Oh, you haven’t had enough Deadpool yet? Okay then…
Welcome, dear readers, to Deadpool: Bla… er, er mean, X-Men: Bland Design, the weekly multi-part recap column that strives to answer the question: “What if Ed Piskor had no art skills, a juvenile sense of humor, and less classic material to work with?”
Things have changed in the X-Men comics (and superhero comics in general) since the glory days recapped in Piskor’s magnum opus. Gone are all of the thought bubbles, most of the narration boxes, most of the references to past issues, and perhaps most importantly, any trace of the idea that any comic could be some reader’s first. Casting aside many of the properties that set comics apart as a medium, the modern superhero-industrial complex has instead chosen to treat comics as glorified storyboards, decompressed and written for the trade.
But for X-Men fans, it doesn’t matter. We’ll obsessively buy and read all of these X-Men comics until the day we die, no matter how bad they get! And if we’re going to do that anyway, we might as well document the experience for you, our dear readers, brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings in suffering.
This week there are five regular-priced X-Books on the stands, which will cost you 20 bucks to buy, and, thanks to the aforementioned decompression, roughly 10 minutes to read: X-Men Blue #22, All-New Wolverine #31, Legion #2, Spider-Man vs. Deadpool #28, and Despicable Deadpool #295. It’s time for our final Deadpool comic…
Despicable Deadpool #295
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Scott Koblish
Colorist: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Cover: Mike Hawthorne and Nathan Fairbairn
Worth noting that Matteo Lolli is advertised as the artist on the cover, but the interior credits say it’s Scott Koblish?
The Bucket List storyline continues in Despicable Deadpool, which sees Deadpool killing people on behalf of evil clone of Cable, Stryfe (or is Cable the clone?), who holds the lives of Deadpool’s family in his hands. The next person on Deadpool’s list to kill, revealed last issue, is Kid Apocalypse. Will Deadpool stoop as low as Wolverine and become a child murderer? Let’s find out.
Before the issue even starts, on the recap page, Deadpool informs us that he has a plan to avoid killing Evan Sabahnur (Kid Apocalypse). The issue opens immediately with an injured Kid Apocalypse running through a rainy city street. He bumps into some bystanders and tells them to run because Deadpool is coming to kill him. Guess that plan worked out great. The bystanders offer to help, but Deadpool knocks them out. Deadpool reveals that he shot Evan with a dart containing a drug that suppresses his powers. Evan asks why Deadpool wants to kill him — for something he did, or something his future self will do. Deadpool says it’s neither. It’s all Deadpool’s fault. Evan just wants to know why.
Back at Stryfe’s home base, Stryfe is tracking targets on a screen (mutants?), urging Deadpool to “just do it.” One of the targets, labeled “Genesis” (guess that’s Kid Apocalypse’s name now), disappears. Stryfe hopes Deadpool isn’t trying to trick him, like he did with Cable. Deadpool teleports in and says he did the deed. He wants the final name on Stryfe’s list so they can be done with this. Stryfe tells him he has to kill a civilian named Marieta Nelson. Deadpool has to kill her before the night is out, and his debt to Stryfe will be paid.
Deadpool teleports back to the rainy street, knocks out the two bystanders who were just waking up, and then tells Evan to wake up. He’s not dead, apparently. Deadpool says he owes him an explanation. Time for some X-pository dialogue. Deadpool borrowed a drug developed by a Weapon X spinoff that suppresses the X-gene temporarily. Since he removed the X-gene from Evan, that must have caused him to drop off Stryfe’s tracker. Deadpool is surprised that Evan really thought Deadpool would kill him. He says Evan would have called the X-Men if that were true. As it turns out…
Bozhe moi! Colossus shows up and punches Deadpool through a wall into some kind of sporting goods store. Kitty Pryde enters the fray, grabs a baseball bat, and phases it into Deadpool’s chest. Ouch! Kitty thinks it’s gross that Rogue made out with Deadpool. Wasn’t she gonna marry Caliban once? Kitty should know that it’s not all about what’s on the outside. Granted, she was 14 at the time, but that didn’t stop her from making out with Colossus. Look, it was the eighties. Let’s just not talk about it.
Kitty phases Deadpool into the middle of a glass door, after which the glass shatters. That’s creative. Evan still wants to know why Deadpool attacked him. Colossus thinks it doesn’t matter, but Evan does. Deadpool explains that Stryfe will kill his daughter Ellie if he doesn’t comply, and that he still might once Stryfe learns he tricked him by not killing Evan.
Kitty stops Colossus from beating up Deadpool some more. She doesn’t believe any woman would bear Deadpool’s child. Damn, Kitty. Evan asks why Deadpool didn’t come to his friends for help. Deadpool says he can’t afford to have friends. Kitty says she’s taking Deadpool in, so Deadpool tosses a live grenade to Evan. Kitty has to phase everyone so the explosion doesn’t kill them all, and Deadpool escapes during that time.
Deadpool arrives at Bleeker Street, with less than an hour to complete his task Deadpool finds Marietta Nelson in bed, sleeping. He apologizes in advance for killing her, and explains that he has to do it because his daughter’s life is at stake. However, he feels really bad and he knows it’s all his fault. Marietta is surprisingly accepting. She doesn’t think it’s that bad that she, a middle-aged woman, would have to die so that a young child can live. She’s still crying though. She asks if it will hurt. Deadpool says no, and that he already did it. She dies (poisoned?). Deadpool is sad. CBR has an article comparing it to a scene from V for Vendetta, if you’re interested.
As Deadpool is leaving the building, he’s attacked by Captain America. Deadpool followed Captain America into being a Nazi during Secret Empire, which we suppose started this whole mess. This is a different Captain America or whatever (we’re not reading Secret Empire for details), but he’s still partially responsible. Cap says he’s bringing Deadpool in. Deadpool refuses. This will be continued in the next issue.
So here’s the story. We had enough of Deadpool around the time Daniel Way was writing him. He was overexposed and annoying. We only started following his adventures again as part of our vow to read and recap every X-Men-related title each week. We have to admit, this book has grown on us with this storyline. It does a good job of capturing the tragic nature of Deadpool, rather than obsessively focusing on the grating and unoriginal humor some past incarnations have brought to the table. We may even consider reading it for fun after it’s canceled and rebooted with Despicable Deadpool #300.
That’s all for this week! See you next week for more X-Men: Bland Design!