Deadpool (2nd series) #2

Issue Date: 
February 1997
Story Title: 
Operation: Rescue Weasel! (or: Operation: That Whacky Doctor’s Game!)

Joe Kelly (writer), Ed McGuiness (pencils), Nathan Massengill & Norman Lee (inks), RS/Comicraft/DL (letters), Chris Lichtner (colors), Digital Chameleon (enhancement), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Deadpool moans for the love of Siryn. He even checks up on her at nights, and watches her sleep at the Xavier mansion. Realizing that their love is never going to happen and that it’s just his hormones talking, Wade teleports away. At the same time that night, Weasel gets kidnapped! The next day, Wade spends time talking to Blind Al, who laughs at the love struck Wade. Realizing that Blind Al doesn’t seem to care, Wade decides to look up Weasel and talk to him instead. But upon arriving, Wade finds Weasel’s apartment completely empty, which means that something must be wrong. Thanks to a special homing bacon, Wade manages to track down Weasel at… the Taskmaster’s training academy! After a battle with ninjas, Deadpool is defeated and taken prisoner as well. While chained, he gets reunited with Weasel, who isn’t chained at all. Weasel explains that the Taskmaster offered him to work for him, and he’s seriously thinking about it, thanks to the advantages the employment has. Taskmaster interrupts, and wants Deadpool to serve as a guest lecturer and teach his class. Not having much choice, Wade goes for it. But he gets tackled a lot of times, thanks to the fact that the Taskmaster has copied all of Wade’s moves while he was fighting the ninjas. But luckily, Wade has a backup plan. He dances around real fast and, after using some never-before-seen moves, manages to defeat and humiliate the Taskmaster in front of his entire school! The upset ninjas leave their master behind for what he is. Taskmaster swears to have his revenge some day. Weasel tries to figure out with his live now, but Deadpool promises the guy that he can come back working for him, and will give him the same advantages Taskmaster promised. Weasel accepts, but not before getting a prank wedgie!

Full Summary: 

The Xavier Institute For Higher Learning, Westchester…

It’s in the middle of the night, and it’s raining outside. Deadpool hangs upside down on a tree, and watches at the sleeping Siryn. He jokes that camping outside someone’s window just to watch them sleep used to be considered romantic, but today it’s considered as “stalking” and “trespassing.” Though the term of “stalking” does have that certain byronic flavor to it.

However, Wade changes his mind, and doesn’t see the point in all this. He realizes that Siryn is all to wrapped up in her X-geek super hero world, while Wade himself butt cramps doing the perch in the birch, trying to remember exactly when he stopped having a life. Gee, those Tony Robbins self-esteem tapes Al gave Wade last Christmas sure seem to be working their magic.

Wade has had enough. If he isn’t going to be all suave and try to convince Theresa to join him on a monster truck rally, he might as well go home, pull his hair up and call it a day. While Wade starts activating his teleporting device, he hopes that he’ll start having that dream about Cindy Crawford and that guillotine. Just as long as it isn’t the one where he shows up at the driver’s ED test all naked, it’s all good for him. Wade truly hates that dream. He wishes Theresa a good night’s rest, and hopes her dreams will be sweeter than his, and teleports away.

At that very moment, in a quaint Chicago hideaway…

Ninjas open an apartment widow, and climb through it. It’s Weasel’s place. This is the man the ninjas’ master wants, and they order one of their men to take Weasel quickly, like he has been taught. He puts his hand on Weasel’s mouth, who wakes up and thinks it’s Deadpool. But the hand puts tighter and he faints, and the ninjas kidnap Weasel!

The next morning, in a not so quaint row house in San Francisco…

Blind Al mocks at Wade, as he truly has changed from a mercenary to a peeping tom. She is almost ashamed to be his prisoner! While eating his breakfast cereals, Wade jokes that Al sure can make voyeurism sound cheap. After all, it wasn’t like he was trying to catch Siryn showering or something. Though if he did, it would be through the fifth window in on the west side of the third floor of the school!

Al can’t believe that a big bad man like Wade can’t settle a silly thing like this. Wade doesn’t know what she’s talking about. It’s hormones! He’s certain it’ll pass like gas. He knows that there’s nothing for him and Theresa, especially not in those green eyes, that blazing red hair and lips. Al laughs, and asks Wade to pour some sugar in her coffee. That’s fine by Wade. He quietly thinks that Al doesn’t know it, but he’s secretly substituting the sugar she usually sweetens her coffee with… new and improved iodized salt! He wants to see if Blind Al can taste the difference.

Al mentions that she has been thinking about that offer Landeau, Luckman & Lake made Wade earlier. He replies that he sure hasn’t. Al thinks that Deadpool should. She thinks that the hero gig might not be all that bad, and besides, she asks, when was the last time Wade wasted someone and felt good about it? Maybe it’s time for a change.

Wade smiles. Him, a good guy? What would he do then? Change his name into Kiddie Pool and start a water park? He doesn’t think so. If L, L & L want a super hero, they can go to Kansas for all Wade cares. After all, Al knows his motto: “go procreate in isolation.” A bad boy’s life for him is what he prefers.

Al doesn’t know. She thinks that Wade will surprise himself. She starts drinking the coffee, but nothing happens. She wishes Wade a good appetite. He starts eating, and immediately spits it out again! Al sarcastically thinks she has been mixing up the salt and sugar again. She wishes the jerk better luck next time, and Wade washes his mouth by drinking milk from the box.

Five tooth brushings and a scene change later…

Wade has put on his Deadpool costume. He should have known better than to discuss his love life with Al. He knows that if he wants to talk about babes, he should go to someone who’s even lower than him: Weasel. Wade arrives at his apartment, and calls out to Weasel, as he needs him to be his Joyce Brothers. He refuses to end up on Oprah again. Nobody responds. Wade goes inside, and discovers a horrible fact… Weasel has cleaned up his room?! Wade would think that something is amiss. A mystery is brewing. Suddenly, he hears a noise coming off from the computer.

Welcome to our show! Clue number one: Deadpool activates the PC, and is amazed by what he gets to see on the screen. Weasel’s personal tracking device has been activated. Wade wonders what Weasel’s doing in Nevada, knowing that Weasel hates the sun, and something tells him that doesn’t bode well for the nerd-boy. Wade sees a hamster’s face icon moving towards a point on a map, and Wade thinks that there’s certainly something negative going on in the boding well category.

Nevada, high noon in a nefarious installation few believe exists, and even fewer like to talk about…

A hooded man is training his ninja squad, who are doing push-ups while carrying heavy bricks. The man explains to the ninjas that the garrote might be a weapon of stealth, but no one in their right mind would try to strangle a man at full strength. That is for the movies.

One of the ninjas less stellar classmates fails to keep the brick lifted, and the trainer quotes that he has chosen to demonstrate his point. The ninja begs for his life, but the hooded man ignores that. He lifts the ninja up, and breaks his neck! He explains he just demonstrated how to perform a crushed windpipe. He tells the ninja to consider this failed class as an “F”, and tells the others that class is dismissed. One of the ninja’s approaches his master, and informs that there is a problem.

Deadpool has made it to Nevada, and is closing in on Weasel’s hamster signal. Wade knows that Weasel only activates the hamster beacon if he’s in trouble, so Wade has to assume that the guy isn’t on a vacation. Good thing for Weasel he’s such a paranoid puppy, or else Wade would have never tracked him down. Wade wonders if this has got anything to do with the way he treats the guy. Nah, he rethinks, it’s probably something Weasel’s mother did to him.

But whoever snatched Weasel sure did a textbook job on covering their tracks, but it was darn inconsiderate of them to pick out a hideout without any places for Wade to actually hide! Wade takes out his binoculars, and decides to take a closer look at the hideout. It’s your basic impenetrable fortress. Guards notice Wade’s presence, and open fire upon him. Wade takes out his sword, and declares that the pain time can begin!

Up next in the dork-arathlon, Deadpool athlete-with-an-attitude takes his place in the vault, tackles two ninjas heads onto another, jumps on a pole, and after swinging it, he’s clear and has jumped on the edge of the roof! Deadpool has done it again, and thinks it might be in world record time. Champagne and nuts for everyone! Now, right after yet another look at that Kerri Strug vault, we’ll immediately go to the medal ceremony, but first a few words from our sponsor. Wade tosses small grenades at the ninjas, and they scream it out from the pain. Though, the hooded man has Deadpool on his viewing monitors, and is amazed by the way the merc moves. He wants to learn from Deadpool and allows him entrance in the courtyard.

The next event on Deadpool’s show: synchronized screaming! The hamster on Wade’s tracking device moves closer to Weasel’s location, so Wade must be close. But something is wrong: the scanner is attuned to Weasel’s heart. It shouldn’t go off unless… A ninja tries to sneak up on Deadpool, but he angrily takes out his sword and kills the ninja, demanding to know what they did to his buddy. The ninjas’ leader has seen enough. Deadpool has no more secrets from him: he owns the merc!

A few seconds later, Deadpool hears someone breathing very loud, and shouts that he better shows himself, because his patience is as thin as the membrane between another ninja Wade holds hostage and his brain. Wade demands to know what happened to Weasel. The hooded man steps forward, and is impressed by the loyalty of someone as simple as Wade. Deadpool is confused. The leader finds that amusing. He explains it is a trait one finds in well-bred dogs. The leader admits that he has got Weasel. And if Wade has the courage to take him on in order to retrieve the man, then by all means… the Taskmaster invites Deadpool to come get him!

Deadpool jumps towards the Taskmaster, with his blade ready. He reveals to have heard about the Taskmaster and his correspondence course for killers. He is surprised to find out that this is the main campus, and he wonders if Sally Struthers does Taskmaster’s infomercials?

Taskmaster defends that his reputation speaks for itself. He recognizes Deadpool’s jump as the leaping dragon kick, executed in the style of master Shingen Dakota. It’s deadly, but easily defensible. Deadpool doesn’t see how, but the Taskmaster takes out his shield and prevents Wade from kicking him! Wade congratulates Taskmaster on the nice moves. Taskmaster reveals that his moves are actually rudimentary maneuvers. And in fact… they are Deadpool’s! Taskmaster takes out his blade and sticks it through Wade’s stomach!

Wade falls down, and… bleeds! While trying to gain some time to recover, he jokes that this is what it feels like to hold one’s guts in. Deadpool wants to know how Taskmaster could have hit him so hard, as none one shimmies like that. Taskmaster corrects that someone does: Deadpool himself! He reveals to be able to absorb Deadpool’s repertoire of physical behaviors while watching him skirmish with his ninja’s. Deadpool is amazed that Taskmaster could absorb all of his moves by watching just one battle. He wants to know what his enemy is exactly.

Taskmaster welcomes Deadpool to the world of photographic reflexes. He explains that any move he witnesses automatically becomes his. Taskmaster asks if they should continue, as they have so much punishment to explore together. Wade wants to slice Taskmaster’s smirk off his face, but his left lung feels like they’ve gone through a blender! Wade wonders why his healing factor hasn’t kicked in yet. Wade tries to fight Taskmaster again, but he tackles every one of his move. Wade tries to take out his gun, but… it’s gone! Taskmaster smiles, and shows that he has managed to steal Wade’s gun earlier. Taskmaster sarcastically wishes Wade a good night, and shoots him!

A few minutes later, a voice calls out to Wade. Wade thinks it’s Cindy. He asks her to wait, as he’s just fitting Richard into the guillotine. Wade tries to get up, but is chained on an operating table. His vision gets better, and recognizes Weasel! Wade wants to know what happened to him. Weasel explains that the Taskmaster nailed Wade with a concussive blast, point blank. Wade will have a lot of headache, but nothing too serious.

Wade wants to know what happened to Weasel, as he thought the guy was dead. Weasel smirks, and asks why Wade would ever think he was dead. Wade mentions that he knows about the beacon Weasel made, and that it’s only supposed to go off if he dies. Weasel takes out a cigarette, and smiles, mentioning that he might have left the beacon go off on purpose.

Wade demands an explanation. Weasel reveals that the Taskmaster knows about his work, and is interested in hiring his services full time. Wade suspects that not only has the Taskmaster kidnapped Weasel, he also has tortured him into submission. He’ll make sure the Taskmaster is a dead man once he’s loose! Because, Wade tells Weasel, he is his friend, and nobody slaps Wade’s friends around but him. Weasel turns back, and sadly says that the Taskmaster offered him a great deal, and he’s seriously thinking about it.

Wade is startled to hear that. Weasel explains that the Taskmaster will pay him ten thousand dollars a week and, on top of that, he will receive a top-of-the-line workshop and the playboy channel. But, he hasn’t made a decision yet. Wade doesn’t believe it, as Weasel doesn’t sound too convincing. Wade sarcastically tells Weasel not to let him stand in the way of his big career. After all, he jokes, they haven’t been together since Wade busted Canadian ranks, or, he asks Weasel, has he forgotten about the Niagara Falls? Weasel hasn’t, but it’s just… Taskmaster cuts in. He asks Weasel if he’s tending his resignation. Weasel isn’t sure. Taskmaster wants to speed up Weasel’s decision. He asks both men to join him, as class is about to begin.

Minutes later, in the den of agony known only as… Lecture Hall One.

The Taskmaster has gathered all of his ninja students, and informs them that Deadpool has volunteered to expand their knowledge. Wade jokes that he has always been a strong proponent of higher education. Taskmaster continues to say that not only will they profit from Deadpool’s demise in an academic sense, but they will also secure the services of their treasured guest, Weasel, once and for all!

Ninjas remove Deadpool’s chains. Deadpool gives the ninja a head butt, and then a mule kick. Taskmaster observes, and tells his other students that the moves are not graceful, though effective. Wade has had enough, and kicks the ninjas butt, wanting to escape. Unfortunately the Taskmaster anticipated this, and kicks Wade quickly down the floor. Taskmaster tells Wade that the next topic of their class will be… swordplay. Now Wade can be humiliated with props.

To start, the Taskmaster will emulate the nigh-defensible broadsword of the Black Knight! Deadpool cries that it isn’t fair, and jokes that the Taskmaster always gets to be one of the Avengers. This time he want to be the Black Knight and the Taskmaster will get to be Jarvis the butler. He at least has to be able to defeat a butler. Taskmaster explains to his students that Deadpool is an expert at using banter to distract his opponents in combat. Taskmaster knows that words can be as sharp as steel when wielded properly, although quite frankly, the Taskmaster still prefers steel. He takes out his sword, and uses it to cut off Wade’s finger!

Weasel fears for Wade, as for all the times Deadpool finally shows some compassion for him, why does it has to be against someone he can’t beat?

Deadpool drops his sword. He mentions that his mother cut off his middle finger once, but only once, he threatens. Taskmaster tells his class to now look at Wade exploding, and… Suddenly, Wade starts dancing! He thought that the Taskmaster would never ask him to do this. Taskmaster is confused. Wade tells the class to pay attention, as he passes gas and knock their professor unconscious using chemical warfare, then he does the Macarena because if they all just lint and dance, Wade wants the ninjas to think about how much better off the world would be.

Taskmaster tries to copy Deadpool’s movements, but… he’s moving differently. Wade’s technique… it’s suddenly erratic and unpredictable, but… the Taskmaster thinks that’s impossible! Wade jokingly that it’s possible when you use the “dancing on the ceiling” style of Kung Fu taught by Sensei Lionel Ritchie, or Wade’s foot kick, which was perfected by Daniel Day Lewis! Wade manages to kick Taskmaster in his face. He panics, and still thinks this can’t be happening.

Wade triumphs, and asks the Taskmaster if nobody told him that he is a riddle. Wade mentions that he eats the uncertainty for breakfast, and that he was born the original loose cannon. And he is one unpredictable feather-plucking walrus! Wade stands ready, and once again punches Taskmaster in his face! And with all due respect to Alice, Wade informs the Taskmaster that “school’s out forever.”

Taskmaster starts to panic. He knew Deadpool. He thinks that Wade isn’t possible. Wade jokes that Taskmaster’s color scheme isn’t possible either, but he lives with it. He suggests that the Taskmaster changes his name into “Tackmaster.” He suggests that Taskmaster really needs to open up a copy of Vogue…

Deadpool asks the ninjas if any of them is desperate to defend their master’s honor. The ninjas hesitate, but all of them quickly withdraw, saying that they never truly liked the Taskmaster and want their money back. Taskmaster is still in denial, and doesn’t think that Wade’s movements are human. Weasel walks over to the Taskmaster. He apologizes that he got humiliated in front of his class like this, but even if the Taskmaster ever manages to get back up on his feet, Weasel hands over his phone number to him, as he hasn’t said “no” yet. Taskmaster promises that if he ever gets up, he’s going to kill Deadpool.

Taskmaster promises to find a way to defeat Wade, as nobody can move like that. Weasel realizes that the Taskmaster’s down for, and tries to figure out what he’s going to do now. Wade places his hand on Weasel’s shoulder, and tells the guy that he’s going home and is probably going to feel better when he watched the Playboy channel for a few hours. Weasel corrects Wade that he doesn’t receive that channel. Wade knows that, but Weasel will receive it, if he wants to come back working for him. Weasel is touched, and thanks Wade.

But, sensitive as Deadpool is, he feels one of those scenes arriving, which he rather avoids, so instead he chooses to ruin the moment by giving Weasel a… preemptive wedgie!

Characters Involved: 



Blind Al

Siryn (X-Force)


Taskmaster’s ninjas (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

First time the Taskmaster appears in the Deadpool series. He would become a regular cast member towards the final issues of the series.

Landeau, Luckman & Lake offered Deadpool to become a hero last issue, but he wasn’t interested.

Deadpool first fell in love in Deadpool (1st series) #1-4.

“Oprah” is a world wide popular TV talk show where people discuss their lousy love lives and such in front of many viewers and life public, and get help in solving it.

Lionel Ritchie is a famous musician and pop singer, mainly known for his hits in the 1980s, which included “Dancing On the Ceiling” in 1986.

Dr. Joyce Brothers is a famous psychologist, who has given advice via newspaper & magazine columns, as well as television and radio since the early 1960s.

Kerri Strug is an American Olympic gymnast who won a bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was a member of the gold medal winning team of World Champions in 1995.

Sally Struthers is an actress who originally gained notoriety while playing the daughter of Archie Bunker, Gloria, in the 1970s comedy, “All in the Family.” Years later, she did television movies, various TV show appearances and dedicated time to the Christian Children’s Fund, which helps sponsor children in impoverished countries. As her career never sustained itself after All in the Family, Struthers became the butt of many jokes among comedians and those who remember her.

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