Thunderbolts (1st Series) #131

Issue Date: 
May 2014
Story Title: 
Magnum Opus (Part 4)

Andy Diggle (Writer), Bong Dazo (Pencils), Joe Pimentel (Inker), Frank Martin & Giovanni Kosoki (Colorists), Albert Deschesne (Letters), Francesco “Matt” Mattina (Cover), Paul Acerios (Production), Michael Horwitz (Assistant Editor), Bill Rosemann (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

An unconscious Taskmaster, dressed as Deadpool, is chained up on the roof of the Oscorp building. The Black Widow reveals that Nick Fury had hired Deadpool but they still don’t know where Fury is. Headsman is about to decapitate the Taskmaster when the real Deadpool shows up and stops him. He starts a fight and frees the Taskmaster, who subsequently takes down the Black Widow and Headsman. Ant-Man shrinks down and gets under Deadpool’s costume, tricking him into shooting himself. When Osborn tries to escape on the Thunderstrike, both Deadpool and Black Widow follow. Deadpool gets Osborn by gunpoint on the plane but Osborn becomes crazed and starts to fight him. In the chaos, the plane crashes into a local park. Before Deadpool can kill Osborn, the Black Widow shoots him in the chest and the Headsman decapitates him. Osborn then leaves, telling the Black Widow to burn the head. Later on, Taskmaster and a very much alive Deadpool are using Osborn’s stolen gold card to get money out of an ATM. After assuming it was Taskmaster who had saved him, Deadpool realizes it must have been the Black Widow instead.

Full Summary: 

Standing on the roof of the Oscorp building, Norman Osborn and the Thunderbolts have Taskmaster in chains. However, as he is dressed in Deadpool’s costume, they are unaware of the switch. Osborn delights in the fact the team finally have a win but his anger shows when he asks why he is still alive.

The Black Widow walks up to the Taskmaster and tells Osborn that, after trapping him in the Thunderstrike, she flooded it with incapacitant. She smiles as she explains that his healing factor should overcome it quickly though and that by her calculations he should be waking up right… about… now. She holds her hand towards the Taskmaster, expecting him to wake up but when he doesn’t she stops smiling and looks at the watch on her wrist. Looking annoyed, the Black Widow says that was embarrassing.

Osborn tells her that, even unconscious, he still gives the team the runaround. He then asks her where the teleporter is. When she tells him that he didn’t have it on him, Osborn tells her that Deadpool was only supposed to have it long enough for him to lead them to his communication set-up. She tells him that it had served its purpose and Ghost has decrypted Deadpool’s communications. She then reveals that he was working for Nick Fury. Osborn says of course Deadpool was working for Fury but the question is where is he?

Getting slightly irritated she tells him she’s working on it. He calls her pathetic and asks what does he pay her for? He then realizes Paladin is missing and enquires as to where he is. The Black Widow informs him that he is in the med bay as he took a grenade to the chest. She says the Kevlar took the brunt of the impact but he will not be “dancing jig” anytime soon.

Sat a little way off, bandaging his knee, the Headsman sarcastically says he is fine too and thanks them for asking. Osborn walks up to him and bends down to his level and says he didn’t ask. He continues and asks Headsman what he offers the team other than providing their adversary some target practice. Headsman snarls back at him and says Osborn put him on the team for a reason and that must be because he knows how to get the job done. With that, he takes out his axe and grabs Taskmaster by the head. He yells that if Osborn wants Deadpool’s head on a platter then he will give it to him.

Before he can chop his head off though, a laser hits the axe creating a bright flash and a loud DZAM sound. The real Deadpool, standing on-top of the Thunderstrike, says he was almost late to his own funeral as he couldn’t decide which weapon to bring… so he brought all of them. Covered in weapons, he points a gun at the group on the roof as they all look on confused at the second man in a Deadpool costume.

As the Thunderbolts gasp with confusion, Norman Osborn yells “Kill!” At this, Deadpool leaps off the plane and fires two Uzis at the group, sending them diving for cover. The bullets also break the chains holding the Taskmaster down. Osborn asks what the hell is going on and then asks if that’s the real Deadpool then who do they have? As the Taskmaster stands up, he says it’s someone who should really know better. He takes a grip of his chains and starts to whip them around him.

The Black Widow realizes her “Deadpool” was a decoy and shouts to take them both down. The Taskmaster tells her many have tried and as he fires a gun at him but the bullets hit his chains. After she finishes, he squints his eyes and says “my turn.” With that, he whips his chains towards her, causing her to reel backwards and drop her guns. She rushes towards him and says whoever he is he is a dead man. As the two engage in hand to hand combat, the Taskmaster comments that this isn’t red room training and then asks her who taught her ninjitsu. He then kicks her in the back, which sends her crashing into some ventilation equipment. She yells “your mother,” as she spins around and fires a shot from her widow’s bite. The Taskmaster catches the needle and comments that that was unsportsmanlike. With that, he whips his chains and slams them across her head, causing blood to spray from her mouth.

The Headsman, on his glider, comes up behind him and swings his axe. As the Taskmaster ducks, the axe skims over his head and the Headsman yells for him to hold still. The Taskmaster asks why he would do that and wraps his one of his chains around the axe’s handle. With the other chain around the glider, the Taskmaster pulls them tight, sending the Headsman catapulting backwards. He asks if they are the best Osborn could come up with as the Headsman crashes into the ventilation ducts with a loud bang.

Watching the fight in his shrunken state, Ant-Man comments that Taskmaster took down the Black Widow and the Headsman. He then asks himself where the other one is but, before he can finish, Deadpool comes up behind him and points a gun at him. Ant-Man quickly shrinks further and fires a laser gun at Deadpool. With the gun still pointed at him, Ant-Man grabs hold of Deadpool’s foot. Deadpool wiggles his foot around and yells for him to get off, but Ant-Man leaps up and dives under the leg of Deadpool’s costume.

As Ant-Man climbs up his leg, Deadpool squirms as the man tickles him. As Ant-Man realizes that it was a gross idea, Deadpool aims his gun and fires at the lump in his costume. However, he misses and shoots himself in the leg. Ant-Man appears under the costume on his shoulder and Deadpool fires more shots at that area. As Deadpool collapses on the floor, Ant-Man sneaks out a tear on the costume, choking on Deadpool’s skin flakes. He flies towards the Black Widow and gloats on how he took down Deadpool single handedly. Black Widow reminds him though that Deadpool has a healing factor so he is down but not out.

As Norman Osborn boards the plane, he yells to Ghost to stop standing there and start fighting. Ghost tells him that it’s not really his thing though. As Osborn starts taking off, he comments that’s what he gets for recruiting from the z-list.

Deadpool spots the plane taking off and grabs onto the undercarriage. As it leaves the roof, the Black Widow rushes forward and leaps off and fires a grappling hook at the plane. On the plane, Osborn radios Miss Hand and tells her to assemble his team of Avengers as the Thunderbolts are not up to the task. At that moment, Deadpool comes up behind him with a gun pointed at his head. He tells Osborn that, if he wants a job done right, then he should do it himself.

An irate Osborn spins around and charges at Deadpool. He yells at Deadpool and says how dare he point a gun at him. A little put off; Deadpool says he is the one doing the intimidating and that Osborn owes him. Barely believing that Deadpool is asking him for money, he asks does he know who he is. A little worried, Deadpool asks if Osborn is supposed to be flying the plane, but Osborn ignores him and says alls they ever do is take, take, take.

Becoming increasingly worried, he tells Osborn to put the autopilot on first and grandstand second. As the plane heads towards the ground, Osborn leaps at Deadpool and screams that he is Norman Osborn and he saved the planet and everyone on it. Deadpool shoots him in the chest but that doesn’t stop Osborn from grabbing the merc’s head and slamming it into the floor repeatedly. He continues screaming that they owe him their lives… every last one of them. Angry and out of breath, he pauses for a moment and then turns to the plane controls. He swears just as the plane crashes nose-first into a park, sending trees and soil everywhere.

Picking himself off the floor, Osborn starts calling Deadpool ungrateful when the Black Widow enters and yells for him to get down. She fires her gun and it hits Deadpool square in the chest. He kneels down with his sword drawn and puts his hand on the hole in his chest. He mutters that he was shot through the heart. He then bursts into song and says that she was to blame and she gives love a bad name.

Osborn pinches the bridge of his nose and calls for Black Widow to kill him once and for all. She takes out a hunting knife and says that it’s easier said than done and the only way to be sure is with decapitation. Deadpool tells her that he thought they had something special and then asks for a chance to come up with some memorable last words. A voice calls out and says that he reckons he can help with that one. He then recalls what Deadpool said to him the other day.

With that Headsman enters on his glider, yells “Heads up!” and swings his axe down, chopping Deadpool’s head off. As Deadpool’s head bounces along the floor Headsman tells Osborn he was put on this team for a reason and that was it. Osborn begrudgingly tells him well done. The Black Widow picks up the head and asks if Osborn wants to keep it. Adjusting his tie, he asks he if he looks like a sentimentalist. As he walks away, he tells her to burn it and get back to work.

Dressed in his usual costume, the Taskmaster comments that it is humiliating. He is world class and world class players don’t get paid from the ATM. Deadpool, typing numbers into an ATM display, tells Taskmaster to quit his griping. He told him he was onto a payday. He then flashes Norman Osborn’s gold card and a wad of cash. He tells him that he lifted the card off Osborn as he was getting his skull bashed in. He tells Taskmaster that he might need a few more ATMs as he had cleaned this one out. Deadpool then lifts up his mask to show his neck with stitches all around it. He tells Taskmaster that he owes him one for coming back and reattaching his head. A little confused, Taskmaster tells him that he didn’t sew his head back on. Equally as confused, Deadpool asks who did put it back on? Both men suddenly leap to the same conclusion and Deadpool says it was just like he told him…. she does love him.

Characters Involved: 



Norman Osborn

Black Widow II, Headsman, Ghost, Ant-Man III (O’Grady) (all Thunderbolts)

Unnamed civilians on the park

Story Notes: 

This is part 4 of a 4-issue crossover with the Deadpool (3rd Series). The first issue was Deadpool (3rd series) #8.

Deadpool was assigned with infiltrating a Skrull base in Deadpool (3rd series) #1-3. He was to upload data from the base to Nick Fury to aid in taking down the Skrull invasion force, but the data was stolen by Norman Osborn before it reached Fury. As a result Deadpool wasn’t paid for his job and Osborn became a national hero when he used the data to kill the Skrull Queen. In the aftermath of the invasion, Osborn was put in control of S.H.I.E.L.D and he also took control of the Avengers.

Deadpool broke into the Avengers Tower in the attempt to get the money he lost from Osborn. But once he got to the top of the tower he realized Osborn wasn’t there… but his new team of Thunderbolts were (Deadpool 3rd Series #8). He escaped the Thunderbolts and teamed up with Taskmaster, who also dressed up in a Deadpool costume. Taskmaster was captured by Thunderbolts in Deadpool (3rd series) #9.

Deadpool shot Headsman in the knee in Deadpool (3rd series) #9.

The Red Room is a facility in the U.S.S.R that trained the Black Widow operatives in combat and espionage abilities.

Ninjutsu, incorrectly spelled ninjitsu in this issue, is a martial art practice of unconventional warfare and espionage. It is most commonly associated with shinobis/ninjas.

“Miss Hand” is Victoria Hand, Norman Osborn’s assistant.

“Shot through the heart and you’re to blame. You give love a bad name” are lyrics from You Give Love a Bad Name by Jon Bon Jovi.

Issue Information: 
Written By: