The Marvel Universe is home to many powerful and intimidating individuals, but all it takes to overcome them is an iron will, twisted cunning, and a healing factor that makes you virtually unkillable. The mercenary known as Deadpool (AKA Wade Wilson) proved that earlier this year in the “Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe” miniseries by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajic where he murdered all the super powered inhabitants of an alternate version of the Marvel Universe.
Deadpool’s murderous crusade didn’t end there, however. This January, the Merc With a Mouth embarks on a new killing spree in the new four-issue miniseries “Deadpool Killustrated” by Bunn and artist Matteo Lolli (“Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man”). CBR News spoke with Bunn about the series which pits the title character against some of the world’s most famous literary characters.
CBR News: Cullen, how does it feel to be given the chance to continue the slaughter fest you started in “Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe?” What inspired the idea for this follow up?
Cullen Bunn: You know that feeling you get when you do something just absolutely malicious and evil and you get rewarded for it? That’s exactly how I felt when we started talking about doing a sequel to “Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe.” My maniacal laughter could be heard throughout the asylum, I’m sure.
Actually, I started imagining a possible sequel around the time I was writing the third issue of the original series. I didn’t initially imagine anything quite like “Deadpool Killustrated,” but there are scenes in the first issue of the new series that popped into my head fully-formed long before I knew there would definitely be a sequel.
When my editor, Jordan White, and I started discussing the sequel, we discussed several possible “targets” for Deadpool’s madness. In the end, though, this idea of Deadpool slaughtering these literary icons seemed to be something that no one would expect.
When we last left your bloodthirsty version of Deadpool he had offed his Marvel U and it seemed like, from his point of view, he was liberating the characters from the tortures inflicted upon them by god-like writers. In my mind, that suggests Deadpool views himself as the hero of this story and he actually believes he’s doing good. Is that correct? Or does he relish the carnage and mayhem that he’s been inflicting?
Deadpool doesn’t see what he’s doing as evil. He believes that the heroes and villains he’s killed do not really exist. He thinks everyone — including himself — has been created as playthings for these progenitor gods. These “gods” put their creations through pure hell — endless struggles, tortured back stories, unrequited and lost love, death, rebirth — all in the name of continuity.
Deadpool has always known he was a comic book character, but now he believes that he can end all of the suffering and set everyone around him free. He thinks he’s dishing out tough love. Of course, Deadpool is the kind of guy who enjoys his work, and sometimes that means relishing in the joy of a kill or thirty.
What sets the events of “Deadpool Killustrated” in motion? What is Wade’s mindset when this story begins?
“Deadpool Killustrated” picks up where we left off. Deadpool has traveled to a number of alternate Earths. He’s killed the heroes of the Marvel Universe over and over again — and he sees no end in sight. He’s looking for a way to shortcut the slaughter, to annihilate the entire multiverse all at once. This is when he learns of the Ideaverse, a place where all the stories of classic literature are unfolding — and he gets the devious idea that he could destroy these characters so that the characters of the Marvel Universe would never exist in the first place.
How does the plot of “Deadpool Killustrated” unfold? Will Wade be visiting the world of a different classic novel each issue? What are some of the novels he’ll get involved in and how did you settle on those particular stories?
In this story, Deadpool finds the means to travel through the Ideaverse. This is the place where the stories and characters that inspired the stories and characters of the Marvel Universe exist. Deadpool believes that if he can destroy them, he can retroactively destroy the characters and stories they inspire. Deadpool’s able to move in and out of different timelines and worlds to do his dirty work, but he’ll find that his presence in the Ideaverse may be having an adverse effect.
As for the characters he’ll encounter, I thought a lot about the tales of classic literature that mean a lot to me — and I thought about how to ruin them. I also tried to think about how those classic characters might correlate to the Marvel characters Deadpool’s trying to kill.
Characters he’ll encounter might include Moby Dick, Sherlock Holmes, Beowulf, and Don Quixote, among others. In every issue, Deadpool will be running into a few different characters, and I don’t want to spoil some of the surprises.
In his own world, Deadpool was a cunning and virtually unkillable mercenary which made it easy for him to cut through much of the opposition in the Marvel Universe quite quickly. Just how dangerous and difficult will he find the worlds he visits in “Deadpool Killustrated?” Does he understand them as well as he does his own?
Deadpool jumps into this story thinking it’s going to be a piece of cake. After all, he destroyed the greatest heroes of the Marvel Universe with relative ease. These classic fuddy-duddies should be pushovers. He finds, though, that these characters have much more fight in them than he expects. They rage against the dying of the light, so to speak, and by “rage” I mean they give Deadpool a schoolyard beating he’s not expecting. In fact, there will come a point where Deadpool determines this is not a job he can do on his own.
It sounds like the different literary worlds in the series gives you a chance to explore a variety of different genres and tones in each issue of “Deadpool Killustrated.” Is that correct? And will there be an overriding genre and tone that runs through the entire series?
I think you’ll see the book’s tone shift a little with every world Deadpool visits. My hope is to capture the “feel” of the different stories Deadpool hops into. The overriding tone of the story will be similar to what we saw in “Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe” — dark horrific comedy. It’s a fun story, it has loads of ridiculous elements, but there’s a darkness behind Deadpool’s antics.
Now that we have all that plot and character talk out of the way, let’s get to the big draw of the series — the killing! Can you hint at some of the match-ups we’ll see in “Deadpool Killustrated” and just how brutal they’ll be?
There are a few of these match-ups in every issue, and Deadpool finds most of them to be more of a challenge than he’s expecting. Some of the encounters are straight-up fights. Other encounters are more of a hunter-stalking-prey situation. And others will be creative kills that only someone as twisted as Deadpool can cook up.
Along the way, the “forces” of the Ideaverse will become alerted to Deadpool’s actions, and a task force of sorts will be assembled to take Deadpool down before he destroys everything.
I can tell you that I just wrote a scene that really gives me the creeps. It’s a cold, cruel, insidious, and funny scene that made me a little uncomfortable to write. Hopefully, that level of discomfort translates to the reader.
Let’s talk about the work of Matteo Lolli who will depict the action in all its gory details. What do you feel he brings to this particular story as an artist?
He’s bringing his A-game to this book. I love how his art brings across both the fun and the darkness at the same time. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when Jordan described this book to Matteo.
Finally, have you begun thinking about where Deadpool’s homicidal journey would take him in a third story?
Oh, yeah! Like I mentioned, there are a few ideas Jordan and I tossed around, and a few of them could make a great third story. At one point, I sent Jordan a simple title for a series that I think we’d both love to do. We’ll just have to see.
I doubt anyone would ever expect a book like this, and this’ll be a series that’s full of surprises. We’re taking the greatest works of world literature and dropping Deadpool into the mix like an atomic bomb. What’s not to love?
“Deadpool Killustrated by Bunn and Lolli slices through the Ideaverse in January 2013.