For all the teaser images that have been rolling out as part of Marvel Comics next event series "Shadowland," one face associated with the now ninja-controlling hero Daredevil has been conspicuously absent: his arch-enemy. The psychotic marksman Bullseye has yet to surface after taking the role of Hawkeye in Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers. But with Osborn's Dark Reign officially over, the madcap killer is making his way back to Hell's Kitchen in "Shadowland" and into his own "Shadowland: Bullseye" one-shot by John Layman and Sean Chen.
"My use of Bullseye really springs out of what Andy Diggle has planned for him in 'Daredevil' and 'Shadowland' proper," Layman explained to CBR of the August-shipping comic. "Of course, certainly what goes on there is a natural repercussion to recent events with Bullseye, but my story is more specifically focused on picking up on Bullseye after one key – and very secret – event which Andy has planned."
How Bullseye will clash with Matt Murdock in the latter's ongoing battle to bring the Hand to bear in New York's underworld has yet to be revealed, though Layman said all he could say is that the villain will be changed from his previous experiences. "Well, there's this certain special spoiler-y something which plays pretty critically into my story...I'll just say 'It's that one thing Diggle does with Bullseye,' and then you'll know immediately what I am talking about when you read 'DD' and 'Shadowland.'"
What is known for sure is that the multitude of characters associated with the new event will find their way into the Layman/Chen one-shot including some Marvel faces unique to this book. "We'll be meeting some of the 'street level' associates of Bullseye, who do not like what Daredevil and the Hand is doing one bit, and concoct a plan to both foil and spite them," the writer promised, noting that he was able to do as he wanted with his cast in the framework of "Shadowland." "I pitched a story, and the story is 100% the story I pitched and wanted to tell. But it's part of something bigger, so you do have to take that into consideration when writing it, and work a bit to make all the pieces fit."
And while Layman is making his return to Marvel after launching his successful creator-owned series "Chew" at Image, the writer said that he's also returning to this specific corner of the Marvel U even though most readers won't realize it. "Here's a fun fact: I actually did a DD/Bullseye short story for as part of a video game tie-in back when the Ben Affleck DD movie was shiny and new. I'm not sure the game saw the light of day, or maybe the comic didn't. Something happened, anyway. I'm very old, and my memory is not what it once was, but I had a blast writing Bullseye – a remorseless psychotic with impeccable aim – so I was eager to try my hand at him again. Especially for something bigger and more prominent in the Marvel U, and 'Shadowland' certainly fits that bill."
It was his personal work, after a fact, that helped the writer make his return, though Layman pointed out that "I've never been what you call an aggressive pitcher, but I did send some copies of 'Chew' around to editors, while at the same time a few editors had heard enough about book the they sought me out and wanted a look. I sent a follow up call to Steve Wacker about and was pleasantly surprised to get this opportunity."
Now the waiting games begin for August's release of the one-shot for readers to feel the full effect of what Layman has cooking, though asked finally if he could reveal whether Bullseye would be facing down against some big name heroes or the Hand and what those confrontations would hold, Layman simply said, "A) Yes. and B) Lots of punching in the face."