This is it, true believers! Not a dream! Not a hoax! In Despicable Deadpool #290, Deadpool kills Cable! For real! Is it good?
Seriously! Why would you doubt the solicitation text?! It’s not like ad copy has ever been misleading before.
It probably doesn’t help the Merc’s case that Cable KNOWS Deadpool has to kill him to appease Stryfe, the evil future clone of Cable, but the wily, time-worn and traveled son of Summers has an idea. It’s one that will take the comedically mismatched bosom buddies progressively forward in time. First stop, the Junction Box, 67 years in the future.
A future in which APOCALYPSE has WEAPONIZED global warming. And vampires roam the streets with impunity. And Cables from all across the multiverse, whether they resemble Skrulls or Reed Richards, gather for the energy boosts needed to make extra-long time jumps. The pair’s ultimate destination? The heat death of the universe!
No really, Deadpool does achieve his goal in Despicable Deadpool #290. But it’s the journey to that point (in time) that counts. Writer Gerry Duggan has produced a masterfully-paced pseudo-crescendo of a comic book that perfectly cuts tension with genuine laughs. Cable’s dialogue is a little iffy, as it might seem like Duggan is trying slightly too hard to give the soldier his own lingo, but his disdain/begrudging acceptance of Deadpool still shines through.
There’s great world-building here, too, enough to make you hope the Cable switchboard and space viking ship at the end of time don’t become forgetten concepts. Despicable Deadpool #290 is like the perfect modern realization of a batshit crazy Silver Age book — complete with talking tattoos, heart-shaped gang signs and a nice cliffhanger that’ll make you come back next month, even if you (think you) know what’s going to happen.
Series regular artist Scott Koblish’s pencils fit the story perfectly, with gritty lines (but not too many pouches) and surprising detail on all the fantastic locales — even, yes, the abandoned subway tunnel Wade now calls home. You have to think there’s a hidden message in all that graffiti, but there’s so much, who has the time to read it all? Nick Filardi’s colors are also inspired; bleak when they need to be, but just bright enough to match the dark humor.
Despicable Deadpool #290 is a crowning achievement in Gerry Duggan’s already impressive run on the character. That he can still pull out new and creative stories, full of both heart and humor, at this stage, is a truly remarkable feat. The art team matches Duggan’s performance here, combining for a modern masterpiece with an old-school feel that will make you want to wait impatiently at the corner drug store for the next installment.