Deadpool #0 Wizard Special

Issue Date: 
January 1998
Story Title: 
“You only die twice”

Joe Kelly (writer), Yancey Labat (penciler), Sean Parsons (inker), Soto and Colorgraphix (colors and separations), Richard Starkings and Comicraft/EM (letterer), Paul Tutrone (assistant-editor), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (group-editor)

Brief Description: 

Deadpool is on a retrieval mission that will bring him money for the treatment of his friend/hostage, Blind Al. Too bad that his target is stolen by the Vamp/Animus. Deadpool is slightly confused because he killed him/her a year ago. He decides to follow the Vamp/Animus and enters Arnim Zola’s lair, the Vamp/Animus‘ employer. After disposing of him/her, Deadpool has to fight himself through the Clones Corpses, a group of dead superpowered individuals‘ clones. Deadpool single-handedly kills them all and is about to kill Zola himself when Zola offers him a deal. Deadpool accepts and returns to his apartment with his part of the deal: four clones of Gwen Stacy, who obey his every command.

Full Summary: 

Deep in the heart of Texas, Deadpool is interrogating a man about the whereabouts of some disks by hanging him upside down, covered in barbecue sauce above a pack of dogs. He explains that he needs to retrieve the disks so that his employer can get surgeon for Blind Al, who has broken her ankle. The man cracks and tells Deadpool that the disks are in the wall safe in the bedroom. Deadpool leaves the Texan without untying him and, when he leaves, the sounds of the dogs attacking are heard.

Deadpool isn’t bothered by it, though. When he enters the bedroom, he notices that the wall safe is gone and that there’s a man-shaped hole in the wall. He concludes that there has either been a Kool-Aid accident or that one beat him to the safe. He looks outside and sees the Animus leaving. Deadpool notes that he killed Vamp/Animus last year and how quickly they get to the main plot when there are only 12 pages. Outside, a cab driver sees Animus running past him and concludes that it’s a victim of incest but Deadpool appears behind him and tells him to follow the Animus while aiming a gun at the driver.

Soon after, right outside of Dallas, Animus arrives at the Mooing Mushroom Veggie Bugger, where Animus turns back into the Vamp and hands the disk to his/her boss: Arnim Zola. Grabbing the bag with the disks, Zola, who is responsible for Vamp/Animus being back, explains how normal cloning takes years, but that he can do it in hours by imprinting DNA on pre-formed proto-husks. His army of the clones, the Corpse Corps, will secure all the money he needs for his experiments in future years.

At this point, Deadpool enters and starts to insult Zola’s camera-head. Zola orders the Vamp to take care of Deadpool but he shoots her without even looking at her, while he keeps joking about Zola’s camera-head. Overpowered by him, Zola asks Deadpool who he is. Deadpool introduces himself and wonders why Zola wants to know. Zola replies that he wants to know what he should put on label of the container with his tissue samples and orders his army to attack. Deadpool turns around and looks at Zola’s army – all of them being clones of deceased super-powered individuals. Deadpool then smiles and says it’s an early Christmas.

He shoots Cyclone while dodging Basilisk and the Ringer’s attacks and explains how he normally is morally torn about killing his enemies but, since they’re artificial life-forms, he has no such problems.
He then shoots Kangaroo and the Whizzer, while making fun of their names and costumes before shooting Bucky in the chest. He turns around and grabs a machine gun of his back and shoots Bird-Man II, the Ringer and Cyclone a second time while making a joke about himself being Scourge.

Zola orders his remaining troops to stop Deadpool before he damages the proto-tubes. Deadpool wants to comment but is hit by Porcupine’s quills. He replies by shooting Turner D. Century in the knee, who then accidentally hits Porcupine with his flame-thrower umbrella. Deadpool makes fun of Turner, taking his weapon from him, and when Thornn and Basilisk attack, he jumps out of the way so that Thornn and Basilisk hit and kill Turner D. Century instead.

Deadpool moves upstairs and finds two bodies covered by sheets. He decides to take a peak and finds a naked Ben and May Parker, who think that he’s Peter Parker. Deadpool’s first reaction at seeing two old naked people is to shoot them repeatedly. He then becomes mad; it’s one thing to throw a bunch of second-rate heroes and villains at him, but if he’s going to be tricked into looking at naked old people, somebody is going to die.

In quick succession, Deadpool then shoots Egghead, inserts his knee in Mirage’s throat, walks around with Red Raven’s sawed off wings, while noting that if they put an X on the cover, sales might go up. He kills Reptilla with her own snake-arm, the other snake-arm being pinned down by Turner D. Century’s umbrella. He puts grenades in Basilisk’s eyes and beats up the other Salem Seven members, Hydron, Vakume and Brutacus, at the same time wondering about another “something“ seven that died.

Arnim Zola is completely confused and is then hit in the face (or at least the projection of his face on his stomach) by Deadpool who points a big gun at him. Arnim then changes his minds and offers Deadpool something if he won’t kill him. Deadpool gives him a chance and Zola whispers something into his ear. Deadpool wonders if that’s legal but is pretty enthusiastic about Zola’s proposition.

Back home in San Francisco, Deadpool brags to Blind Al how he not only got her leg operated, but how he also had a workforce to do her work around the house while she has to wear a cast. Blind Al has to agree and thanks Deadpool. Deadpool tells her not to mention it; it’s just the guy he is, asking his four Gwen Stacy-clones for confirmation. The Gwen-clones, all four of them wearing nothing but underwear, high heels and fishnet stockings, reply with a smile that he’s right about whatever he says.

Characters Involved: 


Blind Al

an unnamed Texan

a Jamaican cab-driver

Arnim Zola

The Corpse Corps (all clones):

Brutacus, Hydron, Reptilla, Thornn I and Vakume (all Salem’s Seven)

Basilisk I, Bird-Man II, Bucky I, Turner D. Century, Cheetah, Cyclone I, Egghead, Kangaroo, Mirage I, Porcupine, Red Raven I, Ringer, Vamp/Animus, Whizzer I

Ben Parker

May Parker II

four versions of Gwen Stacy

Story Notes: 

This comic came free with Wizard Magazine #87. All #0 issues released by Wizard are only 12 pages long, opposed to a regular comic book size of 22 pages.

Deadpool calls the files on the disk “McGuffin“ files. “McGuffin“ is a term usually associated with movie and cinema, and is used to refer to a plot device that serves no other purpose but to get a story started, though actually it has no relevance for the story at all and could be easily replaced with something else.

The “Kool-Aid accident” reference is a joke about the television commercials that ran in the 1980s, where the “Kool-Aid man,” a giant pitcher of Kool-Aid with arms, legs and a “smiley-face,” would run through a wall into a room of full of kids and serve them the sugary beverage.

Vamp/Animus died originally in Captain America (1st series) #319 at the hands of Scourge I and again in Deadpool (3rd series) #6, where he/she was run over by Weasel in a van (and not killed by Deadpool like he claims here).

Deadpool compares himself to Scourge, who was responsible for killing many of these characters in the first place. Actually there was an entire “Scourge of the Underworld“ orgnaization, which was dedicated to the assassination of so-called super-criminals. Over time, seven different people used the Scourge identity, though it is Scourge I who performed the most kills. In one single incident, in Captain America (1st series) #319, he killed a whole lot of 18 villains. Overall his hit list included Bird-Man II, Basilisk I, Cheetah, Cyclone I, Turner D. Century, Mirage I, the Ringer and the Vamp –all of who are part of Arnim Zola’s Corpse Corps as well.

While the Ringer was among the people assassinated by Scourge I in Captain America (1st series) #319, it was later retconned that he was merely severely wounded and turned into a cyborg. Eventually, his cybernetic systems broke down and he died. [Thunderbolts #56]

Ben and May mistaking Deadpool for Peter was a running gag during Joe Kelly’s run on Deadpool, people keep thinking that he’s Spider-Man due to their somewhat resembling costumes. However, Ben Parker of course would not know that “Spider-Man“ is his nephew Peter Parker, and May Parker was retconned into never having died, as she was abducted by a villain and replaced with an actress resembling her. It this actress who admitted to Peter that she knew of him being Spider-Man, and who later died. The real May Parker only learned of Peter’s secret identity much later.

The Mirage of this issue is the former Spider-Man villain, not to be confused with Danielle Moonstar, aka Psyche, aka Mirage of the New Mutants.

It should be noted that Red Raven’s wings are mechanical and part of his costume. So Deadpool is just slightly less cruel than he seems here.

The Salem Seven members Gazelle and Vertigo I aren’t used in this issue. Gazelle turned against the rest of the group shortly before her death and was killed by them, which may explain her absence here.

The “something“ seven is probably a reference to DC’s Sovereign Seven, a series written by Chris Claremont.

The cloned characters deaths occured here:

Basilisk I - killed by Scourge I in Fantastic Four (1st series)#289.

Bird-Man II, Turner D. Century, Cheetah, Cyclone I and Mirage I - all shot by Scourge I in Captain America (1st series) #319.

Bucky I - died in a plane explosion as told in Avengers (1st series) #4, and many other comic books.

Kangaroo I - died of radiation poisoning in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #126.

Ben Parker - died at the hands of the burglar in Amazing Fantasy #15.

May Parker II - died in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #400.

the Porcupine - died in Captain America #315 when he fell on one of his own spikes.

Red Raven - died in the Sub-Mariner #26, when the island of his people, including him exploded. This may have been retconned in the Defenders/Order-series where the island was the base of the Order and the people were still alive.

the Salem Seven - all died in an explosion in Vision and the Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #5.

Gwen Stacy- her death was caused by the Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #121.

the Whizzer died in battle with Isbisa in Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1st series) #2.

Issue Information: 
Written By: