Some Marvel superheroes, like Captain America and Spider-Man, try to inspire their comrades with their righteous examples and exemplify important mottos like, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
There are also heroes like Hercules and Deadpool, who, rather than inspiring their superpowered colleagues to better themselves, are more likely to severely annoy their fellow heroes.
This November, writer Fred Van Lente and artist Dalibor Talajic will show Marvel Comics readers how Deadpool and Herc affect each other with the debut issue of the new ongoing series, “Deadpool Team-Up.” CBR News spoke with Van Lente about his plans for the Merc with a Mouth and the Greek Goliath.
CBR: Did this assignment spin out of your work on October’s “Deadpool” #900?
FRED VAN LENTE: Yes. Editor Axel Alonso and I had a great time working together. And I worked with Dalibor on that book as well and he's awesome. He drew our story, which is called “Silent but Deadly” for reasons that are obvious if you’ve seen the cover of that book. Here, we’re doing a story where the Marvel Universe’s two most irresponsible heroes team up and create a wide swath of destruction.
In addition to being familiar with Deadpool, you also know the character of Hercules really well as how you co-write the monthly “Incredible Hercules” series with Greg Pak. What made you want to team-up with Herc and Deadpool?
Actually, that was Axel’s idea. He approached me about doing it during our “World War Hulks” summit. He said putting the two of them together would immediately give readers the overall tone of the book, which is mayhem, gags, and a little bit of the old ultraviolence.
And one of the fun things about this incarnation of Hercules in the Marvel Universe is that he’s always been the irresponsible oaf, but we’re constantly pairing him with people who are more irresponsible than he is. In his own book we teamed him with Amadeus Cho and now Deadpool for this one.
What can you tell us about the dynamic between Deadpool and Herc in this story?
Well, they both like drinking and stuff like fart jokes, so after an initial scuffle they definitely become joined at the hip. They’re both very much outsiders in the hero community, but they’re so connected to it at the same time and here they end up getting thrown into a situation where they have to work together to avoid getting killed.
It sounds like the villains Nightmare and Arcade will be the ones trying to do the killing. What made them good foils for Deadpool and Hercules?
Arcade is a master engineer and Nightmare is a master of the subconscious. So you’ve got a left brain, right brain combo of villainy here and they combine those aspects of their arts to create what they think is the perfect deathtrap for Deadpool and Hercules.
This isn’t the first time Nightmare and Hercules have tangled. Does Nightmare’s motivation in this story spin out of “Sacred Invasion,” the Secret Invasion tie-in arc of “Incredible Hercules?”
Yes. I always wanted to have Nightmare come back and try and revenge himself on Hercules, who really made him look like a dumb ass in “Sacred Invasion.” Nightmare doesn’t appreciate that one bit and wants payback. This is his way of getting it.
A story featuring Deadpool and Hercules is bound to be funny, but these guys have also had some pretty horrible stuff happen to them and bare some scars as a result. Will the initial issue of “Deadpool Team-Up” have some dark elements to it as well?
Yes. The traditional way of looking at a mythological labyrinth is that it’s a metaphor for life. You go in one way and find the center, but what you learn on the way there changes you. So you don’t ever come out of the Labyrinth the same way you went in.
Deadpool bears mental and physical scars and Hercules bears some pretty heavy emotional scars. So Nightmare and Arcade are hoping that Deadpool and Herc will be crushed by what they discover in the center of the labyrinth, making them easy pickings for their villainy.
You’re writing only the inaugural issue of “Deadpool Team-Up,” correct? And it’s not issue #1 but issue #899?
Yes, this story is just a one-off. And as to the numbering, it makes as much sense as anything that comes out of Deadpool’s mouth, which I think is the idea.
“Deadpool Team-Up” is an ongoing series with rotating creative teams. Would like to come back and revisit this book some day?
Definitely. I really love writing Deadpool. He’s a fun character and I’ve done two stories with him now. I love the interplay between him and his various voices and the fact that you really don’t know what he’s going to do next. Deadpool is the perfect combination of Spider-Man’s jokes, Wolverine’s lethality and invincibility, and Bugs Bunny’s attitude.