Issue Date: July 2006
Story Title: “For King and Country” part 1 of The Domino Principle
Staff: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Reilly Brown (penciler) Jeremy Freeman (Inker), Gotham (Colourist), V.C.’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Jacob Chabot (Production), Barber & Macchio (Consulting Editors), Nicole Boose (editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)
Cable created by Rob Liefeld and Louise Simonson
Deadpool created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza
Deadpool has been hired to help the resistance movement of the Central European country of Rumekistan, which has been taken over by the Flag-Smasher and Ultimatum. Domino has been hired to find out if the replacement for Flag-Smasher is going to be even worse and worries about Deadpool’s involvement. She follows Deadpool around, while he fights Ultimatum guards and steals one of their communication devices. Domino meets up with an old friend, Michael Straka, who has become a captain in Ultimatum, to gain information. Later, the Resistance-leader, Petrovic, introduces Deadpool to their technician on this mission: Weasel. Deadpool and Weasel are happy to see each other and settle their past differences. Meanwhile Black Box, Prester John and Irene Merryweather observe the situation in Rumekistan, but don’t get involved themselves. Irene hands reporter Ken Ellis information on the Superhero Registration Act in exchange for information about the public’s opinion on Cable. Back in Rumekistan, Domino decides to interfere and enters the Resistance base. She and Deadpool fight and, while she manages to defeat him, during the fight she has become convinced that she is working for the wrong side. Deadpool and the Resistance flee when Ultimatum arrives. The next morning, the Flag-Smasher makes his public speech, but the Resistance makes their move. They override Flag-Smasher’s microphone and ridicule him, while Deadpool prepares to shoot Flag-Smasher with a sniper rifle. Flag-Smasher orders Michael to shoot at the public, who are laughing at him, but Michael hesitates. Domino decides to make the tough decision and shoots Flag-Smasher herself. Petrovic gets on stage and introduces the new leader of Rumekistan to the people: Cable. Domino tells herself that her work here isn’t finished.
In Bârjňőv, the capital of Rumekistan, Deadpool is fighting soldiers of Ultimatum. Deadpool’s gun is labeled with a smiley-version of his mask and “Deadpool’s Gun” is written on it. “This end toward enemy” is also written on the barrel.
Later, Domino describes the fight in her mission log and notes that, while Ultimatum are trained soldiers, Deadpool is too much for them. As much as she dislikes Deadpool, she has to respect his abilities. This fight confirms that Deadpool is involved with the Rumekistan Resistance Movement, but Domino doesn’t know the why yet or if she should stop him.
While Deadpool continues fighting, Domino sums up the powers that have financial, religious or political interests in this region: Russia, Latveria, Iran and Germany are all major players, but she doesn’t understand why any of them would hire Deadpool. After Deadpool “killed” Cable, the world has shunned him and therefore Domino believes that Cable himself has hired Deadpool. Domino sums up what Cable has been to her: a friend, an enemy, a teammate, a leader and a lover, but she doesn’t know why he has sent Deadpool there and to what lengths he will go to succeed.
Meanwhile, Deadpool has finished the fight, killing or incapacitating the Ultimatum soldiers and strips one of them off his communication gear. Domino takes notes and suspects that the Resistance ordered Deadpool to take the gear so that they can tap into Rumekistan’s communications. She concludes that this means that the Resistance is ready to make their move and she follows Deadpool. Domino had hoped that she would have more time to decide whether to foil the assassination or not.
As she sees Deadpool entering a building, Domino notes that it is in the Korchyov district; named after the old dictator. This district was set up as housings, but now it is only slums. Domino also reminds herself that the Resistance are not fanatics, not religious extremists or wannabe dictators themselves. She attaches a device to the windows, allowing her to eavesdrop on Deadpool’s conversation with the Resistance.
Deadpool is greeted by a disheveled man, who asks Deadpool if he has returned with the equipment they need. Deadpool confirms that he has, mocking the man’s “funny accent.” Domino identifies the man as Nenad Petrovic, a former history teacher who was imprisoned after Flag-Smasher banned the teaching of history. “History is used to promote misguided nationalism,” he said. Unfortunately, Domino thinks, he’s mostly right. There was no record of Petrovic getting released, but seven weeks ago, he got the underground resistance buzzing and quickly organized.
An hour later, Domino has heard all she needed to hear and returns to her contact. In a bar, Domino notes that Flag-Smasher abolished all drinking laws, saying that government shouldn’t meddle with freedom of choice. So, teenagers are getting drunk now. She doesn’t think it’s an improvement. An Ultimatum captain makes his way towards her and sits down at her table. He takes off his mask and Domino greets him as “Michael.” Michael and Domino are old friends.
Domino tells Michael that he looks “very… cleanly pressed.” Michael shrugs: “Natty attire has been a hallmark for righteous rulers for centuries, hasn’t it.” Domino thought that he joined Ultimatum years ago, because he hated “righteous rulers.” Michael admits. “Decrying the rule of governments is easy... Becoming a ruling government… well…” Domino thinks to herself that Michael Straka was a good man, but a failed mercenary who cared too much for the causes he hired himself out to, which lead to disappointment and hard choices.
Domino tells Michael that Rumekistan is worse off than before and, when guns are drawn, the question will be whether he would kill the assassin or the target that deserves to be assassinated. Michael doesn’t answer, but Domino admits to herself that she doesn’t have an answer either. Unclear what to do next, Domino returns to the Resistance to continue her observation.
Inside the house, Deadpool and Petrovic are talking. Petrovic believes that society can’t advance under oppressive government, but Deadpool thinks the “no drinking laws” has advantages: drunken teenage girls. Nenad ignores the comment and informs the merc that the equipment he took from the Ultimatum guards will allow them to enact their plan at the rally tomorrow. But, they still need an outside expert o handle the technical aspect of the assignment. The man turns out to be Weasel, Deadpool’s old friend.
On Providence, Prester John tells Black Box that Irene asked him to update her on the events in Rumekistan. Black Box tells him that Weasel has hacked into Ultimatum’s systems.
John doesn’t understand why they are involved or rather not involved in these members; Black Box should have been able to easily hack into Ultimatum’s systems. Black Box admits that he could, but that Rumekistan’s history shows that the people of Rumekistan themselves have to change society. Rumekistan was once part of the Soviet Union and, after the fall of the Soviet Union, it has been torn apart by sectarian and religious strife. Citizen V, an agent of the V-Battalion, handed the Flag-Smasher the means to take Rumekistan without any bloodshed. When the Rumeki people woke up, they found themselves ruled by Flag-Smasher without any choice in the matter.
Almost in illustration of this, Black Box shows various scenes and newspaper clips. Among the images include screens showing the battle between Flag-Smasher and Captain America, Flag-Smasher fighting Citizen V and a close-up of Flag-Smasher’s face. Looking with dissatisfaction, John decides to play devil’s advocate and asks Black Box why they would succeed where others failed, but leaves before Black Box can answer.
In her office, Irene has been communicating with Ken Ellis, a former colleague from the Daily Bugle, using some sort of holographic communicator. Irene thanks Ellis for his information and promises that she won’t use it to steal his story: she is no longer a reporter. Ken tells her that he has only given her “the mood of the people” angle on Cable’s recent actions and thanks her for her hard file evidence on the Superhuman Registration Act, which is going to win him a Pulitzer Prize or even better, an appearance on Oprah. Irene asks him to tell Oprah that she still owes Cable lunch and ends the conversation. She then notes Prester John’s scowl and asks if things are not going well with the Infonet chamber. John answers that it is not that; he merely wonders whether they are doing the right thing.
Back in Rumekistan, Domino is still spying on Deadpool from the fire escape outside Weasel’s window. Weasel explains that, when he heard the resistance had him coming in… he was worried. After the problems they had… Interrupting , Deadpool asks if he is referring to Weasel stealing stuff he was trying to steal, then lying to him about it when he stuck up for him against the people who were accusing him of stealing it? Uhm… yeah… that… , Weasel stutters.
Weasel tells Deadpool that he went through the system and got out after four months with a deal. Deadpool asks if he took the deal for him. Weasel says he did (and also to avoid the life sentence he would have gotten otherwise with everything they had on him). Deadpool then tells Weasel that, just in case they could square things between them… he TiVo’d every episode of Battlestar Galactica for Weasel while he was in prison to let him know that they are friends again.
As Weasel is overjoyed, outside, Domino rolls her eyes. Domino sums up her information so far: Flag-Smasher is planning a public address. The Resistance plans to disrupt it. Domino is still wondering whether to stop it now or let it play out, but she doesn’t trust the players involved and especially not the player behind it all, so she places an explosive to blow a hole in the wall.
Inside Weasel falls off his chair when he hears the explosion and Deadpool jokes that the unwashed rebel smell might have given them away. He puts on his mask and tells the others that you can’t spell Rumeki Resistance without “K-I-C B-U-T”. One of the Resistance members gets out a “but…” and Deadpool assumes that it is criticism on his joke and becomes defensive.
Deadpool enters the room, filled with smoke and asks if any Ultimatum members want their uvulas carved out. Domino steps out of the smoke and simply replies, “No.” Deadpool puts away his gun, noting that, even though Domino and Cable aren’t “sack-buddies” anymore, he probably wouldn’t want him to kill her. When Domino asks if he’s sure about that, Deadpool tells her that, just to be safe, they are not going to make this a gun thing and draws his swords. Domino in turn draws a sword and a tonfa.
The two fight and Domino notes that Deadpool is strong and fast and he has that healing factor, but luckily her mutant power “to have things fall into place for her” evens the odds. As she thinks this, a wall collapses right on top of Deadpool. Deadpool throws the wreckage off of him and complains that he lost six teeth and is going to look like a hockey player now. Deadpool goes on how Gordie Howe had a face like a Buick grille and, since he’s a hockey player now, if Domino is willing to place a bet on who’s going to win.
The fight moves and they are suddenly surrounded by Rumeki civilians. Domino warns herself that Deadpool’s mouth is his strongest weapon; he’ll keep talking until you surrender or want to kill yourself, but he has convinced her that she’s on the wrong side in this conflict. Deadpool cuts through the tonfa and wounds Domino’s right arm. However, hardly defeated, but she pulls out a gun and places it to Deadpool’s head.
Deadpool tells her that he would have won if she didn’t have the gun and then corrects himself: surrounded by Rumeki people, even if Domino pulls the trigger, she will still lose. Petrovic arrives and informs the bystanders that Deadpool is (while an idiot, but) part of the Resistance and that Domino is a foreign agent sent to stop the Rumeki people from deciding their own fate. Deadpool, not speaking Rumeki, simply tells the civilians “what he said”, but Domino answers in Rumeki. She confirms Petrovic’s statement, but asks if they ever thought what exactly was in the best interest of the Rumeki people. She gets her answer as the people close in on her. She holds up her hands, but an Ultimatum helicopter arrives.
Petrovic tells Deadpool that they must flee. Deadpool wants to fight back right now, but Petrovic tells him that Flag-Smasher is the one they want. Deadpool agrees, but only because it will be more fun that way. Domino lets them leave and thinks to herself that she has sunk low to be rescued from an angry mob by Ultimatum troops. Michael asks if Domino disrupted the Resistance, but Domino replies that the Resistance disrupted her.
A few hours later, it is morning and the Flag-Smasher prepares to make his public address at the capitol plaza. Domino remarks that the Flag-Smasher is making the exact same speeches he always protested against. She is disgusted with the whole performance and willing to give a lot for a leader she could believe in. People are being forced to attend and applaud and rewarded if they do. Domino notices that Michael is tense.
The Flag-Smasher holds his speech, but is suddenly cut off. A new voice is heard who tells the people that Flag-Smasher can’t even speak the language of Rumekistan. Domino then spots Deadpool with a sniper rifle on a rooftop. The Rumeki people cheer the new voice against Flag-Smasher. The voice tells them that today is the day when the Rumeki people take back their country.
Infuriated, Fla-Smasher calls out to Michael and the troops at the side of the state and orders them to shoot them. Michael hesitates and Domino prays that he disobeys. Watching this through a riflescope, Deadpool aims his rifle at Flag-Smasher. As Domino raises her rifle as well, she asks herself again what you do if you know the victim deserves to be assassinated, but the replacement will be just as bad or what to do if it’s a leader you can believe in? She curses Cable for forcing her to do this.
Suddenly, Flag-Smasher is shot through the head. Deadpool notes that he was supposed to just wing him, while Michael, now with his gun drawn, looks at the Flag-Smasher’s body. Domino, her rifle smoking, tells herself that you need to take the responsibility yourself. Now that she has killed Flag-Smasher, the Rumeki people can start over again.
Petrovic takes the stage, while Michael orders his troops to stand down. Weasel reactivates the microphone so that Petrovic can give his speech. A proclaims that this is a chance to finally come together as a people! To rise out of poverty, sectarian fear and religious strife that others have fomented between them for so long. One man can save them! One man who has shown the world the way! “Allow me to proudly introduce you to…”
Hearing this, Domino rhetorically wonders who could plan and is going to gain from all this. Petrovic introduces Rumekistan’s savior and new leader: Cable. Domino notes to herself that she was hired to find out if Flag-Smasher’s replacement wouldn’t be worse for Rumekistan. She’s still on the job.
Nenad Petrovic, leader of the Rumekistan Resistance Movement.
Members of the Rumekistan Resistance Movement.
Flag-Smasher, leader of Ultimatum.
Michael Straka, friend of Domino and a captain of Ultimatum.
Soldiers of Ultimatum
Black Box, Prester John, Irene Merryweather (Providence)
Ken Ellis, reporter of the Daily Bugle.
Captain America, Citizen V
Ultimatum are the soldiers of the Flag-Smasher and have often fought Captain American and Spider-Man as well as several other Marvel Superheroes. They think nationalities are the cause of all war on Earth and are fully willing to use assassination and terrorist actions to unite the world under a single government (with the Flag-Smasher as leader).
Latveria is a fictional country in the Marvel Universe, known for its leader Doctor Victor von Doom.
The Superhuman Registration Act is the subject of the Marvel crossover “Civil War.”
A Pulitzer Prize is an award for journalism.
Oprah refers to Oprah Winfrey and her popular talk show named after her.
Deadpool and Weasel recently had a fallout in Cable and Deadpool’s Dominus Objective story (Cable & Deadpool #20-23).
TiVo is a way of digitally recording TV shows.
Battlestar Galactica is a science-fiction TV-show recently revitalized through a “re-imagined” version on the Sci-Fi channel.
The uvula is a small organ in the back of your mouth that prevents liquid and food from entering your nose when eating.
Gordie Howe was a Canadian hockey player and is generally thought to be one of the greatest players of all time.
Deadpool repeatedly refers to Domino as “Petey the Dog”, a reference to her white tone and black spot over her left eye resembling Pete the Dog from the Little Rascal movies, who had a black circle around one of his eyes.
This Issue has been reprinted in:
Cable & Deadpool Vol. 5: Living Legends (Trade Paperback)
Issue Summary written by: David Duijsings