Cable & Deadpool #48

Issue Date: 
February 2008
Story Title: 
Soul Survivors

Fabian Nicieza (Writer), Reilly Brown (Penciler), Skottie Young (Cover Artist), Jeremy Freeman (Inker) Gotham Entertainment Group (Colourist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), Nicole Boose (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Deadpool and Bob find themselves in a Louisiana swamp, surrounded by undead “zuvembies,” commanded by Brother Voodoo. Voodoo sends Bob into a nightmare-filled sleep and finally captures Deadpool, after much zombie killing carnage. Voodoo and Wade have a conversation about how they must reunite Deadpool's arch-nemesis T-Ray's soul to his deceased body, despite Wade's misgivings in order to restore order to the multiverse. Wade finds himself in a dream-scape, facing down a massively tall T-Ray. After explaining to T-Ray that he is here to teach him some humility and restore him to life, T-Ray disapproves with the plan and crushes Wade to death. Deadpool wakes back up in the swamp and learns from Voodoo that he isn't dead because he doesn't have a soul. He then sends a mortified Deadpool back to the dream-scape with a renewed vengeance. Deadpool wills himself to grow to the same height as T-Ray and the two begin to fight. After fighting both physically and verbally over the lack of Wade's soul, T-Ray manages to manifest a shotgun and shoot Wade into glass-shattered pieces. Surprisingly, these pieces become miniaturized versions of Wade, dressed as various Marvel superheroes. These mini-Wades get the upper hand on T-Ray, until reforming into the normal Deadpool. T-Ray goads Wade into killing him and stealing his soul, as it would prove that Wade is the monster he claimed. Denying him this victory, Wade shoots himself in the head, which causes T-Rays body to return to his deceased body in the real world. Dr. Strange shows up just long enough to explain the greatness that both T-Ray and Wade can ascend to if they so choose and Brother Voodoo warns the revived pair to not waste this potential before leaving. T-Ray teleports away on begrudgingly peaceful terms with Wade and Bob wakes up to find a positive and hopeful Deadpool.

Full Summary: 

“ZOMBIES!” screeches Bob, cowering as close to Deadpool as possible without actually physically embracing him. Zuvembies, corrects Deadpool, the undead risen from the muck by the houngan magiks of Brother Voodoo. This is so totally cool, Wade exclaims, finishing up his recap of their situation. In the middle of this dark and creepy Louisiana swamp, the zuvembies shuffle closer to the pair, as Brother Voodoo commands them from afar.

Zombies, shouts Wade, reveling in his free pass to mercilessly slaughter a horde of the undead. Katana slicing, revolver shooting and grenades being thrown, the carnage ensues as Bob runs as quickly as he can through the muck in the opposite direction. This turns out not be the best idea, as he now faces a sizable horde of equally appalling-looking undead creatures on his own.

He comments to himself that he isn't sure which of the monsters looks the most terrifying, only to be interrupted by a taciturn Doctor Voodoo. He imagines that honor should go to him. His eyes glow red and he proclaims that Bob is not necessary here and should take solace in the depths of his own pitiful existence. That seemed unnecessarily harsh... Bob trails off before collapsing unconscious in the swamp. Brother Voodoo concludes that it is mostly for dramatic effect and he should enjoy the nightmares.

Brother Voodoo turns to observe the mess of flying body parts being created by a weapon-happy Deadpool. Brother Voodoo wonders why Dr. Strange would trust this mercenary as the soul's caretaker. Deadpool explains that he is a little busy, as snakes ensnare him. Completely constricted and hanging upside down, his weapons fall harmlessly beneath him. Brother Voodoo looks directly into Wade's eyes and commands for him to look at him. Looking now, agrees Wade. And a bit scared he admits. Voodoo explains that Wade has come to rejoin a lost soul with a living husk.

Wade objects that he has certainly not come by choice, but Dr. Strange hired Agency X to do a job that included saving the universe and a buncha of mystic realms, which is a very fun word to say by the way. He did okay at this job but now has to make sure T-Ray's soul and body are reunited, “cause it feels so good.” If he doesn't do this, the whole dimensional barrier breakdown could happen all over again. Voodoo replies by saying that Wade certainly talks a lot. He has no idea, says Wade.

Brother Voodoo continues, gesturing to a levitating body surrounded by an unearthly glow. The living husk of the man you call T-Ray is here and the glowing aura you see around him is his soul! A soul which is being prevented from rejoining his body by my choice, continues Voodoo, adding a final remark as to the difficulty of the task. A helpless Deadpool insists for Voodoo to stop trying so hard and let the soul and body do what they do. Some candlelight, some mood music, a wa-wa pedal... Oh my, I didn't order any pizza...

An unperturbed Brother Voodoo stares down Wade and simply asks him “Why?” Wade answers because they have to. Voodoo elaborates that he meant, why does Wade want to go through with it? Wade replies it is because Dr. Strange said: in order to save the universe blah-blah-blah... Voodoo motions for the snakes binding Deadpool to release him and Wade falls into the water. As Wade recovers, Voodoo asks if he would truly do this to restore to life an enemy… Deadpool corrects Voodoo by explaining that T-Ray is actually his arch-nemesis. The Dr. Doom to his Reed Richards, Red Skull to his Captain America, and Dr. Bong to his Howard the Duck... Voodoo interrupts his monologue to explain his understanding but would not have expected Wade to care, given his reputation. Wade concludes that he doesn't care about T-Ray, but Strange is an Avenger now (he thinks) and maybe doing him a solid could help Wade land a spot on that coveted team.

Brother Voodoo walks over to T-Ray's glowing body and, eyes flaring red, places his hands in position around the soul's aura. Wade comments about how feisty the soul seems. Voodoo confirms this and explains that Dr. Strange knew that and was the real reason Wade was needed here. A houngan says what spurts out Deadpool. This dark man's dark soul is indignant, continues Voodoo. It's anger unchecked-for the hope of mankind; it must be returned to its host-but for the benefit of mankind. First, it needs to be educated.

Drumbeats gradually begin picking up, and Wade wonders who started the Keith Moon snare roll. White fog begins to billow forth from Voodoo, to which Wade complements the dry ice effect as very Whitesnake. Deadpool then has the idea to ask what Voodoo meant by educating. As in… taught a lesson? Smote? Humbled? Wade can definitely do that and asks Voodoo how. Like this, replies Voodoo. “YAAAA,” yells Wade, falling backwards into unconsciousness.

“Please tell me this is real,” booms the voice of a gigantically tall T-Ray, as he stands over a regular-sized Deadpool. The dark and dreary dead forest he finds himself in casts an ominous and dreamlike atmosphere. Wade looks up at his mortal enemy and asks if they are putting that up to a vote, because that ain't no dangling chad in his pocket and he really is glad to see him. `

T-Ray reaches down and grabs Deadpool like a rag doll, exclaiming that he wouldn't have expected that. Wade answers that it is because T-Ray doesn't know about Wade's moral obligation to do this! Deadpool hurls his katana at T-Ray's face, where it sticks uselessly from his scar in his forehead. T-Ray looks perplexed and asks if it is Wade's obligation to throw toothpicks at him? As Wade attempts to free himself from T-Ray's massive grip, he explains that he is on soul patrol, here to bring T-Ray down to size (no pun intended) before he's allowed to rejoin the living.

T-Ray loosens his grip and ponders the situation, asking who says he wants to come back to life? A confused Deadpool explains that he does not get a choice in the matter. “Of course I do,” counters T-Ray. “How do you propose to do that,” a confident Wade asks? “By killing you first,” replies T-Ray. Such a simplistic plan could never work, believes Wade, to which T-Ray responds to by smashing Deadpool under his massive fists. GUSHKT!

Wade wakes up in the swamp, admitting that maybe T-Ray's plan wasn't that bad after all and wonders if he is now dead. A short distance away, Brother Voodoo stands next to the real T-Ray's levitating body and replies that it is unlikely. Why's that, asks Wade? Because Wade no longer has a soul, explains Voodoo. “I what?!! I don't have a soul?” An incensed Wade gets right up into Voodoo's face to hear him explain that he is surprised that Wade would be surprised at this news. With all of the sins that Wade has committed... Did he really think they were redeemable by random contradictory acts of decency and heroism? A distressed Wade replies he certainly was hoping that would be the case. Brother Voodoo waves his hand and causes Wade to faint again. As he starts to leave consciousness, Voodoo claims it simply doesn't work that way. Sorry, but don't worry about that right now, just get back into the ring...

Back in the dreary dream realm, a tiny Wade looks back up at the massive T-Ray before shouting that he has had enough of this... He's gonna go “Hank Pym-ing” on T-Ray's head. Deadpool then starts to grow in size until he reaches the same stature as T-Ray. The two men rush each other and begin pummeling each other with their fists in silent fury. Wade gets a solid punch in that sends T-Ray sprawling through the tiny dead forest.

An enraged Wade claims how unfair it is that T-Ray has a soul and he doesn't. He elaborates that T-Ray is lame and has a breathing strip for a mask. T- ray reaches up to his forehead and withdraws the tiny katana, throwing insults back at Wade that he is made of flawed clay and, no matter how hard Wade tries, no matter many steps forward he thinks he's taken, he will always be a murdering, identity-stealing, empty deprived soul! The katana comes out in a spurt of blood and grows to be normal sized in T-Ray's grip.

T-Ray leaps toward Wade, swinging the katana downward. Wade manages to block it in time with his second katana, telling T-Ray that he is mistaken. Wade just found out that he doesn't even have a soul! An ecstatic T-Ray exclaims that this is proof that Wade stole his identity! Wade describes T-Ray as someone that could calculate the square root of 64 and still get “You stole my identity,” but it still doesn't prove anything other than that Wade has been a bad boy. And since they have also firmly established in a foundation of mushy quicksand that the whole “identity thing” is completely dependent on who is writing Wade's stories… let them get back to focusing on the whole “I don't have a soul” thing. Namely where can Wade get one... T-Ray!

Transforming his katana into a couple of elaborate swords with multiple blades and dangling weaponry such as flails, Deadpool leaps toward T-Ray. Withdrawing a shotgun, T-Ray points it at Wade and denies him his soul with a blast to the chest. Wade shatters like glass and the pieces take on the shapes of hundreds of miniaturized versions of Wade in various superhero guises. An understandably confused T-Ray asks what just happened. A Sub-Mariner dressed Wade screams out that scattering his inner-self revealed the hero inside of him! “Imperius Rex!” A Vision inspired Wade mechanically describes it as a revelatory experience to see a soul's true self manifested. A Black Bolt version of Wade quotes “...” which a Wonder Man version of Wade sees and admits that he does not like that version of himself.

All versions of Wade rush T-Ray and begin blasting him with various sources of energy. A Spider-Woman Wade excitedly mentions how he is an Avenger. A Doctor Strange Wade chants a spell “By the Onion Rings of Burger King, you are undone!” Iron Man Wade promises to start a Civil War inside his own head after this is done, “All brain cells must register now!” Thor Wade replies “By Ymir's frosty beard, thou art obnoxious even manifested thusly!” T-Ray struggles against the onslaught, blasting some of the small heroes with his shotgun and slicing some with the katana. He futility cries out amongst the beating that they are in his soul and they can't beat him here!

He falls onto his back and all of the mini Wades coalesce into a single, giant version of Deadpool once more. Wade points his pistol at T-Ray's head and states that it looks like he did it again. T-Ray asks what makes Wade think that, by killing him, Wade would acquire his soul? Wade answers that it is the same thing that made him think he could grow tall and fly and shoot ray beams out of his butt. Smirking, T-Ray admits that only someone like Wade, who ignores all the rules, could take advantage of a situation where no rules apply. Raising his arms in surrender, T-Ray tells Wade to go ahead and shoot. Wade would only be giving T-Ray what he wants anyway... proving everything he has said about Wade all along.

Deadpool hesitates, as he continues to hold the gun to T-Ray's forehead. T-Ray goads Wade, saying he knows Wade wants to. It would solve all of his problems and get T-Ray out of his hair forever. Yeah, except I don't have any hair... Wade points the gun at his own head and pulls the trigger. “NOOOOOO,” screams T-Ray!

Outside the dream-scape, Brother Voodoo witnesses the blue energies surrounding T-Ray's body swirl around him and reenter through T-Ray's mouth. Voodoo remarks that Deadpool was successful and the soul returns to its rightful host. Voodoo certainly hopes he has made the right decision. Suddenly appearing floating behind Voodoo, Doctor Strange justifies his actions. Strange claims he had little choice, to restore order and save the multiversal planes by reviving a potential lethal force and emboldening another...

As distasteful as it might be, T-Ray has inadvertently positioned himself as a guardian for the integrity of the dimensional barriers. Voodoo replies that all of that was simply secondary though. As the master of the mystic arts, Stephen could handle T-Ray as if he were house-training a recalcitrant puppy. This was always about Wade Wilson – why? Strange flies off, replying that Voodoo has touched Wilson's soul and he should know why. “Thank you for your help.”

“He's gone. You can both stop pretending to be unconscious,” chides Doctor Voodoo. T-Ray and Deadpool sit up suddenly from the swamp waters. Voodoo continues that the two men must both now rise above the limits they've allowed themselves to accept. Coming from a man who knows quite a bit about sharing a soul, Voodoo knows it will not be easy, but the alternative means squandering their potential for greatness. As Brother Voodoo mysteriously vanishes into the fog of the swamp, T-Ray and Wade look at each other and simultaneously question the statement “Greatness?” They confirm their connection by both fist pumping and simultaneously shouting out “Cool!”

Realizing they just shared a moment of positivity between themselves, they turn their backs to each other and mutter insults. “I still hate you though,” confirms Deadpool. “Life-stealing, brain-addled simpleton,” snipes back T-Ray. Wade explains that Mr. Fantastic needs Dr. Doom, Captain America needs Red Skull and T-Ray interrupts to add that Howard the Duck needs Dr. Bong. Exactly agrees Wade. T-Ray asks which of them is which, and Wade positions that they are simply different sides of the same coin. Agreeing  to this sentiment, T-Ray begins to glow in order to teleport away and reaffirms that he still hates Wade. Deadpool ends the exchange by reminding him who it was that won this round.

Deadpool begins monologuing to himself that he knew he must have a soul, or else all of those little marvel action figurines would have had nowhere to come from. “BrotherwhodatVoodoo” was just testing him and he made the right choice. He made the right choice... Cool.

Timidly coming from a short distance, a voice calls out, “Mr. Wilson...?” Deadpool looks around the zombie corpse-filled swamp and realizes it must be Bob. He whistles to him and calls him over to him as if he were a dog, “Come here boy.” Bob pads over to him, describing how scary this whole ordeal was and that voodoo man made him have some bad nightmares. Wade claims that he is sorry about all of that but it's all cool now. They're good. “Can we go home now,” pleads Bob. Wade confirms that they can and that he will be buying Katz Deli as a treat using the Doctor Strange's fee for saving the universe. “Oooh, lean pastrami...”

The two men begin their journey out of the swamp, and Bob asks if anything interesting happened while he was subconsciously being terrified? Wade proved that he had a soul and that he is really a hero at heart. That's nice replies Bob. So what's next? Nothing but possibilities dude... Plus you know, pastrami, finalizes Wade. Cool.

Characters Involved: 

Deadpool, Bob – Agent of HYDRA
Brother Voodoo, Dr. Strange



Story Notes: 

The cover title of this issue has Cable crossed out and Brother Voodoo written above it.

“Reunited and it feels so good” is a lyric from a 1978 song by Peaches and Herb.

Keith Moon was the drummer of the band The Who in the 60s and 70s. Whitesnake was a rock band from the late 70s and early 80s who often billowed smoke onto the stage in their concerts.

T-Ray was killed by Deadpool in Cable and Deadpool #39 when he stabbed T-Ray through the forehead with his katana. In the previous issue, Wade was went through the multiverse by Dr. Strange to repair the damage done by T-Ray's death and recover his body.

Hank Pym created the Pym particles that allow one to grow or shrink in size. He was a founding member of the Avengers in guises such as Ant-man and Giant-man.

T-Ray claims to be the real Wade Wilson and that Deadpool stole his identity. This was established to be improbable at best in Cable and Deadpool #39.


Iron Man was an instigator of the Superhero Civil War in which he supported the registration of all superheros with the government.

Katz Deli is a famous deli that began in New York.

“Dangling chad” refers to the paper ballots used in Florida which became infamous during the 2000 United States presidential election.

The square root of 64 is 8.

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