Deadpool (2nd series) #34

Issue Date: 
November 1999
Story Title: 
Sending In The Clowns: Chapter X Verse One

Christopher Priest (writer), Paco Diaz (pencils), Rod Ramos & John Holdredge (inks), Shannon Blanchard (colors), RS & Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (letters), Ruben Diaz (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Deadpool imagines that he’s standing alone in front of a trailer park, looking for a new home. He dumps his bag into a lake and, after seeing that the park also houses losers, who imitate other not-so famous heroes, Wade has had enough. He hears a scream but chooses to ignore it, and dives into the lake to get his things back. However, he soon runs out of breath and faints. He realizes that this all just happened in his imaginations and, when he wakes up, finds himself trapped in a holding tank. A scientist explains that Wade doesn’t have to be afraid because he isn’t dying, but his body does seem to be changing into… snot. As the scientist researches the problem, Wade tells him a story about the time he was still working for the Kingpin, but that some other guy took down his victim. That other guy turned out to be Bullseye, who later defeated Wade in a battle and took over his job. Wade still thinks that none of this is actually happening, but the scientist claims otherwise. He can really confirm that Wade isn’t dying, since he made sure of that. He shows Wade what he means, as… he also has Death captured!

Full Summary: 

(Deadpool’s imaginations)

Deadpool stands in front of a trailer park, but a security guard is confused about his name. He asks if it’s Slade, perhaps. Wade corrects it and says his name. The guard thinks it might be Blade. Wade corrects again. The guard mishears it, thinking he’s dealing with Mark Waid, and mentions he loves his Astro Land. Wade corrects it one last time, threatening to the guard that he can call him Deadpool. The guard jokes that Deadpool can go on and threaten him and scare him if he likes. It’s not like anything he might do could be worse than this place.

Wade doesn’t think the park is that bad, if you ignore that stench of death, hopelessness and inevitable failure that hangs in the air. He thinks hell doesn’t seem nearly as bad as he imagined it. The guard claims he didn’t say anything about hell. He explains that hell is what Wade has been upgraded to from here. He informs Wade that he can stash his gear in the Abyss at the South end, and that the guys he is looking for are in A17. Wade didn’t say he was looking for anyone. He means, who would he expect to find there, other than Bill Clinton’s next date. Okay, maybe Erik Estrada might be here, or Phillip Michael Thomas. Weezie from the Jeffersons is a possibility as well. He goes to the Abyss spot and tosses his bag in a black lake.

Suddenly, a loud scream is heard!

At the A17 trailer, hero imitators realize that Wilson is here and order the Ka-Zar imitator to go open the door. “Ka-Zar,” who is blind and deaf, doesn’t understand what’s going on. Faux Moon Knight has enough of the rambling and angrily gets up to answer the door. It’s Deadpool. Upon seeing the fake heroes, Wade has had it and wants to be shot right there and now. The imitators think he’s just joking and tell him to pull a chair and join their poker game.

Wade doesn’t think so. He leaves and angrily slams the door shut behind him. He goes back to the lake to get his bag, but the guard mentions he’s too late, as it has already sunk deep by now. Wade thinks he can still find it back. The guard recognizes the symptoms. This is how it starts. Denial first, then the hand tremors, hair loss and flatulence. Wade angrily shouts at “Captain Clearasil” that he won’t end up like those losers inside. He’s confident that will never happen to him.

The guard smiles that Wade doesn’t get it: it’s already happening to him. He asks Wade why he thought they brought him in. He wants to hear one healthy project “he” has ever been assigned to. He adds that the man has a purpose in life, and now has been assigned to Wade. Wade doesn’t want to hear any more. He dives into the lake and wants to go get his bag back.

But as he dives deeper and deeper, Wade realizes something. He tries to swim back to shore, but… can’t! He’s drowning! What’s happening to him?! He faints.


Not much longer, Wade wakes up, finding himself trapped in a holding tank in a big, dark lab. A scientist is nearby him, poking on some instruments. Wade calls out to the science geek, demanding to know what’s going on. The scientist confirms that Wade isn’t dying. That’s a relief. Wade thought he was a goner after he discovered he didn’t have any breath left when being in that lake. The scientist confirms that Wade has plenty of oxygen in that viscous neutrino solution tank he’s in at the moment. Wade angrily realized something: he has been encased in snot?! How could anyone find 130 gallons of snot, by the way?

Wade doesn’t care about that. He promises he’ll read the answers of the scientist’s note files after he kicked his butt. He tries to escape from the holding tank, but something weird happens: his face turns completely into snot! This is new…

The scientist explains that when they found Wade, he was near-dead in an abandoned Maine-cabin, curled up in a puddle of noxious waste. Turns out, said puddle was Wade’s own body, devoid of cellular cohesion. He admits that it wasn’t what they first thought it was. It was a bio-chemical reaction to the extensive alterations to his DNA combined with other things.

Wade thinks that, in layman terms, it means that he’s turning into snot. The scientist gives up. Yes, Wade is turning into snot. And he’s trying to find a way to arrest that. Wade already tries to find a new codename for himself: Snot man, or Man of Snot? The Mighty Mlico! The scientist hears that Wade isn’t taking him seriously. Bingo! Give the man a cookie. The scientist wants to know why Wade isn’t taking him seriously. Wade claims that’s actually a secret. One he never told anyone. Something he knows but the scientist doesn’t. The scientist wants to know it anyway. Wade claims that, if he told it, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. That’s fine by the scientist. All right, the secret has been dragged out!

The secret is… none of this is actually happening! Wade jokes that there is a man. A typewriter. And this is all of his twisted imagination. The scientist asks Wade if he truly believes that. Wade claims that, if he didn’t, he would have eaten his gun years ago. In fact, he remembers that day as vividly as if it were a cheesy flashback scene, initiated by a wavy picture. For instance, around the time the Kingpin fired him. Wade guesses it was about that day that this villain gig wasn’t the thing for him.

Wade reveals it was actually a routine assignment. Somebody’s uncle cousin of a union officer Kingpin wanted to get next to. No big deal, right? Something that was really bothering Wade. It could have been the Santa suit of the cab driver he hijacked. It could have been the Taco Bell he had for lunch. Anyway, he hesitated to finish the job. Which was about when he should have update his resume. Wade remembers the cab crashing into a mall, and the driver shooting at him until he jumped out of the cab, and drove away. That happened all the time.

It took Wade a long time to re-acquire. Too long. Much as he wanted to blow that guy to heck, he hesitated. Wade means, how could this guy try and kill him while he is trying to kill him?! That guy was totally Wade’s. He was locked on, waiting until the mall to close so the guy stopped playing fake Santa Claus for the visiting kiddies. The second those kids were out of range, the deal would be done. And the target knew it. Wade knew he had to play that one carefully.

On that very moment, a stick gets thrown right into the guy’s eyes! Wade walked over to the kids, telling them that Santa was going to take a little break, but will be back in about an hour. In the meantime, he told the kids, they could go bother their parents asking for the most expensive presents they could think of. A Santa’s elf was suspicious though and wanted to know what’s going on. Wade told the elf Santa died. And unless the elf was planning on joining him, Wade suggested that he’d better do exactly as told.

At Fisk Towers, the Kingpin was having a meeting with his bookkeepers. Deadpool entered and asks the Kingpin straight on who the guy was that took down his victim, and why the Kingpin send in a new OP. Kingpin claimed he had no idea what Wade was talking about. Wade refused to believe that the Kingpin didn’t have any idea who the second operative was. Kingpin smiled, but denied. Suddenly, loud shooting begins and the bullets kill most of Kingpin’s employees! But Deadpool, the Kingpin, and one of the bookkeepers remained unharmed.

The Kingpin quickly and angrily jumped on Deadpool, wanting to explain something to him in plain English. Wade admits he had forgotten how fast fatboy actually was. The Kingpin told Wade he was becoming a liability and wasn’t convinced he’s ready for a full-time employment. He was certain the authorities are on their way, which Fisk believed gives Wade increasingly even fewer options. Wade pointed his gun at the Kingpin’s head. Fisk claimed that, if Wilson killed him, he’ll collapse and the weight of his body would finish Deadpool. Kingpin added that, if Wade learns discretion and efficacy, and if he can out-perform the other researcher vying for his position. On that moment, perhaps, the Kingpin promised, he would reconsider his employment. Wade joked he found himself oddly aroused.

A helicopter flew in, and the “other researcher” Kingpin mentioned jumped into the building: it was Bullseye! Bullseye said “hi” to Wade, throwing some knives at him to put in his pie hole. But he didn’t want to make this personal. He wanted to make the deal that whoever’s still standing within the 30 seconds from now would get the gig. Wade refused to give in and wanted to make things personal. Either way was fine for Bullseye, and the battle began.

As he got hit by Bullseye’s electroshock-gun, Wade mentioned that he just didn’t get it. Where people like Bullseye kept coming from. And why everybody kept wanting his job. He thought it was because of the dental plan. Bullseye claimed that a man has got to start his reputation somewhere. And his reputation may have been damaged by having worked with Deadpool in the past. He explains that those few jobs they did together seemed like a good idea at the time, but now he has to wonder if it was ever a good idea. He has to wonder if Wade has the chops.

Bullseye claimed that he found Deadpool’s teleporter unit ridiculous and easy to predict. While knocking Wade out with gumballs, he explained that while they are just hard candy for kids, they are more like a light switch to him. Wade wishes that Bullseye would shut up, joking that this must be what listening to him must feel like to other people. Wade fell into a dumpster below. Bullseye followed, claiming that Deadpool’s gigs for the Kingpin were pretty lucrative, but he is more interested in them. He was ready to kill Wade permanently.

Wade mentioned to Bullseye that, if he’d blow his head off, it would really annoy him. Bullseye explained that he worked freelance for the Murder King before and wants the gig back. Wade jokes that doesn’t say much, as he wants a date with Janet Reno. They all have to live with disappointments in real life. Bullseye, when holding the trigger ready, claimed that he didn’t have to.

The memory stops.

Wade feels like he’s drowning again! And the scientist interrupted the story, oddly enough just at the cliffhanger. The scientist again claims that Wade isn’t dying. He mentions that’s just his lungs failing and possibly whatever remains of his body degenerating into a liquid state. Wade thinks he’s got nothing to worry about, if that’s true. The scientist can confirm that. Wade thinks that if he’s not dying, that is a lot he can put off his mind. The scientist opens a door, correcting that Wade really can’t die, as he made sure of it. He enters a room, where he takes notes in front of a holding tank that is holding an unconscious Death!

Characters Involved: 



a scientist (unnamed)

in Wade’s memories/imaginations:

the Kingpin


Black Panther, Ka-Zar, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Zabu (all Abyss hero-imitators)

The Abyss security guard (unnamed)

Kingpin’s bookkeepers (both unnamed)

cab driver (unnamed)

mall visitors (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

At the beginning of the story, the security guard thinks that Deadpool’s real name is “Slade.” That’s a joke reference to fans who thought that Deadpool was just a cheap rip-off of DC Comic’s Deathstroke, whose real name is Slade Wilson.

Blade is the half/man half/vampire who continues to hunt down and kill all vampires and demons all over the world.

Deadpool was revealed to have a past contract with the Kingpin in Deadpool & Widdle Wade Team-Up #1. This issue does reveal how Bullseye got to start to work for the Kingpin, and later on became one of his prime henchmen.

“Murder King” is another nickname for the Kingpin.

Mark Waid is a famed comic book writer, best known for his run on Flash and his Kingdom Come miniseries. He also wrote the second Deadpool miniseries.

“Astro Land” probably refers to Astro City, a comic series created and written by Kurt Busiek.

Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States, known peripherally for his eye toward women.

Erik Estrada is the Latin actor best known for his character of “Ponch” on the late seventies and early eighties cop show, ChiPs.

Phillip Michael Thomas

Weezie from the Jeffersons, refers to Louise “Weezie” Jefferson, from the TV show the Jeffersons.

Clearasil is a popular brand of skin and acne medication.

Janet Reno was the attorney general for both terms of Bill Clinton’s presidential administrations. She was known and lampooned for her “mannish” features.

Taco Bell is a chain of fast food restaurants, which serve Americanized “Mexican” food.

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