Deadpool & the Mercs for Money (2nd series) #8

Issue Date: 
April 2017
Story Title: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Iban Coello (artist), Guru e-FX (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Iban Coello & Nolan Woodard (cover artists), Carlos Lao (production design), Heather Antos (editor), Jordan D White (supervisng editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Today, Deadpool is preparing his weapons for the impending battle between mutants and Inhumans, when suddenly, Storm appears on a news report, announcing that the chemical makeup of the Terrigen Cloud has been changed and is no longer lethal to mutantkind, although they are unsure how it happened. Deadpool looks at Negasonic and realizes that she is responsible for this. The Mercs are pleased they don't have to get involved in the battle, but Deadpool has a feeling that this isn't over. Five years from now, outside a temple in Cambodia, Deadpool speaks to Negasonic, asking her to fix what she did. Negasonic feigns ignorance, but Deadpool tells her that he knows she has some sort of reality-warping power, and that the Terrigen Cloud was revealed to be “harmless” seconds after it was discovered to be deadly to mutants – and she vanished seconds after that. Negasonic reminds Deadpool that she was on Genosha when the Sentinels struck, and explains that she didn't want to see the rest of the mutants die. Deadpool understands, but informs Negasonic that she didn't make things better – she made them worse for everyone. Inside the temple, the Mercs are still arguing with the X-Men who are at the temple. Polaris explains that they are protecting Negasonic, but Domino believes it is the other way around. The two women argue, and Polaris reminds the Mercs that they have an Inhuman amongst them. Ren assures the X-Men that she isn't a bad guy. The argument continues until Polaris realizes that they have been discovered – and a large group of Inhumans called the Tribe teleport into the temple. Polaris is furious at the Mercs for bringing them here, and Machine Man realizes that it was him – that his systems were hacked. Naturally, a battle ensues. Deadpool realizes there is a battle going on, and encourages Negasonic to fix what she did. Negasonic goes into the temple and puts the fighting to an end, but the Inhuman called Lash is determined to destroy Negasonic. Polaris encourages Negasonic to avenge mutantkind, but Negasonic isn't interested in revenge. Lash appears to weaken Negasonic absorbing energies from her, until Deadpool cuts Lash's arm off, in turn those energies are released against Deadpool, who is mutated hideously. Negasonic rushes over to him, and he one again encourages her to make things right, before he dies. Lash tells the mutants that they are not finished yet, but Negasonic starts to glow, and announces that none of this ever happened. Today, Negasonic's eyes glow as her future self appears beside her and tells her that it won't play out like she thinks. They put their hands together and energy crackles around them. Deadpool goes into Negasonic's quarters and finds it empty. In the past, Negasonic Teenage Warhead watches over herself as a child, promising Deadpool to watch out for her.

Full Summary: 

Schaefer Theater, New York: Deadpool is checking his various weapons and ammunition, when suddenly, one of the Mercs calls out to him that he better come and take a look at this. 'What's up? I was in the middle of my pre-going-to-war-with-other-heroes ritual' Deadpool calls back.

Out in one of the common areas, Domino, Gorilla Man, Hit Monkey, Massacre and Machine Man are looking up at a television which Storm can be seen. 'Thank the Goddess, we can reset the Doomsday Clock' Storm announces. The chemical makeup of the Terrigen Cloud has been altered, it is no longer harmful to mutants. She isn't sure how it happened, but something has changed. 'Out nightmare is over' Storm declares, adding that she wished they knew how this happened. Deadpool pokes his head around a corner and looks at Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who stands with her arms folded, looking forlorn. Deadpool narrows his eyes at her.

'Great news, right, Wade? Somebody's looking out for us! No need to pick a side after all' Domino remarks. Deadpool turns back to Dom and tells her that his heart is full of joy right now and brimming over. 'Now if only my raging paranoia would just give up the ghost... I'd feel comfortable putting these weapons back in my rainy-day chest' Deadpool jokes, adding that he can't just shake the feeling that this isn't over.

Five years later, in Cambodia, Deadpool and a purple-cloak wearing Negasonic Teenage Warhead walk out of a large temple into an open area within the dense jungle that surrounds them. 'So, that's my pitch. Undo it. Fix it. Make it right' Deadpool tells Negasonic, who narrows her eyes and tells Deadpool that she doesn't know what he is asking here. 'I'm not stupid, Ellie. Okay... maybe I am stupid, but I'm still able to read the graffiti on the bathroom stall' Deadpool declares. He points out that it is a fact that Negasonic has some sort of reality-warping power that is oh-so-popular with the kids these days, and another fact, is that Terrigen Mist was revealed to be “harmless” to mutants about fifteen seconds after Negasonic found out it was uber-deadly to mutants in the first place. Deadpool lists a third fact – that Negasonic vanished about fifteen seconds after the news of mutantkind's miraculous salvation broke. 'Tell me I'm wrong' Deadpool asks, leaning in towards Negasonic.

Negasonic hides herself in the large cloak, and remarks that she was there on Genosha when the Sentinel attacked, and she thinks she might have died there – but then she wasn't dead at all, she was living a good life. 'But all the others... they were dead... gone' Ellie remarks. She adds that she just didn't want to see the rest of the mutants die – she thought maybe she would survive again and would have to look back with all that guilt and regret. Deadpool puts a hand on Negasonic's shoulder and tells her that he gets it, and that it is a play he would have backed. Deadpool tells Negasonic to look around and asks her if she sees how things turned out and whether she feels less guilty. 'What you did, it didn't stop the war. It made it worse...for the X-Men, for the Inhumans... and for everybody caught in the middle'.

Inside the temple, the Mercs – Domino, Ren Kimura, Gorilla Man, Hit-Monkey and Machine Man – have come face to face with a group of X-Men – Polaris, Goldballs, Nightcrawler, Xorn and Rachel Grey – who had been residing in the temple. 'You shouldn't have come here' Polaris declares. She tells the Mercs that Negasonic Teenage Warhead was safe here, they were protecting her. With Hit-Monkey on her shoulder, Domino frowns as she looks up at Polaris, who hovers above her: 'Yeah. Or she's protecting you' Domino remarks, pointing out that it is nice to have a living tactical nuke on your side. 'The war's over. Mutants lost. We've come here to live out whatever days we have left in seclusion' Polaris explains. 'Delusion runs in your family, Lorna, not mine' Domino replies, adding that she doesn't know what the X-Men are playing at here, but that this isn't some kind of peaceful retirement village. 'This is just your staging ground' Domino declares.

Polaris' eyes are obscured by the shadow her helmet casts over her face as she announces that when her father died, she swore to carry on his work. 'If he had wanted us to continue the fight, then that is what I would have done. But his goal was simple: look after our own' Polaris explains. 'That's all we want, too' Gorilla Man declares. Polaris folds her arms and reminds the Mercs that Negasonic Teenage Warhead is a mutant. 'We are her people. While you have an Inhuman among you'. Ren tells the X-Men that she isn't their enemy, that she never wanted any of this to happen. 'I'm not the bad guy here' she declares, adding that it wasn't her who ripped a hole to a hell dimension right in the middle of New York. Nightcrawler reminds everyone that mistakes were made on both sides of the conflict, and a terrible price was paid. 'Yeah, well, I'm not so sure I trust Little Miss Magneto's Tea Party of Evil Mutants to prevent more mistakes from being made' Domino announces. 'You look after your own? So do we'.

With Hit-Monkey still on her shoulder, Domino declares that Merc blood runs deep, to which Xorn informs the Mercs that they need to understand that they did not “recruit” Negasonic Teenage Warhead – she sought them out. Nightcrawler tells the Mercs that they can't possibly believe that after everything that happened, after all the people they lost, they would want to fight to continue. Domino replies that she would have thought the fight would have ended a long time ago – before it even started – as soon as the Terrigen Mists were rendered harmless to mutants – but it has only escalated. 'Inhuman zealots saw the changes to the Terrigen Cloud as profane and sought to punish us' Polaris explains, adding that her father found the loss of mutant life equally blasphemous and struck back, and that no one will convince her that he was wrong. 'Before he finally bit it, even Magneto changed his tune, Polaris. You said so -' Domino begins, but suddenly, Polaris drop to the ground: 'Hsst! We've been found! The Inhumans – are here!' Polaris declares as Lockjaw teleports eight other Inhumans into the temple.

A large shirtless Inhuman introduces himself as Lash, and tells the X-Men that he is sure they know his name. 'Some say I've killed more mutants than M-Pox ever did. But I'm not here to fight you...not as long as you cooperate' Lash declares, flanked by Sheath, Inferno, Karnak, Grid, Mother Bones, Jack Chain and Nocculus. Lash announces that he is here for just one of the mutants – the one who defiled the mists. Sheath informs Lash that she knows this crowd, and warns him that they are not going to cooperate. 'No. I wouldn't expect them to' Lash replies, while Nocculus tells the rest of the Inhumans that she is not here, but that she is close. 'I knew it! You brought them here!' Polaris declares to Domino as she surrounds herself in a magnetic field and prepares for battle. 'How -' Domino begins, when suddenly, 'It was me!' the wide-eyed Machine Man gasps. He tells Domino that he should have recognized the glitches – the Inhumans hacked into his systems and used him as a spy. 'They used me!' Machine Man shouts as the battle begins.

Machine Man extends an arm and wraps it around Grid, while Gorilla Man opens fire at Mother Bones. Ren takes on Chain, each extending their respective powers towards the other, as Domino fires her weapon towards Sheath at close-range. Nightcrawler teleports into the air and kicks Nocculus, while Xorn and Karnak battle each other mid-air. Rachel Grey hovers over everyone as Polaris fires a magnetic pulse towards Lash, clashing with the power that he emits back towards her.

Back outside, 'That... sounds like a fight. And a nasty one, too' Deadpool remarks as he turns his head towards the temple. 'What did you do, Wade?' Negasonic asks. Deadpool points at himself and tells Ellie that it isn't what he did – but what she did. 'This is your world now, Ellie' he reminds her. Deadpool pulls out his swords as Negasonic tells him that his comment wasn't fair, and that she tried to stop the Inhumans and the mutants from killing each other. Deadpool narrows his eyes and replies 'Like I said – I get it. But changing the cloud the way you was like using knockoff duct tape to hold a sewage pipe together. It just isn't going to hold for long before something smelly starts oozing out the sides. And so many people got hurt...' his voice trails off, when suddenly, Hit-Monkey screeches as he is thrown out of the temple, ablaze. Negasonic calls out to Hit-Monkey, while the wide-eyed Deadpool concludes by adding '... people... and annoying little primates who didn't really have a dog in the fight'.

'That's...enough!' Negasonic exclaims as she floats into the temple. Everyone turns and looks at her, as they find their powers or weapons suddenly unavailable to them. Rachel and Inferno's fiery attacks against each other suddenly stop, while Jack Chain loses control over his chains. 'And out guns!' the wide-eyed Domino calls out. 'Hey – kid! Whose side are you on?' Gorilla Man asks as he and Domino look at their many weapons that float upwards. Negasonic announces that she is tired of fighting, tired of the death, and that she is putting an end to this. She adds that she should have done this a long time ago, and projects copies of herself amongst the battling mutants and Inhumans. 'At last. All sins shall be punished' Lash grins, when suddenly, Deadpool returns: 'Aw, no... the sewer pipe... the cheapo tape... it's rupturing... this is all gonna go so bad!'

'Yes, Negasonic! You can end the conflict right now! Finally, you can avenge your people!' Polaris calls out as she drops down among the copies of Negasonic. The true Negasonic tells Polaris that this isn't about vengeance, and not about winning or losing. 'We've all lost so much already. We -' Negasonic begins, when suddenly, Lash touches her, she screams, and all the copies start to fade away. Power radiates around Lash's fist: 'So much power! So much energy! But you don't control it! I do! I've stripped the energy away... absorbed it... and now I return it' Lash declares, standing over Negasonic, he holds out his fist: 'ALL SINS SHALL BE PUNISHED!' he booms – but before he can direct the energy at Negasonic, Deadpool leaps between them and slices Lash's arm off. 'No! Uou can't kill her! You kill her and she can't fix -' Deadpool begins, but he screams as the energy pours out of Lash, directly into Deadpool, whose body is mutilated, he collapses to the ground.

Negasonic rushes over to Deadpool, who is bleeding from his mutated body and announces that whatever Lash absorbed from Negasonic, was too much for his healing factor. He looks up at Negasonic and asks her to undo it it, with all the power she has inside her, she has to fix it. 'Ellie... my Ellie...she... you saved mutants... but not her...' Deadpool then collapses in a pool of his own blood. 'Nina...that didn't... that can't happen...' Gorilla Man utters. 'He was already so broken' Karnak points out. Sheath stands by Lash, who declares 'He died for nothing. He didn't save you. This isn't over. We're not done'. Negasonic starts to glow, and tells Lash that he is right and wrong. 'We're not done here. Because none of this ever happened'. Negasonic Teenage Warhead then hovers over everyone, and vanishes.

Negasonic Teenage Warhead continues to look out the window. She starts to glow, then suddenly, she stops, as a voice calls out 'Don't. Don't do it'. Negasonic looks over and sees her future-self standing alongside her. 'I know what you're thinking. Believe me. But it doesn't work out the way you want' the future Negasonic tells her present self. They stand and face each other, their hands touch and energy radiates from both of them, as the future Negasonic tells her present self to let this one go, to let it play out however it is meant to – and to find somewhere else that she can make a difference.

'Negasonic?' Deadpool calls out as he strides down the corridor. 'You ready to go?' he asks, banging on Negasonic's door. 'You got your snark cannons loaded with teenage angst?' Deadpool asks but gets no response. He opens the door, 'Hello? You in here?' Deadpool calls out, adding that he wants it on the record that he is not snooping. 'Your door wasn't even latched' he points out. Deadpool sees the open window and remarks 'That's all right, kid. Maybe you should sit this one out anyhow'. Deadpool folds his arms and admits that he would feel a helluva lot better if he knew where she was.

A little girl is playing with a ball in the front of her yard. Emily Preston appears on the porch and calls out to her: 'Ellie! Time to come inside now' she tells the girl, who looks back at her foster mother, and runs back towards the house. The little girl suddenly turns and looks backwards, where a figure is standing on the other side of the road. The little girl smiles, while the person standing across the road – Negasonic Teenage Warhead – frowns and utters 'Don't worry, Wade. I'll watch out for her... until all this blows over'.

Characters Involved: 

Deadpool, Domino, Gorilla Man, Hit Monkey, Massacre, Machine Man, Negasonic Teenage Warhead (all Mercs for Money)

In the Future:
Deadpool, Domino, Gorilla Man, Hit-Monkey, Massacre, Machine Man, Ren Kimura (all Mercs for Money)
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
Goldballs, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Rachel Grey, Xorn II (all X-Men)
Grid, Inferno, Jack Chain, Karnak, Lash, Lockjaw, Mothern Bones, Nocculus, Sheath (all Inhumans / the Tribe)

In the Past:
Ellie Camacho
Emily Preston

Story Notes: 

This issue ties into the Inhumans vs X-Men storyline.

The Sentinel attack on Genosha took place in New X-Men (1st series) #115.

Written By: