Welcome, dear readers, to 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?”
Each week, we aim to recap what happened in all of the X-books that come out that week, praise the things we like about them, and complain about the things we don’t. This week, there are seven X-Books in stores, which will make a dent in your wallet. But are these comics worth taking out a second mortgage to read?
Let’s look at Despicable Deadpool #296 and find out…
DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #296
GERRY DUGGAN (W) • MATTEO LOLLI (A)
Cover by MIKE HAWTHORNE
SECRET COMICS VARIANT COVER BY SCOTT KOBLISH
NEW MUTANTS VARIANT COVER BY DECLAN SHALVEY
BUCKET LIST CONCLUDES!
• He was Wade’s hero. He took Wade under his wing.
• Things didn’t go the way Wade hoped.
• Now, Wade wants to beat the ever-living snot out of Captain America.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
This week’s issue of Despicable Deadpool is the conclusion of the Bucket List storyline, which has seen Deadpool being forced to murder people at the behest of Stryfe, who holds the lives of Deadpool’s family in his hands. Deadpool has avoided killing some people, like Cable and Kid Apocalypse, but he’s been perfectly happy to murder civilians it seems. In the previous issue, Captain America had caught up with Deadpool. That’s where this one picks up.
Deadpool and Cap fight. Cap says that Deadpool is right to be angry with him (Deadpool went full Nazi following Nazi Steve Rogers during Secret Empire). Deadpool murdered Phil Coulson on Nazi Steve’s behalf. Deadpool is pissed, and he punches Cap twice. Cap says he let him get those hits in, but no more.
Deadpool calls out Steve for using him and being a hypocrite. He’s right, of course. Cap has been a total dick since at least Avengers vs. X-Men when he led the Avengers to the X-Men’s sovereign nation of Utopia demanding to take Hope Summers into custody and hold her on a moon base for crimes she might one-day commit while under the influence of a bird-themed cosmic death god. But somehow, Cyclops was the bad guy in all of that. Right. Anyway, Cap says he was actually helping Deadpool out by using him as a soldier because Deadpool needs discipline. Deadpool says Steve is basically full of @#$%, because they wouldn’t be having this conversation if the Black Widow had killed Coulson under Nazi Steve’s orders.
It continues like that for a while. Cap says that he’ll speak on Deadpool’s behalf asking for leniency at sentencing if he turns himself in. Deadpool, who visited Nazi Steve in prison (Secret Empire ended with a dream version of Steve coming to our reality and punching out the evil version of Steve, or something — we didn’t read that crap — but we’re pretty sure that Nazi Steve is actually the real Steve and this Steve is the fake Steve), says that the Nazi version is more reasonable than this one. Steve subdues and arrests Deadpool and compliments him for not killing his Nazi doppelganger. Deadpool headbutts Cap, busts loose, and tells him he didn’t kill Nazi Cap because he wanted this Cap to live in constant fear of what Nazi Cap might do if he’s still alive. He also calls out Trump’s America:
Steve is getting tired of this and wants to arrest Deadpool. He knocks Deadpool down. Deadpool says Steve will have to pin him to the ground with his own sword if he wants to stop him from getting up, and Steve does it because Deadpool heals from everything. Unfortunately, it seems they have an audience.
Right on, kids! Captain America is a jerk!
Steve tries to explain that Deadpool is a fugitive, but Deadpool tells the kids he’s paralyzed and encourages them to turn the pictures into the Daily Bugle. Steve is mad that Deadpool “baited” him, but Deadpool says he’s a “master baiter.” Deadpool then tells Steve that he doesn’t only blame him. He blames himself for ever trusting him.
Damn. Deadpool’s words cut deeper than his swords. Cap chases Deadpool through New York City traffic, into some roadwork, and Deadpool jumps down a manhole. Deadpool slips his mask onto a construction worker and lifts his head out of the manhole, so Cap punches him. As he realizes his mistake, more onlookers are taking cell phone photos and video of Cap beating up an innocent.
Cap chases Wade into the sewers. Deadpool is leading him to something he wants him to see. It’s the “corpse” of Agent Preston’s life model decoy, which her consciousness was permanently residing in after she was killed in an earlier Deadpool series. The life model decoy was killed during Secret Empire. Deadpool demands that Steve figure out how to fix it and bring her back to life. Cap says he will. Deadpool has lined the sewer with explosives and he threatens to detonate it, probably killing all the people above, if Cap doesn’t let him go. Steve tries to call his bluff, but Deadpool isn’t bluffing. He presses the detonator, blowing up one of the explosives. The trigger is now a dead man’s switch, which means that if Deadpool lets go, all of the explosives will blow up. Deadpool says that he’ll surrender, but only to Agent Preston after Cap fixes her. He escapes.
That concludes the penultimate story arc of Despicable Deadpool. The next storyline, The Marvel Universe Kills Deadpool, will lead into Despicable Deadpool #300, at which point Deadpool will be “canceled,” and then Deadpool will be rebooted with a new number one issue and no “Despicable.”
This issue was good because there was both action and drama, and both were delivered simultaneously, as the whole issue was both a fight and an argument. Most of all, the book wasn’t afraid to show Captain America for the hypocrite he is (never forget Avengers vs. X-Men!!!), so that automatically makes it our favorite X-Book of the week.
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