Deadpool (2nd series) #22

Issue Date: 
November 1998
Story Title: 
Dead Reckoning: Minus One Month & Counting: Great Men

Joe Kelly (writer), Anthony Wiliams (pencils), Andy Lanning (inks), Matt Hicks (colors), RS & Comicraft/EM (letters), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Noah and his troops arrive at the SETI Radio Telescope site, where they start an investigation, though at first nothing seems wrong. After a scouting of the area, they are attacked by a mysterious creature Noah recognizes. Meanwhile at the Deadhut, Deadpool has got the unexpected visit from both Zoe and Monty, who try to inform him about the mind wipe Monty received from Dixon. Wade, not wearing his Deadpool mask, freaks out because he refuses to let anyone see him without the mask and starts fighting Zoe. He lets her go but teleports away without hearing them out. He locates the base of X-Force, where he finds a sleeping Siryn and her friends. He tries to figure out how to tell her what has been going on in his life recently, but then Cable shows up and wants to fight Wade. They travel to an industrial zone in San Francisco, where, after a battle, Cable reveals to Wade that he’s dying, thanks to his techno-organic virus. They stop fighting, with Cable understanding he had a good life and refusing to give up fighting until the day comes. They say their goodbyes to one another and Wade teleports back home. Later, he returns to the Landau, Luckman & Lake base and meets up with Zoe and Monty, and overhears Zoe apologizing to Monty for the way she has been treating him. They rush into Dixon’s office ready to fight the Overboss, but he asks them to hold back. He has some sad news: Noah DuBois… is dead!

Full Summary: 

Aricebo, New Mecio. Site of the SETI Radio Telescope

Noah, all armored up, scouts the area with some other soldiers. Back at the Landau, Luckman & Lake base, Dixon can observe everything through viewing screens at his office. Noah activates his communicator and informs Dixon that they are closing in on the SETI base. Dixon knew that already and informs Noah he only wants to be informed about important matters.

Noah understands. He reports that there are still no signs of their first send-in Blackout team or any anomalies Dixon was worried about. Dixon wants Noah’s first priority to be that he shuts that dish he’s on down. He wants nobody but them to be able to watch the stars, until the Mithras Directive begins. He thinks the world is ready to learn there’s a Messiah but not to know he’s actually coming.

Noah can look out for the team only after the dish has been shut down. Noah promises he’ll keep the secret. He tries to explain that, despite the recent unpleasantness with both Zoe and Monty, Noah is confident it wasn’t arbitrary, but Dixon still has his confidence and Noah is proud to work under Dixon. Dixon hesitates to respond and wants to be informed, once the site is secured. Dixon shuts his communicator off, and has doubts. He throws some pictures away, which have people screaming on them.

San Francisco, the Deadhut…

Deadpool, without a mask, freaks out and doesn’t want Zoe and Monty to see him like this. Zoe doesn’t understand, and Monty doesn’t recall ever having met Deadpool before and doesn’t understand he’s been dragged out of his lab for this, preferring to have watched an episode of “Cheers” instead. Wade covers his body up under some sheets, and Zoe informs him that Dixon mind wiped Monty, meaning they are in big trouble. Blind Al enters, wondering what all the fuss is about as she was trying to get her beauty sleep.

Wade puts a bag over his head, and Zoe tries to make it clear that, if Dixon is a traitor, the whole Mithras project is probably not true and that there won’t come a golden age for humanity at all. Al jokes that Zoe sure isn’t Heather Locklear, so she doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. Zoe desperately tries to warn Wade about Dixon, but he isn’t interested and kicks Zoe in her stomach! She falls down in a couch and Wade enjoys the silence.

Wade explains that nobody disturbs him at home, and packs some bags. He warns Zoe she got off easy this time. He doesn’t care about playing the Mithras role and all that, but he doesn’t want to be disturbed here. Next time she does that, Wade promises he’ll cut her throat. He packs the bag and some weapons and teleports away. Al tries to calm Zoe down, asking if she wants some burgers and watch Leno with her.

Later that night, across town in a private warehouse in China Basin…

Deadpool, still wearing the bag over his head, sneaks into the base, and looks at the X-Force kids sleeping in front of the TV. He envies them, and notices Siryn on the coach. He gently touches her hair, and jokes he hasn’t stalked her in quite some time now. He apologizes, but figured she needed some space after their argument from the last time they saw each other.

Wade tries to figure out how he has to inform her about the new role he has at LL&L and that he is supposed to lead the world into a golden age for all. But in order to fulfill that destiny, they want him to kill an alien and Wade knows Siryn doesn’t like the killing part, so he doesn’t know what to do.

Suddenly, a throat gets pointed at his throat! It’s Cable’s Psimitar. Cable quietly tells Wade to go outside, now. Wade knows he doesn’t have another choice. He gently kisses Siryn goodbye, promising to grab a Salsaparilla next time, telling her to stay good as it’s a lot easier.

San Francisco, the Deadhut…

Zoe thinks they’re in an awkward situation here and wants to get out. Al tries to calm her down, recognizing Zoe as she must be one of those LL&L people Wade told her about. Zoe tries to warn Al not to get involved. Monty introduces himself to Al, which she is happy about but wants to know what’s wrong with his skin. Monty explains the thing that’s wrong with his skin is, namely, that he doesn’t have any! Zoe tries to explain to Monty he’s been mind wiped but he doesn’t want to listen, thinking Zoe has gone crazy. She wants to mind wipe Al as well so she forgets this meeting and activates a flashing light, which is supposed to do the job. But, with Al being blind, the light had no effect on her!

At the LL&L operation base…

A feeling down Dixon walks through the hallways alone. The other scientists notice it and wonder what’s wrong, but are too afraid to ask. Another scientist approaches Dixon and hands him over a file from the main office. Dixon takes it, and reads that it’s a recommendation for Noah to run for the new Overboss position! Angrily, Dixon burns the paper up and takes off, wondering who is the greater man around this place.

At the same time on an industrial corner of San Francisco…

Cable warns Deadpool to never again go near X-Force. Deadpool defends that he wasn’t doing anything wrong, as he and Siryn are old friends, but Cable doesn’t care. Wade doesn’t understand, as he thought Cable was done playing mother for the X-mutants. Cable admits he is, but sometimes he goes over to check up on the group. Wade jokes that Cable seems to have practiced his Charlton Heston voice, and jokingly wonders what went wrong with him and X-Force thinking Domino must have neglected him.

Cable becomes angry at that statement and warns Wade to never go near the team ever again, or else he’ll put him down permanently. Wade isn’t intimidated, must be thanks to that character flaw of his. He takes out a gun, asking Cable if he wants to help him take his medicine. They start fighting each other.

The SETI Radio base…

Noah and his team are still looking for their friends. The other soldiers want to know what they are “blacking out” now, but Noah claims that information is classified. Suddenly, he holds back as his scanners found something. He looks down, and notices a thick brown thing on the ground, which strangely enough seems to be organic. Noah hears something and warns the others not to move, as they’re in trouble. Behind them, a big, mouth with very sharp teeth opens!

Noah realizes what’s going on and fears it’s too soon. The other soldiers haven’t a clue and panic. Noah tries to warn his troops to stay focused, but one by one they all are eaten by the monster! Noah contacts Dixon about the situation and even though Dixon can hear Noah, he closes down communication and does nothing. Though he feels sorry for Noah, thinking that from this moment on he is alone with his big dreams.

San Francisco…

Deadpool doesn’t think that Cable is as strong anymore, as the last time they faced and that’s the reason why he needs that lance of his. He dodges every one of Cable’s moves and kicks him in the back. Cable had hoped that Deadpool wouldn’t notice that his powers actually have been slipping lately, and that he has what little that’s left of his telekinetic powers to keep the techno-organic virus in his body in check. The virus comes out a little and Cable’s face starts changing, but he focuses and goes back to normal.

Wade tries to explain to Cable that he’s a Messiah now and not that evil anymore. He’s even supposed to save the world from annihilation. Cable knows a thing or two about “destinies” and knows for sure that Deadpool’s isn’t saving the world. He thinks Deadpool is nothing more than an insane common mercenary with a few extra talents and isn’t impressed. Cable starts fighting again and pushes the bag of Deadpool’s head. Wade, at first not realizing this, defends that he isn’t a monster. He stops talking when he realizes his face is exposed.

The Deadhut…

Zoe argues that they have to go after Deadpool. Monty isn’t sure and Zoe tells him to shut up, or else she’ll kill him. Al cuts in and warns Zoe to stop treating people like garbage. She knows LL&L have been telling Wade that he’s supposed to save the world for months now and, when they finally informed him in order to succeed he had to kill again, so it’s no surprise he’s freaked out by it. Monty agrees with Al. Zoe agrees that maybe she’s overacting a little bit, and Al jokes that, if she multiplies that feeling by a thousand, she’ll find out how Deadpool is feeling right now.

San Francisco Industrial Park…

Wade freaks out and tries to escape from Cable, but he continues on fighting. Cable warns Wade that destiny waits for nobody and that, when you have a purpose in life, you can’t put it on hold whenever you have a bad day! Wade goes to hide inside an abandoned truck, but Cable follows him. He shouts at Wade if he’s got any idea what it’s like to have a responsibility in life. Wade angrily shouts that he does, and that it rots! Cable is certain that it doesn’t rot half as much as dying before your shot comes.

Wade hesitates, at first not understanding what Cable meant by that. Cable remains silent as well. Wade asks Nathan if he’s really dying. Cable hesitates, and admits he doesn’t believe in “destiny” or in “fate,” thinking they are just words. But he does believe that everyone has a noble purpose in life and that the greatest honor of fulfilling that role. But he asks Wade to imagine what happens when you lose all the weapons and tools to do your job effectively, that all the sacrifices and pain were for nothing, because you learned you are going to drop dead before that purpose has been reached.

Deadpool takes some bandages he finds on the floor and wraps them around his face. He knows about destiny, as it always wants a garbage man and it always has to be him. So, bang-bang, he is Deadpool and Cable is dead. Cable explains that nobody ever thanks the garbage men but that’s part of the job. He knows that the world still needs men like them, or else it would be drowning. Deadpool thinks its sounds to him that Cable has shafted a bit, and he jokes that even mercs like him can retire when they think it’s time and can even afford themselves a golden watch. But he doesn’t think Cable can get anything and thinks that means his life was a waste.

Cable thinks that might be true, but at least he lived in his life, a life only a few men are given the opportunity to. And he’s finally starting to realize he had a fairly good life. Deadpool doesn’t understand how Cable can’t feel shafted, but Cable thinks that’s because he knows he’s got a job to do. He isn’t dead yet, and a garbage man like him still has trash left to pick up. Cable takes off but Deadpool holds him, not wanting to stop fighting. Cable refuses to fight, as he doesn’t have time to waste. He warns Wade not to go after that “destiny” of his or else he’ll end up hurt real bad. Deadpool laughs and starts teleporting away, asking Cable to stay alive long enough so he’ll get another chance to smack him down. Cable promises he’ll try and hopes Deadpool shall do the same.

LL&L base, outside of Dixon’s office…

Zoe is hesitating to go inside Dixon’s office… but she wants to make one thing clear. She apologizes to Monty about the way she has been treating him, making them both cry a little. On that moment, Deadpool teleports inside warning them that if a grown man is allowed to cry it’s going to be him. Zoe is surprised to see Wade, but he calms her down suggesting that they’ll call the experience at his Hut just a crazy mix-up. Zoe agrees and is now ready to go kick Dixon’s butt.

They rush inside the dark office, and Deadpool calls out to “Dickey-boy” it’s rumble time and they are all ready to swing down. Not a response is heard, which neither Zoe or Wade can understand. Monty warns that he senses a coldness. Dixon finally speaks, and tells Monty he couldn’t be more correct. He is sad to inform everyone that… Noah DuBois… is… dead!

Characters Involved: 


Blind Al


Meltdown, Moonstar, Siryn, Sunspot, Warpath (all X-Force)

Dixon, Noah DuBois (both Landau, Luckman & Lake operatives)

Monty, Zoe Culloden (LL&L runaways)

Tiamat (in shadows)

several other LL&L operatives (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

With this issue, two independent Deadpool one-shot issues were released, namely Baby’s First Deadpool Book #1 and Deadpool & Widdle Wade Team-Up #1.

Cable and Deadpool first met each other in New Mutants (1st series) #98, when Wade was hired by Tolliver to kill Cable though he failed. Cable’s techno-organic virus has been threatening to kill him as of Cable (1st series) #36. He parted ways with X-Force in X-Force (1st series) #70.

Tiamat is the alien that attacks Noah and the other Landau, Luckman & Lake operatives. It stands in the shadows, but the mouth is shown and, thanks to last issue’s image of Tiamat, it’s revealed to be him.

Deadpool and Siryn last saw each other in Deadpool (2nd series) #12, where they had an argument about Deadpool’s rough way of treating people, and also the fact he fought Warpath, a good friend of Siryn’s.

This issue finally reveals Noah’s surname, namely DuBois.

Cheers was an incredibly popular NBC sitcom about Boston bar where “Everybody knows your name.”

Heather Locklear is an actress who starred in TV series such as Dynasty, TJ Hooker & Melrose Place.

Charlton Heston is an actor famous for his roles in such films as “The Ten Commandments,” Planet of the Apes,” “Soylent Green” and “The Omega Man.”

Historically a golden watch is usually given by a company to an employee at retirement. In recent decades, this has become a bit out of fashion.

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