Deadpool (2nd series) #14

Issue Date: 
March 1998
Story Title: 
In Absentia

Joe Kelly (writer), Walter McDaniel (pencils), Anibal Rodriguez (inks), Comicraft (letters), Chris Sotomayor (colors), Digital Chameleon (enhancement), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Weasel and Blind Al wake up, finding themselves trapped inside the Box, which is actually a torture chamber inside the Deadhut! After enduring a few cuts and bruises, Weasel finds out that they can just walk out of it. However, Al asks Weasel to stop. She tells Weasel a little story about one of the times she managed to escape from her status as Deadpool’s prisoner. Once upon a time, Al was in love with a guy named Tommy Mulroom. After her escape, she decided to go to Tommy’s house in Arizona and go underground with him. Not having ever told Wade about Tommy, he still managed to locate his house before Al did and killed the poor guy! After that, Wade and Al just returned home and she continued being the blind, old prisoner. Weasel isn’t intimidated and just walks out of the house, with Al giving Deuce back to him. They say their goodbyes to one another, with Al hoping that, some day, when she has found Wade’s good side, Weasel can come visit again. At the same time, T-Ray goes to brag at the Hellhouse of how he defeated Deadpool. After that, he leaves and goes to meditate on top of a church. He is met up by Typhoid Mary, who informs T-Ray about what she did earlier to Wade in Iowa. They take their goodbyes, with Mary returning to her harbinger of chaos status, and T-Ray deciding to stay out of the picture for awhile and learn new things, until Wilson has returned and healed up a bit. Elsewhere, Gerry discovers Daedpool, buried under a snow hill and is disappointed in his old friend. He leaves Deadpool, concluding that now Wade has to find his own way to redemption. But, Gerry will be watching. Meanwhile, Monty informs Zoe that he has found some good news about Deadpool. Elsewhere, some odd-looking soldiers kill two construction site workers and find a tiny, pink creature. The soldiers are looking for Deadpool and all the other “escapees” so they can kill them. Finally, Wade has fully recovered and climbs up from the snow. Realizing he broke something good, he gets suddenly welcomed by a happy Zoe. She suggests that Wade follows her, so she can show Wade the rest of his life!

Full Summary: 

San Francisco, the Deadhut…

Weasel and Blind Al wake up inside the Box. Weasel feels a little pain after the beating he endured, but Al reminds Weasel that this is the place where Deadpool puts her when she has been bad. After all, she is still his prisoner. But if they remain quiet, Wade will let them out sooner. Weasel thinks this is ridiculous. But at least there’s a little sunlight, so that’s good.

Al claims that nothing will help them in there. Weasel gets up, and suddenly, knives get pulled to his face! He takes a look around, and notices more knives and razor machines installed in the room. Al mentions that this is the place Wade throws her inside when she tries to forget about her life-long status as his prisoner. Al welcomes Weasel inside the Box, Deadpool’s personal house of horrors, there at the Deadhut. Al begs Weasel not to talk or even breathe and, if he does, he’ll live long enough to have nightmares about this bad place.

The world outside the Box…

A newscaster reports earlier events on television. There is something weird going on, as she is situated in San Francisco, and… it’s snowing! The reporter shows the entrance of the Golden Gate Park, where the snow has been falling since yesterday. It all began in the aftermath of a battle between two super-powered individuals. Initial reports placed Spider-Man at the scene, waging war against an unidentified, pale-skinned behemoth. But subsequent investigations confirm that the wall-crawler was, in fact, not involved and that it was in fact a fugitive mercenary called Deadpool. However, New York’s Daily Bugle has no plans to print a retraction.

Authorities have warned against anyone from entering the park, as the nature of this precipitation is still unknown, but those warnings have already gone unheeded as youngsters continue to play in the snow. Most witnesses believe that this was an isolated event and not a plot to destroy California’s ecosystem. One man at the scene reported to the police “the way these two were hammering at each other, you just knew it was personal. They weren’t out to hurt anybody, except each other.” Other witnesses corroborate the man’s statement, although a body has yet to be found.

One of the youngsters playing football goes to pick it up on what seems as a hill covered with snow. He runs on the hill, under which Deadpool’s unconscious body lies buried. Only his arm is uncovered. The boy picks up his ball and runs back to his friends, not even having seen Wade.

The reporter concludes that the authorities are still searching for both men, and for the answer to the question “why?”

Meanwhile, at the merc-hideout called the Hellhouse…

It suddenly starts to rain. Patch, Fenway and C.F. worry about it, realizing something is wrong. Patch asks the others if they noticed the way T-Ray left yesterday. C.F. did, and he noticed that T-Ray was smiling. And that’s never a good thing with him. He fears that he might have gone after Deadpool. Suddenly, a triumphant T-Ray slams the door open. He jokes that the mercs can guess who didn’t survive his little operation. C.F. tries to say something, but Patch tells him to just shut up.

Back to the Box at the Deadhut…

Weasel tries to walk around in the Box, avoiding all the knives hanging around. This place looks like Charles Manson’s Rumpus room. He asks Al what happens in there. Al shouts at Weasel to stay quiet and just grab some floor and lie down. Eventually, Deadpool will remember he put them in there and she remembers there’s some bread in the freezer, though it’s the water that’s important. He tries to move closer to Al, but then a knife almost hits his shoulder!

Weasel looks at the back of the room, and notices an inscription Wade left “My sweet home.” He thinks it’s insane that Wade places booby traps in here. But, he’s interested in how Al knew about this, knowing she is blind. Al corrects that, though her eyes don’t work, her ears are always on contact. She followed Weasel’s voice and the Box isn’t that big, despite it’s appearance. It’s twelve feet three inches long on any given side, to be precise, and eight feet up to the lattice. The sixth floorboard from the East wall has a creak in it. There are eighty-three knotholes. Over the hundred feet of chains. Six hundred and seventy-two nails. Al picked up these things when she got trapped in here a few times before. Weasel can’t believe it.

He tries to cheer Al up, promising he’ll get them out of there. Al angrily punches Weasel away from her, shouting he shouldn’t dare to touch her! Weasel falls against some thorns, which rip his shirt apart. Al shouts that there are certain rules when trapped inside the Box, and you have to follow them in order to get out. Weasel understands, but thinks he pulled something back from his body. Al thinks that pain is good, as it reminds you that you still have some feeling left.

Sometimes, Al doesn’t even know how time moves by: weeks or minutes, she wouldn’t even move a single muscle and just stay put and sit. She’d forget she still had a body. She’d even block out the smell. When that would happen, Al would forget she wasn’t just a mind. She’d make herself remember by pointing her finger up, and cut her finger against a razor sharp blade which caused her to bleed.

Weasel still can’t believe it. He always knew Wade was twisted like a corkscrew, but he never would have imagined something like this. But he refuses to give up. He’s not a blind old lady like his fellow “prisoner.” He’s still got a light and a few tools, and he has learned Deadpool everything he knows about locks and security. Al can remain sitting there if she wants, but he wants to go find a way out.

He suggest by starting to make some air currents and follows by making a smoke trail until he gets a vent. Al tells the genius that if he wants out so badly, he can always try out the door. Weasel doesn’t understand. Al claims that it’ll probably work, as Deadpool always leaves it open. He has done that for years.

Olympic Park, Montreal, Canada…

With its sixty-five-ton retractable roof and fifty-five story inclined tower, this architectural structure is a fitting testament to the Olympic spirit displayed here in 1976. It represents the highest achievements of humanity, in both physical excellence and in intellectual accomplishments.

Jacques and Freddy are two construction site workers, talking about Roseanne Barr’s constant punch lines. Suddenly, oil gets tossed all over Freddy’s face. He turns around, and notices a lot of weird looking soldiers, which look more like purple robotic creatures than human. And they have killed Jacques. They threaten Freddy that he will suffer the same fate, unless he helps them find the one called… Deadpool!

Golden Gate Park…

A dog went out for a little walk in the park, alone. It sniffs around and finds Deadpool’s unconscious body. It sniffs Wade’s arm, but isn’t interested anymore and just takes off again.

The Deadhut, just outside the Box…

Weasel has gone out of the Box and can’t believe that, after all this times of Al telling him that she was Wade’s prisoner, he would never lock up the door and she never tried to run outside of it. Al corrects that Wade just leaves the Box open, that’s all. It takes a lot more than just fancy locks to build a prison. A lot more.

Al reveals that she had a buddy once, from her union days. Tommy Mulroom was his name, a sweet guy. He made his own Brandy and rolled his own cigarettes. But Al never saw his face. But she just knew Tommy was a looker thanks to the tone of his beautiful voice. Tommy lived in Maine, bred Chinooks for fun after he retired from the job. Had sixteen of the critters.

Al mentions again that Tommy lived in Maine. It’s two thousand, seven hundred and eighty-eight miles away as the crows fly. Weasel jokes it’s a fascinating story, but wants Al to talk about it later. Al adds that she used to be with Wade for two years when she met Tommy, who was getting sloppy and careless. Wade gets called off to Guadalajara for a whack-job that will take at least two weeks. The window of opportunities cracks open. Instead of scrambling Tommy for the border, Al figures she’d head for Tommy’s. Deadpool didn’t know him. It was a safe-port. Plus, Tommy knows people who know people. He can get Al papers, put her underground, whatever she needs.

It takes her a day to just to rumble her way out of the house. She makes it out of the house with a few scratches and a bruised hip and the sense she can’t go on. But soon as Al feels that sun, that glorious sun, she doesn’t feel any pain. And she’s going to do whatever it takes to get away from the monster that keeps her in the closet. Using a couple of tricks she picked up from her time in the Girl Scouts, Al manages to score enough cash to start the trek across the country.

Weasel jokingly asks Al if she stopped selling cookies. Al sarcastically quotes that Weasel is supposed to be the sharp one, and he doesn’t even let her finish her story. Al trains it out to Arizona and crashes there for a few days. She soon gets sun poisoning and a touch of the flu. She has a fever dream about Tommy, where he takes her in his arms and reminds her not to sleep too long. His arms are like cannons, body built like a brickhouse. The strongest guy Al ever met. She leaves Arizona, trains to Tallahassee, then it’s a fast and loose road trip direct to Maine with some college kid on a break. He digs the intrigue, the fake name, the whole cloak and dagger. Al lets the kid call her grandmother; she calls the kid Tommy. It’s a cheap comfort, but hey, Al is old.

Weasel, getting impatient, asks Al if she’s going to come out of the Box like he did. Al tells him to shut up as her story is almost over.

She continues that she and the kid reach Tommy’s house at sundown. The kid takes an extra second to hug a crazy old bird and leaves. That’s nice. Al smells Brandy cooking in the back of the house. It makes the air tangy. A smell of life. She starts practicing her collapse into Tommy’s arms and she’s about to ring the bell when it hits her. Weasel wants to know what. The whining, Al adds. Tommy’s dogs. The Chinooks. Big dogs shouldn’t make noises like that. Not begging sounds. Then, the door opens on its own. Slowly. The air spells out, wet. And Al hears Tommy’s voice. Gravel and gasoline. Wade says “Watch your step, Alfred. Tommy made no-no in the house!”

The S.O.B. Wade Wilson found Al. To this day, Al still doesn’t know how Wade managed to do it. But, there he was nonetheless. Together with Tommy, or at least what was left of the guy. The sounds that came out of him, they didn’t fit into such a big man like Tommy. Almost having to throw up, Weasel still wants to know what happened next. He quietly looks at the open door. Al cries, concluding that nothing happened. They just left Tommy, together with his dogs. That, Al now remembers, is how you build a prison.

The out-of-time headquarters of Landau, Luckman & Lake…

Zoe, trying to get over a headache, sits in a chair holding an ice bag against her head to make the pain a little less bad. She mourns that she spend years grooming Deadpool for the Mithras Project. And now, she only could watch it dissipate into becoming nothing. Wilson blew it. A leopard can’t change its spots.

Noah, standing next to Zoe, won’t go anywhere near to what he told her, but he always knew it. Deadpool is not the man of destiny they are looking for. Zoe sarcastically asks if it’s against the rules to slaughter one’s colleague. Noah jokingly replies he’ll check the standard manual. But he thinks Zoe would get a reprimand. Noah suggests that he goes to inform Overboss Dixon about this, telling him that Deadpool is a dead issue. Noah tries to cheer Zoe up by telling her to look at the fact that, now, she has time for a time.

With Noah gone, Zoe still can’t believe that Deadpool would run away from his destiny like that and could screw this up for her. Wilson was Zoe’s best shot at running this place someday. Monty interrupts, asking Zoe that if he told her she had a beautiful body she would hold it against his. Zoe can see that Montgomery is on that dead wish again. She tells him to stop it, as she isn’t in the mood. She suggests that Monty goes to peer into the future a little more, since that’s after all his job.

Monty wants to know what Zoe would do if he told her he had just been surfing through the mists of the future and came up with some very interesting information regarding a certain loud-mouthed mercenary? Zoe smiles that if Monty is going to say what she thinks he’s going to say, she’ll sit in his lap!

The Golden Gate Park…

Quint can’t believe it and, while scouting the area, asks his partner, Johnson, what he thinks about this snow. Quint thinks that one of his boys is going to catch the blue flu. Johnson tells his partner to shut up and just enjoy the view, as its still better than sweating the badge off. But Quint isn’t talking about the snow. He wants to know what they are going to do if the people responsible for this mess start popping up somewhere and fight each other at the same time. Quint doesn’t know about his partner, but these so-called super-powered individuals like the muties, or “heroes” like these Thunderbolts people, they drive him crazy.

Quint mentions that once upon a time, it was white hats versus black hats, cowboys versus Indians, cops versus robbers and today you almost need a scoreboard to know who has turned evil the other day! Johnson agrees, as he never would have thought that the day would come when it turns out you can’t trust a man wearing the blue uniform. Quint was talking about super-heroes, not cops. Johnson suggests that they continue to protect and serve, and then he’ll buy Quint a snow cone. Quint laughs about it and they leave. Though as they go, they don’t notice they are walking above the snow hill Deadpool is still buried under.

Olympic Park…

Jacques, getting in defense mode, claims he doesn’t know anything about Deadpool and wants to be left alone. He suggests that they just end this. The leader of the weird looking creatures didn’t think it would end so soon, but jokes he has more soldiers to throw over Jacques if he prefers it. The leader swiftly goes to stand behind Jacques, and tabs him on his back. He rips it open, and mentions that sometimes he even surprises himself.

A small, even weirder pin-creature gets pulled out of Jacques’ back! The creature begs the leader to let him live as he can still help him find Deadpool if he wants. The creature wants to live and suggests the leader he just kills Jacques. The leader apologizes. It’s not just Deadpool he’s after; he’s after all the little escapees.

Back to the Hellhouse, where...

T-Ray throws Deadpool’s belt to Patch, and he realizes that T-Ray finally managed to defeat Wade. He sarcastically congratulates T-Ray for it and hopes he likes being the top dog now. C.F. tries to calm Patch down, but he won’t. Patch wants to know what’s going to happen next. Is T-Ray going to trash him and the others around until he gets to run the Hellhouse? Then he can start killing all of them, because Patch is confident nobody is going to want to join T-Ray’s side.

T-Ray thinks that might be true. But maybe he will pull everyone’s intestines out through their eye pockets. Maybe he’ll take a ten-inch bayonet to their shanks. Or maybe, T-Ray will just take a vacation. Disappear from the light of day for a while. Lurk in dreams. Or maybe, he’s going to Disneyworld! He takes Deadpool’s belt away from Patch, tosses it into the air and throws it against a wall, putting a knife in the middle. T-Ray knows that Wade Wilson has now learned his first lesson. So now, he will give Wilson a little break. He’ll be back when it’s time to teach Deadpool some more truths about life.

The Deadhut…

Weasel doesn’t know what to say about Al’s story. He always thought that Wade’s prisoner riff was a joke. Al claims there’s more to it than that. The story she just told was one of the worst. There are others, ones that paint Wade in a kinder light. One includes the one about the time Wade saved Al’s life. Believe it or not, but that still counts for something. Al tries to explain Weasel that there is more than one side to every prison. Today, Weasel saw Wade’s bad one. Al has seen both.

Weasel thinks that might be true. He has done things he’s not proud of, even shot somebody in self-defense, but who is he kidding? Wade threw him in a torture chamber! Deadpool is a monster! He takes a gun and says he’ll be leaving now. He’ll hijack a bus and shoot down across the border into Mexico, as he’s got a cousin there, though he won’t be pleased to see him. Oh, but Weasel forgot: Juan is off to Rabbinical school. He thinks he’s doomed.

This isn’t a joke. Weasel doesn’t think that it matters Wade managed to find Al in the past: Weasel claims to have means to really bury themselves underground. Al doesn’t believe it. Weasel thinks that maybe Al has been with Wade too long to see it. And she’s imagining he has a good side, but clearly Wade hasn’t. And sooner or later, Wade is going to kill them if they stay around, Weasel fears. Al thinks that Weasel is sweet and doesn’t want him to ever change, but she is not Patty Hearst. Somewhere at the bottom of that piece of filth called Wade Wilson is a good soul, and Al will be damned if she’s going to leave before she has found it.

Weasel walks out of the house, confident that at least he tried. Al has one small request to make Weasel. He agrees, unless she’s talking about money since Weasel is a little short. She calls out to Deuce and decides to give the dog back to Weasel. Al doesn’t really want a German Shepard pillowcase around her, and Weasel understands. Al tells Weasel to send her a postcard every now and then with no return address to let her know he’s alright. And maybe, when the time has come and Wade has changed, maybe Weasel can come back and visit. They say goodbye to each other, and Weasel and Deuce leave together, remembering that Alfred is one tough old lady. Al closes the door, and cries.

Elsewhere, on top of a church…

T-Ray sits on the roof of a church, meditating. Suddenly, Typhoid Mary climbs up! T-Ray had been wondering when she would show up. She mentions it took her a little while to get back from Iowa, joking that T-Ray should really try pillaging there sometime. She came looking for T-Ray, because she heard he trashed her boyfriend. T-Ray thinks that what he did to Wilson isn’t half as bad as what Mary did, but feels sorry she couldn’t be there.

Mary is not sorry, remembering what she did to Wade in Iowa. T-Ray knows what she’s talking about and congratulates Mary. He asks what she’s going to do next. The usual, she claims: bringing on some chaos and hang around silly boys. She asks T-Ray the same question. He’ll just lurk around for a bit until Wilson shows up again, and learn new things. He always liked self-improving. Mary and T-Ray say their goodbyes to one another. Mary runs away, and T-Ray vaporizes!

Back to the Golden Gate Park…

Gerry finds the snow hill Wade is still buried under. He congratulates Wade on what he’s done, and for Gerry to say he’s proud would be an understatement. Though that’s a joke, and Gerry is almost embarrassed to admit he knows Wade. He wants Wade to know how he expects to save the world at this rate. Running around letting every witchy woman get under his skin, and than that weird albino dude: that’s just wrong. Once he saw it all happening, Gerry had no choice but to let nature run its course. But at least Wade learned a lesson today. Gerry leaves a wine bottle behind for Wade, and concludes that Wade will now have to find his own way to redemption. Gerry takes off, promising that he’ll be watching.

A few minutes pass, without anything happening. Suddenly, Deadpool merges from the snow, alive and fully recovered! This sure was productive. He pulls himself up, and notices the wine bottle. Wade remains silent for a short while, and realizes he’s a colossal jerk. He thought things were improving, but things just got messed up again for him, as usual. Wade doesn’t know how, but he thinks he blew a good thing.

Suddenly, a female voice calls out to Wade, agreeing that this is really pathetic. Oh, for the love of Led Zeppelin! It’s Zoe! Stepping out of the portal, she says hi to Wade. He tells her to go away, as, obviously, he isn’t her Man of Destiny. Zoe jokingly replies that this sure was a shining moment. But, life goes on. And, if Wade has got half a brain, he’ll realize that every end is a new beginning. She suggests that Deadpool joins her, so she can show him the rest of his life.

Characters Involved: 



Blind Al


Typhoid Mary

Monty, Noah, Zoe Culloden (Landau, Luckman & Lake employees)

Patch II
C.F. & Fenway (mercs)

Gerry (Deadpool’s friend)

Deuce (Al’s dog)

Ajax (unnamed)

Nikki Teng (reporter)

Jacques & Freddy (two construction site workers)

Johnson & Quint (police officers)

weird, pink creature (Steve)

mysterious soldiers (unnamed)

several citizens and kids (all unnamed)

another dog sniffing on Deadpool’s arm (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

The two-super powered individuals the newscaster mentions are, of course, Deadpool and T-Ray. Their battle can be found in last issue. The reason why the reporter thinks Spider-Man was fighting instead of Deadpool is, of course, thanks to their almost identical mask. This joke mainly originated as criticism of Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld that he was too much like Spider-Man. This issue will be handled a few times in later issue.

Typhoid Mary messed with Wade’s head, hading used an image inducer to make her look like Siryn and made love to him, as seen in Deadpool (2nd series) #12-13.

This issue finally gives into a lot of fan requests from past years, and reveal a little more about Blind Al’s past.

Ajax doesn’t get named in this issue, but he is the leader of the soldiers that kill Jacques and Freddy, as confirmed next issue.

The pink little creature Ajax attacks gets later on named as “Steve” in Deadpool/Death Annual 1998, but he is unnamed in this issue.

Charles Manson was the head of a cult in the late sixties and early seventies. He was arrested and convicted of planning and ordering several brutal murders, most notably movie actress Sharon Tate.

Roseanne Barr is a comedian who is most famous for her eponymous television series, Roseanne.

Patty Hearst is the granddaughter of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and was the victim of a kidnapping in 1974. Amazingly, she later assisted them in robbing a bank, and served time in jail for her actions, before ultimately being pardoned by President Clinton.

Led Zeppelin was a British rock band which performed from 1968 to 1980. One of their most famous songs was “Stairway to Heaven.”

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