Agent-X #5

Issue Date: 
January 2003
Story Title: 
Dead Man’s Switch - part 5: A Little Crazy

Gail Simone (writer), UDON - Erik Ko, Alvin Lee, Rob Ross, Eric Vedder, TheRealT!, Shane Law and Calvin Lo (art team), Cory Petit (letterer), Lynne Yoshii (assistant letters), Andrew Lis (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

After being shot, Alex now has a bullet lodged in his throat, which prevents him from breathing. Mary Zero desperately looks for help, but Alex is saved by Arcade who performs a tracheotomy on Alex. Meanwhile, Taskmaster sells Alex out to the Four Winds, telling them that he is in fact Wade Wilson, the murderer of their former leaders. This action has unexpected consequences though, when also Sandi is targeted for murder. Taskmaster escapes and informs Alex of what he has done. Alex saves Sandi and, together with Taskmaster and Outlaw, they go to Alpine Park to face the Four Winds. The group does not wait long, as several cars with costumed criminals working for the Four Winds soon arrive.

Full Summary: 

Mary tells a half-unconscious Alex that she tried to get help, but the phone operator couldn’t hear her and the car she ‘borrowed’ crashed into the bus outside of Alpine Park. She tells him that she’s afraid that he’s going to die before she can tell him that he will be her boyfriend forever, the only man that can see her. Blinded by the lights of an arriving car, Mary accidentally drops Alex. A man gets out and walks up to Alex, not noticing Mary, as usual, and tells Alex that he has an appointment.

The man is Arcade, who has come to consult on the rides in the park. Looking up, Arcade notices that somebody has set fire to the carousel and blames Alex. He throttles Alex, exclaiming that it’s a very rare, antique carousel; a Gervoise, hand-carved from basswood and one of less than a dozen left in the hemisphere. One of Arcade’s assistants walks up to him and tells him that there is a dead man, smelling of kerosene, on the grounds and that he was probably the one that burned the carousel. Arcade understands and releases Alex, deciding to now help him.

Saguri and Higashi are fighting over Higashi’s decision to date Sandi. Saguri thinks he betrays the Lady, the former leader of the Four Winds. She was killed not a year ago, but Higashi thinks that she would understand. Their guards interrupt them and tell Higashi that somebody came to see him. It turns out to be Taskmaster, who offers them both Wade Wilson, the murderer of their lady and Alex Hayden and who annoyed the Four Winds by not selling Alpine Park to them.

In Alpine Park, Arcade performs a tracheotomy, using his knife to make an incision in Alex’s throat and then a pen of one of his henchmen as a breathing tube. Alex regains consciousness and Arcade tells him that he still has a bullet in his throat, but that Alex’s healing factor healed around it. Arcade tells him that he would ask him about brain damage, but that it would be an unnecessary question if Alex would be able to answer it. Sandi tells Arcade that Alex wanted an estimate on fixing Alpine Park. He then searches for a pen and asks his henchman Miguel for one, who also hasn’t another. Alex then pulls the pen out of his throat to give it to Arcade and immediately falls down. Arcade concludes that he jumped the gun on the brain damage question.

In the HQ of the Four Winds, Saguri is venting her anger at being unable to see that Wilson and Hayden where one and the same by cutting up everything around her with her sword. Higashi and Taskmaster are watching her and discussing the matter. Taskmaster wants them to leave Sandi alone, but Higashi tells him that Saguri will want to kill all of them for aiding Deadpool in murdering the Lady. Taskmaster is furious about them breaking the deal, but Higashi tells him that he can’t help. Saguri has the backing of the boards on this. He advises Taskmaster to take Sandi and change her appearance and name.

Back at Alpine Park, Arcade tells Alex that he can help him, but that it will cost a lot of money. Alex, still unable to talk due to the bullet, writes down on a notepad that he will get the money. Arcade offers to buy the park since he is interested in theme parks. He makes a comment that, with a few adjustments, the roller coaster could be a real killer. Alex writes down that he doesn’t want to kill the customers. Arcade is surprised; to each their own, he says. Alex hands him a note with thanks for saving his life and that he should make an appointment with Sandi for a follow-up meeting. Arcade tells him that there isn’t any fun in watching people die unless they are in a giant pinball machine at the time.

Back at the Four Winds, Saguri accuses Higashi for being unable to see that Wilson and Hayden are the same. Saguri tells them that all the guns they could hire are on their way to kill them and that Higashi will pay for his lack of judgement. Higashi asks her what would happen if he ordered her to spare Sandi’s life. Saguri tells him that, because she cares for him and their Lady cared for him, she will advise him for one last time: she tells him not to give that order.

Outside, Taskmaster is offered a ride back home. In the car, Saguri phones one of them and he tells the others in Japanese that Saguri wants Taskmaster’s head. Suddenly, Taskmaster knocks out the guys on his sides and takes their guns and shoots the driver and the other man in front of him. Holding a gun to the remaining mobster’s face, Taskmaster bets he didn’t know he spoke Japanese and then asks him if he wanted to tell him something. He then calls Alex to tell him what he has done and asks Alex to save Sandi. Mary tells Alex that, even if Sandi is Alex’s girlfriend, she hopes that they won’t hurt her.

At her apartment, Sandi is still confused about Higashi’s question to date her, when the phone rings. She answers it and Taskmaster tells her to leave the apartment as quickly as possible. At that point several Four Winds-agents enter through the window. Sandi manages to knock one of them out with the poker and locks herself into the bathroom. The leader of the group tells her to come out and orders one of his men to go outside and watch the window. A woman in the team asks the leader if she can have the knife, apparently she dates the person who was hit by Sandi.

At this moment, Alex silently enters the bathroom and gives Sandi a note to push under the door. The leader reads it and it’s a riddle: “What’s white and goes ‘Snap, Crackle, Pop’?” Another note appears with the answer: “Your collarbone!” The leader doesn’t get it but is immediately hit in the face with the toilet, which is thrown straight through the door. The woman takes out her gun, but is hit with several toilet articles, before Alex picks up the toilet and hits her with it. He then throws it out of the window and hits the man waiting outside.

Alex writes an apology note in which he tells her that he left the guns at the park and he will buy her a new toilet. Sandi is just thankful to be alive and shows him the knife on which a challenge is written: “Alpine Park at dawn”. Alex adjusts a note with acceptance to a toilet-brush and leaves it in a very painful place on one of the agents left in the apartment.

In the car, Sandi tells Alex that it was a gross place to leave a note, but Alex simply shows her a note that they will call Outlaw and Taskmaster and gather at the park. At the park, Outlaw performs a quick surgery on Alex and removes the bullet. She then shows him a note, written by Mary, who tells him that she will try to find a way to help him and not to forget her. Outlaw asks who Mary is. Sandi asks why Taskmaster told the Four Winds that Alex was Wilson. Taskmaster apologizes and Alex shows him several notes with a “You Suck” theme. Taskmaster agrees and tells them that Outlaw can escape but they know for sure that they want the rest of them. Outlaw disagrees and tells them that they could run. Taskmaster replies that the Four Winds will never stop looking for them and that they have to consider Sandi. Sandi replies that they shouldn’t make this decision because of her. Alex finally decides that they stay and fight back. Sandi makes two phone calls and, by dawn, Taskmaster, Outlaw and Alex are all armed to the teeth.

A car arrives and three costumed criminals step out, among them the Eel. Taskmaster complains that he could take these guys out by himself when more cars arrive. Again costumed criminals get out; the Jester and Crossfire. Outlaw is pessimistic and tells them that they will never survive, but Alex, whose throat is healing while he says it, says they just need to get a little crazy.

Characters Involved: 

Agent X

Sandi Brandenberg



Mary Zero

Higashi, Head of the Four Winds

Saguri, Higashi’s right hand woman


Miguel, employee of Arcade

Crossfire, Eel, Jester, and two unidentifiable assassins

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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