Cable & Deadpool #38

Issue Date: 
May 2007
Story Title: 
It's In The Genes

Fabian Nicieza (Writer), Reilly Brown (Penciler), Jeremy Freeman & Pat Davidson (Inkers) Gotham (Colourist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer) Skottie Young (Cover Artist), Nicole Boose (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: 

Agent X shoots his way through a horde of H.Y.D.R.A. agents with ease, quipping to himself the whole way. He finally reaches a room with a giant machine called “the Actuator” which he has been commissioned to steal. Before he can do so, a beam from the machine hits him and cripples him with a severe case of arthritis. Back in the headquarters of Agency X, a tiny Deadpool agrees to help recover Agent X, a decision he arrives at mostly due to the two beautiful assistants. With Weasel as his backup, Deadpool rushes into the H.Y.D.R.A. compound using his tiny size to his advantage in both battle and stealth. He retrieves a security card and then tortures a H.Y.D.R.A. agent named Bob into helping him locate Agent X. Upon finding a morbidly obese Agent X in the Actuator room, he explains that the Actuator changes genetic templates. Once it is learned that the changes are permanent, Deadpool forces the H.Y.D.R.A. scientists to restore his height and then proceeds to steal Agent X and the Actuator with the help of Bob. They make their escape in an airplane leaving Weasel behind. Back at Agency X, the two assistants are tied up by a vengeful T-Ray.

Full Summary: 

Alex Hayden, Agent X, slaughters his way through a horde of H.Y.D.R.A. agents as he makes his way through their compound. Kicking, punching and mercilessly shooting the countless agents, they scream that he is like silent death.

Though silent, Alex chronicles an inner journal on yellow lined caption boxes. Noting that he is outnumbered a hundred to one, he expresses his hatred for how James Bond always makes infiltrating enemy bases look so easy and also looks better in a tux. Stating his mission as that of stealing a morphogenic actuator, he laments that nobody laughed at his joke that they simply buy one on a late night infomercial. The fact that H.Y.D.R.A. can use the machine to cure diseases or create diseases for the highest bidder is at odds with the agenda of Alex's employer. Alex regrets that nobody else can see the crinkly yellow paper of his brain journal and makes a mental note to buy a brain keyboard to prevent future finger-dents from so much brain writing.

Grimacing in pain, Agent X suddenly gets hit multiple times in his left arm. He thinks to himself that the joke is on them, as his healing factor is already working. Continuing, he describes himself as a walking weapon, an unstoppable killing machine, as well as a ballroom dance instructor at the Gillespie senior center on alternate Wednesdays. Arm fully healed, Agent X continues his swathe of devastation through the H.Y.D.R.A. ranks, claiming that the old fogeys can cut the cheese but they can't cut the rug. Irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis are a funny combo he thinks and wonders if the actuator can cure gas problems at the Gillespie senior center.

Just on the other side of the door are some very worried H.Y.D.R.A. scientists, wondering how they will protect the Actuator. The lead scientist claims that, since it can't be moved yet, they should introduce strain A-fourteen to the device. As they quickly scramble to do their work, one of the scientists remarks that the fighting has stopped. “Do you think we're sa-”

BRAKKOOOM! The door explodes inward and Agent X steps through the smoke into the room. He remarks that the Actuator was much bigger than he expected and politely asks if any of the scientists could help him carry it out. Yelling that he won't be taking it anywhere, the lead scientist powers up the actuator, chanting “Hail HYDRA!” Alex glibly remarks “Hail yourself.” A thin yellow beam strikes Agent X's forehead. “Targeting my brain-? That just won't do anything...”

Alex continues on that, if they aren't going to help him out, the least they can do is find him a hand truck. Suddenly overcome with pain, Alex collapses onto his knees, propping himself up with his sword as the scientists look on. Grimacing in pain, he assures them that his old healing factor will kick in any second now. Instead, he fully collapses to the floor. He cries out,“In the name of all that is decent, what have you done to me?” Looking on him with nothing but contempt, the lead scientist explains that they gave Agent X a debilitating case of advanced degenerative arthritis. As Alex looks up in pain and defeat, he thinks that the Gillespie dancers are not so funny anymore. His last thought is the hope that there is no potential irritable bowel syndrome ray.

At Deadpool's messy and weapon-filled apartment, a tiny Wade stares up from the table on which he stands as a voice explains that they have not heard from Alex in three weeks. Responding, Wade demands four good reasons he should help them find Alex. “Four-?” The voice turns out to belong to one of two beautiful and well endowed females, both wearing rather revealing clothing. The first girl, a red head, crosses her arms over her chest in embarrassment, while the other, a blonde in a cowgirl outfit, seems completely unbothered. Weasel sits at the end of the couch trying to look like he isn't staring.

Wade emphasizes that it wasn't a question; he meant to have those four good reasons in his room right now. He may be small but he assures them he can navigate. The red head, Sandi, pleads with Wade to be serious, while the blonde, Outlaw, states that she can certainly see some possibilities. When Sandi shouts in shock, Outlaw just replies that they shouldn't rule it out entirely. Still looking unappeased, Sandi clarifies that Alex must be rescued first. As Deadpool ponders his options, he remembers just how much he hates Alex Hayden and that he has gorgeous Girl Fridays that help him. That he gets cool jobs and generally is better at being Wade than Wade is. Refocusing on his four good reasons, his hate begins to falter.

Two days later, Deadpool and Weasel are outside a H.Y.D.R.A. base in Pakistan. Wade explains that finding the location of Agent X was not difficult for someone who keeps contacts in the world of scuzzballs. He then thinks about how normally Weasel would not be in the field, except that since it was his fault Wade was stuck at G.I. Joe size, Weasel needed to carry the ordnance. Remarking on how huge the base appears, Weasel reminds Wade that it was his lack of perspective that got them into this mess in the first place. Deadpool counters that Weasel was looking at the same four reasons he was.

Deadpool asks what is the best approach. Weasel starts bragging about his hacking into some kind of schematic. H.Y.D.R.A. does not file blueprints with the local government, but he has found a blog by Bob, Agent of H.Y.D.R.A. Bob apparently hates the commissary food and he signed up for the dental plan. Weasel jokes that any fool knows that only A.I.M. has comprehensive health coverage. Deadpool spots a delivery truck heading for the entrance and ditches Weasel, bounding down the hill slope and grabbing a chain hanging off the truck.

Weasel, oblivious to Wade's absence, rambles on about extrapolating supplies data from a delivery truck manifest. He continues reasoning that Hayden was hired by a pharmaceutical company and therefore they probably have zoological specimens. That might explain the Purina monkey chow brought in. Weasel asks Wade if Hayden eats monkey chow and finally realizes he is alone. An explosion rocks the grounds of the base where the truck Wade hitched a ride on once stood. Oh there he is, Weasel determines.

At the site of the truck explosion, H.Y.D.R.A. agents run screaming away from the fireball as Deadpool basks in the panicked screaming of expendable minions. Minions is a word almost on par with Chimichanga. As Deadpool avoids being trampled by the agents, he explains that there are some advantages to being his size. Herve Villechaize could have been an amazing wetworks op he decides. Wade grabs the heel of a passing agent that is shouting that they are under attack. Another agent asks who it is and gets the indefinite answer that it was too fast and precise to tell. The first agent reasons that it could be Ant-man and pleads for it not to be Captain America, as the last time cost him four months of dental work. As the agent Wade is riding commiserates and remarks that they should have a better dental plan, Deadpool uses his katana to slice through the man's ACL, putting him “out for the season.”

As the agent collapses onto the floor holding his cut leg, Deadpool rushes forward apologizing that he must be the one that has to pay price of admission. As Wade kicks him directly in the face, he explains that the price is the security access card that gives him freedom of movement. Going to the agent's belt, he finds the card on a “nice handy-dandy spool-thingie.” He does remark that using the spool may be a problem before noticing another H.Y.D.R.A. agent running down the hall. The agent looks back before suddenly tripping onto his face.

With a tiny Deadpool now on the agent's face, brandishing the security card menacingly, Wade determines that this agent seems to know his way around this place. The agent will take Wade to Agent X now, he demands. “You are tiny and cannot harm me,” the agent replies confidently. Further down the hall, the sounds of the agent's tortured screaming echo. He gasps out that for the love of God he will help Wade. A pause is then followed by the echo of yet more tortured screaming. Why would he do it again breathes out the agent? Wade responds that the first time was just too much fun before apologizing.

Using the retractable spool string of the security card, Deadpool guides the agent like a horse with a rein in its mouth. He shouts out directions for the agent to fire his gun complementing his nice shooting. Coming up to a closed door, the agent shoots the two guards even as they question why he is betraying them. “Whoa-easy Silver,” Deadpool cajoles. Once confirmed that this is the door, the agent claims not to have security clearance for the science labs. Stomping furiously on his head, Deadpool demands to know what he is good for then? Asking Wade to stop, the agent remarks that at least he saved him a day of travel. Wade concedes that this “Donkey” really was a big help, offending the agent who claims that he does have a name. Intrigued, Wade admits that he never really thought of these guys as having regular names. “It's Bob,” he says defiantly.

The blogger guy? What an amazing coincidence, Deadpool remarks. He continues explaining that his friend and him were just talking about Bob, Agent of H.Y.D.R.A. and questions the chances that of all the agents to choose as his beast of burden, it was him. It was almost as if Bob was being shoved down the readers' throat for the possibility of a limited series, Wade concludes. A thoroughly confused Bob finds himself suddenly being jammed in the neck by Deadpool's access card as he demands that Bob check the fallen guards for the correct card. As Bob grabs the security card off one of the guards, Wade comes to the understanding that all of this detail stuff works much better between panels. Bob questions Wade's mental health, to which he replies “You have no idea.”

Using the card to open the door to the science labs, Bob can only gasp, “Whoa.” Bob sure can say a mouthful, Wade jokes, and speaking of mouthfuls, “Hayden! What the heck happened to you?” Inside the science lab, a massively obese Agent X holds a turkey leg in one hand and a hamburger in the other. A full spread feast lays in front of his huge form and scientists in the background tend to the Actuator. Hurmph Chomp Chomp Scarf Chew Chew. Pausing briefly between bites, Alex asks if he is really big or Wade is really small.

Assuring Alex that the answer is both, Wade hops from Bob onto Alex's massive gut questioning what is going on here. Still eating, Alex explains how the scientists gave him arthritis with the machine, which was not very fun and hurt. Therefore he was given a different genetic template. Like a disease, inquires Wade. More like rewriting a person's genetic code, answers Alex. The one they gave him was the “American gene.” Deadpool can see why. He quickly relates that Sandi and Outlaw sent him to rescue him but expresses his doubt that they will get far with the two of them in their present state. At least there is plenty to eat, jokes Alex.

Pointing his tiny pistol at the lead scientist, Deadpool demands that he change Alex back from being a high fructose corn syrup junkie. That gun couldn't possibly hurt, admonishes the scientist. Pow. The bullet bursts through the scientists face plate, causing him to scream in pain. Now threatening Bob, Deadpool demands that he get the machine to change Alex back to normal, or at least however he was when he came here. Bob pleads with the scientists to give him something to work with, but they just casually explain that the genometric morphing is permanent. “What?” gasp an incredulous Bob, Wade, and Alex in unison.

Alex, still shoveling food into his mouth, argues that the scientists gave him the morbidly obese gene to replace the arthritis. The scientist counters that the morbid obesity only made Alex not notice the arthritis. Both Alex and Wade simultaneously realize that this is not good. Thinking quickly, Deadpool starts ordering Bob to find him a flatbed truck of some kind so they can take Alex to the hangar. Once there, they will steal the fastest jet thingie. Bob claims that the three of them will never make it out alive. Wade agrees and suddenly jumps at the scientist's face, knife slicing through the protective face plate. But what if Einstein has a Yao Ming template in that machine there he asks. The terrified scientist claims that they might have something along those lines. A merciless Deadpool points his gun at his face and says “Light the candle Pasteur!”

As a terrified looking Bob speeds along the corridors of the base on a small cart carrying the huge Alex and the actuator, Deadpool takes out H.Y.D.R.A. agents at his restored height, yelling in glee “I'm back baby, and better than ever!” Alex records in his internal journal that mortal dread is the mother of invention or at least the nurse's teat for aggressive driving. Eating twinkies, he continues by admitting that Wade is good and he should know since “he is me.” He also admits that to be fair Wade was him first but Alex is good too. Well he was good before several pallets of delectable faux-creme delights were placed before him. Alex also remarks upon the surprisingly crunchy treat of Purina Monkey Chow. He realizes that food is a distraction from mission-op, but he genetically seeks comfort for his insecurities in his friend, food. Admonishing himself, Alex vows to hold the virile hunk of mauling meat Deadpool as his guiding example for what he can be again.

Now fighting a pack of agents in the hangar, he asks Bob if he can fly one of the jets. Not really, answers Bob as he loads Alex and the Actuator onto the jet. As Deadpool shoves an empty barrel over the head of an agent, he tells Bob that he either does or he doesn't know. Sticking a live grenade into the barrel, Wade quotes Yoda “Do or do not! There is no try.” Bob explains that his cousin Herm, the one that got him into H.Y.D.R.A. before he go arrested for one of those big fights with the Avengers in Manhattan, used to clean the aircraft latrines before he was sent off as cannon fodder. One time, Herm let Bob sneak into one of the cockpits and it was really cool. Deadpool claims that it is good enough for him. Bob can either fly them all out or at least give it a good try.

As he says this, he kicks the trapped agent in a barrel with a grenade over to another group of agents, at which point the barrel explodes. Bob expresses regret that he will never be allowed back into H.Y.D.R.A. Deadpool does not agree with this argument, as Bob is doing this at gunpoint. “You're not holding your gun on me,” Bob points out. Deadpool appeases Bob by shooting him in the arm, then impatiently demands they go.

Outside the compound, Weasel witnesses a giant cloud of dust and debris form around a loud crashing sound. Deadpool notes that Bob's first piloting lesson is to open the doors before taking off. As the jet flies away, H.Y.D.R.A. agents on mini sky cycles chase after it, while Weasel intones that he has a bad feeling about this.

Inside the cockpit, Bob yells in fright. Deadpool reassures him that he is doing great but he believes that is land directly in front of him. Bob should probably pull up on the wheel thing as he is pretty sure there should be air in front of them. Wade tells Bob to just keep it up. There will be lots of air, lots of water soon, all the way until they see the Statue of Liberty. Turning around, Wade yells at Alex to put down the delightful yellow sponge cakes. If they can't figure out a way to use the stolen genetic actuator to fix Alex, then he will have to start showing some willpower. Alex responds that they were just lucky that they were able to use the thing on Wade. Deadpool denies that he let the scientists use that machine on him and then explains that they had some Pym particles laying around. Who doesn't right?

Confused, Alex reasons that Deadpool came from New York and broke into a H.Y.D.R.A. base without backup, all while four inches tall. Deadpool modestly gives some credit to Bob and Weasel was... “Oh. Never mind.” When Alex questions why Wade would to all of that for him, Wade explains that despite totally hating Alex's guts, he was always jealous of him. He wanted to prove to Alex just how good he is. When Alex claims that Deadpool is not only good but better than him, Wade argues that it is a pretty hollow compliment, considering he is all fat now. Alex corrects Wade by claiming that the preferred term is “svelte challenged.”

That aside, he continues that he has four pending cases that he can't complete in his condition. He has Sandi and Outlaw on the payroll and rent to pay. Alex tries desperately to think of another alternative than what he is about to suggest. He could go bankrupt, shoot himself in head, eat the office and his employees. Seeing no other choice, he suggests that, until he lose a few pounds, Deadpool can take over Agency X. Wade ponders thoughtfully that he can do something with this.

At the Agency X office, there appear to be signs of a struggle as furniture has been knocked over. A voice claims that he won't get away with this. Another voice replies that he already has. Outlaw is chained and gagged and a tied up Sandi asks why he is doing this? The menacing figure claims that Wade Wilson and now Alex Hayden has something that belongs to him: his identity. Before them stands T-Ray in a spiked leather jacket holding a wicked looking knife with glowing green eyes and a vicious grin. He claims that he will get it back one little strip of flesh at a time.

Characters Involved: 


Agent X, Outlaw, Sandi (all Agency X)

Weasel, Bob-Agent of H.Y.D.R.A.

Numerous Agents of H.Y.D.R.A., Scientists of H.Y.D.R.A.


Story Notes: 

The recap page shows a game of Go Fish between Deadpool and Weasel, as the two explain that Deadpool was shrunk down last issue using Pym particles that they ran out of before they could turn him back to normal. Deadpool also explains that Agent X is an Earth-2 copy of him that is not nearly as funny.

First appearance of “Bob, Agent of HYDRA.”

Herve Villechaize is a little person famous for his role as Tattoo in the TV series Fantasy Island and the henchman Nick Nack in The Man With the Golden Gun.

Silver was the name of the Lone Ranger's horse.

Yao Ming is a retired Chinese basketball player who measured 7 foot 6 inches.

Louis Pasteur was a scientist that revolutionized medical microbiology with his breakthroughs in preventing diseases. He created the process of pasteurization.

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