In the Marvel Universe, much like ours, mercenary work is a dirty and dangerous profession, a career you choose in order to make fast money but not a lot of friends. For Wade Wilson, better known as Deadpool, danger has never been a problem thanks to his superhuman healing factor allowing him to recover from almost any wound. And of course, the fact that he's crazy didn't hurt either. However, the not having a lot friends part has definitely become a strike against the profession. So last year, after completing a fairly lucrative mercenary job, Deadpool officially gave up the life of a gun for hire.
The former Merc With a Mouth decided from that point forward, he was going to be a hero! His penchant for ultra-violence and his juvenile interpersonal skills has made this quest an incredibly difficult endeavor, however, and in the coming months Deadpool's past profession is going to come roaring back into his life in two different ways; the first in the form of some very unusual clients in need of Deadpool's skills and the second in the appearance of a disrespectful intergalactic mercenary. All of this despite seeing his number of monthly titles scaling back. CBR News spoke with "Deadpool" writer Daniel Way about his plans for the popular bad guy gone good and what effect the cancellations may have on the core title.
"The only way that's going to affect my book, frankly, is that we're going to go from 12 to possibly 18 issues a year. I'll do my best to pull that off. Readers seemed to have embraced my book, so the thought is why not give them more? So as the satellite Deadpool books kind of taper off, you'll actually get more issues of 'Deadpool' proper, which has been a real juggling act," Way told CBR News. "At any given time I have three artists working on separate stories. So that will probably explain why a lot of the 'Deadpool' stories that are coming out are so batshit insane. It's very easy for me to write Deadpool right now because I kind of see where he's coming from."
In "Deadpool" #29, in stores now, the title character completed his most successful adventure yet in his quest to be a hero, or at least he thought he did, when he helped Former Captain America, Steve Rogers, and his team of Secret Avengers defeat the D-List villain, Doctor Bong.
"Deadpool got involved because Doctor Bong had a clone of Steve Rogers approach him. The real Steve never approached him, but once he realized Deadpool was involved, he made the call that it was better to have Deadpool in the circle than outside of it. Deadpool was effective, to a certain extent, and he pulled off something impressive, but at the end of the day it was versus Doctor Bong," Way said. "Steve Rogers and the Secret Avengers have a very clear mandate, and they're also a black ops team. That's just not Deadpool's strong suit. The low profile thing? No! So he had a small victory in front of his childhood hero. It was cool to see a bit of that. Captain America is really a big thing to Deadpool, but meeting your heroes and seeing they possibly have feet of clay can be disillusioning."
While defeating Doctor Bong may have been a small victory, Deadpool felt it still warranted celebration - hence the fireworks he spent time gathering earlier in the issue under the claim they were vital to his plans. Little did anyone realize they were vital to his post-fight gala.
"I don't think anyone stuck around to see the fireworks. Deadpool thought there was going to be a huge party," Way remarked. "I wish I could have gotten an extra page on that issue. I thought it justified a splash page of him just looking up at the fireworks all alone, but that was not in the cards."
In December's "Deadpool" #30, Way and artist Bong Dazo kick off a new story arc titled "I Rule, You Suck," a storyline that finds Deadpool unexpectedly caught up in the current vampiric chaos of the "Curse of the Mutants" mini-event. "Dracula's renegade son Xarus has rested control of most of the Marvel Universe's vampire clans, and the clans that aren't on board are marked for death by the Krieger and Claw sects, two tribes of scary vampire warriors," Way said. "One of the sects marked for death is an assimilationist group that's operating here in the states. They don't want to get involved. They've got their own thing going on and therefore they're marked for death. So they attempt to hire Deadpool to protect them during the day because there's this undead, cleaning crew of warrior vampires that's able to walk around during the day due to these special high tech pendants. They need protection when the sun is up, and they go to Deadpool for that.
"It's kind of like 'Halloween II' in that the whole thing is set in this hospital and there's a lot of blood. Plus, you get to see Deadpool go toe-to-toe with vampires. There's some comedy gold there. And of course he falls for a girl. They have a very disturbing relationship. At one point, he actually shoots her because he thinks it's the romantic thing to do," Way continued. "In addition to all this insanity, you get to see his skills as a tactician really come to the fore, especially at the end of this story. It's something he does in a very offhand way, but there's a character that witnesses this and is sort of the readers' eyes into this phenomenon. Deadpool puts a lot of work into looking crazy and the stuff that he does, which is extremely effective, he does without any comment what so ever. So you'll actually see him pull off some real high flying tactical science that takes out some vampires in a way that I don't think we've seen before. At least I haven't and I watch a lot of vampire movies and stuff like that."
After "I Rule, You Suck," Way and Dazo will provide a done-in-one issue of "Deadpool" as part of Marvel's "Point One" program, which is made up of special issues designed to be especially good jumping on points for new readers. The .1 issue of "Deadpool" tells the tale of the titular character being hired to move the super villain known as the Wrecker from an apartment building.
After his shenanigans with the Wrecker, Deadpool's past comes down from space to haunt him in the form of an intergalactic bounty hunter. "Macho Gomez is a new character I came up with. He's the baddest mofo in any galaxy. He is a six fingered, pot bellied alien that looks like he's from Mexico. He is a formidable opponent. He wears a bad-ass cowboy style outfit and drives an intergalactic hooptie with these crazy, crustacean inspired weapons," Way said. "We know Deadpool is prone to hallucinations, and it's almost like Macho Gomez has sprung from the imagination of Deadpool."
Deadpool's encounter with Macho Gomez marks a tipping point, driving him firmly back into the life of selling his skills to the highest bidder. "While he's been off on this quest to become a hero, Deadpool's reputation as a mercenary has gone down the tubes. So now he's got guys like Macho Gomez coming down from space and having absolutely no respect for him and not recognizing his skills. That, coupled with how much difficulty he's had kind of cracking the hero nut, pushes him not only into becoming a mercenary again, but the greatest mercenary in the galaxy. Because I know this always works extremely well in comics, we're going to send Deadpool into space. But he comes back quickly."
While spacebound, he'll be confronted by another new character, one with familial ties to an established and massively sized Marvel Cosmic character. " You're familiar with Ego the Living Planet? We're going to meet his cousin, Id the Selfish Moon," Way revealed. "Id is the next member in the insane character parade. First there was Hit-Monkey, soon we'll have Macho Gomez and then Id the Selfish Moon."
The story of Deadpool's confrontation with Macho Gomez and subsequent journey into space marks the first and probably not the last collaboration between Way and artist Sheldon Vella. "He's Australian, but lives here in the states now. This guy is incredible! I couldn't ask for a better artist for that story," Way remarked. "I'd like to work with him a lot more because his art is just jaw dropping!"
Deadpool may be headed for a brief sojourn into space, but he's not going off to some unexplored new sector. Even his cosmic adventures will be firmly grounded in the Marvel Universe. "I'm never going to send Deadpool off to his own little corner of the Marvel U. With the amount of stories I'm writing I am having to bring in new characters though. That's simply because Marvel publishes a lot of books, and gone are the days when everybody is using the same 25 characters. It's amazing. I had to wait three days to get clearance to use the Wrecker. I think at one point I asked to use Rhino and was told that I couldn't use him," Way said. "All these characters are in play. So whenever we get to a situation where we don't have readily available characters, that's usually when you'll see some original characters like Hit-Monkey or Macho Gomez. Those kinds of inspiration often come out necessity. My 'Deadpool' book will never be off in it's own little Deadpool Universe. It will always operate in the middle of the Marvel Universe and at the heart of it whenever possible.
"So 2011 is going to be a huge year for 'Deadpool,'" Way continued. "There are going to be more stories and they'll be bigger and crazier. We'll also loop him back into the big stories of the Marvel Universe because he's going to play a key role in some huge events. So keep your eye on the character, and once again I'd like to thank everybody for supporting the book. I'm having a blast writing the character."