Issue Date: March 2007
Story Title: Unfinished Business Part 1
Staff: Fabian Nicieza (Writer), Reilly Brown (Penciler), Jeremy Freeman (Inker) Gotham (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letterer), 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 explains to Blind Al and then Weasel his plan to publicly beat Taskmaster in a fight to restore his shattered reputation. Two weeks later, Deadpool stops a prison transport vehicle using a family as hostages. After incapacitating the guards and setting the family free, he explains to the newly freed Taskmaster of his plan. Taskmaster agrees to let Deadpool fight him, at which point Deadpool removes Taskmaster's manacles and sucker punches him unconscious. Weasel explains to a room full of kidnapped and restrained government officials, military personnel and terrorists that they are about to witness a manacled Deadpool beat the deadly Taskmaster. Showcasing his use of weapons, fighting skills and his healing factor via a sword to the chest, Deadpool appears to gain the upper hand. Further demonstrating his use of the environment to his advantage, he defeats Taskmaster, ending his presentation. One of the captives angrily explains that this was all in vain, as until Deadpool can prove he can be professional, nobody will hire him. Taskmaster echoes this sentiment after admitting that Deadpool really did fairly beat him and follows the freed captives out. Back at his apartment, Deadpool sees a newscast of the Rhino breaking free, giving him the idea to be a superhero.
“You want to find Taskmaster?” asks Blind Al, sitting calmly in a chair. Is she deaf now too, asks Deadpool. Yet her name remains Blind Al, she retorts. So... Taskmaster, she repeats still confused. His rep is shot, Deadpool explains. In comparison to what it always was? she answers sarcastically. He couldn't get hired to shoot up a methadone clinic, he laments. Time was, he had the chops and could do whatever the job requires he defends.
Blind Al counters that he has no purpose and no regard for the consequences. Exactly! She always understood him, Deadpool says enthusiastically. Which says a lot about her, she reflects. Deadpool then inquires about the whole kidnapping of her to torture her and nurture himself. Water under the bridge, she states. Satisfied that that was cleared up, Deadpool returns back to his plan of finding Taskmaster and totally handing him his ass in a very public forum. That's the “greatest” plan she’s ever heard, she says dryly. “You mean it? I knew you would validate me,” he replies. After full on kissing her on the mouth through his mask, he runs off excitedly, completely missing the elderly woman's sarcasm. Idiot, she says to no one.
At Weasel's workshop Weasel is modifying a gun as he talks to Deadpool. “I don't know Wade, it sounds pretty risky,” he voices. Risk is his middle name, Wade states. He thought it was “Winston,” Weasel responds. Shut up, he’s already had his plan validated, Wade snaps, that's not why he came to him. The right weapon for the right job, Weasel chants as he finishes adding onto the gun advertisements for free one-liners and the direct phone line 1-800-DED-POOL.
Taskmaster is tough, Wade explains. He has photo-reflexive memory and a catalogue of fight moves in his brain-pan. He is still in the top five Forbes list of hot mercenaries. With good reason, Weasel comments, he's a pro's pro. After he hand him his ass, then he can make love to him, Deadpool says, annoyed. He's got that photo-reflexive memory and that box set of “Oz” Weasel intones. The possibilities are staggering, he grants him, Wade admits. As Weasel shoots the finished gun, a small flag pops out of the barrel reading BANG! Is he sure this is the gun he wanted customized? he asks. He has a plan, Wade assures him. He hopes it involves finding Taskmaster, Weasel retorts. Give him a couple weeks, Wade assures him. Meanwhile, he tells Weasel, “you do that other stuff.”
Somewhere in Ohio, exactly two weeks later, a mother and her two children are tied up in the middle of the road with headlights illuminating their terrified faces. The sound of brakes screeching to a halt turns out to be from a prison transport vehicle. A couple of confused guards step out of the truck before they both take a dart to the neck. A rocket propelled grenade explodes on the side of the armored truck and two more guards rush out of the smoking transport. Deadpool leaps between them, slamming his used bazooka over the head of one and kicking the other on the chin before even landing. With all guards incapacitated, he shouts toward the open transport. “No need to thank me.” Yeah, wasn't planning on it, replies a manacled Taskmaster, stepping out from the smoking interior.
Who paid him to spring him and why, Taskmaster demands. Deadpool replies that he did it all on his own. Why is that? Taskmaster wonders. Deadpool claims he'll explain after he takes care of something first, all the while brandishing a menacing looking knife and approaching the captive family. “You're not...” hesitates Taskmaster. What? This? Them? No! Deadpool uses the knife to cut the family's bonds, apologizing and explaining that a car is just around the bend for them. He further admonishes her for stopping at a highway rest stop so late at night, claiming that the kids need to learn to hold their pee to build character. As the mother rushes off, Deadpool sympathizes with the troubles of being a single mom.
Taskmaster, growing a tad impatient, emphasizes that, whatever the reason Wade freed him, he would rather not remain in Wade's debt. He would just as soon take his chances of escaping on his own, he embellishes. No debt, just a fair trade, Wade assures him. “I free you and you fight me,” he explains. Huh, Taskmaster replies. Right where all the malevolent, Machiavellian people who do the hiring of their kind gather, Wade follows up. Halliburton is having a board meeting, Taskmaster jokes. He’s on the outs with the whole Civil War stuff and Cable publicly handing him his butt, Taskmaster reasons. Okay, he’ll give you some sympathy nookie.
Now does he have the key codes for these locks or does he plan on re-establishing his rep by beating him manacled, Taskmaster goads. “No I'm going to be the one who's manacled,” Wade explains. What? Taskmaster exclaims. How totally cool will it be when I beat you tied up, Wade chatters. Fiddling with the manacles Wade mumbles frustrated that the master override code Weasel gave him isn't working. Heck with it, he concludes, pulling out his katana. Wait, Taskmaster chokes just before Wade neatly slices through both of the manacles binding Taskmaster. Wow, I'll have to remember that one, Taskmaster compliments. Raising a fist, Deadpool replies “yeah this one too,” before sucker punching Taskmaster in the face. With Taskmaster unconscious, Wade admits to himself that that was cheap even by his standards, but it saved a lot of expository dialogue. Now they can cut straight to...
Weasel explains to a seated and restrained General Hartecourt just how serious he is. The General protests that Weasel knows that he's hated Wilson since he was a drill sergeant. All the more reason, Weasel responds, to bring him along with so many others to see Wade in action. He gestures with his hands at around a dozen similarly restrained people, including what appears to be military, government officials and terrorist organization members.
Another captive proclaims that this is insane, and questions why he has kidnapped them for a Deadpool showcase. Weasel quickly corrects her that it was Wade that kidnapped them and would like them to remember that in the case that they escape or find the accommodations unsatisfactory. Weasel continues to address the general, claiming that he is sure he recognizes this facility as the former army special forces missions training ground in Provo, Utah. Deadpool has invited them all here to watch him in action against one of the toughest, orneriest, nastiest, niftiest mercenaries around, Taskmaster.
As Taskmaster stands poised and ready for a fight in the middle of the facility beneath a night sky, he mutters, “The things I do for friends I can't stand.” Weasel announces, “Let the games begin,” and Taskmaster is immediately jumping away from a sudden explosion. Recovering using a rolling stop, Taskmaster ponders if he should kill Wade or just maim him. Killing him would be so much more satisfying, he concludes. Deadpool talks to himself as he spies Taskmaster through his thermal binoculars. Photo-reflexive memory kicking in there Tasky? Trying to channel the Invisible Woman or maybe a French soldier? Deadpool is perched on the edge of a roof, manacled on both his hands and feet. Holding a recently used bazooka and armed with a multitude of guns and blades, he surmises that this could get awkward. But rising to the challenge and looking elegant while doing so is the key to any successful audition. James Lipton told him that, he informs while awkwardly hopping across the roof.
Back in the viewing room, the captives watch the fight on two big screens. The general asks Weasel why Wilson is manacled, to which Weasel replies it is in order to impress him when he emerges victorious. But if he loses, he's an idiot, the general counters. With a knowing grin, Weasel admits that he's an idiot no matter what but if he loses this way he at least has the benefit of the doubt considering he was hobbled against one of the world's deadliest fighters.
Taskmaster watches Wade hopping around from inside a building, deciding that killing him would be like killing a retarded puppy. Cursing his professional ethics, he decides on simply maiming him. Leaping from his hiding place, Taskmaster raises his sword preparing to strike, yelling as he does so. The heavily armed Wade quickly turns, stating that Taskmaster scared the pants off of him. Though not literally, because then Taskmaster would be distracted by his two bazookas. Blocking the sword strike with a quarterstaff, Wade continues, “You know on account of I got one real bazooka and the other one would be a metaphor for...” Using his feet, Wade kicks Taskmaster off of him and rolls back into a standing defensive position. Taskmaster does a mid air flip to regain his feet, shouting for Wade to shut up. He gets it. Does Wade really think his humor is deep enough to require footnotes?
Charging forward, Taskmaster informs Wade “the breaking news” that he is not funny before stabbing his sword directly through his chest. Oww that hurts, Deadpool proclaims, and he refers only to your cutting words, good sir. But they don't hurt near as much as this will. Deadpool slides his body down the length of the sword, bringing him face to face with Taskmaster before slamming him across the head with his quarterstaff. Shouting in pain, Taskmaster reels away, pulling his sword free in a spray of blood. Deadpool jokes, yeah that probably hurts even more if you don't have a healing factor like he do. Oh and did I see chips of teeth flying with that one, because that is old-school baby.
Weasel and the captives watch as the fight progresses and Weasel commentates that Deadpool's healing factor allows him to recover from anything short of a nuclear blast or spicy Indian food. The annoyed general shouts that they all know this about Wilson and all about Taskmaster's photo-reflexes.
As Taskmaster cleaves Deadpool's quarterstaff in two, Wade flips backward, planting his feet against the wall. As he shoves off and delivers a flip kick directly into Taskmaster, he questions what is so impressive about copying other people's fighting skills when he can come up with original ones on his own. Following up with a double fisted uppercut to the Taskmaster's chin, Wade gloats that everyone now knows he can fight. That he's as relentless as a tank, or a wife expecting lawn work to be done on a Saturday afternoon when Notre Dame is playing. But what about his tactical training? he asks, hopping down a nearby alley.
Taskmaster grumbles about his jaw killing him and mentions he forgot how hard Wade hits. Continuing his narration, Wade asks if he is able to use the environment to his tactical advantage? The answer is yes, he states as the adjacent wall comes crashing down onto Taskmaster. Oh crap, he mutters holding his shield up.
Hopping into the forest with Taskmaster shooting at him from behind, Deadpool admits that not all field operations have the luxury of George Perez city rubble to take advantage of. Can he take advantage of jungle cover, Wade asks. The view screen shows Wade doing just that as he throws shurikens into Taskmaster's shoulder. This is followed by Taskmaster dodging a rock slide Wade started to prove he can delay pursuit through any available means. Taskmaster then blocks a falling tree branch used to demonstrate that Wade can use mother nature as support and perhaps the occasional toilet run. Finally, Wade goes all “Deep Raggle” and becomes as unto a grain of sand in the middle of a desert. Camouflaged in a sandstorm, Wade hits Taskmaster in the behind with a blow dart. Oh, c'mon, Taskmaster protests.
Taskmaster's bloodied and unconscious body thumps to the floor of the viewing room in front of the captives. Deadpool proudly announces that the answer to all questions concerning is abilities are a definitive yes and that the answer to all their mercenary needs is Deadpool. Make sure to say that with a “P,” cause with a “C” it's Deadcool, he clarifies. Which he is, but Deadpool is how you write the checks, he adds posing with Weasel in a triumphant and smug manner. What if we were to say it with an “F,” asks the general. “Feadpool?” Wade asks confused. “Deadfool,” whispers Weasel. Oh no, that doesn't work either, answers Wade.
The general starts to rant, asking “Wilson” if he thinks we needed to be shown what a deadly fighter he is. Everybody knows that, but this entire charade only proves one thing: “How much I care?” inquires Wade. THAT YOU'RE AN IDIOT, screams the general. A brain-addled, annoying buffoon, and that makes him a dangerous liability in every delicate operation and to every field operative out there. Until he learns to grow up, he’s not worth the risk. Now cut them loose or, so help him, he will drop a bunker buster on his head, he concludes.
As the captives file out the exit, one of the military men whispers to Wade that he is very impressed. Here is his card, he adds, shaking his hand vigorously. Deadpool in frustration starts jumping on the back of the unconscious Taskmaster. At least he got a card out of it, Weasel tries to console him. The card was blank! He just wanted to delay him long enough to flee, he shouts in frustration. He must have known how long it would take you to figure it out, concludes Weasel.
Deadpool picks Taskmaster off the floor, holding him face to face. Wake up Tasky, he coaxes. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! He shouts shaking his head back and forth violently. Taskmaster wakes up and begins holding his head and leaning against the wall for support. Wade thanks him for pretty much letting Wade kick the crap out of him so that he could put on a good show. It didn't work out like he wanted, but Taskmaster was aces. You're very convincing when you scream out in pain, Wade continues. I didn't let you do anything, mumbles Taskmaster. Exqueeze me, asks Wade. I didn't let you beat me Wade. I mean I shoved my sword through your chest! Truth is...You're that good. You've always been that good. Which won't even get you a cup of coffee until you figure out how to be professional, he finishes as he heads for the door. Now alone with Weasel, Deadpool holds up his manacled arms and commands him to unlock them. Looking slightly perplexed, Weasel says, “I thought you had the key.”
In Deadpool's Manhattan apartment two weeks later, Wade struggles to twist off the cap off a beer, made nearly impossible by his still manacled hands. He sits in undress with his shirt bunched up against the manacles, unable to be removed. On the television, a breaking news bulletin reports of a prison transport train destroyed in Atlanta, Georgia and a superhuman prisoner who escaped. It wasn't me, Wade assures the television. The report continues, claiming that the unstoppable Rhino fled into the Georgia night with no further word as to his whereabouts. Hey that's my old key chain, notes Wade watching the image of the Rhino.
The report follows up with the inability of the superhuman and federal authorities to address the escape due to being stretched too thin. Even with a substantial reward posted for the Rhino's capture, the locals are left wondering who will keep them safe. That's it, realizes Wade. I can't get a sniff as a merc for hire... so I'll be a super hero instead, he determines, pulling on his mask.
Weasel, Blind Al
Various Kidnapped Military, Officials and Terrorists
Prison Transport Guards
Single mom & two kids
The recap page features Deadpool threatening Ralph Macchio's assistant Nicole for the whereabouts of Ralph. After Nicole summarizes the recent Cable-caused guilt trip from the previous issue, she asks why he wants to see Ralph. Deadpool thinks Ralph will know where Taskmaster is after all the convolution of Civil War. After Nicole ponders the idea of Ralph knowing anything at all, she explains that it was Tom Brevoort who handled the Civil War continuity. (Macchio and Brevoort were both Marvel editors at this time.)
Oz is an HBO TV show that features a fictional prison. It featured prison rape within the series which is what Weasel is alluding towards.
Halliburton is one of the largest oilfield companies in the world.
Issue Summary written by: WorldWideWade