They say that love finds you when you least expect it, and that was definitely true for Marvel Comics’ Deadpool. Wade Wilson certainly wasn’t looking for love while working as a courier for the Lord of Vampires, Dracula, but when the Merc with a Mouth discovered that the cargo he was transporting was actually a person — Shiklah, an ancient and beautiful Succubus Queen — romance began to bloom. The recently-completed Marvel Infinite Comic “Deadpool: The Gauntlet,” by writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn and artist Riley Brown, chronicled the story of Wade and Shiklah’s courtship — and Dracula’s furious response.
In “Deadpool” #27, a special issue featuring back-up stories from an all-star team of past “Deadpool” creators, Duggan, Posehn and artists Scott Koblish and Mike Hawthorne take the duo’s unlikely romance to the next level by having them get married. CBR News spoke with Duggan about his protagonist’s nuptials — on sale now — and the plans he and his creative cohorts have for what comes after the ceremony, including a honeymoon in Japan and a tie-in to Marvel’s upcoming “Original Sin” event.
CBR News: In “Deadpool” #25.NOW, we saw the events that kicked off “Deadpool: The Gauntlet” and exactly why Wade had to get away from everyone. It appeared that his dark side was getting out of control; is that what the dark visions he was having of Preston represented? Or is there still more to the story of what the twisted Preston claimed to be, a “whisper?”
Gerry Duggan: I think the real Preston’s point was well taken by Wade, that his life was out of balance. I don’t think anyone, even Deadpool, would contradict that. Her story seems to have come to an end after escaping Deadpool, but they really did save each other.
â€¨They were a good team, and yes, Deadpool wanted to get out of Dodge, and he had to. He had to change his life. So he jumped on a plane. We wanted to make a clean handoff to the events in “The Gauntlet,” which obviously now are feeding back into the print comic. You will see a continuation of Preston and Deadpool’s relationship, but I don’t want to say anything more about that right now.
In “The Gauntlet,” Wade met and married Shiklah. Did that help him reconcile some of the dark emotions he was feeling? Or are they sill there bubbling underneath the surface?
I think they’ll always be a part of him, but he’s quieted them down for the moment. That’s what being in a good relationship is like, you bring good to the table, and you hopefully get something good in return. Not that it’s her job to be his therapist or anything, but she gives him something else to focus on that isn’t some of the darker thoughts that may be lurking in his head.
In “The Gauntlet,” you used a fun narrative device to introduce characters, their abilities and their alignments. Will we see that device in “Deadpool?”
Never say never, but at the moment, it hasn’t made it’s way over. We thought that was going to be a fun way to use some of the unique opportunities presented by the tablet surface, but good question. Maybe we should.
The last issue of “Deadpool,” #26, was a 1950s-style inventory issue. In the past, these issues have been fun period pastiches, but they’ve also been ways for you to introduce some pretty important story elements in your run. Is issue #26 any different?
Issue #26 has a little bit less of the connective tissue than we usually sneak in there. We weren’t exactly 100 percent sure on the schedule of things. The next inventory issue that we have coming up might be one of the more important ones we’ve ever done. So stay tuned.
In terms of time traveling Hitler [Issue #26’s antagonist], this was more of an issue where we wanted you to lean back and relax. This one really was a crazy one. People will ask us a lot for examples of jokes that Marvel hasn’t let us get away with. The truth is, we pitched and got time traveling Hitler. [Laughs] They don’t have too much fear of us doing this stuff anymore. They really did give us the keys to the car.
Let’s talk a little more about the stories you have coming up. It looks like “Deadpool” #27-28 brings the story of Wade and Shiklah’s courtship to a close — beyond that, what can you tell us about what to expect in those issues?
Issue #27 has some action, but it’s primarily a character piece. The reveal of the person who marries Deadpool and Shiklah is fun, and obviously Cap and Logan will be there. Plus, there will be some old faces, including several we haven’t tackled yet in our “Deadpool” run. That’s neat.
The action introduces a new home, the Monster Metropolis [which first appeared during the “FrankenCastle” storyline of writer Rick Remender’s “Punisher” run], where it seems Deadpool will be heading to live. Then #28 is a honeymoon, but it’s a honeymoon that is interrupted. I’m really happy with the story — it’s neat, and at the end you find out why it’s happening. I think fans of our run will enjoy that story just as much as issue #27.
Boy, is #27 a real celebration of the character! Whoever wrote your favorite “Deadpool” is very likely to have a story in the book.
Deadpool and Shiklah officially tied the knot in “The Gauntlet,” but we’ll see a larger ceremony in “Deadpool” #27.
Yes, there will be a day for them, and then a night, too, which will be a time to celebrate their new relationship.
Then, as you said, issue #28 is their honeymoon, which I believe takes place in Japan —
They’re in Tokyo. It’s not necessarily where Shiklah wants to spend her honeymoon, but they have a shared adventure that begins to draw some of the threads of the larger story we’re telling back together.
Issue #29, kicks off your tie-in to “Original Sin,” which focuses on Wade’s past. Did “Original Sin” give you the opportunity to set up a story you were going to tell anyway?
As a matter of fact, it does. We use the opportunity to tie some of our events into the larger Marvel Universe. We were heading in this direction anyway, and with very little trouble, we were able to weave this story in there. There’s actually more than one secret that will be revealed.
There’s one that’s not out of left field, but it’s something that no one could possibly guess. Declan [Shalvey] did a pretty neat teaser for that. Then there’s one secret that fans have been wondering about for the last year, also related to Deadpool’s family, that will come to the front in this story. The current title for the arc is “The Brave and the Blonde.”
So one of the primary focuses in this arc is Wade’s past, including his early life.
Without removing a lot of the mystery, we will be able to tie off at least parts of his history. There’s always been some speculation about his background, and you’ll get some answers. The questions that are left unanswered will not be unsatisfying. I believe that we will be able to walk that tight rope again. We did it once in “The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly.” We know where some of the pitfalls are, now.
How would you describe the tone of your “Original Sin” tie-in story? The teaser suggests it will be an emotional tale, but the solicits include some fun elements, like Dazzler and vampires.
If you read “The Gauntlet,” you saw that Dracula and the vampires are a situation Deadpool has inherited through Shiklah, and now that “The Gauntlet” has wrapped, some of that has been unresolved. It needs cleaning up, so Shiklah is trusting Deadpool to handle the situation. And in typical Deadpool fashion, he does it in kind of a spectacular way. If traveling back in time and bringing a mutant forward [to the current time] worked for the X-Men, why not Deadpool?
The vampires sort of beef themselves up in an artificial way, and it makes them somewhat harder to kill. There is one mutant, though, that would be a perfect living weapon against the undead, and that mutant’s name is Alison Blaire.
Seems like going back in time allows you to play with one of the most beloved and visually interesting incarnations of Dazzler.
Correct. I’m glad you said it and I didn’t have to. That’s the thing, too. If Deadpool was going to fantasize about Dazzler, that’s certainly the era he would do it to.
So we’ll get some fun with Dazzler, and at the same time, we’re getting emotional bombshell revelations about Deadpool’s past.
Yes. As Deadpool is finally looking forward in his life with Shiklah, events conspire to drag him into the past, so to speak. It’s an interesting place to be. He’s trying to move forward, but he’s forced to deal with some of his old “sins.”
Artist John Lucas joins you and Brian for the “Original Sin” arc. What do you feel he brings to the book as an artist?
He’s really wonderful. He can do the horror and the comedy that we need him to. Not everyone has the ability to do one or the other, and he can do both, so we’re really lucky. We’re going from Koblish and Hawthorne to John Lucas. Then, Hawthorne will come back. We’re laying the groundwork for our next arc.
One of the most interesting things that’s happened in your’s and Brian’s run — and this has happened in the past, as well — is that Wade has developed a close knit group of family and friends. Why do you think that is? It seems like Wade is a hard guy for people to get to know, but once they do, they care for him.
He’s pushed people away. He can be repulsive, and I don’t mean a physical repulsion. As he sort of wants to change, he begins to attract some people, and a lot of these people are sort of damaged themselves. Sometimes a group of clunkers make for a group of interesting people. We’re having fun with that.
We’re having fun with the same cast and figuring out ways of changing them. The arc that Michael [The Necromancer] went through was a lot of fun, and he’s going to get ready to change again. Shiklah will be a big part of his life, and those other characters aren’t going to go anywhere either.
Early on in your run, it seemed like Wade didn’t feel that he deserved friends and family. Do you think that’s started to change?
Yeah, I think so. He was never let off from his poor behavior, but yes, as he continues to grow as a character, I think the easiest way for him to not have to talk to himself is to have other people to talk to. Like most people, he wants to find that place where he’s in balance and has a community. That will always be a struggle for Wade, and, I imagine, a lot of people.
If you read the first 26 issues of our “Deadpool” run, there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy what we have coming up in this new phase of his life. It did feel like #25.NOW was a little bit of an end for that chapter of Wade’s life. Obviously, people were able to enjoy “The Gauntlet,” which was always meant to be a fun, parallel story. Now we’re looking at starting a new chapter in Deadpool’s life, and maybe we’ll pick up some new readers.
Issue #27 is a really fantastic issue that Jordan [“Deadpool” editor Jordan D. White] and all the editors and creators worked really hard on. If you’re a fan of “Deadpool,” I can’t imagine you being disappointed with what they were able to pull off. I was very glad to be a part of it.
“Deadpool” #27, Wade and Shiklah’s big wedding issue, is on sale now.