SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Despicable Deadpool #292 by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Ruth Redmond and Joe Sabino, on sale now.
Deadpool is now despicable, which is more than just a catchy new title for his ongoing. After what went down in Secret Empire, Deadpool is done being a hero and is looking out for himself and his family above all else, no matter the cost. After killing Cable — kind of — in order to pay off his debt to Stryfe, Cable’s clone has three more names for Wade Wilson to take out. However, Deadpool has his own list and at the top of it is the doppelganger known colloquially as Stevil Rogers, the Supreme Leader of Hydra who tricked Wade into killing Phil Coulson and nothing’s going to stop him.
After Deadpool and Cable tricked Stryfe with a technicality in how they “killed” Cable — they killed an elderly Cable from the future — Stryfe has become a lot pickier about who Deadpool is to kill for him, and wants to make sure it’s done without the loopholes. The first person on Stryfe’s list is Daily Bugle reporter Irene Merryweather, a former flame of Cable. Irene fell in with Cable after an investigation into the Hellfire Club put her life in danger. She later took a role in Cable’s failed floating country Providence, where she first met Deadpool, who pined after her.
Here, Deadpool shows up at the Daily Bugle in poorly put together Stryfe cosplay. And while seemingly regretful, he doesn't hesitate in stabbing Irene in the chest.
Cable-shenanigans aside, Deadpool as a title has done a great job of making death feel like it means something. Phil Coulson’s death in Secret Empire seems to be a lot more permanent than we first believed it was, as was Wade’s destruction of the Agent Preston LMD. As a result, even though she’s a supporting character who hasn’t been seen in years, Irene's death seems like it means something. The way Deadpool — ostensibly her friend — shows up in her office and kills her before she has even a small chance to process what’s going on... well, it doesn’t feel like a superhero story. It feels more like True Crime, which hammers home the emotional impact of the scene.
The Man Who Ruled The World
The bulk of the issue, however, depicts Deadpool’s confrontation with Stevil Rogers, or HydraCap if you prefer.
Gerry Duggan spent years building up Deadpool’s respect for Captain America, first in the Deadpool/Wolverine/Captain America team-up “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and later on by having Rogers invite Deadpool to join the Avengers Unity Squad. While most of the superhero community sees Deadpool as a joke, Captain America would look him in the eye and speak to him with respect and dignity. Cap became someone that Deadpool would trust implicitly, a fact HydraCap used to manipulate Wade into killing Phil Coulson, who was on the verge of exposing Hydra’s plot to take over the country.
HydraCap is now in custody, and thanks to a tip off from Deadpool’s old friend Hydra Bob, Wade knows exactly where to find him. Confronting him in prison, Deadpool finds that HydraCap is still cool as a cucumber and completely resolute in his belief that he did the right thing. Ever the manipulator, HydraCap plants the idea in Wade’s mind that Maria Hill should be on his bucket list, so it’ll be interesting to see if she shows up later in the arc.
As for the fate of Stevil Rogers, in a possible sign of maturity, Deadpool chooses not to kill him and instead leaves him to rot in prison (without a toilet), while he works on making the world into a more tolerant and progressive place, just to spite the bigoted leader of Hydra. Surely, this is the best revenge.