Deadpool (2nd series) #45

Issue Date: 
October 2000
Story Title: 
Johnny Handsome: Bless The Duse (Or: If This Slip Be Pink…!)

Christopher Priest (writer), J. Calafiore (pencils), John Holdredge (inks), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Shannon Blanchard (colors), Mike Marts (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Deadpool dreams he has killed Loki, and goes to brag about it at the trailer park he used to live. When he wakes up, Wade finds himself on a mission to kill General Esteban. After succeeding in that job, he returns to the Deadlounge. Meanwhile, Constrictor and Titania are still in jail. “Titania” reveals her true colors and reveals herself to actually be… Copycat?! She transforms into one of the guards and knocks them out, and sets herself free to return to Wade. However, she leaves Frank in his cell, as she never liked him. A few minutes later, Wade meets up with Hayden the salesman and is glad to see him. After eating dinner with him, Wade starts fighting him and Copycat transforms back to her real self. Wade admits that he always had known Titania was actually Vanessa in disguise, but always thought it was just her way to get close to him again. Vanessa denies that, explaining she made a deal with the Wizard and the Taskmaster to steal all of Wade’s money. After carving his pin-code number onto Vanessa’s face, telling her she can have his money; he doesn’t care; the Wizard reveals he has explosives taped all over the Deadlounge and has the place explode! Wade luckily survives, and goes drinking. There, he first remembers Loki’s curse when he is approached by an older man. They have a “happy” conversation together and, afterwards, Wade notices that his old, horrible face has returned! He realizes that the old man was actually Loki in disguise. Feeling back to normal, Wade promises himself to just do what comes natural, and that the best is yet to come!

Full Summary: 

Wade’s dream…

Deadpool is back at the trailer park. The security guard knew he’d come back. Wade claims that he isn’t “back”: he’s just making a delivery. The rest of the trailer folks are happy to see Wade again, some confident they always knew he’d come back. They happily run towards them, but Wade holds them back. He explains that he isn’t “home.” He’s never going to be home. He believes that the problem with them losers is that they are all heroes. All that speech-making tends to get in the way of taking care of business! Fortunately, Wade is somewhat less encumbered. Wade opens his bag, and the residents are confused Wade really killed “him.” They tell Wade he can’t just kill a man like that.

Wade smiles that he can. He just needs to follow the simple instructions “twist the head left until you hear a loud “Kee-raaack.” The residents can’t believe it. They know that Wade has tried so hard to change, to improve from just being an amoral mercenary, to being one of them: a hero. Wade hesitates, but admits that’s true. He means, he has spent his whole life doing the wrong thing, making the wrong choices. For once, he just wanted to know how it felt to be on the right side. But that was before “him.” He tried, he really tried to become a hero and do all the “save the day” stuff, and this is what he gets for all his trouble: a corpse in a bag.

Wade pulls off his mask, and reveals that this is what has been done to him: being transformed into a look-a-like Thom Cruz! The guy thought that this was a good idea. Then came his stupid roommates who just sit and talked on an on. The residents are startled to see Wade’s face like this. Some of them believe that he did have it coming though, as Wade turned them evil. He drove some of them crazy and then banished them to Limbo. He made some of them drunk, and killed that red chick. He even blinded someone. He even sold someone’s grandmother!

This is what Wade is saying! He angrily tosses the bag into the black pool. This time, Wade got the person who did this to him before he got him. He calls it self-defense. The residents cheer for Wade, calling him the best of them all. But they do want to know, now that Wade survived, what he’s going to do next. Wade smiles that he’s going to Dizz…

Present time (bye-bye, stupid)…

Some soldiers wake Deadpool up, warning him that General Esteban’s guards are firing upon them and need to defend themselves. One of the soldiers gets shot, and Wade tells the others to shut up and leave him alone. One of the soldiers thinks they are actually dealing with Thom Cruz in disguise. Wade jumps out of the helicopter and crashes through a window, landing in Esteban’s office. He orders his guards to kill Deadpool, but he dodges all of the bullets. He throws some poisonous gas at them, killing everyone except for the pianist – who can’t be shot upon, of course.


Constrictor angrily looks at Titania, still thinking she’s actually a man. She keeps denying that, and jokes that Frank isn’t a man either. Frank wonders when the guards are going to arraign them, as they have been in these holding tanks since the Avengers captured them. And he also wants to know why they always put super-villains into these stupid tanks. Titania tells Frank to think for a change, as the guard learned to do that from the villains themselves. Frank doesn’t believe this, as he never owned one of these tanks in his entire life.

Titania was talking about real villains, not third-rate guys like Frank. She’s talking about people like Magneto. He was the first villain to use these things to imprison his enemies. She guesses turnabout is fair play. Frank thinks that’s neat. But Skeeter doesn’t think there’s anything neat about this situation. Suddenly, Frank smells something. Gas! He thinks it’s the same kind of gas they use to seduce the Rhino, and panics. He calls out to the guards who don’t like Frank calling them out like this, as they’ve already got enough things to do without having to listen to his whining.

As the guards enter, Titania suddenly starts to transform into… Copycat?! Copycat quickly changes into a guard, named Jack. The guards don’t understand what their friend is doing in the tank, and quickly open it. They want to set the alarm to inform everyone that Titania has escaped. “Jack” can miss that and quickly knocks the guards down. Frank laughs, pleased that he was right: Titania is actually a man! Copycat thinks Frank really is an idiot, and transforms into her true blue self. She also shows Frank her breasts to prove she’s really a woman. Frank is impressed, and asks Copycat if she’ll marry him! Copycat claims she has to leave now, as she has kept Wade waiting far too long.

The Deadlounge…

Deadpool finds his mail still waiting for him, and isn’t sure if Titania and Constrictor have escaped from jail by this time. He hears a noise inside and kicks the door open. Not wanting to take any risk, he starts shooting! Once out of bullets, he asks if anyone is home. Hayden the salesman is, and Wade happily greets him, asking if they’ve got pork chops. Hayden cooks some chops for him, and the bell goes off. Hayden goes to open it, but Wade holds him back and kisses him on the mouth, claiming he never told him how beautiful he looks!

Hayden goes to open it, but claims nobody was there thinking it was a prank. Wade doesn’t believe that, and punches… Vanessa?! She transforms to her real form, surprised that Wade knew she was Hayden all along. Wade starts shooting at her, explaining he smelled her, even though she posed as Titania for all these months. Copycat dodges the bullets, surprised to hear that Wade knew about this all along. Wade explains he knew it because they used to be… involved. Shape-shifter or not, he knows when he’s dealing with her. (Besides, Hayden is much fruiter than she made him).

Copycat reminds Wade that they really “used” to be involved, because Wade dumped her. Wade reminds her was because he had cancer. She calls that a stupid excuse. Wade, hesitant, admits that he thought they broke up as friends. Copycat admits that, but business is business, and she knows Wade made a lot of enemies over the years.

The television screen opens, and the Wizard reveals himself! Wade doesn’t even remember who he is. It doesn’t ring a bell. Wizard calls Wade a fool, explaining who he is, reminding him that he enrolled him once into the Frightful Four. Wade remembers it, but he just made a bet with himself to see how many times he could get the Wizard to say his own name. Wade also assumes that it was the Wizard’s technology that is enabling Copycat to simulate Titania’s strength and invulnerability (and cup size).

Another voice tells Wade he can guess all he wants… he’ll still be dead meat! Or did Wade forget that he and Slichting were also on said Frightful Four team? Wade recognizes Barney the Taskmaster, glad he’s without the “big talk” this time. The Wizard reveals that, after he escaped from Wyatt Wingfoot’s reservation, he contacted the Taskmaster and they formed a strategic alliance to avenge themselves on Wade. Wade thinks they hired the Copycat so she could get next to him, just like the old days when they worked for Tolliver together. Copycat slams Wade, admitting that, and explaining that they needed someone who knew Wade, someone who could predict his moves and get in close.

Copycat that she told her two associates that even with Titania’s powers, it was unlikely anyone could actually kill Wade. Still, she was happy to take her associate’s money, and Wade’s as well. But Achebe welched on the deal to give her the account code for Wade’s overseas bank. Wade doesn’t understand why Copycat needs that money, remembering that Garrison Kane was already rolling it in the last time they met. Vanessa tells Wade to guess again.

Wade realizes that this is all about money. And here he thought this was Vanessa’s way of getting close to him again. He kicks her in the face. He means, one can even look at him, since everything he has known in his past life is now gone, he is stuck with this stupid Thom Cruz face. However, Vanessa came along then, knowing that he’d see through her disguise and he thought, after all was said and done, there would be at least one big, gratuitous naked scene to play out! Copycat tells her lover that, if she said this was all about money, she would be telling the truth! She confirms it’s over between her and Wade, as he’s responsible for that. She wants him to stop looking for deeper motives, claiming that this is about nothing but the cash.

Wade believes her, and takes out a device, which gives Vanessa an electrical shock in her neck! She falls down and Wade goes to lie on top of her. Hesitant, Vanessa realizes that Wade doesn’t believe this any more than she does. She claims that, even if she wasn’t simulating Titania’s invulnerability, he could no more kill her that she could do the same to him. Wade isn’t sure, and asks Vanessa if she wants to beg her life on that. Vanessa asks which one, confident she still has six out of her seven lives. Wade asks for a confirmation: she did it all for the money, and not for just one dip in the old dead pool.

Copycat smiles that, if Achebe had given her the code, she would have been gone by now. She knows that screwing over the Taskmaster and the Wizard is an easy enough thing to do. Heck, Wade has done it, so she could possibly do it as well. Wade jokes that Vanessa is right, for once. And now, he wants to give her what she came for. He takes out his blade, and starts carving his pin-code number on his back on her face! Vanessa angrily calls Wade a jerk. Wade jokes that he can’t believe it. Women – you give them what they want, and they still complain! He tells Vanessa to relax, remembering she’s a shapeshifter, but warns her to write down his code first before shaping it off.

Wade points his attention to the Taskmaster and Wizard, asking if maybe they’ve got a job for him since he’s looking for work. The Taskmaster is impressed by the bravado of an obvious dead man. Wade corrects that his name is actually “Deadpool” and not “Dead man.” Wizard notices that, apparently, Wade has forgotten about the huge amount of explosive devices behind him. Actually, Wade admits, he hadn’t seen them at all!

On that moment, the entire Deadlounge explodes! The real Hayden steps forward, and tells Wade that of course, he realizes that the repairs for this house are going to come out of his cleaning deposit. Wade doesn’t even care.

Later, at the Slaughter Red Lamb bar…

Wade sits alone in a bar, drinking. He remembers Loki’s exact words to him, “A curse upon thee! Let thy life fall into ruin until you doth seek thy father’s forgiveness!” Wade doesn’t know what to do about that. Suddenly, an older man approaches Wade, asking if he’s trying to corner the market there. Wade doesn’t know what kind of market the grampa means. The man jokes he was talking about the peanuts and beer he has seen Wade taking in today, and calls him a dandy.

Wade defends that he isn’t a dandy: he just looks like one. The man already realized that, having concluded that Wade couldn’t possibly be the real Thom Cruz. He thinks it’s probably a wig or something he’s wearing. Wade corrects that, actually, he’s cursed by the Trickster god. The man doesn’t really believe that. Wade mentions he had a lousy day. The man doesn’t care about that, telling Wade that his navel lint had tougher days than Wade has!

The man realizes that Wade is one of them mercs, looking for a reason to kill. He wonders if Wade wants to kill him because he made that joke about the nuts. The man tells Wade that, whatever his damage is, it’s got nothing to do with him. The man claims he wants two things in life: watch the football game on the bar’s TV and have a beer. If Wade wants, he can watch him watching the TV. Now, the man figures Wade has got two kinds of plans to follow: pass the nuts to him, or either way make his move and kill him. Either way, the man wants to go through it now during the TV’s commercials.

Wade hesitates, and passes the nuts. He apologizes, realizing he can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. He learned that from the best. The man jokes that life is like a cigarette, and tells him to shut up now as the game begins. Wade shakes hands with the old man, telling him that maybe he’ll see him around. The man thinks maybe not, and tells Wade not to toss and turn over it. Wade promises he’ll see what he can do.

Wade walks back outside and, suddenly, everyone starts screaming when they look at him. Wade jokes that he’s really Thom Cruz they are all seeing. When he passes a window, Wade notices that… his old, horrible and shredded face is back! He happily dances around that he’s no longer Thom Cruz again! But, he doesn’t get it. Loki said “A curse upon thee! Let thy life fall into ruin until you doth seek thy father’s forgiveness!” He realizes something. Wade runs back to the bar, wondering if the old man could have been Loki. But when he makes it to the bar, the man is already gone.

Wade happily puts his Deadpool uniform on, joking that he’ll just do from now on what comes natural. He tells everyone to hold on to their heads, as the best is yet to come!

Characters Involved: 




Hayden (salesman)

General Esteban and his guards

trailer park security guard and residents (all unnamed)

bar visitors and other people (all unnamed)

on television screen:



in Wade’s flash-back:


Story Notes: 

Last issue of Christopher Priest for the series.

Deadpool visited the trailer park before in Deadpool (2nd series) #34.

This issue finally reveals “Titania’s” secret, which was revealed to be there since last issue. In fact, she was really Copycat, ever since Deadpool (2nd series) #38 and presumably some unknown amount of time before that.

Deadpool and Copycat’s former relationship is fully explained in Deadpool (2nd series) #minus 1.

Constrictor, Deadpool, Taskmaster and the Wizard were revealed to be past members of the Frightful Four in Deadpool (2nd series) #35.

The Wizard got trapped into Wyatt Wingfoot’s reservation in Fantastic Four (3rd series) #29, but this issue reveals he escaped from it.

Deadpool and Copycat worked for Tolliver together during Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1-4.

Deadpool was cursed by Loki ever since Deadpool (2nd series) #37, but finally “recovers” in this issue.

Wade discovered about Copycat’s and Garrison Kane’s relationship in Wolverine (2nd series) #88.

Issue Information: 
Written By: