What can easily be described as one of Deadpool's best stories wrapped up today. With issue #19, 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly' reached its gripping conclusion. How will this change Wade as he goes on with his life? Will a bond remain between him and Wolverine/Captain America? We spoke with DEADPOOL co-writer Gerry Duggan about the excellent story and what he and Brian Posehn will hit us with next.
Yes, this interview is full of spoilers, so go read DEADPOOL #19 if you haven't already.
Comic Vine: First of all, congratulations on wrapping up this great story.
CV: What was it like diving into Wade's head for such a dark ride as opposed to the previous arcs which had a much stronger emphasis on comedy?
GD: Well, we had this story from the beginning, but needed to find the right place for it. It would not have worked any earlier in our run. I think the expectation was that we were going to be funny, so this was nice to drop on everyone. We were reading Marvel comics before we were funny.
CV: This story has obviously had a huge impact on Wade, so will we see a slightly more serious version of him moving forward?
GD: The situation Deadpool finds himself in the next couple of arcs will dictate that he be more serious. Comedy will come back, too. Humor is a fine defense mechanism when you’re out of ammo. He’s got some heavy problems in the near future, at least one mystery, but I think some of our funniest gags are ahead in Hawthorne’s next arc.
CV: Deadpool's connection to Wolverine and Captain America took massive strides here. Are there any plans to follow-up on this friendship?
GD: Yes. Short term you may see their paths cross again in the next year and there is a large story gestating that would reunite the three, that would be a bit further down the line if it happens.
CV: As stated in this finale, calling Deadpool's history complicated is a massive understatement. Do you plan on going further into his past down the road or was this basically your way of saying, "We all know he's got a messed up past and been through terrible things. He now has a chance to leave that behind and move forward?" Even if we're leaving his past behind, we can expect to see the return of any characters who played any kind of role in his life (anyone from Juggernaut to Cable)?
GD: Deadpool’s past is a mess, and I think people are kind of sick of “fixes” for the past. It was not our intent to retcon away previous Deadpool stories, we just wanted to provide some context for the confusion. Butler’s tampering is our way of accepting the glorious, giant mess. We landed pretty hard on Deadpool’s Canadian origin, but then again, by Butler’s own admission, he was not paying careful attention to Deadpool’s past. He was primarily concerned with his present and future. He might have been wrong. This way Deadpool fans can endlessly debate who was right, who was wrong, and what if any adventures might have been implanted memories.
CV: The series has seen a lot of talented artists, but Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire definitely felt like the best fit for this one. What was it like collaborating with them on this more emotional journey for Deadpool?
GD: Those two are the best. It’s always easier to write comics when you know who you’re writing for. We try to play to everyone’s strengths. Pitch fastballs for them to hit over the fence, and we’ve been lucky with the caliber of artistic collaborators since issue 1. Dec and Jordie brought so much to the story. We knew they would thrive in the darkness, but they also nailed every comedic beat, and moment of light in the arc. They surprised us with the Deadpool’s brass knuckles during the break out, and not only was it a great gag, but it was just what we needed at that moment, some light in the dark. Wait until you see what they’re up to next. They’re a special team.
CV: Is there a possibility we could see the faux X-Men again?
GD: I believe you will, but perhaps not in the pages of Deadpool. Or more accurately, not just in the pages of Deadpool. We have some fun ideas about where their story goes, and how it ends.
CV: That ending, man. I know you can't blatantly reveal exactly what's going on, but can you at least give us a hint or two?
GD: Deadpool was already homeward bound to try and return Preston to where she belonged, and get his money from S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Gorman. The last page of 19 was our way of showing you those tasks will be a bit more complicated than either Preston or Deadpool imagined.
CV: Was there anything you guys really wanted to include in the storyline but it didn't make the cut? What do you think would have happened if the army didn't stand down when they saw Cap?
GD: I love that moment so much. Cap saves the day just by being Cap. The truth is sometimes the best stories, or moments in stories and this is true in any media really -- sometimes they happen at the intersection of art and commerce. We didn’t have the page count for a pitched battle, but you’ve seen Cap fight a lot of pitched battles, I bet. It’s not quite Indy shooting the swordsman from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, but it’s a fun moment that fit the story. Hope everybody liked it.
CV: So Deadpool's going up against S.H.I.E.L.D. next. Can you talk a little bit about what we can expect from this upcoming arc and what it'll mean for Wade? It's looking like this will be a huge story for Agent Preston, right?
GD: Yeah, on the surface he’s going up against S.H.I.E.L.D., but Coulson is hoping to redirect Deadpool mid-flight. It will be very fair to say that nobody will be able to call Deadpool off of Agent Gorman. We'll have to see what S.H.I.E.L.D.'s stance is on that. Presumably they wouldn't want an agent to be attacked by a mercenary. There are some other complications. Like the last page of 19...
CV We know Agent Coulson's in the picture, but will he play a big role? Was writing him challenging?
GD: Having a crystal clear voice in your head for a character is always a big help for a writer, so credit Clark Gregg, and everybody that’s written for Clark. Coulson has some fun moments in this arc, and those moments come with Scott Adsit, who against all odds has journeyed from the real world into the Marvel Universe. He’s another guy that we’ve got dialed in. Their scenes are fun.
CV: The preview for #21 reveals Crossbones will enter the book. He recently got his butt handed to him by Venom (and rightfully so), but against someone like Deadpool, he has the potential to give an epic fight. How does the Captain America villain connect to the story with S.H.I.E.L.D. and can we expect some glorious action with him?
GD: Crossbones is capable of giving Deadpool a run for his money, but you’re going to have to wait for that to happen until the end of the arc. There’s a fight in 21, but...the main event will happen in 25.
CV: If you had to tease the upcoming story in 5 words or less, what would you say?
GD: “Dude, where’s my body?”
CV: Is there anything you'd like to add about your other work with Marvel?
GD: Thanks for reading Deadpool, and if you’re digging it please check out Nova 100 this month, I have a short story in it, and then I take over for Zeb Wells with Nova 11 in December. Last plug: A+X starring Cap & Cyclops has been a blast. Part one of six is on stands now.
DEADPOOL #19 is currently on sale and the second part of Gerry's A+X story goes on sale next Wednesday (11/20/13). You can follow Gerry on Twitter @GerryDuggan