The villain Nitro used his powers of self-detonation during a battle with the New Warriors, killing over 600 residents of Stamford, CT. The New Warriors were blamed for this as they were not properly trained in use of their powers.
Weeks after the incident the US government passed the Superhero Registration Act that requires all those with powers to register with the government and reveal their identity. Some complied with the law, thinking that it was a reasonable request. Some did not, claiming that it's a violation of their civil rights. The heroes have allied themselves with the Pro-Registration side, led by Iron Man or the Anti-Registration side led by Captain America.
One has to wonder which side Deadpool would be on.
The issue opens with Deadpool's description of the American Civil War and a recap of the current situation. He comments that Spider-Man's decision to reveal his identity to the public totally justifies his decision to throw him out of a moving car.
He continues with some first-person narration in which he introduces himself, his mission, and the people he's attacking. His mission: capture the Great Lakes Avengers (Mr. Immortal, Flatman, Doorman, and Big Bertha) in order to get hired as a bounty hunter for the Federal government. Mr. Immortal corrects him, stating that they're called the "Great Lakes Champions". Deadpool wonders how he could know what he's thinking. He comments that they're bigger feebs than the New Warriors. Mr. Immortal retorts that they're not feebs. Again Deadpool wonders how they can do this. Bertha informs him that he's saying everything out loud.
Flatman asks Deadpool why he's attacking their headquarters. He responds that he plans to make them register. Mr. Immortal tries to tell him that they already have but gets decapitated by Deadpool. (Don't worry, he gets better).
Big Bertha captures Deadpool the only way she knows how: enveloping him in the folds of her fat. This doesn't last too long as he does something inappropriate to her(not shown, but we can guess) and he is forcefully expelled, colliding with the nearest wall.
At this point Squirrel Girl, the missing fifth member of the GLC arrives. She charges into battle, calling 'Pool an "evil, evil man". Initially he dismisses her as harmless, but soon discovers how formidable she is. They then strip him to his underwear, bind him up on a metal pole, and deliver him to the local police. They are shocked that the GLC actually did something right.
At this point Deadpool explains to the nice lieutenant that he's here to force them to register with the SHRA. He explains that they already have; they were first in line. At this point Agent Hafner of the Commission on Superhuman Activities arrives and offers Deadpool the job he wanted: bounty hunter. He eagerly accepts.
11 hours later, Deadpool is back at his apartment, a fully sanctioned Federal bounty hunter. As he prepares to go out on patrol, Cable appears to confirm Deadpool's new job. He admits he is now a legal bounty hunter, complete with a shiny badge. Cable then leaves to go to meet with "someone" about "something", intentionally keeping Pool in the dark.
Cable is actually meeting Captain America. As president pro tem of Rumekistan, he reminds Cap that he can give him and his allies asylum in his country. He easily discovered their new fake identities; it's a matter of time before the government does as well. This way they could avoid this issue altogether. Cable tries to warn Cap that the registration is the first step toward a totalitarian state with the costumed heroes as the enforcers. It won't happen overnight, but it will in the decades and centuries to follow. Cap states that despite their differences, he knows Iron Man wouldn't let it happen. From a safe distance Deadpool watches their exchange and learns Daredevil's new identity and makes him his first target.
He follows Daredevil to one of Cap's safehouses and quickly finds himself fighting the man without fear. They exchange their different philosophies on the SHRA in between exchanging punches. Eventually Pool notices that Daredevil isn't actually Daredevil. Before he says who he thinks Dardevil is aloud, he's hit by Cap's shield. Once he shakes that off, he realizes he's surrounded by Cap's anti-registration forces. And that he's gonna get a whuppin'.
Reading this issue made me realize just how much I missed Deadpool. The meta-commentary, the stream of consciousness rambling, Wade's obsession with shiny objects. When Joe Kelly left the book, it just wasn't the same. Gail Simone did a good job, but that was years later and just prior to the series cancellation. She wasn't really given much of a chance.
But now Wade has returned and it's like old times. There's a solid story behind the random thoughts and mindless violence we all know and love. Wade is definitely a strange character with his own agenda as this issue clearly shows.
One aspect does bother me: I'm not really sure why Wade supports the SHRA. He's a character that's always been on the fence with rules and basic regard for human life. He mentions that it's a paying gig, but he seems to actually believe in this cause. Wade works in mysterious ways.
4 webs. Deadpool the way he should be.
Cable became president of Rumekistan in issue #29 of this series.
The Stamford incident occurred in Civil War #1
This group changed their name to the Great Lakes Champions in Thing (Vol. 2) #8
Deadpool threw Peter out of a car in Cable & Deadpool #24