Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thursdays With Wade: Revisiting Joe Kelly's Deadpool Part 12

Today’s reading: Deadpool #15, April 1998
Story: Joe Kelly
Art: Ian McDaniel & Anibal Rodriguez

Welcome to Landau, Luckman and Lake, Wade Wilson. Hope they survive the experience.

After 15 months of popping in and out of Deadpool’s life asking if he wants to play messiah, Wade finally agrees to hear out Zoe Culloden and follow her to LL&L’s base of operations. At this point, what else has he got to lose, right? He’s alienated his friends, T-Ray’s kicked his ass and taken his teleportation belt, and leaving Golden Gate Park any other way would likely have him arrested.

And so we get our first glimpse of the interdimensional offices of the three L’s, an effort to squeeze as much brightly-colored sci-fi stuff into one building as possible without blatantly ripping off The Fifth Element, which had come out the year before. There’s a blue, pointy-eared little person who offers fruit punch, a bug-eyed boy named Herbert whose head is prone to exploding with little provocation, a monster that becomes agitated when exposed to light and lots of people with upside-down pink triangles tattooed on their foreheads.

Oh, and of course, there’s Montgomery the precog, who looks like the lovechild of Deadpool and Skeletor borrowed Professor X’s hoverchair. Old Monty spends the issue believing his death is imminent, which is proved untrue either because Deadpool saves his life or because, as has been proved before, Monty is a terrible precog prone to plot-relevant wrongness.

In true Rodney Dangerfield fashion, Deadpool makes a mess of things and upsets the squares with his antics. Specifically he walks into the wrong room and accidentally unleashes Doris, the above-referenced photosensitive monster, who was a very expensive LL&L research project. Deadpool disembowels Doris before it can kill Monty, costing the company millions and enraging Culloden’s boss, a ponytailed stiff named Dixon who never believed in Zoe’s pet project. Before Dixon can have Deadpool arrested and likely worse, Culloden rightly points out that Dixon has just as much to lose as the rest of them when the three L’s get wind of what happened. And so Dixon makes Deadpool a job offer, which Wade decides to sleep on.

For the first time since “Drowning Man,” Deadpool goes back to his home in San Francisco, where he’s greeted by his prisoner/roommate Blind Al, who’s had a lot of time to think since Wade stuck her in The Box. Specifically she’s been pondering whether to stay or go, her arguments for either dovetailing pretty nicely with the Clash song. After many hours of boredom, singing to herself and pondering her debts to Wade, she chooses to stay, but not without a dash o’ psychological warfare. When Wade returns, the house is clean, there’s food on the table, and Al bids him “Good night … master.”

“Gee, and just when I started to forget what a yutz I am,” Wade says as she closes her bedroom door. “Yutz” is a bit of a light word to describe someone who imprisons a blind, old woman and occasionally shoves her into a room full of blades, chains and other assorted traps, but I digress.

Before we depart, there’s one last bit of plot to pick at. Remember the black-clad gentleman we met last issue who was hunting for Wade and killing alleged associates of his from the past? He’s back for another round, this time hunting down a red-haired lumberjack with cybernetic limbs. The man in black, who has yet to be named, refers to his prey as rejects, which implies some sort of experimentation. Now, when was Wade Wilson experimented on? Hmm …

Next time on Thursdays with Wade, Deadpool once again borrows from Daredevil’s supporting cast on a mission in Greece, and Wade’s hunter finally identifies himself.

In addition to writing for The Matt Signal, Dan Grote is now the official comics blogger for The Press of Atlantic City. New posts appear Wednesday mornings at His new novel, Magic Pier, is available however you get your books online. He and Matt have been friends since the days when Onslaught was just a glimmer in Charles Xavier's eye. Follow @danielpgrote on Twitter.

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