Weapon X (3rd series) #23

Issue Date: 
November 2018
Story Title: 
Weapon X-Force, part two

Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Yildiray Cinar (artist), Frank D'armata (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Rahzzah (cover artist), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (editor), Jordan D White (X-Men group editor), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Sabretooth, Omega Red, Domino and Deathstrike find themselves up against Deadpool, who has been hired by the mysterious cult led by Mentallo that they rescued Monet St Croix from. Weapon X-Force fight Deadpool, but he manages to take them all down, so Monet steps in and almost stops Deadpool, until he sets her hair on fire. Mystique joins the battle, posing as Deadpool's dead girlfriend, Copycat, to distract him, but he doesn't fall for it. The fight continues as the members of Weapon X-Force recover, and begin fighting Deadpool again. Monet, furious that some of her hair has been burnt, eventually smacks Deadpool out of the cult's building, where he falls down a cliff. Sabretooth tells Monet that it is good to see her again, which causes Domino to mock their relationship. Deadpool returns as Mentallo sends his mind-controlled henchmen to surround Weapon X-Force, and another fight ensues, until the true master of this mysterious organization is revealed to be the cyborg Reverend Stryker. Deadpool agrees to work for Weapon X-Force when Sabretooth offers him more money, and he attacks Stryker – no use though, as Stryker is now incredibly powerful and captures Sabretooth, Omega Red, Domino, Deathstrike, Deadpool and Monet, and reveals that he has sold his soul to the Devil himself!

Full Summary: 

Aspen, Colorado, where Weapon X-Force took on an evil cult – and have found themselves fighting Deadpool! The Merc with the Mouth kicks Yuriko Oyama a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike backwards, while Arkady Rossovich a.k.a. Omega Red attempts to snare Deadpool in his carbonadium coils, and Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth is knocked back by another kick from Deadpool. 'Deadpool!' Neena Thurman a.k.a. Domino calls out. 'Oh, hi, Dom!' Deadpool replies. Deadpool spins around and pushes back Omega Red, before launching himself off Omega Red, into the air. 'Bye, Dom!' Deadpool calls out as he opens fire. Domino rushes towards Deadpool and asks him if he is with this dumb cult, too. 'It's nothing personal, Domino. I just found their pamphlets super persuasive!' Deadpool jokes.

Domino leaps into the air, avoiding Deadpool's foot as he slides towards her. 'Their excellent layout guided the eye through each talking point effortlessly!' Deadpool remarks, and adds that they used no unnecessary fonts as he fires several more bullets towards Domino, who avoids them all. Domino forces Deadpool under her feet and holds him up above the rest of her body as her back lays on the floor, as Deadpool jokes that it was a graphic design that screamed “We truly possess the secrets of the cosmos” - before Domino slams a fist into his face. Deadpool drops onto his feet and asks Domino if she could stand still long enough for him to kill her.

Sabretooth runs straight at Deadpool and snarls 'Here's one secret your kumbaya-ers shoulda shared with ya, smartass – it's a big mistake to mess with the new Weapon X-Force!' He lunges at Deadpool and attempts to rake his claws across Deadpool's chest, but Deadpool moves backwards. 'Particularly now that Sabretooth's in charge!' Sabretooth boasts. 'Victor! My fellow Canuck! How annoying is it that it was all US teams in the Stanley Cup finals this year, amirite?' Deadpool asks. Sabretooth tells Deadpool that he loves how he has healing factor. 'So kind of you!' Deadpool replies as he punches Sabretooth hard in the face. 'Not really. Just means I can slice and dice ya 'til my arms get tired, and no bleeding hearts can whine a whit!' Creed replies as his claws connect with Deadpool's stomach, and blood sprays everywhere.

'Right back atcha, Sabes!' Deadpool replies. 'And I mean that – literally' Deadpool exclaims as he kicks Sabretooth backwards, slamming him into Lady Deathstrike who was leaping towards him – Deadpool then rushes over to them and shoves a large sword through Sabretooth's stomach, and straight through into Deathstrike's. 'Oh, sorry, Deathstrike. Didn't see you there. Just kidding! I totally saw you there!' Deadpool joke. Up on a nearby stage, the suited bald man called Mentallo calls out to Deadpool: 'Well done, friend'. Deadpool turns to Mentallo and replies that he chalks it up to his excellent leadership. 'BFFs forever!' Deadpool exclaims as he and Mentallo give each other a high five.

'I have decided you are too annoying to live' Monet St Croix calls out as she speeds towards Deadpool. 'Wow! Look at you, Monet. You're so well put-together, I bet you smell like a Vogue subscription card' Deadpool replies, before Monet slams into Deadpool, forcing him backwards into wall, which begins to shatter upon the impact. 'Oh yeah! I called it! What is that scent?' Deadpool asks as he smells Monet's hair. 'Victory' Monet snaps, hand around Deadpool's neck. 'Oh, wait – now I'm getting it – it's Napalm' Deadpool remarks, telling Monet that that is often confused with victory, as he somersaults over her, dropping several cannisters on her. 'Wha -?' Monet begins, eyes-wide, before the cannisters explode, and catch her hair on fire. 'But way more gasoline-y!' Deadpool jokes as he lands on the ground, several feet away from Monet, who is trying to put out her flaming hair.

'Wade, wait – please – listen to reason!' a voice clalls out. 'Don't you remember me?' a woman asks as she approaches Deadpool, a knife concealed behind her back. 'Oh, yeah – sure!' Deadpool exclaims as he sees Vanessa a.k.a. Copycat standing before him and tells her that he hasn't seen her in a whole, outside of the movies. Copycat tells Wade that she doesn't really follow what he is talking about, and suggests that he put his weapons down so they can talk about it. But instead, Deadpool slams his foot into Copycat, knocking her back and forcing Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique to drop her disguise. 'A shapeshifter copying another shapeshifter – c'mon, I'm supposed to be the meta one here!' Deadpool remarks, before telling Mystique that not only does she need better powers, she needs better writers!

Carbonadium coils suddenly flit around Deadpool, who turns to see Omega Red approaching him. 'We do not have “writers” Wade Wilson' Omega Red declares. 'Explains a lot, Red!' Deadpool replies. 'We have a death touch...that drains every essence of your life force!' Omega Red announces as his coils wrap around Deadpool, who screams as the energy is drained from him. 'You're...so sexy...when you're literal!' Deadpool tells Omega Red, before calling out 'Wait, fellow gratuitously violent 90s character! I can feel you draining – the life force – from the cancer that ravages my body – you're counteracting – the healing factor – that keeps it alive...curing me!' Deadpool reaches out to Omega Red and asks him to look under the hood. 'What?' Omega Red asks, confused. 'Tell me what I'm feeling is real!' Deadpool pleads. Omega Red uses another coil to pull Deadpool's mask off his face. 'Unnnggh...' Omega Red mutters.

Deadpool's face is revealed, but he has not been cured. 'I can tell by your look of disgust – things haven't changed, have they?' Deadpool asks. 'Oh well' Deadpool mutters as he kicks Omega Red in the face, then pushes himself back from Omega Red, freeing him from the carbonadium coils. 'Musta been gas!' Deadpool calls out, as he retrieves his mask and puts it back on over his face, announcing that, fortunately for him, he loves himself exactly the way he is. 'You're the only one' Deathstrike snarls as she rushes in and shoves her claws into Deadpool's stomach. As Mystique and Sabretooth gather nearby, Deathstrike reports that she has injected the same nanobots into Deadpool's system that she injected into the rest of them, which should make him immune to Mentallo's mind control, too.

'Mind control? Mentallo is using mind control?' Deadpool asks. 'Oh yeah, “Mental-o”. Now I see it. Now if anyone could explain to me what “Magnet-o's” powers are, this franchise would all make perfect sense!' Deadpool exclaims, before declaring that he is not under any mind control – these guys have him under wallet control. 'Seven figures of it, baby!' Deadpool calls out as he opens fire on Sabretooth, Deathstrike and Mystique. 'Oh, great' Deathstrike mutters, while suddnely, Monet, who now has the hair on the right side of her head completely removed, looks furious and with fist clenched, shouts 'Wilson! I. Will. End. You!' as she rushes towards Deadpool, who opens fire at her, 'That's a little severe, don't you think?' he asks, joking that Monet's hair has the greatest healing factor of all – it will just grow back.

None of his bullets strike Monet, so Deadpool holds his gun up, 'Bad bullets, bad! Haven't you learned how to make more of yourselves in there?' Deadpool asks, before Monet's fist slams into him, knocking him through a large window, he falls down onto the rockface outside the facility. 'That didn't hurt. That didn't... oh, oh wait, that broke something – urggh – okay – that was my spine!' Deadpool calls out. 'Good job' Creed tells Monet as he walks over to where she stands near the broken window. 'Thanks' Monet replies. Sabretooth rubs the back of his head sheepishly 'Monet...you know...it really is...good to see ya' he smiles. 'Awww!' Domino gushes. 'Shut up' Creed frowns. Domino turns to Monet and raises her fingers to form quote marks as she tells Monet that Sabretooth was all “Oh yeah, we need to go save this...friend of mine”. 'And we were like “whaaat”' Domino adds. 'And he was like “she's just a friend”. And we were like, “riiiight” Domino mocks, while shoving her elbow into Deathstrike's shoulder, and Sabretooth covers his face with his hand.

'So. You guys gonna kiss or what?' Deadpool asks as he climbs back up into the facility. 'SHUT UP!' Sabretooth and Monet shout at Deadpool, when suddenly, Omega Red calls out 'Comrades...perhaps we wait on love...until we finish war?' as Mentallo and several guards appear. 'Kill them, friends!' Mentallo instructs his guards. 'Yes, friend' they all reply. Sabretooth turns to Deadpool and tells him that he is tired of fighting him, before asking how much for him to switch sides. 'Aw, for you lovebirds? 2.5 large plus dental and ten percent of licensing' Deadpool responds. 'Come on. This is work for hire. Nobody gets ten percent of licensing' Creed replies. 'Ugh, fine' Deadpool mutters, arms folded. 'Fine' Creed tells him, before telling team that these saps are mind-controlled, so they can't kill them. Mentallo laughs at this: 'I heard you'd been playing hero, Sabretooth. Now you'll pay for it with your life' the villain grins.

Sabretooth begins his assault on the guards, knocking them back and into each other, until they lay motionless in a heap at his feet. 'I just said we weren't killing 'em' Creed points out. '...not that we weren't gonna beat the living hell out of 'em!' Mentallo looks concerned, begins to say 'Fine. If it's hell you want...' but Deadpool interrupts him: 'Hang on, that doesn't really track, does it? He didn't technically say he wanted hell. I mean, I repsect a good quip, but -' Deadpool begins, to which an angry Mentllo shouts 'Shut up, fools! And behold the power odf our true master – the Reverend William Stryker!' Stryker appears behind Mentallo, in a large armored body with a red hood and cape. 'D'oh' Sabretooth mutters. 'Ugh' Deathstrike complains. 'What's with the griping?' Deadpool asks them, to which Domino informs him that they just fought this guy. 'I mean, how many times is he gonna come back from -' she begins, as Deadpool leaps towards Stryker, opening fire, he points out that now Stryker is a big robot, so this is awesome.

'I'm not a robot! I'm a cyborg!' Stryker calls back as the bullets bounce off his cyborg body. 'Dude, cyborgs have human flesh. Not this silly putty stuff!' Deadpool exclaims as he peels the fake skin from Stryker's face. Stryker struggles to rid himself of Deadpool, who climbs onto his shoulders, and opens a panel in the back of Stryker's head, pointing out that cyborgs should have human brains, which he is not seeing in here. 'Shut up! I am William Stryker!' Stryker shouts as he thrashes about and tosses Deadpool from his soulders. “I am a real boy! Boo-hoo-hoo!” Deadpool mocks. Stryker grits his teeth, his eyes flash with fury as he snarls 'I'll show you' and utters something in a strange language, as energy radiates about him. 'Whatever! Your dumb robot speak doesn't scare me!' Deadpool exclaims. 'That's not robot speak' Deathstrike informs Deadpool. 'Oh yeah? What do you know about it?' Deadpool asks, narrowing his eyes. 'You some kinda cyborg or something?' he asks. 'Yes' Deathstrike replies.

'FINE! Your dumb non-robot speak doesn't scare me!' Deadpool calls out to Stryker as he lunges towards him, guns firing, while Stryker tells him 'It should' as he releases this strange energy at Deadpool, slamming him to the floor. 'You should recoil in terror...as you hear the sound...of your greatest enemy...' Stryker declares as he releases the energy at Omega Red, Deathstrike and Domino, knocking them back, too. He then turns to Sabretooth and Monet and blasts them with the energy, slamming them into a wall. Mentallo watches and smiles as Stryker, looking very pleased with himself, uses the energy to raise Sabretooth, Monet, Domino, Omega Red, Deathstrike and Deadpool up, hanging them upside down as he concludes his sentence: '... selling his soul to the Devil himself!'

Characters Involved: 

Domino, Lady Deathstrike, Mystique, Omega Red, Sabretooth (all Weapon X-Force)





Rev William Stryker



Story Notes: 

This issue has the legacy numbering of Weapon X #51.

Copycat is Deadpool's former girlfriend, who was killed in Deadpool (2nd series) #59. Deadpool's joke about not seeing her in a while outside of the movies is a reference to the films “Deadpool” (2016) and “Deadpool 2” (2018) where Vanessa is portrayed by Monica Baccarin.

Stryker most recently appeared in Weapon X (3rd series) #11, after harassing the Weapon X team for several issues prior.

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