Despicable Deadpool Volume 1: Deadpool Kills Cable. Collecting Issues #287-291 (Because YAY, Legacy numbering.)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Scott Koblish. Colours by Nick Filardi.
Last time everything went horribly, for Deadpool. This is different from the other times that things went horribly for Deadpool, because this time it wasn't his fault. Well, it wasn't TOTALLY his fault. "Stevil" Rogers took over America, using the power of heroic jawlines, and Deadpool helped, because it's Steve Freakin Rogers. When Stevil was eventually overthrown (using a plan Deadpool was a huge part of), Deadpool somehow still got screwed over. Then, as if things couldn't get any worse... Stryfe came a-calling. It seems, he's decided it's time to call in those four lives Deadpool owes him. And the first on that list, is Cable!
Issue 287 - Part One: Take Two. Deadpool has to kill Cable. But how, exactly, do you kill a guy that can be anywhere, or anyWHEN, that he chooses? Turns out, it's pretty tricky, and involves a small amount of unscheduled surgery.
Issue 288 - Part Two: Waiting For Cable Installation. A* Chapter title. Solid word play. No complaints here. Except from Cable. Who got his arm cut off, and was then arrested by the TVA. Don't worry though, Cable! Deadpool is coming to rescue you. And by rescue, I of course mean kill. And by you, I of course mean freakin EVERYONE.
Issue 289 - Part Three: It Was Good While It Lasted. Cable finally gets Deadpool to confess why he's trying to kill him. They then work together to try and bring Stryfe down once and for all... but can anyone every really trust anyone? And the perils of time travel are writ large once more.
Issue 290 - Part Four: God's Light Be Upon Thy Face. The final, awesome, climactic battle with Stryfe, isn't. On the run and in need of a new plan, Deadpool and Cable go to the one place that just might have answers. Penn Station...
Issue 291 - Part Five: Great Scott! Stryfe gets what he wants. He also gets something he DIDN'T want. Then Deadpool gets something he absolutely didn't want, but then something that he DID want. It's a real rollercoaster, people. Emotionally speaking, that is. I don't mean Deadpool got a rollercoaster...
Deadpool is back, people! And now, he's DESPICABLE! Yup, Deadpool has given up any pretense of being a hero, and has full embraced his villainous side. Yes, that's right. Before, that was Deadpool trying to be NICE. So just imagine the horrors he's going to inflict, now that he's not trying anymore? Yeah. This is going to get rough.
And so, the final act of Duggan's Deadpool Saga begins. And, in stark contrast to Deadpool World's Greatest, Despicable Deadpool begins with our boy Wade in a pretty rough spot. His family aren't talking to him, everyone is afraid of him, and the one person in the world that he doesn't want to kill, is the one person that he HAS to kill. That's got to suck.
And therein lies the problem, with this first volume. Don't get me wrong, it's a LOT of fun. Great art, the zingers fly fast and hit hard, and it sets up some really cool ideas...
BUT. The basic premise of the arc is "One time traveller tells you to kill another time traveller". DO you see the problem? I'll give you a hint:
See, the big problem here, is that because he's a freakin time traveller, everything they try to do, to stop Stryfe ends up there same way: They get him into a corner, Deadpool's phone rings, it's Stryfe standing by Ellie, with murder in mind.
The worst example of this, is the last time they get him cornered. Stryfe asks for Cable's heart, Deadpool and Cable pull some time travel shenanigans and bring Stryfe what he asked for. Modern day Cable then joins the fray, and him and Deadpool proceed to spank Stryfe like a rented mule. Awesome, victory for the good guys!
Then, as always, Deadpool gets that call—from Stryfe—saying he will do terrible things if Deadpool doesn't betray Cable and help Stryfe escape.
The problem is, we have no way of knowing WHEN Stryfe made that call. He could have been calling from any number of times or places. This is Stryfe after all, he's kinda known for his time travel shenanigans!
It makes the whole arc feel a little odd, and comes across as a huge downer, when basically anything the heroes attempt is undone because "haha: time travel."
This is especially annoying, when Deadpool has a time traveller on his side too, and seems to forget that. So, okay, Stryfe is currently standing by Ellie, and about to do a bad thing. Awesome, kick Stryfe's ass now, make SURE he's locked down, and then if he does escape, you know exactly where he's going to go. So, you and Cable head there first and stop him.
Of course, if they do that, Stryfe could travel back further and stop them before they're able to stop him.
Have I mentioned that I freakin hate time travel? Seriously. Unless your name is Doc Brown, or Okabe Rintaro, just don't do it.
That said, I think Duggan agrees with me, that time travel is just kinda dumb. As the second fight between Deadpool, Stryfe, and Cable shows. The whole issue is basically one giant warning about messing with time, as Wade and Cable travel back to intercept Stryfe just after he gave Deadpool the antidote and accidentally end up ruining the world. It's a freakin hilarious fight, on the level with something from Looney Tunes, as each of our resident time travel menaces unleashes increasingly more bizarre weapons, harvested from throughout time, only for the whole lot of them to get nuked, because one Senator double dared the other to just bomb all of New York. Because, sod it, time travel fixes everything, right?
There are VERY few writers who would have the guys to mock a plot point, and then turn around and make it pivotal to the next issue. But Duggan has shown more than once, that he is absolutely that kind of writer. I've got to salute him for it!
Overall, Despicable Deadpool Volume One is utter chaos. Which, let's face it, is exactly why we're here. The jokes are plentiful and generally land well. The action is gory and non-stop, Koblish's art brings it to life in the most stomach churning way possible, and Filardi's colours make even the grimmest panels pop.
Things are about to get pretty dark, as Duggan's Deadpool reaches its climax. For now at least, we can pretend that this is still a fun book, where Deadpool says witty things as he does horrible stuff to people he once called friends. But there are three more names to cross off Stryfe's list... and we all know this won't end well.
if you want to see just how badly it ends, come back next time for Despicable Deadpool volume 2: Bucket List! Collecting Despicable Deadpool #292-296 and The Secret Comic Variants From Deadpool #23-25, #30-36, and Despicable Deadpool #287-296. Deadpool has a lot of unfinished business in his inbox, and he's determined to take care of it all before…any sort of bad and permanent-ish thing happens to him. Revenge on Hydra's "Stevil Rogers"? Settling things with Rogue? Oh, and doesn't he still need to kill a few more folks? Then there's Madcap to deal with and — wait, is Deadpool seriously going to take out Apocalypse?! This is starting to sound a bit like a bucket list. It's almost as if it's time to get Wade's affairs in order. You know, just in case. Plus: A bonus Deadpool tale from the past, previously only read by obsessive variant cover collectors!
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.