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This issue was part of Marvel's 'Flashback' month.

In this issue Deadpool’s selection as a candidate in the Weapon X project is decided with help from Montgomery and Zoe Culloden. Zoe goes undercover as a prostitute shadowing Deadpools girlfriend Vanessa Carlysle, they come under attack from a man seeking revenge on Deadpool, through his girlfriend. Zoe steps in and saves Vanessa. Deadpool reveals to his girlfriend that he has incurable cancer and breaks up with her, the reason being, that he won’t let her suffer along with him. His place in the Weapon X project is now certain.


At Landau, Luckman, Lake, and LeQuire, Zoe Culloden is not happy. She walks with Dixon and discusses her disbelief that she won't be getting her promotion due to some fluke with her charge. She and Dixon approach Montgomery, the resident pre-cog, who explains that things are looking dicey with Culloden's charge. Mere points will keep him from the success that will get Culloden her promotion. Refusing to wait another seven years for an opportunity to get another charge ready, Culloden storms off and promises that her charge, Wade Wilson, will pass by any means necessary.

In Boston, Copycat finishes services with a customer. He leaves and Copycat prepares to leave for a date with her boyfriend Wade. A knock at the door reveals Zoe Culloden introducing herself as a new call girl that Copycat needs to help. Copycat couldn't be more displeased, but Culloden is pushy and Copycat allows her to go back to her apartment. Copycat doesn't let Culloden stay for too long. She pushes Zoe onto the streets with a very quick lesson on prostitution and some cash.

Outside Copycat's door, Culloden is bodyslid into a meeting with Dixon. He is fed up with Culloden's ambitions and tries to get her to see the facts that Wade Wilson is an unstable sociopath who could ruin things for the company. Culloden refuses to believe it until Dixon shows her some footage of a British base in Zaire. Dixon explains that two weeks ago, Wade was hired to take out one target at this base yet had decided to take out the entire squadron. Nobody knows why. Culloden is shocked but quickly determines that such a lost cause will look even more impressive if brought back to sanity, ensuring her of a promotion.

Culloden returns to Boston some time later and approaches Copycat's apartment. Wade Wilson is leaving and Culloden realizes that this is the first time she's seen him face to face after years of studying him. Copycat invites Culloden in and explains that the evening was kind of a bust; Wade just seemed a little off. Copycat then relates that she and Wade are going to move as soon as they have enough money. Culloden laughs this off and states that guys like Wade, "professional survivors," do best on their own. Copycat won't believe it.

Back at L,L,L, & L, Culloden is having a hard time believing the report out of Africa about Wade. She does, however, acknowledge that Wade seems to have changed. Montgomery appears and divines the Africa mission. He is shocked to find that the mark, the one person Wade was supposed to kill, is still alive. Montgomery projects that Wade may be worried that Copycat will be used as leverage by his employers. What's more, Montgomery sees Wade's success in the program has dropped precipitously. Even worse, Culloden's chances of survival seem to have dropped as well. As a way to entice her to drop Wade, Montgomery breaks the rules and tells her of a promotion in three years if she drops Wade. Stubborn, Culloden refuses, citing that she can't even wait one year for a promotion.

Culloden does some research and finds that Montgomery was at least right in assuming that Wade's employers are not happy. She returns to Boston and hooks up with Copycat on the streets. Copycat begins to feel a kinship with Culloden (due to Copycat's powers of absorbing people's essences). A car rolls up and Copycat approaches. The man inside is looking for Copycat. Upon learning that he has found her he exits his car and pulls a sword. Before he can attack Copycat, Culloden kicks him and the ladies run. The man orders his lackeys to cut them off.

The girls escape down an alley and Culloden gets knocked out temporarily. The man approaches Copycat and orders her to take him to Wade. Copycat refuses. Culloden, meanwhile, questions whether she should just bodyslide out of the situation and things run their course: give up on Wade and let Copycat die. She shirks this impression and pulls a gun on the man. He's dead before she can register her actions. Culloden then bodyslides after telling Copycat to go live her life with Wade.

Culloden approaches Montgomery and beams that she's saved Wade Wilson. Montgomery, however, doesn't see Culloden's actions of saving Copycat as a redeeming factor. In fact, Wade's success rate has dropped to a mere 2%. Montgomery is loathe to relate that cancer is causing Wade to become unstable and Copycat won't be able to stabilize him. Culloden asks to see how events are plaing out. In Copycat's apartment, Wade has just broken the news that he has cancer and that he is leaving her. She pleads for him to stay but he feels he is doing the noble thing by leaving. Culloden forgets her promotion and laments the love lost between these two.

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This is a comic about Deadpool that isn't about Deadpool, per se. The events deal specifically with who he was before cancer took him: his relationship with Copycat, his first missions as a mercenary, and how his life was projected to play out. The tale is told around Zoe Culloden and Copycat with Wade making very few appearances, but the reader doesn't quite care since so much information and backstory is finally revealed about the early days. The story is good (very good for the time, in fact)...

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