to run our emotions through the ringer, doesn't he? It's only reading through this series a second time, that I can spot all the little breadcrumbs he lays. Usually, they're warning us of impending horrors...
Okay, before we get into the big story of this volume, and discuss the many and varied horrors that Duggan inflicts on our boy Wade, we have to talk briefly about Issue 20:
Honestly, I think 'The Never-ending struggle' is my favourite Deadpool one shot story ever. It's probably a top 5 Marvel one shot. It's the perfect blend of Deadpool's close-to-the-bone humour and excessive violence, but underneath it all there's a surprisingly sweet story. It's also, you'll note, one of the few times in this whole run where Deadpool tries to do the right thing... and it actually ends well. For once, when it REALLY mattered, he didn't mess things up. He found a young women at her lowest point, took her out for a wonderful night of beating up pensioners, and then when he realised that he wasn't the right person to help her, took her to someone that could. But the part I love the most about this story is that it was entirely free of what I call 'Misery Porn'. There was no great tale of just why this young woman was so sad, in fact, it's not even mentioned. Because the important part of this story isn't the terrible things that may or may not have happened. The important part here is the woman herself. Helping her to work through it all, in her own way and at her own pace. Beautifully done.
(p.s. if you're feeling a similar way, there are people you can talk to, too. They might not be as funny as Deadpool, but they're probably more useful. Google can give you contact info for great organizations in your area who will be able to help, no matter how hopeless you feel.)
Then, with our hearts suitably aglow with the light of human kindness, Duggan turns around and crushes them. Because he's evil.
Yup, Madcap is back and his latest plan is quite spectacularly evil. He lures Deadpool to the Zoo, where he's nearly booped to death by some mind-controlled Zoo Staff, who spray him with a rather nasty poison. Thankfully, it doesn't have a huge effect on Wade...
So then, feeling much better and more or less alive again, he gets a text from Preston, to join her and her family, plus little Ellie, for Dinner. Ain't that sweet? Surviving a near death experience and then celebrating with your family, what a wholesome way to spend the evening.
Oh, wait. I forgot this is a Duggan book...
I mean, could Madcap think of a more perfect way to torture Wade? Wade has long felt like he was cursed. Like every person he gets close to ends up getting hurt in some way or another. That's the whole reason he had Preston adopt Ellie, and tried to stay out of her life as much as he could.
So, now, for him to let his guard down a little and go to spend some time with her, only to accidentally poison her? That's got to hurt in a real, deep way. To make it so that a person who already believes that anyone he gets close to dies, ACTUALLY poisons and kills anyone that gets close to them? It's just... it's horrific.
I mean, obviously, I freakin LOVE it and it's amazing to read. But what the hell, man? That is Shakespearean in its sheer evilness.
So, of course, Deadpool and Preston the Murderbot go on a kill-crazy rampage, murdering anyone that could be connected to anyone that might possibly know anything. It's fun to see and gives Lolli a great excuse to cut loose on the "Deadpool does a murder" art. it's also a rare moment of levity, which helps balance out the pretty heavy tone of the book so far. So, thanks for that!
But, of course, this run is all about Deadpool trying to help but failing, and so despite kicking the ass of everyone in the Three Boroughs, Deadpool can't find a cure... and so, he has to go a little further than he might have liked. Further... through time!
Yyyuuuuuupppppp. Deadpool made a deal with Stryfe. Freakin STRYFE. For those that don't know: Stryfe is the evil clone of Nathan Summers (AKA Cable, and about 10 other names). He's an Omega Level Psion, and a beyond Omega Level Evil Bastard. So, seeing Deadpool make a deal with him is sort of like watching a car crash in slow motion. You know it's going to end terribly, but you just can't look away. So, now, because Stryfe saved four lives for Wade, Wade owes him four lives in return. Any lives. At any time. I can't remember who the four are, but I'm 99% sure they're going to be people we care about.
I don't remember all of the details, for this arc. I just remember enough to know that this is where this series starts to get GREAT. It's also where this series starts to really hurt us. So strap in and grab some tissues folks, because things are about to get messy.
In order to distract us from the oncoming storm of pain, this volume ends with the final chapter of Deadpool 2099. The battle with Warda is concluded, we're reminded that Ellie is a mutant and what her mutant powers are, and we finally find out what happened to Shiklah.
The whole thing is oddly sweet, really. Deadpool drops a history lesson on Warda and convinces her to stop being so aggro all the time, gets to share a meal with his daughter, and everything seems quite happy.
It's all a rather evil trick, really. Duggan begins and ends the volume with oddly heartwarming tales, to distract us from the horrors he inflicts in the main body of the volume. So, as you close the final page, you're not thinking of Stryfe and the pain that waits for us in the books ahead. You're thinking of Deadpool and Ellie having a nice meal, and Shiklah, the bullet he couldn't dodge, tucked safely away where she can do no harm... For now.
Overall, Volume 6 feels like a HUGE turn for the better. The main arc of the volume has all the thrills and torment that makes Deadpool shine, fills in some lore on Madcap and teases that there's a LOT more to come from that psychopath, and sets up Stryfe as a recurring villain. Then, surrounding that we have one of the best one shots Marvel have ever done, and the surprisingly wholesome ending to the Deadpool 2099 arc. You can't really ask for more than that!
But, if you DO want more, come back next time for Deadpool: World's Greatest Volume 7: Deadpool Does Shakespeare. Oh no... Collecting Deadpool (2015) #26-27 and material from #21. All the world's a stage, and he's a major player! Forsooth, Deadpool will face a comedy of errors when he gets trapped in the works of William Shakespeare! Whether it turns out to be a midsummer night's dream, or much ado about nothing, it's sure to be Deadpool as you like it! Fingers crossed that all's well that ends well, so Wade can return to the tragedy that is his regular life in the Marvel Universe!
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.