[Contains SPOILERS for Deadpool #28.]
There are any number of valid and wonderful reasons to get married: romance, true love, an exchange of goods and services, a union between warring factions, “*&%#-blocking Dracula.” For Deadpool, however, his marriage to polyamorous succubus Shiklah also happens to be his most functional relationship ever. Sure, they tend to fight a lot and sometimes innocent bystanders (and cities) get caught in the crossfire. Throughout it all, though, the strange union betwixt Weapon X-based mercenary and Monster Metropolis queen has managed to defy all odds and even wound up feeling oddly saccharine (for Deadpool) at times.
Come Deadpool #28, though, the honeymoon is long over. Despite their brief moment alone in Spider-Man/Deadpool #14, both of their active lives have kept them several arms' lengths from wedded bliss. Deadpool does try to help her out, though, when the monster and human worlds collide in an ugly way. Unfortunately, it seems like it's too little, too late as far as his attention goes. Will Deadpool be able to calm his monster wife down before her fury boils over onto all the soft, fleshy creatures of the surface world?
A Tale of Two Cities
For decades, the realms of monsters and human beings existed in an uneasy peace. Every now and then, some power-hungry jerk of a human would assault the monster world looking for a killer artifact or two. Similarly, a creature of the night would occasionally step out of line and try to rule the surface. Fortunately, the champions of the both worlds managed to defeat any encroachment from a monster overlord or a human usurper.
Lately, though, there’s been a lot of ill-will and bloodshed between humans and monster, especially as Monsters Unleashed well, unleashed monsters on the Earth. Thanks in part to the sketches of young Inhuman, Kei Kawade, Earth’s own creatures that go bump in the night fell in line beside the planet’s heroes. But when an elderly monster named Farcus wanders into the subway in a haze of senility, he’s shot and killed by a group of armed and understandably freaked-out humans. Luckily, Deadpool is on his way to date night when the subway assault goes down and manages to talk Shiklah out of murdering the heck out of everyone who attacked her underling.
Wade also convinces her to seek justice for her fallen compatriot through the city's courts, rather than mete out her own retribution. Sadly, there’s no precedent for monster-based killings on the books, so the judge dismisses the defendants without charge—which clearly sits poorly with Shiklah. As a result, she digs up the Scepter of the Manticore, calls the monsters of Earth to battle, and declares war on the surface world.
I Married a Succubus
For those confused about what the heck Wade Wilson is doing married to the Queen of the Undead, prepare to be slightly less confused. Essentially, the “courtship of Deadpool” began after good old head fang himself, Dracula, hired Wade to seek out Shiklah and bring her to him. Once the two were married, he would take over her monstrous fiefdom and unite the critter clans. Deadpool gets wise to the vamp's scheme and the two of them manage to escape his clutches. As thanks, she kisses him and tries to suck his life essence.
Nonetheless, after several more encounters and saving each other’s bacons, they developed an offbeat love affair and Shiklah took him as one of her husbands. Of course, their wedded bliss didn’t last long, either, as Wade was often busy with his mercenary career and his work with the Uncanny Avengers, and Shiklah is, well, the queen of the dead. Deadpool also didn’t much care for her shacking up with her other husbands, her trained and devoted assassins, and even Werewolf By Night – although they all claim to be "following orders." Either way, things have grown strained in the marriage, but nowhere near as strained as the relations between the surface world and the realm of the supernatural.
After escaping from his wife’s Cuisinart-esque delay tactics, Deadpool quickly realizes the stakes have grown much higher and reaches out for some super-powered help.
Vamp Help Is Better Than No Help
A war is coming. As his wife culls monsters from around the world and kicks humans out of New York, Deadpool seeks help from his friends, sending out a mass text to heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, Luke Cage, and, um, Mister Sinister (“I wonder who these other numbers are…?”). Assuming it’s just another annoying Wade Wilson gag, no one responds – well, almost no one. While tracking down vampires in Mexico, Blade overhears two bloodsuckers discussing Shiklah's beckoning to New York. After staking care of business, he decides its time to head back to the Big Apple and take care of monster business.
It’s interesting to note that the upsurge in monstrous occurrences, throughout the last few months, has given Marvel cause to dig out a few classic and more recent horror-based characters. In addition to Blade (who first arose from Tomb of Dracula #10 in 1973), Elsa Bloodstone, Werewolf By Night, Man-Thing, and the Howling Commandos have all seen a more cameos and subplots as of late. Although the company’s creature-crusher Monsters Unleashed is truly a unabashed if simplistic good time, the recurrence of horror themes and characters give rise to hopes that the House of Ideas will continue to dig back into more supernatural themes – which is always welcome in the MU.
No matter what happens between the supernatural and Marvel, as a full-fledged invasion force assails the Earth’s heroes, Shiklah and Deadpool’s matrimonial troubles seem to pale in comparison. After all, hell hath no fury like an undead ruler scorned. Unless Wade and his reluctant half-vamp ally can talk some sense into his semi-estranged wife or gather enough allies to stop her legions of monsters, New York City will feel the wrath of Ms. Wilson.
Gerry Duggan continues his enjoyable and surprisingly poignant run on Deadpool. Between (unsuccessfully) playing house with Shiklah, playing soldier with the Avengers, talking down a suicidal young woman, accidentally infecting numerous people – including his own daughter – with a deadly disease, and fending off his latest nutso nemesis Madcap, it’s been an active year for the Merc with a Mouth. Watching Deadpool battle with Shiklah for the survival of New York City, with a little help from Blade, promises to be an exciting and curious events, spread throughout Wade’s eponymous book, Spider-Man/Deadpool (it looks like at least the wall-crawler will get in on the action), and Deadpool & the Mercs for Money, “Til Death Do Us…” promises to be an entertaining and amusing event.
Deadpool #28 is currently available. Spider-Man/Deadpool #15 arrives March 8, Deadpool & the Mercs for Money #9 hits retailers March 29, and Deadpool #29 is available April 19.