Despicable Deadpool Volume 2: Bucket List. Collecting Issues #292-296 and Secret Comics Variants from Deadpool #23-25 & #30-36
Written by Gerry Duggan.
Pencils by Matteo Lolli (#292-293, #295-296). Inks by Matteo Lolii (#292, #295-296) & Christian Dalla Vecchia (#293) Colours by Ruth Redmond.
Art by Scott Koblish (#294) Colours by Ruth Redmond (#294)
Last time, Deadpool had to kill his best friend, Cable. Because Deadpool routinely makes terrible decisions, and then has to deal with the fallout. This would have been really easy, if it wasn't for the fact that both the intended victim and the person calling the hit are freakin time travellers. Also, Deadpool gets a time travel device for a bit. It's all REAL messy, honestly. But, at the end of the day, Stryfe gets Cable's heart, kinda, and allows Deadpool to cross one name off his list of lives owed. This week, the other three must fall!
Issue 292 - Part One: Deadpool Vs Stevil Rogers. Deadpool crosses the second name off his list. Then, with a little free time, he decides to visit an old enemy. It doesn't turn out quite the way anyone expects it to, but I think we can all agree, it ended well.
Issue 293 - Part Two: This Could Be The End Of A Beautiful Friendship. Deadpool really knows how to make an entrance. Sadly, no one cares. Then, an old flame comes to see him and she's NOT looking to kiss and make up. More "Punch and take down". Then again, your worst day with Rogue is probably better than your best day with many others...
Issue 294 - Part Three: Beat It. It's finally time to handle Madcap, once and for all! The final showdown between the really annoying, regenerating monster who is hellbent on destroying Deadpool's life... and Madcap. But how do you take down someone who can regenerate from any wound? Easy: You call in the professionals!
Issue 295 - Part Four: The Uncanny Ex-Man. He's kicked, he's screamed, he's ducked, he's dived, he's bitched and he's moaned, but there's no avoiding it... the third name MUST be crossed off the list. It's time for Evan to face his Apocalypse. But despite his Colossus ego, Deadpool won't take any Pryde in this job.
Issue 296 - Part Five: Steve & Wade & Kicking & Punching. Wade gets some much needed therapy. And by therapy, I mean he gets to punch Captain America in the face a whole bunch of times. Catharsis is a wonderful thing.
Deadpool: Secret Comic Variants 2. We're back with the final collection of secret variants. This time around, Deadpool "assists" Doctor Strange, in his long-running battle with Dormammu. Kinda...
Well, that volume went some places, didn't it? Humour, action, brutal heartwrenching agony, a musical number...this volume had it all! And sadly it's only going to get worse from here. You thought Deadpool was bad before? Well what do you think happens, when even the last few scraps of joy he had are gone? Yup, things are going to go so wrong.
Need a moment to recover? Because I sure do... This volume really does run you through the ringer. It's strange to think that a volume that starts with Deadpool randomly murdering a reporter while dressed as Stryfe is going to get worse from there... but Duggan manages it. Oh boy, does Duggan manage it.
Okay, the way I see it, there are three main points I need to cover: Stryfe, Captain America/Stevil, and Madcap. I'll start off with Madcap, because you can't tell me what to do.
So, the final showdown between Deadpool and Madcap is here! And it's... So much more, and so much less than I was expecting. Madcap is finally back to full health, and is ready to take his final revenge on Deadpool! It's time to destroy his wretched life once and for all! The only problem is, Deadpool kinda beat him to it.
Honestly, with a hundred years and all the bourbon I need to keep writing, I don't think I could have come up with a more perfect end to this conflict. Madcap has spent this whole arc doing everything he can to utterly destroy Deadpool's life.
And in the end, all he had to do, really, was get out of Deadpool's way. The fact that by the end, Madcap is happy to head off with The Collector, because Deadpool's life is already in such ruins, that there's very little that he can actually do to hurt Wade any more than he regularly hurts himself; it's just perfect.
Duggan spent so long building Madcap up to be Deadpool's perfect villain. He is as much Deadpool's antithesis as the Joker is to Batman. But, in the end, Madcap was never going to be Deadpool's ultimate enemy... because Deadpool's ultimate enemy always is, and always will be, Deadpool himself.
And a huge shout out to Scott Koblish, for his artwork on the big "fight" here. Somehow, despite the fact that you can't see his face, you can SEE Deadpool's expression, and see the utter defeat on it, as Madcap vanishes through the portal, his final barb still hanging in the air. No words need to be said; you can see everything in Deadpool's stance, his body language. It's magnificent.
Next up: Deadpool Vs the many and varied faces of Captain America.
Yup, Deadpool is still a wanted man. Which is vaguely ironic, since no one seems to actually want him in their lives.
But, nonetheless, Cap decides he has to bring Wade in. Because... Truth or Justice or something. I don't know, the usual Cap nonsense. But here's the thing that I most took away from their fight:
Deadpool throws some serious questions at Cap. Ones he REALLY needs to answer... and he never does. Despite all his talk of being just a soldier yadda yadda yadda, Cap shows his politician's heart during this fight. Every time Wade asks him an important question, Cap diverts the issues and tries his hardest not to answer. Honestly, the actual action of the fight is immaterial. I mean, yeah, it's a GREAT fight, with amazing, frenetic action, and Cap's tactical mind and skills versus Wade's borderline suicidal style. It's a class of opposites in much the same way that Deadpool Vs Madcap was a mirror match. And again, while that fight was very much decided by Madcap's final barb, this showdown was far more about the war of words than it ever was about the actual punches thrown.
At many points during this run, many people have given Deadpool a smack and said it was "For Coulson!" It feels like of all the horrors that Wade has committed over this run, THAT event is the one that most people find unforgivable.
But Wade raises an interesting question, during his clash with Steve: What if it had been the Black Widow, that had taken him down?
She has just as much red in her ledger as Wade does. Probably more, really. And she doesn't have the excuse of having her mind wiped for most of it. Yet, somehow, her transgressions and the sea of crimson they swim in, are forgiven. Because people LIKE the Black Widow.
But Deadpool? Wade "Who gives a shit about him" Wilson?
He's kind of annoying. So people are willing to let him fry. Because, basically, they just don't really like him.
Cap tries to dig himself out of the hole, by saying that Wade should have known the moment Stevil told him to kill Coulson that something was wrong... but how COULD he have known, when this wasn't even the first S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that Deadpool had been ordered to kill?
Why is Wade expected to somehow know better than the entire U.S. Congress, and the Security Commission, who gave "Steve Rogers" command of S.H.I.E.L.D., and basically handed the entire U.S. defense system over to him?
Honestly, the more I thought about it, as I read this issue, the more angry I became. It really feels like Steve, S.H.I.E.L.D., and basically all of America are upset with themselves, for ever allowing Stevil to take over. And lacking anyone else to bear that burden, they're dumping it all on Deadpool. Because he's kind of annoying. So fuck him, right?
But the horrors of Deadpool are not yet done. Because while Wade got "revenge" on Madcap, and basically declared war on Cap... he still has to deal with Stryfe. And this is where things get real messed up.
So, Stryfe has called in his chit. Four lives were saved, and now four people must die. The first was Cable, and that went well enough. But that still leaves three people on the list. First up, Irene Merryweather! AKA Chronicler. A reporter and partner of Cable, Stryfe wants her dead, because Cable isn't allowed nice things. So, killing one of the people closest to him is a slam dunk. Because Stryfe is a dick.
Next up, was the name Deadpool tried to hardest to avoid. Evan Sabahnur, AKA Baby Apocalypse. Of COURSE he found a way to trick Stryfe into thinking he'd killed him, without actually harming him at all.
And, of course, no one gave a shit, and just assumed the worst, because it's Deadpool and as we've already covered, everyone hates Deadpool. So, despite the fact that the worst thing Evan has to deal with is an hour or so of no powers... Deadpool still gets a kicking, courtesy of Colossus and Kate Pryde. Despite the fact that he explains the alternatives, despite the fact he explains what is on the line, and despite the fact that no one was hurt, the X-Men, heroes that they are, still take this chance to fuck over Deadpool. Because it's only Deadpool, right?
Three down, and only one to go! The last name on the list?
Yeah, I have no idea either. From what I can tell, and from what Google can tell me, Marietta Nelson is no one. She's an ordinary human citizen, her one and only appearance in the greater Marvel timeline is this moment, where Deadpool kills her.
Honestly, it's a beautiful scene. In a really heartbreaking, messed up way. Marietta wakes up to find Deadpool sitting in her room. Understandably, she freaks out. But Deadpool takes a moment to explain to her what he's doing there, and what's at stake. Marietta, the perfectly normal woman, in an act more heroic than any of the supposed heroes in this whole volume, agrees that Deadpool can kill her, to save the life of his young daughter. Her last words are to ask if it will hurt, as the poison Wade dosed her with takes effect and she slips away.
It's also a genuinely horrific scene, though. Mostly because of the seemingly random nature of it all. the other names on the list are fairly obvious:
Stryfe wants Cable dead, because that's his whole thing. He hates Cable.
He wants Irene dead because she's one of the few people Cable to close to in this world and as I said, he hates Cable.
He wants Evan dead, because he knows it will hurt Deadpool to do it. Evan has been like a son to Wade, so making him choose between his two children is an extra level of torture.
These names makes sense. They're designed to hurt, and the pain is clear...
But what did Marietta do, to deserve that? Did Stryfe just flick through a phonebook (do phonebooks still exist?) and pick a name at random? Did he do it, just to force Wade to kill a total innocent, knowing that would hurt him almost as much as killing someone close to him?
It makes me think of a short story, in Cates' Thanos Annual. Thanos helps an old lady across the road. It seemed like a small, random act of kindness... but he only reveals later on that doing so prevented a fateful meeting, that ended up drastically changing the course of one young woman's life. In doing so, he managed to destroy humanity's greatest chance of achieving world peace.
So, we have to wonder, was that Stryfe's goal? Did killing Marietta change some huge event in the future, that would have made the world a utopian dream state?
Or, did he just do it because he knew that killing a total stranger, who had done nothing to deserve it, would hurt Wade than all the other names on the list combined?
I guess we'll never know. But personally, I have a feeling it was the latter, because as we discussed before, Stryfe is a dick.
Overall, Despicable Deadpool Volume 2 was an absolute Master Class in what Deadpool should be. Duggan shows us the many and varied facets of Wade Wilson. From the quipping mad man, to the wounded hero. He shows the beauty in the horrific and the ugly in our favourite heroes. From his run-in with Stevil, to his conversations with Rogue, we get a whistlestop tour of everything that we know, love, and regret about the Merc with a Mouth. It's also one of the most beautifully composed volumes so far, with amazing work from Koblish and Matteo. The wonderful/terrible scene with poor Marietta is taken to brutal heights, thanks to Matteo's stunningly clean linework, and wonderful use of negative space. Comics are an inherently visual form of media, and when you see work like this, you understand why that will always be a great thing.
Oh, I didn't really talk about the Secret Covers issue... They did a great job making it through a whole comic about a magic rock, and not once making a joke about getting stoned. I guess?
Next volume... it all ends. Are you ready?
If you are, join me for Despicable Deadpool Volume 3: The Marvel Universe Kills Deadpool! Collecting Despicable Deadpool #297-300. Deadpool has killed the Marvel Universe before — more than once. Now it's time for the MU to return the favor. With a $20 million bounty on Wade Wilson's head, every no-good dirtbag in the game is gonna be gunning for him. But after the year he's had? That's just the way he wants it. Soon it won't just be enemies after him, but everyone. And self-deprecation, self-defeat, and self-destruction all combine as Deadpool dives deeper and deeper into despicability. He's gone from criminal to outcast to celebrity and back to criminal, but now every bad decision he's ever made along the way is going to come back to haunt him as Captain America leads the biggest heroes of the Marvel Universe to take him down. Hard. Be there for the end of an era!
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 in 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.