Deadpool (2nd series) #18

Issue Date: 
July 1998
Story Title: 
Payback: part 1: Karmic Relief

Joe Kelly (writer), Walter McDaniel (pencils), Liversy (inks), Chris Sotomayor (colors), Digital Chameleon (enhancement), RS/Comicraft/EM (letters), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Deadpool has rescued Dr. Killebrew from the clutches of Ajax and also kidnaps a runaway woman named Ilaney Brünker. Wade uses her home to take care of the tortured doctor, hoping he knows a way to kill Ajax. However, Ajax catches up on them. Wade manages to create a diversion, which ends up with Ajax and Ilaney’s entire house being caught in a snow avalanche. Wade and the others escape thanks to Ilaney’s snowcat. However, the machine’s engine dies not long afterwards, so they have to go hide in a cave. As Wade leaves to find some wood, Killebrew confesses that he doesn’t know a way to kill Ajax, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any. While searching in the forest, Wade is haunted by the ghosts of Jacques, Steve, Todd and Worm, Ajax’s victims, who remind Deadpool not to forget his mission or else they won’t be able to rest. As the ghosts are gone, Wade gets approached by Killebrew, who confesses. This upsets Wade and he threatens the doctor, but Ilaney helps Killebrew out and knocks Wade out. She has had enough of running away all of her life and wants to do something. Though on that very moment, Ajax has finally caught up with his enemies and is ready for the battle of a lifetime, and somebody will end up dead!

Full Summary: 

The Swiss Alps…

A week’s climb from the opulent SPAS and Ski compounds of the idle rich. Exactly one half of an icy breath away from the point where the land kisses the sky. This is a place of exquisite beauty, unforgiving climate. And under utter isolation… in other words, “heaven” for an individual who has made “getting lost” a way of life. Ilaney Brünker is a true adept of the art of retreat. Retreat into herself, into bad relationships, into the bottle… these were the techniques Ilaney dabbled with to master her craft.

When these methods inevitably failed to shield her from the slings and arrows of real life, she took the next logical step, namely withdrawing herself completely from the cold, hard world, exchanging it for cold, hard seclusion. Now, Ilaney will discover she should have picked a higher mountain.

Deadpool walks over to her, carrying an unconscious Killebrew over his shoulder! He points a sharpened stick towards Ilaney, threatening he’ll kill her with it unless she’ll welcome him into his home and if her bathroom is heated.

Meanwhile, a short distance away, glittering in the crisp sunlight, the armor of Ajax surely is the raiment of a modern day knight. The chiseled frame beneath could only be the body of a hero. And certainly, the heart that beats beneath it all pulses with pride and righteousness. Or not.

Ajax angrily shouts that Deadpool will soon be dead! As he continues his walk, Ajax doesn’t know what’s gotten into him. All that planning for such a quick death. He would almost rate it “slightly disappointing,” though the sound of Wade’s neck snapping on the chasm floor completely makes up for it. Ajax wonders what he’ll do next. Shall he go freelance, or maybe take a vacation? He really hasn’t planned this far ahead. When entering a cabin, he remembers there’s one small thing to take of first. Ajax sarcastically calls out to the imprisoned doctor, but his sensors pick up something wrong: Killebrew is no longer in the chair where Ajax left him. Ajax gets furious, realizing that Deadpool isn’t dead after all and must have taken Killebrew away. At full speed, the assassin races towards the merc!

Back at the Alps, Deadpool overhears Killebrew rambling something about Ajax having to stop and that he’s sorry for Deadpool. Wade doesn’t believe that, but promises to take good care of Killebrew, at least until he has told him how he can kill Ajax permanently. They’ll negotiate their further relationship afterwards, as Wade doesn’t really want to kill the doctor, but since they are miles away from the nearest Krusty Burger and he has got to eat sometime.

Wade tries to ask Ilaney for help, but she’s still freaked out and grabs her gun, ordering Wade to get out of her house. She starts shooting at Wade, who manages to out-jump all of the bullets. He goes to hide behind a couch and notices several model airplanes on a shelf. He grabs one of them and throws it against Ilaney’s gun, tossing it out of her arms. She panics. Wade jumps back at her and kicks Ilaney out of the building, wanting to know her name. She introduces herself.

Wade mentions that, if he wanted to kill Ilaney, she would have been dead by now. He starts speaking in German, calming Ilaney down. Suddenly, Wade hears a familiar voice calling out to him. It’s Ajax! Wade explains to Ilaney what’s going on and orders her to get Killebrew in safety. Ajax can feel that Wade is nearby and shouts that it wasn’t nice playing possum after all the hard work he did. Ilaney makes it to Killebrew and helps him up. She gets him to her snowcat and drives towards Deadpool. He takes a look at the snow lying nearby and has a plan. It could work, since it did on MacGyver.

He calls out to Ajax, wanting a “time out,” as he’s got snow in his waistband and it’s chapping. Ajax wants to give Wade all the time in the world, since speed isn’t a problem for him. Wade jokes that’s not what Francis’ wife says. He shoots a flare into the air, but Ajax, thinking Wade was aiming at him smiles that at least the merc tried. The flare hits the snow, and Ajax and the entire house get caught into an avalanche! Wade runs towards Ilaney’s snowcat and they drive away together.

A few moments later, Ilaney is sad because she lost her house, which was the only thing she had in her life. Wade tells her to get over it and to continue on driving. Ilaney tries to warn him the snowcat probably can’t handle the weight, but he doesn’t believe her, so they take off anyway. But a few hours later, the snowcat’s engine dies and they have to take shelter into a cave. Wade is angry about it, but Ilaney tells him not to worry, confidant that the avalanche killed Ajax and that the avalanche patrol is probably looking for them by now. Wade is certain that Ajax is everything but dead, mentioning that like him he has a way of keep coming back, just like John Travolta’s career, only there’s more blood involved.

Ilaney isn’t scared but wants to know why Ajax is really trying to kill Deadpool. Wade mentions that, a few years ago, he tried to kill Ajax by blowing him up but Ajax survived and now wants payback. And, Wade has to make sure he kills Ajax for good this time because there are certain people who won’t be able to rest otherwise. Ilaney asks Wade if this is the kind of life he wants to life for the rest of his life. Wade didn’t, but after the moment he heard he got cancer and desperately tried to find a cure but failed to find any, Wade knew he didn’t have much choice. He tends to Killebrew, who’s getting cold and gives him a mouth-to-mouth treatment to make sure stays alive. But Wade guesses Ilaney wouldn’t know about all these kind of things since she has been living like a hermit.

Ilaney doesn’t want to be judged by Deadpool, as he doesn’t know anything about her or why she lives like this. She wonders how he can be so hateful. Wade mentions he had a lot of practice. Wade mentions that, if Ilaney survives through this little adventure, he’s certain she’ll probably start hating a couple of things too. Wade leaves to go chop some more wood for the fire and asks Ilaney not to try to do anything stupid, as he would hate to have to drag both her and Killebrew through the snow. Ilaney cries a little, confessing that Wade doesn’t know anything about her and that she certainly does know hate.

Killebrew wakes up and asks for water. Ilaney wants to go get Deadpool back, but Killebrew holds her back. He confesses that he lied to Wade and doesn’t know how to kill Ajax.

Meanwhile, back at Ilaney’s former home, Ajax emerges and kills all the avalanche patrollers. He didn’t have any fun going through that avalanche and wants to know where Deadpool is.

Back in the woods, Wade kind of regrets that he made Ilaney feel as bad as the rest of them feel right now. But, he changes his mind thinking of her as just another life he messed up beyond recognition. He decides to continue try and find some wood, until a voice calls out to Wade, asking him to remember.

Wade panics, hoping he didn’t die again. It’s the ghost forms of Jacques, Worm, Todd and Steve, who confirm to Deadpool that he’s still alive. They came here to remind Wade about his mission to kill Ajax. Wade doesn’t want to go through this version of Poltergeist again and knows what he’s got to do. Jacques gets angry, as he doesn’t want to be mocked since they are bound to the Earth because this vendetta between Wade and Deadpool, hence denied their eternal rest. They even died because Ajax hates Wade. The ghosts shout at Wade to take this seriously, as once Ajax is gone so will they be and the will finally be able to rest. They vaporize and Wade is approached by Killebrew.

Killebrew wants to know if the only reason Deadpool saved him because of Ajax. Wade angrily shouts that it isn’t, but also that he and the doctor certainly aren’t friends. He even shouts that if there was any justice in the world, Killebrew would be dead right now no matter of the fact Killebrew cured him the last time they met. Killebrew wants to know if there really isn’t another way then violence, as he has tried to end this meaningless cycle of hatred between him and Wade.

Wade defends that will never happen, reminding Killebrew about their time in the Workshop and that he never turned for mercy back when Killebrew was working together with Francis in the first place. Now, some of Killebrew’s former “patients” even got killed because of this mess and they won’t stop annoying Wade until Ajax is permanently gone. So, if Killebrew really wants to end the arguments between him and Wade, Deadpool suggests that the doctor better starts pilling a way how he can finish off Ajax. Killebrew mentions to Wade that he isn’t going to like what he’s about to say.

A few minutes later, Ilaney sits alone by a campfire she made. She wants to know why it’s always her life that ends up in a mess like this. Suddenly, Killebrew gets tossed towards her! She panics. Deadpool is furious after learning Killebrew doesn’t know how to kill Ajax, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to do it. Killebrew suggests they just run away, but Wade refuses to do that. He lightens up a wooden stick with fire and grabs Killebrew up by his throat. Killebrew tries to defend that the only way they can survive this is that Wade lets go of his hatred. Wade drops his stick and angrily glares at the poor doctor. Wade shouts that he can’t bail from this and that Ajax has to pay. Killebrew doesn’t think it has to end like this.

Ilaney panics and thinks she has to do something. She notices the torch Wade drops and picks it up, slamming it against his head! Wade falls down. Killebrew wants to know why Ilaney did this. She mentions to Deadpool that she knows about hatred, as she even hates herself for always running away. But that’s going to end now. Killebrew, not understanding what Ilaney is saying because she’s talking in German, wished he would and that he also understood women. Wade gets up and tells Ilaney she sure picked some time to finally stand up.

Suddenly, Ajax enters! He tells Ilaney not to listen to Deadpool, as she picked a perfect time to stand up since ol’ Wilson is about to fall down! Deadpool panics a bit and watches at a raging Ajax, who shouts that somebody is about to die. On the same moment, the ghosts of Jacques, Steve, Worm and Todd also arrive, ready for the battle of a lifetime.

Characters Involved: 



Dr. Killebrew

Jacques, Todd, Steve, Worm (the ghosts)

Ilaney Brünker

Story Notes: 

Ajax thought he had killed Deadpool in the Deadpool/Death Annual 1998, though Wade got later on resurrected so he could kill Ajax himself.

Killebrew cured Wade’s healing factor back to normal through-out Deadpool (2nd series) #3-5.

John Travolta is a movie actor, best known for his performance in the 1978 cult-movie “Grease” and recent performance in the 2004 movie version of “The Punisher.”

MacGyver is a long-lasting though now cancelled TV-show, about a guy named Angus MacGyver, played by actor Richard Dean Anderson, who could solve almost any problem by using science instead of violence.

MacGyver was a popular TV show from the 1980s & early 1990s, whose titular character, played by Richard Dean Anderson, was adept at creating gadgets out of unlikely pieces.

Poltergeist was a landmark horror movie made in 1982, which depicted a demonic possession.

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