Up to now, Deadpool's favorite team-up buddy has been a toss-up between Cable and Spider-Man. But in the last few months, a new challenger has emerged: Gabrielle Kinney. Debuting in the pages of All-New Wolverine, Gabby is a clone of Laura "X-23" Kinney, who you might know from the movie Logan. Comic fans know that Laura is a straight-up clone of Wolverine -- which sort of makes Gabby a double-clone.
Unlike her sistermomppelganger Laura, Gabby has retained some of her childlike innocence. That isn't to say that she isn't still a ruthless killing machine like the rest of her family; she's just a little nicer to the people she brutally murders.
So what about Gabby makes her such a good fit for Deadpool? As it so happens, when Wade isn't killing people for money or filling a warehouse with flapjacks for a one-panel gag, he's actually pretty good with kids. It probably has something to do with the fact that Deadpool has a daughter (or two daughters, if you count Deadpool 2099).
It's like he has a secret superpower that isn't on any wiki. Deadpool can just click with kids, and not just his own daughter(s). There was that time that Wade gave a heart-to-heart to a young Apocalypse, and that other time where he talked down a suicidal teen from a ledge. Somehow, this surprising trait has shown to totally work for the character. You could argue that Deadpool is often childish and so finds it easy to talk to children on their level, but that's only part of it. Wade deeply empathizes with those who feel rejected, out-of-place and unloved. Whenever Deadpool sees a kid struggling with these kinds of emotions, he does everything he can to help because he wishes someone would have done that for him a long time ago.
That isn't to say Wade's interactions with Gabby are all touchy-feely. When the Merc with a Mouth pops into All-New Wolverine #21, it's really just for comic relief. While the adults talk in the foreground, the future best friends get caught up to speed.
Gabby pretty much lays it all out, but for context, that scruffy lookin' runt at the top of the panel is Old Man Logan. He's a refuge from another world, one a bit like the one in the most recent Wolverine movie, and he's hanging out while his younger self is encased in adamantium (long story). The specifics aren't really important, but the great part is seeing this pair interact. Instead of recoiling in horror when he hears that the 13 year-old girl he's currently speaking to was murdered, Deadpool treats it like wonderful gossip.
Now, Wade knows he's in a comic and would probably be more entertained than terrified upon hearing any story like this. But he encourages Gabby to talk about it by acting like he wants to hear the juicy deets. Note how Gabby's stammer disappears, and her voice gets larger on the page. She became more confident in just three panels.
Friendship is a two-way street, however, and what really seals the deal is how Gabby responds to Deadpool's deformities.
Writer Tom Taylor has a way of bringing characters together to form unlikely but weirdly perfect friendships. You might have seen Taylor do just that in the Injustice series with Harley Quinn and Green Arrow/Black Canary, and now he can officially add another dynamic duo to the list. It helps that All-New Wolverine is brought to life by fantastic artists like Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher and Michael Garland. The illustration team does a bangup job of adding even more personality to this budding relationship, and they don't need those pesky, boring words to do it.
This moment tells us so much about where Deadpool and Gabby are with each other. It does take a certain level of closeness to trade superhero costumes and therefore tolerate the sweaty stank of your friend, don't get me wrong. But these two are trading clothing because they want to see the world through each other's eyes -- yet on a certain level, they both know they're already on the same wavelength. That's why, even though these two are just a small part of a larger arc (one that's still worth checking out!), this moment feels earned:
Well, now I just want to read a full-length comic series about the adventures of Gabby and Deadpool. I'll start the internet petition... right after my face stops leaking.