Deadpool (2nd series) #4

Issue Date: 
April 1997
Story Title: 
Why Is It, To Save Me, I Must Kill You?

Joey Kelly (writer), Ed McGuinness (pencils), Nathan Massengill & Paine (inks), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Matthew Pain (colors), Digital Chameleon (enhancement), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Killebrew explains to Siryn and Deadpool Wade’s disease to the both of them. But, there might be a solution to prevent Wade from dying: they’ll need a sample of the Hulk’s blood, which will stop the gamma radiation Wade was exposed to earlier from continuing to run through his body. Deadpool, Siryn and Killebrew take a plane ride to the Hulk’s new island. Once arrived, Deadpool jumps down and starts fighting the green goliath. After a rough battle, Deadpool manages to slice the Hulk with a street sign, and to grab a blood sample. Despite them noticing that something’s obviously wrong with the Hulk, everyone departs back to the Swiss Alps. There, Killebrew sticks a needle in Deadpool’s arm, with the Hulk’s blood now floating inside him. Killebrew is confident that the procedure has been a success, but they’ll have to be patient until Wade’s finger grows back and he is fully healed. Siryn has full confidence in both Killebrew and Wade. Deadpool thanks Siryn for that. But, this won’t prevent Wade from taking his revenge on Killebrew, and quietly holds a scalpel behind his back, ready for the use.

Full Summary: 

The Swiss Alps, Dr. Killebrew’s home…

Killebrew informs Deadpool that he can come of the trench now, as he’s got everything he needs. Wade jokes that at last the transformation is complete. Siryn remarks that only Wade would joke in a time like this. Deadpool tells her to relax, and is certain that the whole “Deadpool, you’re dying” thing was just Killebrew’s way of putting him in the scanners box and see him naked. Killebrew asks Wilson to shut up, and mentions that he’s finally got all the results.

Killebrew adds that, like he said, it’s not just Wade’s healing factor that’s wrong, it’s everything. Wade thinks he’s losing his awesome power to tell the Olson twins apart. Ignoring that, Killebrew explains that Deadpool’s body chemistry is completely breaking down. First, Wade’s healing factor will break apart. Wade recalls that his healing factor is the only thing that keeps him from having…- Killebrew cuts in, knowing that the factor keeps Wade from having a cancer relapse. He is sorry.

Wade says that this can’t be happening… he still has a ten-year subscription to the “Really Big Guns Quarterly” magazine. Killebrew takes a closer look at his computer screen, and asks Deadpool to wait. Killebrew suspects that there might be a way to stop the degeneration process. Wade asks Killebrew if he isn’t just saying that so Wade wouldn’t go on with his first plan to kill the doctor. Killebrew remembers Wade that he still has a modicum of integrity left in his old body.

Killebrew opens a chart on his screen, and starts explaining what he means. The majority of Wade’s cells are breaking down, but there are some that are uncharacteristically stable. Killebrew asks Deadpool if he has been exposed to anything unusual lately. Wade thinks: there was that “impossible cheeseburger pie” that Al whipped up last week. Siryn stops Wade, wanting to know who Al is. Wade tells her to mind her “p’s” and “q’s.” There also was Wade’s next-door neighbor blasting Yanni at 3 A.M., who eats through a tube now by the way, and there was also that little gamma radiation blast he was exposed to back in Antarctica.

Siryn is surprised to hear that Wade was in Antarctica. Killebrew wants to know about the gamma radiation. Wade explains that he sort of blew up a Canadian research facility that absorbed ambient radiation from the atmosphere. Siryn doesn’t think she should ask a proper explanation, thinking it is a “guy thing.” Wade jokes that she obviously can’t grasp the subtleties of his work. While they talk, Killebrew adds gamma radiation into the simulation on his screen, and after assuming intracellular induction, he has a plan!

Somehow, the gamma radiation slowed down Wade’s cellular degeneration. Wade jokes that it was also that gamma radiation that delivered unto him a serious tail whipping, and you can still see the radiation footprints on his boots. Killebrew mentions that he isn’t supposing another exposure. He thinks that if, perhaps they bathe Wade’s insides with gamma-irradiated fluid, providing even distribution of energy throughout his body, theoretically, they could heal all of Wade’s cells.

The catch is, the radiation needs to be attached to an organic base in order to “piggy-back” its way into Wade’s system without killing him outright. Wade thinks that’s cool, and tells them to boil him up half a gallon of two percent. Killebrew claims that even if he had his resources, to synthesize the medium would take years. Wade gently pulls out his sword again, silently threatening Killebrew that he doesn’t like the sound of that. Killebrew continues to say that an acceptable form of the material in question may already exist. Wade wants to know where.

Last Killebrew heard, said person appropriated an island in the Florida Keys and, like almost everyone else, has been keeping a close eye on this person ever since the Onslaught disaster. Personally, he thinks that the military is handling the situation poorly. Wade thinks he should stay out of Florida and the sun, seeing his condition. Killebrew mentions that the person hasn’t harmed anyone yet, at least at this moment, though the material destruction has been phenomenal. Wade tells Killebrew he thinks he doesn’t like this train of thought. He wants to know whom they are talking about. After the words “gamma radiation, bloodstream and massive property damage,” shouldn’t it be obvious?

Meanwhile, on his island, a ship gets destroyed and is on fire. A lot of people gather around, and cheer for none other than… the Hulk!

One short (and very reluctant) plane ride later…

Deadpool shakes his head, and doesn’t want to do it. Siryn tells Wade to put a sock in it already, as he has been whining ever since they left the Alps. She didn’t think that Wade can actually get scared. Of course he can get scared, Deadpool mocks, they are only dealing with the Hulk! He wonders when the last time was they faced such a colossal monster. Siryn asks if the Juggernaut counts. Wade doesn’t think that Juggernaut comes anywhere close to the Hulk range.

Killebrew tries to calm Wade down by saying that this is really quite elementary. The Hulk’s blood has all the requisite qualities for Wade’s treatment: if Wade wants to live, he needs a sample of the Hulk’s blood. To be honest, with a sadistic look on his face, Killebrew expects the whole procedure to be quite… stimulating. For the both of them, like old times. Wade doesn’t remember any “old times” and, since he doesn’t know how to say this gently, he shouts at Killebrew to back off and punches him away.

Siryn asks Wade if he has gone crazy. Wade shouts that he won’t let Killebrew treat him like an experiment anymore. Hearing Siryn’s voice, Wade tries to calm himself down by remembering that he isn’t in the Workshop anymore. Siryn demands to know from Killebrew what he’s doing to Wade. Killebrew defends that he wasn’t doing anything, and was just going to apply some sensors. Siryn suggests that she’ll do it, and thinks that Killebrew will be better of being on the other side of the plane. Hesitant, Killebrew does as told.

She walks over to Deadpool, and asks if he’s back from la-la land yet. She asks what happened back there. Wade explains that he remembered the tone in Killebrew’s voice, and it reminded him of the time he first met Killebrew, when from when he was back in the Weapon X’ Workshop. Theresa patches Wade up, and promises that they’ll deal with this as quickly as possible, and then head back to America and forget all about the name of Killebrew.

Wade fears that it won’t be that easy. Siryn doesn’t understand why not. Deadpool explains that he knows that, when she looks at Killebrew, she sees Wilford Brimley, but when he looks at Killebrew, he sees his nightmares come to life. When Wade looks in Killebrew’s eyes, he remembers what it was like… not to feel human, to exist purely as meat. There is only one way for Wade to purge the ghost of Killebrew from his mind: permanently, and with extreme malice. He doesn’t forgive and forget, even if Siryn wants him to.

Siryn knows that it hasn’t got anything to do with her. Wade shouldn’t do that because it isn’t right. She knows that Killebrew threw it all on the line to help Wade, and she thinks that has to count for something. She knows that Wade can never forget what happened, but he can’t let it define his life. Theresa mentions that, if they don’t let the demons inside them go, they will consume them. Wade hears her, a merc’s honor and all that, but he thinks it’s just nice words. He promises that, after all this is over and he has been cured, he warns Siryn to get clear of him and Killebrew, unless she wants to get bloody. Siryn remarks that, just when she thinks she might be getting inside Wade’s head, he royally screws things up. Killebrew cuts in, informing his two companions that they’ve found the Hulk.

Siryn mentions that everything in the plane is ready, and that the commlinks are open, so Wade can begin. But, he’s still afraid. Wade jokes that he was just putting the finishing touch to his will. But, he realizes that it’s time to make the donuts! (or were you expecting Deadpool to say “spoons?”) He jumps out of the plane, with his sword ready and aims for the Hulk. Hulk looks up, and asks Wade to go away. Wade kicks Hulk’s back, informing the green brute that one sample of blood can save five lives, though in this case it’ll only be one. Wade jokingly promises the Hulk that if he’s a nice monstrosity, they’ll fix him up with a nice drink after the operation.

Hulk mocks Wade to go away, or else he’ll die. It’s his choice. Wade finds it sarcastic that the Hulk mentions the dying part, and informs him that he’s a man in need. He apologizes for the earlier kicking, but in truth he just used the Hulk as a safe landing pad to get his attention. And they don’t want Hulk shouting, “Hulk smash!” Hulk jumps towards Deadpool, and jokes that remark comes too late: he pounds Wade into the ground, and jokingly says, “Hulk smash!”

Siryn panics a bit. She swears that Wade is going to be the death of her some day. Hulk lifts up his fist, and notices that Wade managed to roll into safety, and that he merely punched a hole in the ground. He congratulates Wade for being so fast. Now, Hulk jokes, Wade has a story to tell to his idiot friends back home. He warns Wade again to leave now that he can.

Wade goes to stand behind the Hulk. He informs Hulk that he can’t leave, because he needs Hulk’s heart juice so that his own can continue running. Besides, Wade is also trying to impress a chick, and he can do that by kicking Hulk’s butt. Wade asks the Hulk to sit back, and to think of him as his very own “Barber of Seville.” Oh, Wade actually means “Sweeny Todd.” Wade always messes up his musical metaphors. He takes out his sword, and slices through the Hulk’s body!

Hulk angrily turns around, asking Deadpool if he thought that was a good shot. Wade jokes that he made better ones but, he has to admit, the cut went pretty deep. Hulk maybe agrees, but the trick isn’t cutting him: it’s getting Hulk to stay cut! Wade thinks that’s just plain nasty and thinks he’s going to puke. Hulk angrily picks up a nearby truck. He shouts at Deadpool that he had the chance to leave but didn’t take it. He has broken the law of Hulk’s island! Wade has been found guilty, and there’s only one punishment for the guilty here!

Deadpool jokes around, asking if its community work? Or service in the girl’s locker room? As a concerned citizen, Wade feels compelled to tell Hulk that triple-A is not going to be happy when the Hulk throws that truck on him. Suddenly, Hulk gets shot at! Now what?

Above in the plane, Killebrew doesn’t want to be the backseat pilot, but he has to tell Siryn if she really thinks they need to get so close to the Hulk in order to help their little friend. Siryn asks Killebrew to zip it. She shouts that, if she didn’t have to baby-sit Killebrew, Deadpool wouldn’t need air support. She asks Killebrew to shut up, or else she’ll give him a lesson in gravity.

Hulk notices the plane, and isn’t surprised that Deadpool brought some friends, as no one goes against the Hulk alone. Hulk shouts at the people in the plane that trespassing on his island isn’t allowed, and throws the truck in the plane’s direction! Deadpool panics for Siryn’s safety. Killebrew freaks out as well, but Siryn tells him to relax. Siryn pilots the plane into safety, and the truck only hits a small part of the wing, and no real damage is done.

Deadpool gets angry at Hulk for nearly hurting Siryn, and starts attacking him. Hulk jokes that Wade must have him confused with someone who cares. Wade jokes back that he had actually confused the Hulk with that other version of him, but he knows that Hulk’s lack of manicured goatee and Hulkamania headband was a dead giveaway. Hulk shouts that he doesn’t care about anyone but himself! Doesn’t Deadpool understand that? Hulk thinks he maybe needs to pound it into the merc. So he does, and punches Wade through a clothing shop window!

Luckily, Wade is unharmed, though a little out of breath and a little disoriented. He kids around with a model doll, and asks the doll what she’s doing after this bloodbath. Wade jokes that he’s going to tend for a few compound fractures and wait for the transplant, as usual. Not getting a response, Wade jokes that’s what he likes in a mannequin. Hulk runs back towards Wade, angrier than before. He likes the thought that Wade said he was dying, which means there’s more breathing air for the rest of them!

Hulk thinks that, if Wade were worth his salt, he would have the common decency to go somewhere quiet and die with dignity. And, apparently, the Hulk adds, Deadpool is going to die the way he lived: a loser! Wade starts to panic. He can’t take another love tap like that. He has to get out of there, fast. But the Hulk has no intention of going softly into that dark night, and Wade can’t get a blade in edgewise. What he needs is a Zany, that’s just crazy enough to work. He thinks.

The Hulk has almost reached Deadpool, and shouts that’s how it always works: people go out the way they lived: suffering. Angry at the great joke. And most importantly… alone. Hulk opens his eyes wider, ready for the kill. But, he finds a triumphant Deadpool, standing in his way, standing near a street sign! Wade jokingly calls out to the brute. He gives him a tip from the super-schmoe’s handbook: don’t jump so high in the middle of a fight, since it gives one’s opponent the chance to set traps. And, now if the Hulk wants to excuse Wade, he’s going to move so that the Hulk can have splatty-time.

Wade rolls away, and the Hulk lands in the middle of the pipe. Not thinking it can harm him, the pipe rips open… the Hulk’s pants! Green blood floats off the pieces, and Wade picks up a sample and puts it in a lab tube. Wade smells the fresh blood, and the thought of it takes him back to nursery school. On behalf of his nervous system, Wade’s lymph nodes all his gallbladder, and thanks the Hulk. Wade realizes something, and asks the Hulk to wait a minute.

The Hulk just got impaled on a street sign… government issue, no less… but that isn’t supposed to happen to the Hulk! At least not to Wade’s funk ‘n’ wagnals. He isn’t complaining, because he sort of won there, but he asks the Hulk… why? The Hulk, while recovering and catching his breath, doesn’t know for sure either. Perhaps it’s Deadpool’s lucky day. Or perhaps Wade isn’t the only one with problems. Wade asks the Hulk if it’s anything serious. Hulk asks Wade if he cares.

Not particularly. But, if the Hulk is sick, Wade adds, maybe he has to get off this island and go see a doctor. It’s real easy when you’ve got a teleporter unit like Wade has. Hulk concludes that normally he doesn’t have to go that far, but the doctor isn’t in the house anymore. Deadpool activates his teleporter, and fades away, back up into the plane.

There, Wade tosses the blood sample to Killebrew. Startled, Killebrew asks Wilson to be careful with that. Deadpool just wants to get out of here as fast as they can before the Hulk remembers he can splash them like flies. Siryn takes a look at the Hulk… just standing there. She wonders if there’s something wrong with him. Deadpool doesn’t think that there’s anything right with the Hulk in the first place, but he really does suspect something is up. Siryn wonders who’s going to want to help the Hulk. Deadpool doesn’t know. With a personality like the Hulk has, who would want to? Siryn doesn’t know, but at least she’s helping Wade. Deadpool defends that he’s dying and witty… and a snappy dresser. The Hulk’s just a big monster. While the plane leaves, Hulk stares at it.

One trans-oceanic jaunt later, back in the Alps…

Killebrew takes out a large needle, and Deadpool shouts at the doctor to wait. There’s no way Killebrew is sticking it in Wade’s body. He wants to go back to Hulk-Island; perhaps the cure will work if it just sweats on him. Killebrew tells Wilson to relax. After all, the merc has had more stab wounds than Killebrew has hair on his head! He can’t be afraid of a little needle like this one.

Wade notices that Killebrew is just screaming it off from the rooftops. Next thing you know, Killebrew will tell everyone that Wade doesn’t like to change in public locker rooms. Wade pulls up one of his sleeves anyway, and Killebrew asks the merc to just relax. Siryn jokes that Wade just needs to be a big boy, and then he’ll get a lollypop. Wade likes the idea of having a sucker. Siryn tells him to get his mind out of the gutter. Killebrew sticks the needle inside Wade’s arm. He wants to know what happened to the count of three.

Killebrew explains that it’s an old pediatrics’ trick: it keeps the muscles relaxed. Wade sarcastically mentions that he killed his pediatrician with a tongue depressor. Once the blood is inside Wade, he jokes that it really didn’t hurt. Killebrew knows it didn’t, and smiles that Wade was very brave. Wade knows, and asks where his lolly is. He takes a look at his hand, but the finger isn’t back yet.

The doctor tells Wade that he knows he promised a miracle, but even he can’t speed up time. He suggests that they’ll monitor Wade throughout the evening and make sure that his system has accepted the injection. He is confident that the procedure will be a success, but if Wade or Siryn are partial to religion, now would be a good time to pray. Siryn mentions that she already made a call to the man upstairs, but Wade has her complete faith, as does Killebrew.

Wade appreciates that. He promises he won’t let her down. He starts to whisper, saying that he actually means except for that part where he slits the fat boy open from end to end. He hopes Siryn understands. While Wade continues to watch the monitors with Siryn and Killebrew, he holds a scalpel behind his back, ready for the use.

Characters Involved: 


Siryn (X-Force)


Dr. Killebrew

various people on the Hulk’s island (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Deadpool’s adventure in Antarctica, where he got exposed to the gamma radiation in the first place, can be found in Deadpool (2nd series) #1.

“Onslaught” was the big crossover in which Professor Xavier had gone insane, thanks to a mixture of the genes of Magneto in his body, and wrecked havoc across the entire world. He was eventually defeated by the sacrifice of many heroes’ lives, including the human half of the Hulk. The “monster” side was left here on Earth.

The Hulk received his island in Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #451.

Wilford Brimley is a character actor known for his performances in the 1980s television show “Our House” and the Cocoon movies. He is best known, however, from his work on commercials for Quaker Oats Oatmeal and diabetic supply company Liberty Medical.

“Time to make the donuts” was a catchphrase in the mid-1990s, originating from a series of Dunkin’ Donuts commercials. “Spoon” was the battle cry of comic book character, “The Tick.”

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