Wade Wilson aka Deadpool aka The Crimson Comedian is a mercenary-for-hire. His sophomoric hijinks tend to overshadow the fact that he is a highly trained and efficient killer.
Recently his contrasting interests (a tendency to sing the theme to "The Muppet Show" during assassinations) have fractured his mind even more. He has begun hearing - and speaking to - other voices in his head. They spend equal amounts of time busting his chops, engaging in pop-culture analysis, and helping him out on missions. It's like being with your best friends 24/7. Provided your friends can fit inside your brain.
Pushing aside his issues of "Phat Girls" magazine, Wade decides to find a mercenary job (like he can work fast food). He quickly finds something in the recent issue of "Black Ops" magazine that catches his attention. There is a contest for mercenary of the year. The prize: $200,000 plus a year's subscription. Dreaming about the high grade Ramen noodles he can buy with that kinda bank, he decides to try out.
An hour later, Wade is at Vito's Self-Storage in Newark, NJ. Entering the designated building, he greets the three other participants with a "Howdy fellows". This does not sit well with the other voices in his head. He is immediately recognized due to the fact he's in full costume. After complimenting him, the other mercs try to kill him, which proves to be a mistake. One is beheaded. Another is be-handed and bleeds out. The third one is run through with Deadpool's katana. Much blood is spilled.
As 'Pool surveys his work, a man emerges from the shadows applauding him on his impressive display. Wade isn't impressed with him and draws his pistol, pointing it at his head. He gives the stranger the order to start talking or stop breathing.
He explains that his name is Conrad and that he put the fake ad out there to get his attention. He wants to hire him to kill his bookie. He recently racked up quite a tab and doesn't have the means to pay him. The bookie has threatened to kill his family if he doesn't pay up. He is from a wealthy family, but his father won't give him money because it would support his gambling addiction.
Deadpool listens to his story and turns to leave in disgust, hoping he can catch a cab. Conrad then offers him $500,000 up front and $500,000 when the job is complete. Wade is tempted but he warns Conrad that given his payment history he would end up in his tank of leeches. Conrad continues to plead with him. After discussing potential opportunities with the "twins" that would result from taking the job(it involves buxom women and hippity hops), he agrees.
Later that night he arrives in Harlem. He nonchalantly walks down the street (in full costume), into the target's apartment building, and rides the elevator up to the sixth floor. He kicks the door open and finds a surprise in the form of a large bomb waiting for him. The explosion throws him out of the building and down to the street below. He asks a nearby stranger to call 911, but the stranger is too busy recording the fire with his camcorder. Even Deadpool is amazed by the lack of compassion. 'Pool knows he's been set up. When he hears the sound of approaching sires, he leaves determined to make Conrad pay through the nose. And ears. And spleen.
He returns to Vito's to find no trace of Conrad or the men he killed earlier. He does find one of Vito's employees inside the building. After a tense interrogation at gunpoint, Wade realizes the guy has no idea what he's talking about. The floors are spotless; no blood whatsoever. The only stains on the floor are the ones the worker made while Wade held a gun to his head.
He knows he is stressed out and needs to go to his happy place to collect himself. He finds the nearest "Knockers" restaurant and orders a pitcher of beer and some hot wings. When the extremely... healthy ... waitress asks him if he'd like anything else, it's all he can do to simply say "I'm good". He leaves out the daydream involving a superhero-themed wedding. He's in a tux (over his costume), she's dressed as the White Queen (dead ringer too). The Watcher, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Rogue, Spider-Man, and others are in attendance.
Before he can enjoy his greasy alternative to violence, the TNA news network runs footage that shows him to be responsible for the destruction in Harlem. Deadpool knows the footage of him with explosives is real, but it's been altered to portray him as the bomber. The report goes on to say he's now public enemy number one for his act of terrorism. The FBI will be working in cooperation with the NYPD to bring him in. With that, he asks for his check and leaves.
The footage was altered by Tombstone, the bookie to whom Conrad is indebted. Conrad lost a significant amount of money to Tombstone by betting on a basketball game. With superstar Shantee Williams, it seemed like a lock. A week before the big game, he got into an altercation with Deadpool involving a ruined slice of pizza. This quickly escalated when Williams pulled out a gun. Deadpool pulls out his sword and cuts off the fingers on Williams' gun hand. His fingers were saved, but the big game was lost.
Tombstone has agreed to go double or nothing with him on a desperate plan to erase his debt. For unspecified reasons, this involves Deadpool.
If this wasn't enough trouble, the Punisher also watches the news broadcast and makes preparations to hunt down Deadpool.
What a start! All the pieces are in place for what could very well be a top-notch mini-series. The creative team does an excellent job of moving the story forward and providing the backstory at the appropriate time without slowing down the momentum.
I'm very impressed with the sheer amount of information provided in this issue. Normally it'd be the third or fourth issue before we would learn the villain's motivation. This would have annoyed me for something as simple as this. Now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to the more entertaining aspects of the "World Vs. Wade" story that has been set up.
The only element that was unclear is why Tombstone would agree to this arrangement. I will assume that this will be revealed at some point in this series.
5 webs. I loved every panel of this. A solid plot. Great art. Dark comedy and mindless wandering through the pop culture Cuisinart that is Deadpool's mind. All this and a trip to Hooters (Knockers, whatever).
The only mildly negative point that I can make is that Deadpool is always wearing his costume in public, weapons and all. Of course when people see what he's carrying, they probably don't want to mess with him.