Wade Wilson, the titular character of Marvel Comics’ “Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth” series, has had some strange team-ups in the past, but his latest has to be the weirdest one of them all. In the first four issues of the ongoing series by writer Victor Gischler and artist Bong Dazo, the cash-strapped mercenary traveled to the prehistoric Savage Land to recover a bio weapon for the terrorist group A.I.M. It turns out the bio weapon is the disembodied head of Wilson’s counterpart from the Marvel Zombies dimension, where he had been infected with the zombie virus. Deadpool and Headpool teamed up to escape the many dangers of the Savage Land, as well as the team of HYDRA agents that wanted to capture Headpool for their own fiendish purposes.
Issue #4 found Deadpool, Headpool, and the beautiful A.I.M. Scientist Doctor Betty rocketing away from the Savage Land on a shuttle bound for A.I.M.’s orbiting space station. CBR News spoke with Gischler about the remaining chapters of the opening six issue arc of “Merc With a Mouth,” as well as his future plans for the series which include more alternate reality Deadpools and an event called “The Deadpool Corps.”
CBR News: It was interesting watching Deadpool and Headpool interact, because even though they’re the “same” person, they’re also very different. While Deadpool is capable of extreme acts of violence, he’s rarely truly mean-spirited. Headpool, though, seems to have a nasty streak. Do you think that’s true?
Victor Gischler: I think you’re right. Perhaps it’s being zombie-fied, but he’s a bit nastier, which is too bad for him since he can’t act on any of his nasty ideas. Deadpool and Headpool together is sort of like Smeagol/Gollum – except either one can kill you.
Issue #5 is in stores November 18, and from the solicits, it looks like you’re taking the opening arc in a new direction and to some new settings, like outer space and the swamps of Florida. What can you tell us about the plot of issues #5-6?
This goes to something you mentioned earlier. Deadpool can commit sudden acts of incredible violence, but he’s not really mean-spirited. So when he realizes unleashing the zombie virus on the planet might be kind of a bad idea, he takes off with it to keep it out of the wrong hands. (Although few would consider Deadpool to be the right hands!)
The first arc is coming to a close, but it seems like it’s just the introductory chapter to a longer story. Is that correct?
Yeah, the first arc flows pretty well into the second. Actually, I’ve been thinking of both arcs as one big story for a long time. The story of what to do with this hot potato zombie head. Hey, when Deadpool solves one problem, it often leads to a whole new problem.
Is “Merc With a Mouth” #7 the start of a new story arc, or a one-off issue? What can you tell us about it? It looks like Deadpool and Headpool encounter even more alternate reality versions of themselves.
“Merc” #7 is a diversion, sort of a breather between the two arcs, but not quite a one off. The diversion evolves organically out of the situation that Deadpool and the gang find themselves in. And yes, he does encounter alternate versions of himself. Some of these other Deadpools are cool. Others are jerks. All have Deadpool’s powers, skills and fashion sense, but at least one is a stick in the mud. And another has a lot more curves.
What can you tell me about the dynamic between Deadpool and his alternate selves? Do they like each other?
He hates some. One he likes a little too much. Ew.
In addition to regular series artist Bong Dazo, issue #7 also features the work of artists Rob Liefeld, Kyle Baker, and Das Pastoras. From what I understand, they’re each depicting a different alternate reality Deadpool. What do you feel these artists bring to the story and the particular Deadpools that they’re drawing?
My editor, Axel Alonso, is the brains behind matching up the best artists with the right stories/situations. I never second guess the man, because he’s always been spot on. I’ve seen a preview or two of Liefeld’s Lady Deadpool, and it’s absolutely the best thing ever. All these guys are talented as hell. I wish I could draw.
“Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth” #7 kicks off 2010 – what can you tell me about the issues after that one?
Deadpool takes a big dimensional leap into zombie land. Punches are thrown. Things are sliced. Dr. Betty is hell on wheels with a pair of pistols.
At the recent Retailer’s Conference in Baltimore, Marvel hinted that in 2010 there would be an event called “The Deadpool Corps,” leading fans to believe that there will be some interesting repercussions from Deadpool meeting his alternate selves. Is there anything you can tell us about the Deadpool Corps?
One of the great byproducts of ‘Merc’ #7 is the disturbingly yummy Lady Deadpool. We get to see her again in “Deadpool Corps,” along with some other cool alternate Wilsons. There are cool things afoot, people. Seriously.
Upcoming issues of “Merc With a Mouth” feature a lot more Deadpool in the form of his alternate reality selves. Plus Deadpool is now starring in three ongoing series; yours, Daniel Way’s “Deadpool,” and the new “Deadpool Team-Up.” Why do you think Deadpool has become so popular as of late?
He’s a great character backed by a talented creative team of people. It’s a perfect storm of goodness right now. I think there are a lot of long-time Deadpool fans out there who’ve always known what a great character he is. Now others are getting in on it too.