Friday, February 12, 2016

Luck of the Irish (Marvel)
Deadpool: Sins of the Past #2 When: September 1994 Why: Mark Waid How: Ian Churchill

The Story So Far...
Black Tom Cassidy is a bad seed with a bad problem. A viral wooden growth is claiming his humanity while he serves a life sentence in maximum security prison.

Former Weapon X geneticist Dr. Emrys Killebrew is Black Tom's only hope. Brought in at the request of Interpol Agent Sean Cassidy, the good doctor is running out of time and methods to cure the aggressive infection. Lucky for Tom, his brother isn't the only one looking out for his health. Eager to upgrade Black Tom out of the prison healthcare system, Juggernaut goes on the warpath!

Absconded with Dr. Killebrew, Black Tom's condition is hanging in the balance and the key to saving him may just be former Weapon X subject: Deadpool! The mercenary's sinful past with Black Tom is about to bite him in the ass and the unstoppable Juggernaut is first in line to do the biting!

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Juggernaut 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Deadpool 3 (Special Ed)
Speed: Deadpool 3 (Atlhete)
Stamina: Juggernaut 7 (Unstoppable)
Agility: Deadpool 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting: Deadpool 4 (Trained)
Energy: Siryn 4 (Arsenal)
Vocal Range: Siryn 7 (Blarney Hell)

It's the unstoppable force meeting the unmuteable mercenary! Watcha gonna do brother when Juggernaut runs wild on you? That's the penniless question we aim to answer today! How will we achieve this daring feat of combat analysis? With our trusty numeric power scale and scholarly references, of course!

When it comes to superhuman strength, endurance and stamina - Juggernaut's in the top tier. His powers are derived from the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak: a magical ruby that's pretty tough to come by ever since Cain Marko got his mitts on it. We've seen him use his magic might to go toe-to-toe with heavyweights like: Colossus [Uncanny X-Men #183], Nimrod [Uncanny X-Men #194] and even Superman [DC versus Marvel #1]!

That sounds like bad news for mild mannered mercenary Deadpool, whose skills amount to: DIY home renovation, a skin condition, overactive imagination, access to 24/7 tech support, protection in the afterlife from Bea Arthur, swords, guns, and a healing factor. Fortunately -- it is not so bad!

A few years after today's feature fight, Deadpool scored a victory against an opponent every bit Juggernaut's equal - the Incredible Hulk [Deadpool #4]! He was also able to negate the super-strength of cyborg nemesis Ajax in Deadpool #19, and use unconventional tactics to topple the Taskmaster twice - in Deadpool #2 and Cable & Deadpool #36!

Of course, for all the raging hard muscle of the Hulk - he is still flesh and bone and can be penetrated (by swords). Juggernaut's magic strength tends to make him pretty resistant to being shanked. A whole construction site of pointy things didn't do Spidey any favors [Amazing Spider-man #230]! Then again, he's never been one to take the spider gimmick to its logical, skin piercing conclusion... You know what? He's the Juggernaut, bitch! Deadpool's in big trouble! If he had any clue he'd just run away! Call the whole thing off!

Is she pretty Irish, or Irish and pretty? Isn't "Irish redhead" a bit redundant? Oh, I guess there are Scottish redheads... Wait, is that racist?...
Oops. That's not an option, though. Pretty Irish redhead Siryn is in tow and DP's on the path to being smitten! Juggernaut does have orders not to hurt her [from Uncle Black Tom], but Juggernaut's never been known for being gentle, and Deadpool & Siryn don't know she's supposedly safe. Like her father Banshee, she's got a mean set of pipes on her, though. That rusty dome on his head doesn't seem like it stops sonic screams getting through, either. Yeah, just go with that.

Oh, by the way, Siryn has chosen the knife factory stage.

The Tape: Deadpool Ranking: Deadpool (#26)

What Went Down...
Having made a daring escape from a pack of mercenaries - Deadpool and Siryn have but a moments pause before the true threat presents itself: Juggernaut!

Taking refuge in a nearby "blade manufacturing" factory, the heroes hope to control the fight with walls at their back. If the door was any indication - the walls won't be much help. Juggernaut kicks it down and calls for last words...

Deadpool tips a box of blades over the hulking behemoth, showering him in sharpened steel! Against any ordinary mortal the tactic would surely have been sharp and to the point - but it was a blunt failure thanks to Juggernaut's magical invulnerability!

Deadpool Facts:
Don't throw anything at Juggernaut that you aren't prepared to have thrown back.
Juggernaut gives Deadpool points for originality: few have tried to slow him down with meat cleavers! How many points did he give? About as many as he can scoop up in his giant Cytorrak Gem enhanced fists!

Deadpool shoves Siryn aside as a wave of knives slices through the air - and through Deadpool as well!

The merc' with a mouth is officially silenced as his healing factor kicks in to deal with the many lacerations. Still reeling from his earlier battles, bruises, bullets and regrowing an entire hand - Deadpool's living up to his name. He's totally defenceless when Juggernaut decides to get in on the puns. More knives, too!

Deadpool Facts:
Actually, if you look closely - Deadpool is stopping the knives with his Magnum look.
This time Siryn leaps into the path of danger -- much to Juggernaut's horror! She unleashes a sonic scream at a high enough frequency to shatter the blades before they reach her, or the mercenary she's hoping to save!

Little does Siryn realize, her banshee cry also damaged the factory floor. As Juggernaut takes chase of the pair, the ground gives way under their feet -- sending all players to the lower level!

Deadpool Facts:
You smelted it, you dealt it.
Down low in the factory, Juggernaut lands on his keister and cries Deadpool's name! The mercenary has pulled a disappearing act in the fall, so Juggernaut asks Siryn for directions. As it turns out, the nearest man in red & black tights is lurking just overhead -- somewhere near the factory's molten vat!

Doing his best Tarzan, Deadpool swings down on a chain to snatch Siryn off the factory floor as the vat of molten metal spills out onto Juggernaut!

Two years after Alien 3, weaponizing molten metal probably seemed like a pretty good idea. Alas; the unstoppable Juggernaut isn't real concerned about thermostat - and there's nothing to cool him off quick enough to put the ol' metallic freeze on him. All that means is...

... flaming hot Juggernaut covered in molten in the hizzoooouuusssse!!

With only one page remaining, Deadpool & Siryn make a mad dash to meet vengeful Interpol agent Daniel Peyer on the final page cliff hanger.

The Hammer...
Whoops! As per Secret Wars on Infinite Earths rules: we ring the bell when the issue comes to an end. I'm afraid that means this battle finishes in an inconclusive draw.

The fight does resume for a second round in the subsequent issue, which I'm sure we'll take a look at some time in the future. For now, we etch another Juggernaut draw into the records, and press on toward our final Deadpool feature fight for February.

We have, of course, been looking at Deadpool this month in celebration of his long awaited arrival in theatres. The only thing more amazing than Deadpool finding movie stardom after a decade and a half in development hell is Ryan Reynolds hitting on a superhero winner! Somewhere out there a horribly out-of-character Hannibal King salutes you!

By now you've probably seen the trailers, heard the praise, and become aware of sequel and crossover plans. Hopefully you're enjoying digging into the real Deadpool through these comic fight updates. For me, the fun has definitely been reconnecting with what was, at one time, possibly my favourite character.

Deadpool Facts:
Alien 3 is very underrated, Blade: Trinity has some moments, but the less said about Green Lantern the better.
If you caught last week's feature [Deadpool #19], or dug into the Deadpool back catalogue, you can probably already tell the '97 series was a sweet spot for my fandom.

The Liefeld years had blown me by, but by the time the first mini-series was coming ["Sins of the Past" is the second], the mystique of the character had caught up with me. Some time in '93 I got my hands on a X-brand promotional pamphlet that sold the series pretty well. By 1997, a convergence of cult character, comedy, and visuals made for an instantly enjoyable mix.
There was a bit of drama recently over [Rob] Liefeld's comments regarding who created the character. He shares credit with X-scribe Fabian Nicieza, but I don't think the movie ever even happens if you remove "Uncles" Joey and Ed from the equation. Without their well rounded work in 1997, I don't think you have the sustained popularity, or the definitive voice of the character. Good formative influences from Deadpool's cool uncles, before the other kids in school ruined him, and he started hanging out with the burnout of the family. [He's doing much better now].

That said, much of what you know of Deadpool is there from the earliest days -- as evidenced by today's hijinks. In 1994, Mark Waid wasn't quite as aggressively madcap in his comedy, but it's serviceable as an against-type mercenary. Very much the shadow Spider-man he's sometimes seen to be.
With that, we make a hasty exit. There'll be more of what you know of Deadpool next week when we transition from the merc' with a mouth to another Marvel hero. Can you guess who?
As always, if you'd like the full story that goes with our featured fight you can use the Amazon link provided [right] to pick yourself up a collected edition. You can also find more Deadpool battles by hitting the Issue Index or Old Comics Wednesday!
Winner: Draw
(+1) #25 Deadpool
(+4) #322 Juggernaut
(new) #378 Siryn

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