G.I. Jesus and the Merc With a Mouth: Nicieza talks "Cable & Deadpool"

Thu, May 5th, 2005 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Dave Richards, Staff Writer

All art in this article from "Cable & Deadpool" #15, out later this month.
Marvel Comics' "Cable & Deadpool" gives readers a little bit of everything. It's got high stakes superhero action, great characters, an examination of society's ills, and, most importantly, dick and fart jokes. "Cable & Deadpool" blends all these elements into a book that is both thrilling and gut busting hilarious. CBR News spoke to "Cable & Deadpool writer Fabian Nicieza via e-mail. So prepare yourself for an onslaught of armor piercing sarcasm and heat seeking quips as Nicieza dishes on the upcoming exploits of Cable and Deadpool.

"Cable & Deadpool is a book that's new reader friendly. Nicieza doesn't expect new readers to know much. "They need to know nuclear physics and the complicated rite of Ascension in the Klingon House of K'Ogh. Other than that, it's pretty much a free ride," he joked. "Seriously, what do they need to know? Uhm... check boredom at the door? Not too many pages of characters sitting around and talking to each other, though occasionally they will sit around and talk to themselves. It's the story of two very lonely, very different men who are both desperately trying to find a cause in life and little by little, that is turning into-- much to their mutual chagrin-- friendship. Albeit, with perpetual threats on each other's lives. Cable is a child of war who fights for peace. Deadpool is a child of madness who fears sanity. One is a Gun-toting Prophet; the other is a gun-toting Mercenary. They get involved in lots of fun, odd, nasty adventures. And sometimes, they even work on the same side."

Cable AKA Nathan Summers is a soldier who comes from a dark dystopic future menaced by the threat of the arch villain Apocalypse. Now that the threat of Apocalypse has been ended, Cable finds himself with a new purpose and a new defining characteristic. "A gnawing, gigantic, enormous, cavernous hole in his heart for all the things he hasn't done in his life to help people, foment peace and change civilization," Nicieza explained. "He comes from a future where his side always lost. He has won that war now in our present day, but doesn't see human civilization embracing the potential to change what is to come. He wants to maximize our happiness, sometimes even if it means forcing us to laugh at the pointed end of a gun barrel."

The book's other star Deadpool AKA Wade Wilson is a highly trained mercenary and former test subject of the Weapon X program. Nicieza sees Deadpool's defining personality traits as, "Perpetual hyperactivity and ADD as a clever facade that prevents him from interacting with life in any semblance of a normal fashion. His healing factor, which keeps his cancer at bay, also makes his brain a whirling dervish of activity. Sometimes, he knows he's a lonely, pathetic, crazy lunatic. But he can't do anything about it."

The events of the second "Cable & Deadpool" story line saw the power level of Cable's telepathy and telekinesis increased to immense levels. He then used his vast powers to try and remake the world into a utopia. To save the world and Cable's life, Deadpool was forced to use a device to lobotomize Cable, but to paraphrase "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"; "He got better." This adventure caused the rest of the Marvel universe to view Cable and Deadpool as trouble. Nicieza said they are viewed, "The same way most people view jock itch. Deadpool is a dangerous irritant who could decide to shoot you as much as shake your hand and Cable is a dangerous irritant who will make you stop fighting even if he has to kick your ass to do it."

The average citizens of the Marvel universe view Cable and Deadpool differently. "The average person doesn't think of Deadpool that much, other than as the man who killed the potential Savior of the Planet Earth, even though the Savior was resurrected," Nicieza explained. "The average man thinks of Cable as the Potential Savior of the Planet Earth -- but they want to see him walk on water again, and he can't right now because he lost his powers."

When Cable possessed his vast powers, he created a futuristic island paradise in the South Pacific he called Providence. Thousands of people accepted Cable's invitation to create a community on Providence dedicated to bettering humanity. "It is considered a haven or safe place, but the average person thinks only hippies, the Intelligentsia and Oprah-lovers are going there," Nicieza told CBR News. "And for the most part, they're right."

The supporting cast of "Cable & Deadpool" includes the citizens of Providence and many other characters. "We view our supporting cast as just about any character who can stand hanging around with these two for more than an issue at a time," Nicieza said. "They are nothing but props used to serve our main characters and we readily admit that."

Readers hoping for appearances by supporting character's from Deadpool's old title like Blind Al, shouldn't expect them soon "I thought of using Blind Al, but I felt she was so uniquely a Joe Kelly character that I didn't feel comfortable with her yet," Nicieza said. "Maybe someday down the road, since, as we have proven, no matter how hard Marvel tries, they just can't seem to cancel this book."

One character that will be returning to the pages of "Cable & Deadpool" is Deapool's idol, the man with the boss tattoo and badass kung-fu skills. "We will see The Cat appearing again soon," Nicieza told CBR News. "He's practically a supporting character by now, too."

In the recent "Wolverine" story line "Enemy of the State" the character was brain washed. "Cable & Deadpool" issue 15 begins a new story line titled "Enema of the State." "'Enema of the State' starts with someone brainwashing Deadpool to do his bidding, but that doesn't quite work out how he planned it to," Nicieza said. "Then it becomes an alternate reality hopping adventure in search of Cable, then it becomes a touching, poignant, borderline-Lifetime movie story of getting a chance to relive your life and what would you do differently. And, a free cookie to any reader who figures out the hidden meaning of the 'Enema of the State' title when the series concludes."

"Enema of the State" will also tie into Marvel's big summer crossover. "It runs in #15-17, and includes our 'House of M' tie-in in #17. So it's a three-part story line with a crossover in the middle, and then a 4th part finale in #18. And yes, I'm purposely having fun with the whole 'story within a story within a tie-in' aspect of publishing."

While "Cable & Deadpool" #17 does tie into "House of M," do not expect the two to play significant roles in the story. "As if anyone at Marvel would be dumb enough to trust us to have important roles in their big story! They were smart enough to keep us separated as if we were nuclear turds!" Nicieza said. "Quesada and Bendis were walking around in Hazmat suits when we delivered our script."

The mutant Siryn, the object of Deadpool's affections, reenters his life during "Enema of the State." Nicieza explained what that means for Deadpool, "Chafing erections, I would imagine, but we are a family comic," He said. "The Manson Family, but still."

Issue 19 of "Cable & Deadpool" is a transition issue. "Thematically, issue 19 helps to wrap up our previous story line and launch our next one," Nicieza explained. "It is a stand-alone issue called 'Why When I Was Your Age...' in which Deadpool and Cable learn quite a bit about what makes each of them tick. It would be a pretty funny story, if it weren't so twisted and dark."

Issue 20 has The MercWith a Mouth finally working again." Our next arc, which is called 'Bosom Buddies' and has Deadpool getting hired for a job for the first time in a while as Cable has to keep him out of trouble," Nicieza told CBR News. "And other people have been hired in competition, so Cable and Deadpool get to go up against their greatest nightmare -- three incredibly hot sexy snake chicks. Yes, breakout your Marvel Universe Handbooks, `cause we got Black Mamba, the Asp and Diamondback together again -- the B.A.D. Girls will give both our boys fits and embarrassing nocturnal emissions."

Nicieza gave CBR News the step-by-step process of how he creates the magic found in the pages of "Cable & Deadpool." "I have something called a brain and a computer. I don't know exactly how either works, but one relays information to my hand, which types words into the computer," he said. "Those words are then electronically submitted to our editor, Nicole Wiley, who frowns, dreading having to work on this book for yet another interminable month. She stares at the walls, hearing Ralph Macchio's pained cackle, wondering why her young life has become such a rut so quickly, why she remains in publishing, when more exciting fields of endeavor-- say the exciting and expanding field of Home Security-- remain available for her to explore. Then she sends the script to our terrific artist Patrick Zircher, whom I have purposely mentioned in this interview as little as possible so as to focus all attention upon myself, where I feel it belongs. Patrick also has a brain and a hand and in that hand he holds a pencil. He uses that pencil on something called paper and . . ."

"Cable & Deadpool" is a unique blend of high stakes action, twisted humor and societal awareness and is one of Marvel's most entertaining comics. Nicieza recommends the book to a very specific group of comic readers. "Everyone who has eyes," he said. "But specifically for people whose eyes are attached to brains that don't want comics where characters do nothing but say everything, go nowhere but claim they just journeyed around the world. Month in and month out, 'Cable & Deadpool' successfully do everything but say nothing and journey around the world and go nowhere! That's the way comics used to be done, dagnabbit!"

 
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