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?”
It’s been a rough decade or so for X-Men fans. As part of Ike Perlmutter‘s feud with Fox over the Fantastic Four movie rights, Marvel’s greatest franchise has suffered many an indignity. Cyclops turned into a villain by writers and editors with a Wolverine fetish. The worst crossover of all time, Avengers vs. X-Men. A serious attempt to replace mutants with the Inhumans, thankfully killed by the god-awful Inhumans TV show. Greg Land. But that’s all over now (except for Land). With a Marvel/Fox deal on the horizon, the Fantastic Four can return, but more importantly, Marvel can give a crap about the X-Men again!
Each week, we aim to recap what happened in all of the X-books, make a few jokes, and struggle to survive the experience as we reckon our love for our favorite characters with what can often feel like a “quantity-over-quality” approach to comic booking.
Last week, we didn’t have time to recap the X-books due to all the C2E2 news we had to cover, which means we’ve got to catch up. To do that, we’ve got to read and recap 13 — yes, 13 — X-books in one weekend. Is that even possible? We’re about to find out!
DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #298
GERRY DUGGAN (W) • MIKE HAWTHORNE (A/C)
THE MARVEL UNIVERSE KILLS DEADPOOL Part 2
You like villains? Oh, we got villains. With a twenty-million-dollar bounty on Deadpool’s head, every no-good scumbag in the game is gonna be gunning for him. And after the year he’s had? That’s just the way he wants it.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99
As Deadpool hurtles towards its milestone 300th issue and impending #1 issue reboot, it felt a little bit last issue like the creative team has run out of gas but they still need to fill another two issues before the big one, so this could get rough.
In the previous issue, Deadpool put out a hit on himself for $20 million. In this issue, Juggernaut has decided to cash in, both for the money, and because he’s not a Deadpool fan. It’s hard to blame him. Deadpool is kind of overexposed, and he’s an acquired taste to begin with. Deadpool drives a cement truck into him and then buries him in cement.
Next up is Taskmaster, and X-pository dialogue reveals that Deadpool beat Rhyno in a dark match before the issue started. As they fight, Deadpool reveals more about his much-vaunted sexuality.
Deadpool picks up a man in a wheelchair and hurls him, chair and all, at Taskmaster. Taskmaster decided to team up with the man and split the bounty, and they chase after Deadpool, who promptly gets hit by a cab driven by Bullseye (who we’re pretty sure should really be busy over in the current story arc of Old Man Logan right now, but Marvel’s editors just don’t care anymore).
Bullseye backs the cab over Deadpool for good measure, but the fuel tank was punctured in the accident and Deadpool lights it on fire, then bites Bullseye’s calf. They engage in a headbutt contest, but Deadpool cheats by kneeing Bullseye in the balls. He’s about to kill Bullseye when the wheelchair man shoots him with a bow and arrow.
That gives Bullseye a chance to superkick Deadpool through a glass window into a seafood market, where Deadpool’s face is attacked by crabs. Then Wheelchair Man shoots Deadpool in the balls with a bow and arrow. Taskmaster and Bullseye knock him out.
When Deadpool wakes up, they’re about to put him through a woodchipper and toss the Deadpool chips into a tank of piranhas when Deadpool reveals that he’s the one who put the hit out on himself. Taskmaster and Bullseye have respect for mental health issues, so they decide to let Deadpool go.
That’s all the action for this issue, but we do get a tease of what to expect:
We came in with low expectations, but the action in this issue was pretty great and the jokes were extra sarcastic, which is all anyone can reasonably ask of a Deadpool comic. We’re sure the team will pull out all the stops for #300, so we just have to wade through one more issue of filler to get there.