Deadpool Team-Up: Keep On Truckin'

Stuart Moore puts the pedal to the medal, pairing U.S. Ace and the Merc With a Mouth



DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #896 preview art by Shawn Crystal
By Jim Beard

The world's most insane team-up title rolls on with February 3's DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #896, as once again, that infamous Merc With a Mouth foists himself on another innocent denizen of the Marvel Universe! Not-so-innocent writer Stuart Moore describes Deadpool's latest victim:

"U.S. Ace-or U.S. 1, as he was originally known-was Marvel's answer to the trucking craze of the mid-1970s," he says. "Unfortunately, his comic didn't come out until 1983. He was a cheery, good-natured workin' man with a steel plate in his head that let him pick up C.B. radio signals, and that eventually allowed him to mentally control his truck. By the end of the 12 issues, nobody was watching Smokey & the Bandit movies anymore, so they sent poor U.S. into outer space, where he had some adventures with She-Hulk."

Moore swears that every word of that rings true, including the part where he believes Ace to be a "perfect fit" for Deadpool's unique brand of team-up adventure.

"I suggested playing him as a guy who's had his adventures on the road and out among the stars," the writer notes. "But now his wife's left him and he's back on Earth, scrabbling to make ends meet. He's still a good man and he's always tried to treat people right, but somewhere along the way, things just haven't worked out. He's a good hero for uncertain times. Of course, having Deadpool drop out of the sky into your life doesn't make things any less uncertain."

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #896 preview art by Shawn Crystal
So why trucking, of all things, in DEADPOOL TEAM-UP?

"Deadpool is like a two-year-old: easily bored and totally obsessed by any new, shiny object," explains Moore. "He puts on a hat and vest, picks up a used paperback called 'The Totally Wicked Book of C.B. Slang (Bicentennial Edition),' and decides he's a trucker. He doesn't bother with the details, like learning what a double-clutch is. And he thinks Ace is his best buddy, his brother of the road. What in the world could go wrong with all that?"

Knowing better than to answer such a loaded question from a writer the caliber of Stuart Moore, we instead asked about the rumor of Wade singing "The Ballad of U.S. Ace" in DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #896.

"Deadpool's show-biz talents are not widely appreciated within the Marvel Universe, but hey, doesn't the name 'Wade Wilson' sound like a country singer?" Moore says. "As for what his voice sounds like: If they let me record the song for 'Marvel Hotline,' you'll find out."

And who will Wade and his new buddy be running up against on the open road? Why, none other than the villainous Highwayman. Surely here's a criminal designed to put the brakes on Deadpool's runaway ode to trucking, yes?

"The Highwayman is U.S. Ace's brother, as all 12 people still alive who read the original series know," Moore recounts. "In our story, the Highwayman runs a trucking company that'll transport any cargo-no questions asked-for shady clients ranging from Hell all the way up to outer space. Ace needs cash, so he has to swallow his pride and morality, and

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #896 preview art by Shawn Crystal
beg his brother for a job. The Highwayman recently appeared in GHOST RIDER, where Jason Aarons made him actually scary. We're hoping to undo all Jason's good work and render the character unusable for another 25 years."

Shawn Crystal provides the art on DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #896, and Moore loudly honks his horn in admiration of his collaborator.

"Oh, it's beautiful," he crows. "Shawn's got a great sense of design and composition, and for this story, he's upped the level of detail as well. He's also managed to make combat between semi trucks look dynamic and exciting, which is a hell of a lot harder than it sounds.

"And we haven't even mentioned the killer raccoons! Those little guys will steal your heart and blow your head off."


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      For what it's worth, I'm sold.


      Far out, man. I had U.S. 1 way back when. (Though in retrospect, it does seem like an odd topic for comix...)