(Volume 1 – Issue 1)
Issues 1-6 and 7-10 of the Cable and Deadpool buddy-cop series compose the 2 interconnected storylines “If Looks Could Kill” and “Burnt Offering”. The series saw the ending of both characters’ individual titles, literally bringing the 2 characters “together”, but more on that later*.
(*see paragraph #11)
Due to a still-growing level of experience with comics, I was only relatively familiar with the characters Cable and Deadpool, drawing knowledge of the former from the X-Men animated series of the 90s and the more recent “Cable” ongoing series which saw the time-traveler playing father to the infant Hope Summers, and the latter from his appearances in crossovers like Messiah War and the more recent (Uncanny) X-Force.
Relatively fond of both characters (in a way only someone who didn’t follow comics during the era of 7 concurrent, ongoing Deadpool monthly titles can be) I thought this would be a great series for me to get into. It seems, for the most part, I was right, although you wouldn’t know it from this first bit.
What immediately drew me to Deadpool was the character’s…uncanny ability to speak to the reader, shattering the 4th wall at every turn. Not so much in these 10 issues, although his affinity toward constant pop culture references was all too much on display.
I would imagine that as a reader in 2004 these references might have proved entertaining, or even provoked laughter. After 8 years, I’m afraid, they only serve as labored, over-used black holes in dialogue that I did my best to skip over. References of Mary Kate Olsen’s eating disorder and “Dick” Cheney jokes abound in these issues, and through them, in a way, Deadpool did manage to communicate with me, the reader. He made me feel old.
All of the personality I fell in love with (in a totally platonic fashion!) was missing in these issues. It was obvious that the original intention for the series was that of a buddy-cop 80s flick, ripe with humor but with a focus on the action.
It works, but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in a Deadpool book. This feels more like a Cable ongoing that Deadpool just happens to wander into.
Cable, it seems, has acquired supreme telekinetic powers from, well, I honestly couldn’t tell you. The book doesn’t do a great job catching newcomers up, simply stating “Cable has god-like powers and is trying to change the world now.”
Struggling to find a way to use his supreme power to change the world, Cable comes into contact with the One World Church, a cult that has recently hired Deadpool. His mission: steal a highly contagious virus that turns people blue. ( the book’s attempt at an absurdist comedic nature shines through, even if only for a moment) The church’s goal is to make all people the same, and therefore eliminate group-based conflict, racial tension, and discrimination, etc. etc. Cable, liking the idea, decides to steal the virus from the “church”.
In a twist, Cable’s powers are deactivated and the techno-organic virus within him begins to spread, killing him, while Deadpool, infected with an unstable variant of the blue-skin virus, is literally melting. Cable realizes the only way to save both of them is to…drink Deadpool, then throw the mercenary up.
Eventually they recover and Cable raises Graymalkin from the earth, creating a floating paradise for the world’s best minds to thrive in. With Graymalkin working again, Cable gains the ability to bodyslide, teleporting to any location on the planet. Unfortunately, due to the blending of his and Deadpool’s DNA, the pair is teleported together, arriving as a writhing mass of bodies. Hilarity ensues for the remaining 3 or so issues.
*End Spoilers*End Spoilers*End Spoilers*End Spoilers*
Overall, fans that enjoy Cable more than Deadpool will be right at home, if not a tad agitated by the sprinkling of Deadpool content throughout. Luckily for those like myself, expecting a little more comedy should fear not. My first glimpse of Issue #11 promised a chibby art style and what can only be described as a “wacky” aesthetic. More to come on “Thirty Pieces” (#11-12) soon.