Deadpool (3rd Series) #40

Issue Date: 
November 2011
Story Title: 
Institutionalized (Part 1)

Daniel Way (Writer), Carlo Barberi (Pencils), Waldon Wong (Inks), Ferran Daniel (Colours), VC’s Joe Sabino (Letters), Dave Johnson (Cover),  Jordan D. White (Editor), Nick Lowe (Senior Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

Deadpool is incarcerated in Crossmore Prison, which is a mental institution in England. When the warden wants to know why he is there, his director-general tells him that She-Hulk was his defense lawyer. She found a loophole in the law that meant that Deadpool should go there instead of being sent to the Raft. As the men talk, the resident psychologist, Dr. Whitby, walks in and demands to know why Deadpool isn’t in her care. The men decide to give her access to Deadpool, as her father is rich and is keeping the prison open. A short while later, Deadpool is being transferred but he wakes up from the drugs and attacks the guards. He ends up taking Dr. Whitby hostage but is shot by a guard. Later on when he has healed, he finds himself in a cell in a bigger wing of the prison. He tries to break his way through the clear walls but finds them indestructible. As he loses his temper, Dr. Whitby approaches him and talks to him. He makes a joke and she laughs at it, resulting in Deadpool trying to charm his way free. One of the other prisoners takes offense to Deadpool but is ushered away by Dr. Whitby. She asks Deadpool about his scars and he realizes he isn’t wearing his mask. He loses his temper and Dr. Whitby calms him down by pointing out the door to his cell is open. He walks out and within four minutes beats every other inmate on the wing up so badly they are all sent to hospital. Later on, Dr. Whitby is reprimanded by the warden for letting Deadpool out but she states that if he is to be treated he must trust her. Soon thereafter, she talks to Deadpool and tells him he has two choices. He either accepts help from her or he is taken back to America, where he will be incarcerated for the rest of his life, never to see another human. She then begins to quiz him on why he wears a mask. In the prison hospital, one of the men that Deadpool beat has just gotten out of surgery. His face is covered in bandages and the surgeons realize that he is the costumed serial killed known as Foolkiller. 

Full Summary: 

Locked in a padded cell and strapped in a straight-jacket, Deadpool yells that he isn’t crazy.

(Crossmore Prison, Central England)
Two men are meeting in one of the offices of Crossmore Prison, discussing Deadpool’s recent transfer there. Warden Aimes asks why Deadpool is even there, when the Raft would be a much more suitable environment. Director-General Swinton, sitting across the desk from him, agrees with him but tells him there are two powerful women who have petitioned the American courts to find otherwise. The first being Deadpool’s legal counsel Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk.

At Deadpool’s earlier hearing, Jen appeared for the defense and told the judge that the government’s insistence on locking up her client in the Raft was just a way to cover up their own mess. The prosecution lawyers seem annoyed she is bringing it up and the judge reminds her it is a sentencing hearing and he isn’t interested in conspiracy theories. The elderly judge explains that Deadpool has been convicted of numerous villainous acts, including using weapons of mass destruction on American soil. If there is a compelling argument as to why he should reconsider the prosecution’s sentencing recommendations, he’d suggest she present it in her most compelling manner.

Jen pulls out some papers and presents them to the judge. She tells him they are the draft of the appropriation request approved and signed by himself for the initial establishment of the Raft prison. She directs him to a line on the documents that states the Raft is defined as a facility to house those specific inmates possessed of “super-powers” who cannot otherwise be housed elsewhere. The judge tells her he is familiar with the document and one of the prosecution lawyers whispers to another that she is burying herself.

Handing more documents out Jen shows them some evidence that was shown during Deadpool’s trial. She explains that it is the psychological assessment of her client prepared during the pre-trial. The judge tells her he is well aware of what it says and that it specifically states that Deadpool should be sent to the Raft prison. Jen points to the findings section of the report and tells the judge it says that Deadpool has no powers, only biological aberrations directly caused by experimentation. The prosecution once again interrupts and airs their frustration. One of the lawyers stands up and reads from a document that says the courts have long upheld the definition of superhuman to include… The judge interjects and tells him the document says “super-powers” not “superhuman.” Suddenly realizing what Jen was guiding him to all along, he swears.

Back at Crossmore the Director-General sips a whiskey and tells the warden that the other party responsible for Deadpool incarceration there is their resident psychologist. The buzzer on the warden’s intercom goes off and he answers it. The receptionist, Madelyne, tells him that Dr. Whitby is there to see him. Before he can respond, the doctor walks in and the two men turn to see her. Without greeting them, she asks them to explain why Deadpool has been placed in Class E seclusion, when it plainly states in the dossier he should be in her unit. Madelyne leans over her desk and peeks through the open door, apologizing to her boss. He tells her it is alright as he knows fully well how hard it can be to dissuade the good doctor when she is crusading.

Standing squarely in front of the warden, she asks what he means by crusading. As she leans over his desk, the man tells her there is no need for crusading. She replies that there is no reason for Deadpool to be locked in the cell and deprived of treatment. She asks Swinton if he agrees and he raises his glass and tells her he does. In fact, he was just meeting with the warden to discuss the swift transfer of Deadpool to her innovative and inspiring program. Feeling she made her point, Dr. Whitby leaves as quickly and abruptly as she arrived. The warden turns to Swinton and asks him if he could have thrown him under the bus any further. Swinton tells him not to take it personally but it is all politics. That awful goblin of a woman is the daughter of Dr. Emmett Whitby, who is the executive director of the NHS program that not only funds the program she runs but pretty much funds Crossmore Prison.

The warden is a little shocked that the funding has been cut and asks why. Swinton points out that Crossmore’s security record isn’t exactly the pride of Her Majesty’s prison service. When the place was built, at great expense, it was supposed to be the premier incarceration unit for superhuman criminals. But two in three criminals have escaped since the place opened. The warden protests and tells him that it’s because the security features are outdated but it would be different if they were granted additional funding. Swinton sighs and tells him he has been granted additional funding. Unfortunately, it comes in the wholly unpleasant form of Dr. Ella Whitby.

If her psychological treatment program for violent superhumans can be proved a success not only will Crossmore’s reputation be restored but so will its budget. Swinton tells the warden to give the little troll whatever she wants and not to let Deadpool escape.

As Ella walks down a corridor, an alarm goes off and a number of red lights start to flash. She hears a commotion coming from a nearby room and turns to see Deadpool attacking some guards. Deadpool is not wearing his uniform; instead he is in orange overalls, exposing his scarred face. His arms are strapped to a portable bed but he has somehow wriggled free and is using the bed as a weapon.

Warden Aimes comes running down the corridor with a couple of guards. All of them are dressed in protective clothing and when they get to a junction they see another guard go flying past them. They peek around the corner to see Deadpool, holding stun batons, fighting a group of guards. Aimes says that he was supposed to be sedated and one of the guards tell him he was. After viewing the carnage, he asks if Deadpool looks sedated. 

Dr. Whitby suddenly walks on to the scene and gets Deadpool’s attention by calling him Wade. She tells him he should have never been locked in that cell and she apologizes. He asks who she is and then quickly defends himself from a guard, who is trying to hit him with a stun baton. She yells her name to him but he cannot hear over the noise of the guard he is beating up. She repeats herself but alls he hears is “Hostage Mchostageworth.” He greets her and dives towards her as she tries to run away.

He manages to get his arm around her neck and then uses her as a human shield. He turns to the warden and tells him he will snap her neck if they don’t back off. The warden tries to calm him down but Deadpool demands to know where he is and why everyone is talking like a pirate. Ella tells him they have English accents because he is now in England. He lets her go and tells her England sucks. Before he can cause any more harm, one of the soldiers shoots him, blasting his head to pieces.

Dr. Whitby turns to the solider and chastises him, telling him she will have his job for it. Aimes tries to calm her down but she demands the man be unemployed by that night. He tells her that he understands she must be very shaken, given she just had that maniac’s hands around her throat. She tells Aimes that Deadpool isn’t a maniac and he seems a little confused. She tells him Deadpool is a profoundly troubled man who has suffered psychological trauma so severe that it is a wonder he can move, let alone speak.

Aimes tells her Deadpool was doing both those things and doing them whilst attempting a violent escape. She replies that of course he was trying to escape; he’s been trying to escape for years. She asks how he thinks Deadpool ended up there and Aimes replies it is because she requested he be sent there. She shouts that it isn’t what she was talking about, and the even more confused warden admits he has no idea what she is on about. As she walks away frustrated, she tells Aimes to have Deadpool’s body brought to her wing and to do it within thirteen minutes. After she leaves, the soldier asks Aimes what happens in thirteen minutes.

(thirteen minutes later)
In Dr. Whitby’s cell block, the other inmates are staring as Deadpool, who is locked in a cell behind a clear plastic wall. He is yelling and smacking his head against the wall. As he clutches his head in pain, he shouts that it should have broken. One of his inner voices tells him they said it might break, if it were glass. But it’s not; it must be some kind of polymer or polycarbonate. Still in pain, he demands to know how he breaks it.

A voice says that their new patient seems to be having trouble acclimatizing to his new environment. Dr. Whitby turns to Mr. Cereus and corrects him by telling him Deadpool is her new patient. He replies that she is getting possessive and tells her he is called Dr. Cereus. She reminds him that his practitioner’s license was revoked when he committed mass murder. The green-haired, yellow-skinned old man holds his hands up and asks how he could ever forget. She asks him to keep working on his puzzle but he slams his fists on the table and tells her he does not like puzzles. She replies that she is glad to hear it as he isn’t supposed to like puzzles. With that, she walks away from the frustrated man, who is trying to finish his puzzle depicting some dead bodies.

Dr. Whitby walks up to Deadpool’s cell and greets him. His inner voices remark that she appears to know his name and that she seems kind of familiar. She asks how he is doing but he asks if they used to date. As she tries to comprehend what he just asked her, his inner voices tell him to go for it. Deadpool tells her he knows her from somewhere and she suggests it might have been earlier when he tried to take her hostage. He jokes and tells her they did have a relationship then. This causes her to laugh uncontrollably and start snorting. As Deadpool stares at her contorted face, his inner voices can’t help but notice how ugly she looks but he should try and play it smooth, as she might be their only way out of there. Calming down and adjusting her glasses, she apologizes and tells him he was very funny.

A little way off, an inmate notices Dr. Whitby and asks another inmate, Gerhardt, who she is talking to. Gerhardt stares at the pair and tells his friend that Deadpool is a fool. Dr. Whitby asks Deadpool again how he is feeling and he replies that he doesn’t know and invites her in to feel him. Suddenly Gerhardt appears and tells Deadpool to watch his mouth. Dr. Whitby, calling him Kurt, tells the man no. Gerhardt stares at Deadpool for a few seconds and then walks away, with Deadpool waving him off.

Dr. Whitby asks if his sore hurt but he is a little distracted at staring Gerhardt down. She gets his attention and asks again if the sores on his face are painful. He suddenly touches his face and realizes he isn’t wearing his mask. He angrily screams for everyone to stop staring at him but Dr. Whitby calmly tells him no-one is staring. He ignores her and starts punching the walls whilst yelling that they think they can laugh since he is locked up. As he starts to lose control, Dr. Whitby tries to get his attention but he declares he will lay waste to every one of them.

Finally, Dr. Whitby manages to tell him the door to his cell is open and it stays unlocked from 6 am to 9 PM. If he would like to leave he is free to do so. He steps out of his cell into the main cell block and tells Dr. Whitby he is felling better, as he cracks his knuckles.

Later on, Dr. Whitby is in the warden’s office. They sit in silence for a few moments until he simply asks her why. She sheepishly tells him Deadpool was having a psychotic episode brought on by paranoid delusion. He thought he was being made a spectacle of and she wanted to show him she would never do such a thing. In order for her to treat him, he must trust her. She asks why the warden finds it so hard to understand.

The warden tells her they have a time-tested method for dealing with inmates who are having such episodes. One of the first steps is to lock the inmate in an observation cell, not let him out. She tells him that Deadpool is a unique case and he agrees as never in his thirty years in the service has he encountered anyone like him. Picking up the incident report, he glances over it and tells her it took four minutes. Within four minutes, her unique inmate battered ten other inmates and their injuries were so severe that all ten had to be taken to hospital. That is the entire population of her unit.

Afterwards, Deadpool is sat in his cell in the empty wing. Dr. Whitby approaches him and tells him she needs to speak to him. He asks if she saw him stab one of the guys with his own femur and stomp on Kurt’s face. She tells him she did and that Kurt will need reconstructive surgery, possible skin and bone grafts too. Deadpool sits up off his bed and declares that if they mess with the bull then they get the horns. She tells him she doesn’t think she will be able to keep him there. He tells her not to take it personally but he’s a bird that cannot change. Locking him up in a box isn’t good for anybody. Someone’s already been femur-stabbed. The best thing is to just let him out of there. They could do the whole hostage thing again but it’s getting old and it doesn’t have the same results as it used to. There’s a ton of other option though. He invites Dr. Whitby to throw a few suggestions in too, so she doesn’t feel left out.

She informs him there are only two options. Either he lets her treat him or he will be transferred back to the US, where he will be incarcerated under the file 42 protocol. He would never see another human being for the entirety of his life. He suggests a third option of helping him break out but she declines. He tells her it’s going to happen sooner or later and, in the meantime, he will keep bringing the ruckus. She’s already seen enough of him to know all about that. She declares she knows more about Deadpool than he realizes. She has studied him for years and he is the reason she became a psychologist. He tells her he has heard that from loads of chicks over they years. Although, instead of psychologist, they normally say celibate or suicidal.

Dr. Whitby asks why he doesn’t wear a mask and he replies it’s so he doesn’t get stuff in his mouth. When she asks what kind of stuff he tells her he means bone fragments, blood or hair. Thinking about it a little she asks if he means he wears it when he kills. He corrects her and says if she means when he works then he does. She points out he also wears it when he isn’t working, and asks why that is. He gets angry and yells that it’s because he wants to.

Kurt lies in a hospital bed, covered in bloody bandages. He shouts out and demands to know what happened to his face. A little way off one of his surgeons washes the blood off his hands and asks what he expected, it’s a prison hospital. He can breathe, eat and obviously speak, as far as he can see it the operation was a raging success. The other surgeon points out he got the raging part right. The first surgeon says he takes no credit for that and asks his colleague if he knows who the man is. The second surgeon tells him it was some costumed vigilante, to which the first surgeon corrects him by saying he was a costumed serial killer who went by the name Foolkiller.

As other doctors and guards try to deal with the struggling Foolkiller, they tell him to relax, as he needs his rest. One of the guards say that it is useless and he should just go back to the psyche ward. With his face covered in bandages, the Foolkiller sinisterly agrees that they should do that. 

Characters Involved: 


Warden Aimes
Director-General Swinton
Dr. Ella Whitby
Crossmore guards

Dr. Cereus
Crossmore inmates
Kurt Gerhardt/Foolkiller



Prosecution lawyers
Security guard

Story Notes: 

There have been four men who have gone by the name Foolkiller. Kurt Gerhardt was the second one who had a self-titled limited series in the early 90’s.

Mr. Cereus is also known as Jack Serious, a villain who appeared in The Sensational She-Hulk #19-20. He supposedly died in his second appearance but apparently he managed to survive. 

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