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Congratulations to Mike Workman on winning the Deadpool/Death Caption Contest I've been holding here in the run-up to DEAD!
Mike, your little yellow & white boxes of craziness are now immortalized here and at my Deadpool Crew Facebook Group!
So here we are at Part 1 of the much-anticipated, much talked about DEAD arc--which comes with the tagline 'Watch him Croak'...
For some time now, Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool, the Merc with a Mouth, has had a death wish. After changing direction from badass merc to wannabe superhero and back and flying to outer space where he saved some planets, but felt alone and missed the pat on the back he would have gotten from friends--Deadpool returned home, only to be met by all his friends trying to kill him--and for a brief moment, succeeding.
But his supercharged healing factor kicked in and brought him back to life. However, in that brief moment, he was reunited with the love of his life, the female emobodiment of Death--and realized (or deluded himself into believing) that this was what his friends wanted for him. That this was what he wanted. To feel Death's embrace forever.
Since then, he's been on a mission to beat his healing factor and get himself killed for good, but has only wound up getting himself put in the nut house, thereupon meeting fellow fruitcake Dr. Ella Whitby--who was obsessed with him and had his old discarded body parts, lost in battles, in her freezer. Disgusted at this, Wade chucked the parts in the dumpster--but they thawed and formed the sentient Evil Deadpool... and Deadpool and Evil Deadpool went head-to-head--before 'Evil' was taken down by a sniper dart. And died.
Which brings us to now.
Deadpool wants what he had. He wants to find that sniper and get a dose of what killed Evil Deadpool. But with 'every cop in the world out to get him,' drawing attention to himself isn't gonna be the way to go as it'll only end up with him put away again--where he can't reach the serum. He's gonna have to 'use pawns to do it.' And so Deadpool begins putting the pieces in place for his own inimitable 'Game of Chess.'
'The Horse Heads.'
Telling them the serum nullifies mutations and hiding his true motivations from them, Deadpool convinces his X-Force team-mates that The Kingpin has it and gets them to help him try and find the sniper The Kingpin 'hired,' that took out Evil Deadpool, believing this to be the smarter way to go than aiming directly at The Kingpin, as he'd quickly cover his tracks.
Deadpool also meets up with Wolverine's son Daken...
...and invites Daken to accompany him on the search for the serum (Daken, also possessing a super-charged healing factor, having a vested interest)--and then kill him with it. But Daken turns down the offer, believing it too good to be true.
Meanwhile, Wade sends his sometime sidekick Hydra Bob...
...to visit The Kingpin, asking for the big guy's help in finding the serum. Bemused by this, The Kingpin's tolerance for Bob rapidly erodes before he forcefully shows him the door and sets his right-hand woman Typhoid Mary (who had a 'thing' with Wade in the past)--together with his Ninja lackeys The Hand--about finding the serum for his own gain.
'The One That Goes Diagonally.'
All this plus an inventive use of Wolverine's claws to get change for a payphone, double-crossing, and some intrigue involving a 'Baby's First...' book that begins and ends Deadpool #50--and you have a solid, extra-sized set-up issue for the 'Dead' arc. We're not privy to exactly what Wade's trying to pull off here, and though we don't have the full picture, there's also a piece in Deadpool's chess game that he isn't aware of--a 'Wildcard' introduced at the end of the book.
Returning art team Carlo Barberi & Walden Wong deliver some of their best work yet, aided by excellent new colorist Dommo.
There's been much talk about this hyped-up arc, which seems as though it may be writer Daniel Way's swansong on the volume of Deadpool that he's been with since the start. Way's also revealed that this mysterious serum that the Merc is searching for dates back to the start. A signature of Way's run on Deadpool has been the Merc 'playing' people and things not being as they appear; this looks set to be the grandest example of such yet--and one with the highest of stakes--the life of Deadpool himself.
I'm intrigued to see where this is gonna go...