Deadpool (2nd series) #21

Issue Date: 
October 1998
Story Title: 
Dead Reckoning: Smells Like Prologue

Joe Kelly (writer), Walter McDaniel (pencils), Livesay (inks), Matt Hicks (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

At the Nevada Desert, Deadpool ruins a test project of a robot suit he was supposed to wear when the time of his Mithras fulfilling actually came. But Wade thinks he’s got enough power of his own to deal with the problem, and destroys the suit. He recalls that, during all of the prophecies, Zoe never informed him about him having to wear such a suit and demands to know what he’s going to go up against. Zoe agrees, and reveals a holographic image of the upcoming threat: a big alien named Tiamat, which Deadpool is supposed to kill! Wade’s a bit hesitant about having to kill and teleports away. Zoe receives a message from Noah and teleports back to the Landau, Luckman & Lake base. There, she discovers Monty has been mind wiped and freaks out. She even discovers a hidden agenda of Dixon and teleports away together with Monty. Wade meets up with Blind Al and informs her about the killing part he is supposed to do to become a hero, but Al hasn’t got any cheering words. At the same time, Gerry meets up with his old friend Dr. Strange. They discuss other heroes who might be suitable to deal with Tiamat, but Gerry is confident that Deadpool is the only perfect one, hoping he’s right. Some time later at the LL&L base, Dixon and Noah learn of Zoe and Monty’s departure, thinking they are traitors. Dixon dispatches Noah to a base of his where the radars have gone off-line. Noah leaves, telling Dixon he still trusts him and the Mithras Project. Once Noah is gone, Dixon thinks that’s why Noah is going to lose and he hopes God will forgive him for it. Back home, Wade gets the unsuspected visit of both Zoe and Monty, and she informs him about what Dixon did to Monty. Wade’s angry and thinks somebody’s going to get his butt kicked.

Full Summary: 

Nevada desert on a usual sunny day…

A clandestine series of tests have been going on for a while now. Sarah thinks that maybe they need a new checkout girl at the Piggly Wiggly, as she heard they get benefits. Zoe is certain Sarah isn’t going to lose her job and asks her to stop being so melodramatic. Sarah isn’t so sure as, because of her job as Expediter, Zoe has security at Landau, Luckman & Lake and she hasn’t. She’s just a biophysicist with ordnance bias. If anything goes wrong, they’ll have her strep cultures by morning. Zoe explains that if there is one thing Sarah needs to learn about this operative is that he’s unpredictable but reliable. Usually at least, on average.

That’s not good enough for Sarah. She shows Zoe a schedule of a robot they were making, and explains that that maniac just absconded with a fusion-driven, beta-tested cybernetic augmentation harness with live ammunition, including an “L” class thermonuclear device, and flew it right towards Los Angeles! And Zoe claims he’s only responsible “on average?!”

Sarah thinks she must be cursed and what’s worse, she doesn’t know what it’s all good for. She wants to know why Overboss Dixon ordered this battle suit and what program they are working for. Zoe tells Sarah she can relax, as the guy is already returning, and is just like she said: reliable. Sarah is glad, though she noticed Zoe didn’t answer her question. Zoe ignores her and watches the robot descend.

It’s Deadpool! And he put himself right into the robot suit. He knows what Zoe is thinking: “he’s off the hook and has got to pay!” But he doesn’t think so and thinks he’s the best. Sarah notices that Deadpool has painted all kinds of swearing words on the robot’s body and even gave it a necklace, and faints. Zoe remembers Sarah saying Piggly Wiggly offers benefits.

Meanwhile, in a highly restricted area of the Landau, Luckman & Lake base…

Dixon stands on a balcony together with Noah, looking at his soldiers gathering in the big room below him. He trusts that the soldiers have all been briefed about the upcoming situation. Noah confirms, assuming Dixon would consider fifty simulations per unit perfectly briefed. All that’s left now is Dixon’s final order, and his Blackout soldiers shall stand ready. Dixon thinks that’s perfect. He asks Noah if he realizes that, if Earth’s governments were even one quarter this organized, they would have achieved peace centuries ago.

Noah agrees and thinks it’s a pity they aren’t. If they were, none of this would have been necessary. He asks Dixon if he has to wire a download to Monty and lock down site priorities. Dixon doesn’t think so. He explains they’re going on Monty’s original predictions. He thinks their beloved psychic hasn’t weathered recovery yet as well as he had hoped. Noah wants to know what recovery Dixon is talking about. Dixon confesses he ordered a level eight mind-wipe.

Noah is startled Dixon did that as Monty is one of them. Dixon angrily warns Noah not to look down his nose and judge him, as he knows what’s at stake. He thinks the Mithras Directive must be carried out at all costs. Noah stares at Dixon but doesn’t say anything. Dixon refuses to discuss this matter ever again. He wants Noah to do his job and follow his orders, and to thank the deity of his choice that he doesn’t have to shoulder the responsibility for an entire world. Dixon doesn’t think Noah would have the stomach for it. He takes off, making Noah angry, but he doesn’t do anything about it.


Zoe argues with Deadpool, who doesn’t see the point. Certainly Zoe didn’t really expect him to save the universe in some Danger-Will Robinson robot can like that. Wade mentions he’s got fans to impress. Zoe tells Wade not to talk, as she has to fix this right now. Wade understands that Zoe is stressed. He thinks that maybe he could help by giving that lovely, still unconscious assistant of hers mouth-to-mouth breathing. Zoe tells him to just shut up. Wade doesn’t think there’s need to get unprofessional. Zoe wants to know why Wade did this, as the battle armor was perfectly calibrated to him and the upcoming challenge Monty forecasted.

Wade wouldn’t go as far as “perfectly calibrated,” as his “sensitive male boy bodypart” found the flight a tad cramped. He wonders if Zoe can do anything about the inseam. Zoe wonders if, just once, if it would have killed Wade not to act like a third grader on steroids. She wonders if Wade understands what he has just done. Wade tells Zoe to calm down and take a pill or something, and watch closely at what he’s about to demonstrate. Zoe panics, as she notices Wade moving closer to a control panel and orders him to stay away from it, but of course he ignores her. Wade suggests that they play a little game called thermo-nuclear War. It should be fun, with Wade hoping this will get him the attention of Jessica Parker.

He activates the control panel, and then a robot voice warns everyone that the course is live. Zoe thinks Wade has gone really insane as he just took the safeties off, and this field test was for the battle suit only. The robot suit starts to move wild and all the other scientists run away into safety. Wade warns us summary readers not to try this at home. Another robot suit gets up and starts firing on Wade. He runs into the test field and dodges all of the bullets, with everyone staring at Wilson, because he isn’t supposed to be able to do that. But, Zoe notices that he is doing it and is impressed. Wade slashes the robots apart, and with him being a Cosmic Messiah has made another perfect goal!

Standing triumphantly over the battle suits, Wade angrily recalls that, in all the times Zoe whined about him being the Mithras, she or her other employers never ever told anything about him wearing a robot suit. Hesitant, Zoe admits, but she thought Wade might need them. Wade angrily walks into a tent and goes to sit down and relaxes a little. He wants to be informed how exactly he’s going to be a hero. Zoe agrees to tell him that.

Back at the Landau, Luckman & Lake base, Noah tries to figure out how to tell Overboss Dixon that he doesn’t agree with Monty’s mind-wipe, as he’s one of them and that doesn’t make it right. But Noah has the hardest time trying to find a way, as he would go to hell ordering a hamburger for Dixon if he would want him to. He contacts Zoe and succeeds, but on that moment Dixon walks in! He orders Noah to cut off the call, and he obeys.

Dixon informs Noah that the Black Out Troops are ready and that they’ve got a world to blind. He tells Noah to open up all the viewing screens, and they get to see the Black Out Troops installing some weapons and training. Dixon thinks it’s a very special day today and he feels they shall be victorious. Noah can only agree. Dixon takes off and orders Noah to keep him informed about their status, as he’s going to make sure that Deadpool doesn’t ruin anything more for them.

Back at the Desert, Zoe holds an orb ready and tries to activate it, but Wade is too busy trying to impress her by doing his impression of a Sand People. Zoe remains unimpressed though, as she likes her movie to be fiction like, though not science. Zoe activates the orb which gives Wade a slight electrical shock. Zoe laughs and mentions its time to enclose.

The next moment, they find themselves in a black area, with tiny shades of blue and red colors. Wade wants to know where they are. Zoe reveals they are in a portable transdimensional bubble. They can speak freely here and she can show Wade some life-like images of his upcoming opponent. Zoe points Wade at a tiny grey globe, which represents the chance that Wade, the Mithras ‘Messiah’ (for the lack of a better term) is actually going to save the world from an alien invasion. Wade wants to know what the alien looks like. That’s fine by Zoe, and introduces the alien, which they call… Tiamat! The alien is rather big and Wade is a bit scared of him.

Zoe further reveals Tiamat is named for the Babylonian chaos dragon’s, whose dedicated to the destruction of order. Monty learned of Tiamat practically the moment he learned of the Mithras, but they don’t know where Tiamat is from or what he will do. But they are very certain the alien means disaster for the future. Wade wants to know what Monty wants him to do with the alien. Dance? Zoe thought that was clear: Wade has got to kill it! Deadpool hesitates, not knowing what to respond, but mentions to Zoe it’s nothing. Zoe gets another call from Noah but wanted to be left alone. She asks Wade if he’s got a problem killing Tiamat, but he waves Zoe goodbye and tells her to get the call. Zoe asks Wade to wait, but reads that Noah asked her to ask Wade about a trip with Monty. She wants to ask Wade about it, but he has already teleported away!

Wade, having used his image inducer to look like a common man, meets up with Blind Al at the San Francisco Golden Gate Park and informs her about Tiamat and what he’s supposed to do about it. Al isn’t surprised by it and asks Wade what he thought he was supposed to do. Wade doesn’t know and tells Al to forget about it. He remembers a time in high school when he got an aptitude test, and it turned out that he was going to be a dentist, so he shouldn’t have a problem tearing the alien’s big teeth out of his yap.

Al smirks that Wade doesn’t need to try to intimidate her for being afraid to kill, as she has been his prisoner for years now and he always locked her up in a torture closet, so she wonders why he’s having trouble now. Wade jokes that Al sucks at the cheering up routine, but she doesn’t care, and tells Wade to look up his fat, homeless friend if he doesn’t like her. Wade remembers Gerry and wonders where he is.


Dr. Strange is talking to a mysterious person about an upcoming threat. He thinks the Avengers should be suitable to deal with it, but the person doesn’t think so as they would be already trying to find new recruits once public interest fades away. Strange thinks about Quasar, Captain Marvel and even the Watcher. But the person reminds Stephen that they are too busy, dead or passive, so they are all a big no. Strange mentions Daimon Hellstrom, even the Lightning Rods should be okay for him. The person doesn’t think so.

Strange panics, as there has to be someone else! Gerry denies that. He mentions that Strange knows how funny destiny can turn out sometimes. Strange still doesn’t like it, as Deadpool is a living maelstrom of negative energy, and thinks his old friend is wrong about this. Gerry hopes he isn’t, because, if he is, it would mean the end of them all.

LL&L base…

Zoe tries to enter Monty’s lab, but the guards hold her back, as her access is temporarily restricted, meaning she doesn’t get in. This upsets Zoe and she slaps the guards out, and ignores their order and enters the lab anyway. Monty welcomes Zoe but she immediately notices something is wrong. She wants to know why Monty is restricted, but he doesn’t even know that. She asks about Monte Carlo, but then Monty’s mind feels all cold and he starts mumbling facts that taxes are going to raise there and it’s about to rain.

Zoe panics and realizes Dixon has done something with Monty and furiously storms out. She rushes to Dixon’s office wanting to know why Monty has been mind wiped, but Dixon is already gone. She notices Dixon’s computer still on, and reads a message that a second interview with the Mithras has been successful. Zoe panics about what Dixon has done.

San Francisco…

Wade is angrily watching the Teletubies show. He is furious about his fate of having to kill again, having thought he could ignore that part of his live. He kicks his TV when someone teleports inside. It’s both Zoe and Monty and she needs Wade’s help, fearing about Dixon as Monty has been mind wiped. Wade thinks somebody is about to get his butt kicked.

Back to LL&L, Dixon’s hidden office…

Dixon has been warned about Zoe’s departure, but fails to trace her. Noah informs his Overboss she took Monty with her. Dixon isn’t surprised. He asks Noah if he ever wanted to be boss. The top man. Hesitant, Noah admits he doesn’t, as he just wants to do what’s right. Dixon understands, as he never wanted to be the working man. He likes his current role. He asks Noah if he still trusts him and the Mithras Project. Noah can’t believe Dixon just asked him that, but he confirms both matters. Dixon thanks Noah for that as a spicy detail just came up.

He opens a viewing screen, which reveals a base. Dixon explains it’s the S.E.T.J. Radio Telescope situated in Aricebo in Puerto Rico. The blind spot dispatched to this location hasn’t reported in and their jamming devices are not on-line. Noah doesn’t understand the rush, as they’ve only been gone for a few minutes from what it appears, but Dixon wants to be certain. Noah promises he can be trust and will leave in ten minutes, and informs Dixon he still trusts him. Once Noah is gone, Dixon quietly claims that’s the reason why Noah shall lose. He hopes God shall forgive him.

Characters Involved: 


Blind Al

Gerry (Deadpool’s friend)

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

Dr. Strange

Dixon’s Blackout soldiers (all unnamed)

several other LL&L employees and their training robots (all unnamed)

on holographic projection:


Story Notes: 

Monty got mind wiped last issue, as Dixon was angry at his trip with Deadpool, even though Monty didn’t even want to go.

Dr. Strange made agreements with Deadpool before, namely in Secret Defenders #15-17.

The ‘Sand People’ are fictional characters from the Star Wars movies, and local villains of Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine.

First mentioning of the alien Tiamat.

On the final page of this issue, Deadpool’s skin is incorrectly colored grey for some unknown reason.

Piggly Wiggly is a chain of supermarkets in the south and Midwest United States. Its mascot is a pig, in a paper hat.

The “Danger-Will Robinson” reference refers to the TV show “Lost in Space.” In the series, Will Robinson is a little boy with a large robot, which warns him of danger by waving its arms wildly and shouting “Danger, Will Robinson!”

Teletubbies is a children’s program created by the BBC, aimed at ages under four. The Teletubbies are four creatures if indeterminate origin, with antennas on their heads and TV screens on their bellies. They exist in some type of garden, consume a substance called “Tubby Custard” and live under a rising and setting sun which takes the form of a baby’s head, which continually laughs at them.

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