Cable & Deadpool #22

Issue Date: 
January 2005
Story Title: 
“Crack the Internet in half” Bosom Buddies part 3

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zircher (penciler) Udon’s M3TH (Inkers), Gotham (Colourist), V.C.’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Rob Schwager (colourist cover) Barber & Macchio (Consulting Editors), Nicole Wiley (editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Cable created by Rob Liefeld and Louise Simonson

Deadpool created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza

Brief Description: 

Black Box has used the Dominus Objective, stolen by the Cat, to tap into the datastream all over the world. The Cat leaves after being paid, while Black Box focuses on his enemies Cable and Deadpool. On Providence, Cable and Deadpool are sparring while Cable explains the Dominus Objective to Deadpool. At the end he knocks out Deadpool and talks to Irene Merryweather. Irene tells him that she has filed a flight plan for Cable’s skimmer jet for New Delhi, but wonders if this won’t tip off Black Box that they are coming. Cable explains to her that the flight plan is a distraction; they will go to New Delhi another way. In New Delhi, Black Box informs his mercenaries, Rive and Makeshift that Cable and Deadpool are coming. Both are glad to take revenge on Deadpool, the man who killed them. Cable and Deadpool surprise them by arriving early. Deadpool is surprised to see the two female mercenaries alive, but fights them both. Cable confronts Black Box, claiming that he knows Black Box true identity. Deadpool kills Rive and Makeshift, but Black Box injects both Cable and Deadpool with cables coming from his arms and transports them to a virtual world filled with information of all kind. The incredible amount of data incapacitates Deadpool, but Cable swims through it. Black Box appears as a giant head and tries to overwhelm Cable with raw information. In Hong Kong, the B.A.D. Girls, also in search of the Dominus Objective, fight the Cat, hoping to get info out of him, but the Cat easily defeats the three women and offers them a truce. He confirms that he was hired by Black Box to steal the Dominus Objective, but he only accepted the mission after another person told him to. The same person also hired both the B.A.D. Girls and Deadpool to steal the Dominus Objective as well: Cable. In the datastream, Cable reminds Black Box that he used to be the world’s strongest telepath and that he is used to having all this information going through his head. He demonstrates by forming a gun from raw data and shooting the virtual Black Box, causing a feedback in the real world that explodes Black Box’s arm and releases Cable. Cable frees Deadpool, while Black Box is enraged. He has figured out that Cable has set him up. Cable and Black Box fight, while Deadpool is surprised to see Rive and Makeshift, both alive and willing to fight. He again kills them and sees another pair of their bodies on the floor, concluding that there is cloning going on here. Cable explains to Deadpool that this will all be logical to him once he sees who is in Black Box’s shell and rips the armor apart. The armor is empty, though Cable expected this. A voice from behind tells Cable and Deadpool that knowledge is the only thing you can take beyond the grave. Deadpool is turns around and exclaims “No!! It can’t be you. You… You’re dead!”

Full Summary: 

The Cat has given the Dominus Objective, a hard drive which acts like a virus and a server, to Black Box, who uses it to tap into the datastream of the world. Black Box says that he has always been able to tap into all this information, but the Dominus Objective allows him to organize it.

The Cat is disturbed by Black Box talking out loud to himself and warns him that he will break his jaw if he keeps up. Black Box hardly notices the Cat talking with all the data going through his head. The Cat asks for his payment and the Black Box tells him that he has already transferred it into his account. He also has noticed that the Cat has 43 unread e-mails and asks if he would like Black Box to read them for him. The Cat asks him if he didn’t meant to read them to him and tells him that he will read them himself, because Black Box will be far too busy checking transportation data to find out when his enemies are coming for him.

On Providence, Cable and Deadpool are sparring, while Cable explains the Dominus Objective again to Deadpool. He tries to make clear that the hard-drive when attached to a big server will be able to funnel all kinds of information to a single person. Deadpool responds with a kick and gives some examples of information that the Dominus Objective can obtain: porn files, diplomatic files and bank accounts. Cable wonders what was so difficult to get about that. Deadpool, in return, wonders what was so hard to explain about that.

He bows for Cable, thanking him for the good sparring, even though he thinks that rain hits harder than Cable. Cable feels like something is missing. Deadpool wonders if it was massage oil, then catches himself saying that aloud. Cable hits Deadpool in the back of the head with his techno-organic elbow, knocking Wade to the floor, and concludes that that was what he was missing. Irene waits in the doorway and asks them if they are ready eroticizing. Cable says he’s done. Wade is holding his head and tells them he’s done as well.

On their way to the showers, Irene tells Cable that she has filed a flight plan for the skimmer jet to New Delhi, noting that Johann, Cable’s chief of security, was annoyed by Cable leaving the other jet behind on his last mission. Cable isn’t worried; he’s sure that Rand-Meachum, the company where he left it, will send it to him once they are done reverse-engineering it. Irene wonders if that doesn’t worry him. Cable thinks that the world could do with more self-subsisting, solar-powered aircraft. Irene asks Cable if he doesn’t mind Rand-Meachum making a profit out of it. Cable responds that somebody always makes a profit and apologizes that this is not much of a “scoop” for Irene, the top reporter.

Irene points out that they don’t use scoop anymore, while Cable undresses for the shower. Irene asks Cable why he asked to file a flight-plan, because his enemy now knows that he’s coming and also asks why Cable is always undressing around her. Cable apologizes again, telling her that, in his time, soldiers used to shower together without any problems. Irene jokes that she hopes the Evangelicals win this one. Cable didn’t catch that, so Irene returns to the subject of New Delhi and the flight plan.

Cable tells Irene that he wants Black Box to know that they are coming. Irene doesn’t get it and laments that she is getting as dense as Deadpool. Cable asks her how they are going to surprise the Man Who Knows Everything. Irene finally understands: the flight plan is a red herring, Cable and Deadpool will already be in New Delhi, while Black Box expects them on the plane.

In New Delhi, Black Box informs two mercenaries, Makeshift and Rive, about the flight plan. Makeshift tells him that he already suspected that Cable would be able to track the Cat’s trail. Rive is glad for a rematch with Deadpool, the man who killed her. She is surprised by Cable and Deadpool, who tells her that the wait is over. Cable identifies Makeshift and Rive as a “techno-construct assembler” and “mercenary blade-artist.” Deadpool tells Cable that he knows them and thinks he killed them once. Cable confirms that he did. Deadpool thinks that bodes well for this fight then.

Rive attacks with a yell and Deadpool blocks her strike with his own sword, while telling her that he saw Kill Bill too (rambling on a bit about Kill Bill 1 and 2, inspired by her yell). Makeshift creates a shield to block the bullets Deadpool sends her way and complains that Deadpool still doesn’t shut up and that being killed by him was a relief. Deadpool jokes that relief is spelled “D-E-A-D-P-O-L.”

Meanwhile Cable attacks Black Box, while telling him that he knows who is inside Black Box’s armour. Black Box is surprised that “Nathan” knows. Cable tells him that they are no longer on first-name basis after Black Box betrayed him. Deadpool overhears them and wonders if he missed something while still blocking Rive and Makeshift. Rive asks Makeshift if she also noticed her misspelling his own name. Deadpool tells them that Rolaids only has seven letters. Makeshift hopes that somebody kills Deadpool now.

Black Box asks Cable if he really thinks he knows who is in the shell. Cable replies that he knows that the shell is all Black Box is good for. Deadpool wants somebody to explain to him what is going on between the two, so Cable starts to explain to Deadpool that Black Box has been around for longer and that the name and the armor are just a new twist to… He is cut off by Black Box, who tells him that the new name and armor reflect a fundamental change in his philosophy. Two metal cables grow from his arms and themselves to Cable’s and Deadpool’s heads, while Deadpool tells Black Box that, once you find something that works, you should stick with it. Like Deadpool and swords (stabbing Rive and Makeshift at the same time).

Black Box asks Deadpool why he then recently underwent neurosurgery to correct some of his more erratic behavior. Deadpool grabs the metal wire in the back of his neck, while asking Black Box how he knew about that. Black Box promises to share just a portion of what he knows and sends power through the cables, transporting Deadpool and Cable mentally to the world’s datastream.

The datastream looks like white space, filled with images in the form of paintings, newspaper articles, blueprints, comics and much, much more. Deadpool is completely confused by all the information, but Cable quickly adapts. Deadpool notices Rafael Palmeiro’s pharmacy accounts and tells himself that he knew it, while Cable tries to instruct Deadpool that you can either drown in the information or swim through it. A gigantic image of Black Box’s head forms itself from the data in front of Cable, telling Cable that there is a third option: you can drown in the information and he wonders how much information Cable can handle.

In Hong Kong, the B.A.D. Girls have infiltrated the Cat’s house and are now fighting with him. While dodging a kick from the Cat, Asp tells her colleagues that, if she knew then what she knows now, she would have not taken this assignment. Diamondback tells her that she always wants it easy. Cat identifies the three women as the B.A.D. Girls. Black Mamba asks him if he wants to find out how bad and uses her darkforce ability. The Cat tells her that breaking and entering his home to find the Dominus Objective, as well as trying to steal it, doesn’t qualify as bad in his definition as the darkness closes in on him.

A few seconds later, the darkness disappears and the Cat tells them that it qualifies as foolhardly, stupid or even suicidal, but not bad. He demonstrates the suicidal part, by kicking a surprised Black Mamba. A surprised Diamondback and Asp are next, with Diamondback wondering why Black Mamba’s ability to show him his deepest desire, didn’t work. The Cat explains to her that he already is living his deepest desire. He offers them a truce, which the three girls gladly accept.

Black Mamba asks for some motrin, but Cat offers her some herbal recipe, which should work better. Diamondback asks him if he was hired by Black Box to steal the Dominus Objective. The Cat admits that he was, but adds that he accepted the assignment after he found out a third party was also interested. Diamondback is amazed that the Cat can get a third party to pay him for a mission he is already being paid for.

The Cat teases them like this is completely normal to him, but then explains to them that a mercenary of his caliber doesn’t work for just money. After the Black Box asked him to steal the Dominus Objective, he looked around to see how else would want him to succeed or fail in that mission. Diamondback tells him that they don’t know who hired them, or Deadpool for that matter. The Cat says that she is overcomplicating a simple manner: The B.A.D. Girls and Deadpool were both hired by the same person who told The Cat to accept Black Box’s mission: Cable.

In the datastream, Cable tells Deadpool that Black Box doesn’t understand. Black Box wants to know what he doesn’t understand, while Deadpool is too caught up in all the information (in this case TV-listing for the 1970s) that make his head hurt. Cable tells Black Box that “To somebody like me… This is all very familiar. Bringing me here was about as strenuous as putting me into a comfortable warm bath. I was the world’s most powerful telepath, you idiot.” Cable proves his words by forming part of the data into a gun. He shoots the gun and in the real world, the feedback of the virtual gun explodes Black Box’s right arm.

The dataline in Cable’s line is removed by the shock, while Cable tells Black Box that he used to live in a datastream every single day. Deadpool is still rolled up, too, confused by all the information (working himself through the New England Journal of Medicine this time). Cable takes the opportunity to free Deadpool, who wonders how Cable dealt with it. Cable replies that it is easy, just deal with the pain and exhaustion every single day.

Black Box is furious. He has figured out that Cable set him up and attacks Cable. Cable is not impressed and punches through Black Box’s stomach and out of the back (showing only machinery, no blood exiting the wound). Deadpool narrowly dodges an attack by Rive, surprised that both she and Makeshift are not only alive but also completely unharmed. “I killed you both just five minutes ago,” he exclaims, while two small guns move out of his sleeves into his hands. Rive and Makeshift deny that he ever hurt them: they are both completely unharmed, so how can he explain killing them before? Deadpool shoots them both in the head, admitting that he can’t explain it. He can tell them though that Larverne and Shirley used to be on Tuesday Night’s at 8:30.

He turns around and sees the bodies of the Makeshift and Rive that he stabbed before. He tells Cable that he has come to the conclusion that they are in the middle of a cloning thing here. Cable replies with a no-kidding and that, if Deadpool could see who was in the armor, he wouldn’t be surprised. He rips the armor apart, but it is completely mechanical with no body inside.

Deadpool wonders why it is empty. Cable replies that he suspected this after X-Force reported back to him after their last encounter. A voice tells them that the armor is empty, because knowledge is the only thing that you can take with you after you die. Deadpool and Cable turn around and Deadpool shouts: “No! It can’t be you! You… you’re dead!”

Characters Involved: 

Cable/Nathan Dayspring

Deadpool/Wade Wilson

The Cat

Black Box

Rive and Makeshift (Executive Elite)

Irene Merryweather

Diamondback, Asp and Black Mamba (B.A.D. Girls)

Story Notes: 

The title “Cracking the Internet in Half” is a parody on Marvel’s hype about the House of M-series, which was supposed to crack the Internet in half in people who liked and disliked the consequences of said story.

Deadpool’s belt during the sparring session is a white belt with little Deadpool-masks on it.

The massage oil comment is a running joke in the current storyline: Black Mamba’s ability to show a person his deepest, darkest desire triggered a fantasy for Deadpool where he is giving Cable a massage.

Irene’s comment about the skimmer jet refers to last issue where Cable takes a jet to pick up Deadpool, but leaves the jet behind when he and Deadpool bodyslide back to Providence.

Makeshift and Rive were part of the Executive Elite, a group of mercenaries (including the mutant Commcast) who were killed by Deadpool in the Deadpool limited series: The Circle Chase.

Kill Bill is a martial arts movie in 2 parts by renowned director Quentin Tarantino.

Relief is spelled “D-E-A-D-P-O-L” is a joke on the Rolaids commercial for a type of medication.

Before this issue, there wasn’t any indication that Black Box was in fact another character with a history with both Cable and Deadpool.

Rafael Palmeiro is a professional baseball player. Deadpool’s comments are a joke about him using illegal doping.

The data Cable forms into a gun is appropriately enough data on a weapon: “muzzle velocity” and “Feed: 60 round magazine” can be read on it).

Laverne and Shirley was a comedy-series in the late 70s/early 80s (referring to Deadpool receiving the 1970s TV Guide listings while in the datastream in this issue.)

For some reason, after Cable and Deadpool return from the datastream, all color has left Black Box’ face, going to pale white.

X-Force was the group of mutants that was formed by Cable out of the New Mutants and work with him on a semi-regular basis.

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