It used to be that if you had deep pockets - and the patience to actually put up with him - you could hire one of the Marvel Universe's most dangerous and manic mercenaries: Deadpool AKA Wade Wilson. These days, though, the Merc with a Mouth has given up the soldier of fortune business and his new activities have the heroes of the Marvel Universe trembling in fear. No, it's not because Deadpool is gunning for them - it's because the esteemed Mr. Wilson wants to be one of them! In the current "Want You to Want Me" arc of "Deadpool," the former mercenary forced his way onto the X-Men and has inadvertently made their lives miserable. In 2010, Deadpool's hero quest will continue in "Whatever a Spider Can," a storyline that has him crossing paths with the Amazing Spider-Man. CBR News spoke with writer Daniel Way about both stories.
In "Deadpool" #15, the first chapter of "Want You to Want Me," Deadpool chose to become a hero. He didn't do so because of a newly discovered moral compass or anything like that, of course. Deadpool wants to be a superhero because he's looking for a job that will, quite simply, make him feel better about himself.
"He's looking for something that will make him feel good and validated, but because of this mania he has, it can't be a gradual process. It has to be everything right now. That's why he goes to the X-Men in issue #16 and says, 'I want to be an X-Man! Sign me up! I've got the costume and everything!'" Way told CBR News. "So, this is Deadpool trying to prove himself once again. He has to have that stimulus. Otherwise he just dissipates into incoherent static, because things get boring. He has to be on a journey. He can't reach a destination, because when that happens, all that's left for him to do is look inside himself, and he hates that."
When Deadpool first approached Cyclops about joining the X-Men in "Deadpool" #16, Cyclops flat-out rejected him. However, Wolverine took Cyclops aside and privately suggested that he consider a better strategy than just rejecting Deadpool entirely. "Wolverine knows that they can't summarily throw Deadpool away like that, because it just doesn't work. Deadpool is a boomerang effect. The harder you try to throw him away, the harder he comes back. He will not be ignored," Way explained. "So he and Cyclops are trying a kids' gloves approach to mollify him and keep him at a safe distance where they can monitor him, because he's in San Francisco and he's not going to leave until they figure out a reason to get him to want to leave."
Cyclops tasked X-Force/X-Men member Domino with watching Deadpool while he and Wolverine worked on a plan to convince Wade to leave San Francisco. "The biggest reason Domino has played a major supporting role in this story is, of course, her history with Deadpool. My editor, Axel Alonso, and I have always loved looking at Deadpool's love life because it's just utterly insane. When time allows, we're going to do a one-shot called 'My Dream Date With Deadpool,' which will be like a really sick take on 'Love American Style,'" Way remarked. "Domino's luck powers also kind of play into this story as well, because Deadpool constructs these psychotic schematics and plans. Domino's able work inside of those plans because of her powers. That doesn't mean she'll know what she's getting into, at least not till the third issue of this story, and by then it will be too late."
Having Domino babysit Deadpool would have been a good plan except for Cyclops not understanding that the still mouthy, former Merc may be crazy, but he's also very perceptive in his own unique way. "The X-Men are basically toying around with him, but Deadpool has this weird almost sort of omniscient view that comes from seeing things at these bizarre angles," Way said. "He's not necessarily going to fall for their plan. He may just incorporate it into his own plan. This 'Operation: Moves' that he has going on."
Deadpool's "Operation Moves" involves helping the X-Men with a massive public relations problem. In "Deadpool" #16, Ellis Kincaid, the father of Cessily Kincaid, AKA Mercury of the X-Men, began a media campaign claiming that the X-Men were illegally holding his daughter on their island Utopia. Deadpool's solution is to silence Kincaid - permanently.
"Domino tells [Deadpool] that it's a problem that's going to go away. They're simply going to get Archangel's legal team to file some emancipation papers for Mercury. That's not speaking Deadpool's language, though. Word papers? Suit dummies? That's not how you solve problems! It's bullets and bombs and it's dramatic and big. That's how you get things done, not by sending letters! That's lame and boring," Way explained. "So what Deadpool figures is, 'I'll take care of this PR problem that they're having in a very direct way, and then they'll appreciate me for what I can do. They'll see that I'm the world's greatest X-Man!' It may not occur to him that by trying to solve one PR problem, he's creating a PR apocalypse."
In "Deadpool" #17 Deadpool tried to kill Ellis Kincaid in the middle of a live television appearance. Cyclops dispatched Domino, who foiled the assassination attempt but was unsuccessful in discouraging Deadpool from making any further attempts. At this point, Wolverine and Domino began shadowing Kincaid in hopes of protecting him from Deadpool. Things got even more complicated when Norman Osborn saw Deadpool trying to kill Kincaid on TV.
Recently, Deadpool went after Osborn because he felt the former Green Goblin stole his moment of glory by shooting the Skrull queen at the end of "Secret Invasion." Osborn believed his Deadpool problems were solved when his enforcer, Bullseye, reported back to him at the end off "Deadpool" #12 that he had killed Wade Wilson. Osborn was understandably a little shocked to see Deadpool alive and well on television...but he wasn't upset.
"This is manna from heaven for Osborn. He tried to get a dirt scam going on the X-Men by backing Ellis Kincaid. He bailed out his company, put him in front of cameras, and if what Kincaid was saying was true, it would be a compelling argument. It's not though. Mercury is not being held against her will. Kincaid is not the loving father who's been left out in the cold by an ineffective legal system and a paramilitary outfit called the X-Men. What he's doing is using his daughter and putting her through the wringer," Way said. "Osborn tried things with Kincaid, because it was an insidious scheme and it didn't take much monitoring since Kincaid is motivated to go as far as he can with things. Then Deadpool comes in proclaiming himself an X-Men and wearing an X-Men uniform which clearly says 'X-Men' on it. He gets in front of cameras and very clearly says, 'Don't worry Scott, I got this. I'm going to shoot this guy.' So now that Deadpool is in motion, Osborn isn't going after him. He's going to aid him.
"Osborn sends over two H.A.M.M.E.R. agents who, hours ago, were pushing around a mail cart," Way continued. "He puts them in suits, does not give them guns and says, 'Go protect this guy who is being stalked by one of the most dangerous men on the planet.' They're like, 'Okay! Dude, we're H.A.M.M.E.R. agents!'"
On December 9th, the "Want You to Want Me" arc comes to a conclusion with the release of "Deadpool" #18. "I hope readers know at this point that this issue isn't going to be what you expected it to be," Way stated. "There will be a showdown that takes place right in the middle of San Francisco. It will involve the X-Men and explosions and it will be big."
January's "Deadpool" #19 kicks off the "Whatever a Spider Can" arc, which will find Deadpool in New York City with the hope that Spider-Man will aid him in his quest to be a hero "For the super arc of our current Deadpool story, we're looking at the two sides of the heroic spectrum. You've got the organized, almost military-style teams like the X-Men, and then you have Spider-Man, who does have ties to the Avengers, but for the most part operates independently. He does his own thing. He's a smartass who doesn't wear a team uniform and has a singular identity like Deadpool," Way remarked. "Most importantly, though, New Yorkers love Spider-Man, and to have an audience that size really appeals to Deadpool. However, it's become clear that Deadpool doesn't really know how to be a good X-Man, so putting him in a situation where there's infinitely less structure is disastrous."
Much like he did with the X-Men, Deadpool approaches Spider-Man directly about joining him in his heroic escapades in the hopes of becoming the Web-Slinger's sidekick. "Spider-Man is like, 'You can't be serious! This has to be a set up! What are you setting me up for?' Things get even more complicated when Hitman Monkey gets thrown into the mix," Way revealed. "Bodies start showing up. These are professional hits, too. So Deadpool is in town, and there's a string of professional assassinations? You don't have to be a genius to put those factors together.
"Deadpool is going to proclaim his innocence loud and often," Way continued. "He's aware of the legend of Hitman Monkey. It's a boogeyman myth amongst professional assassins and mercenaries. So Deadpool's explanation of, 'No Spider-Man, that wasn't me. That was a monkey!' isn't really going to hold water."
Readers will first meet Hitman Monkey in a story on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited by Way and artist Dalibor Talajic, that will later be collected in the "Hitman Monkey" one-shot, which hits stores in February. "Hitman Monkey is a 40-pound engine of destruction. The digital comic will be the two part origin of Hitman Monkey," Way stated. "Then the print version of 'The Legend of Hitman Monkey' hits stores the same month as 'Deadpool' #20. So if you pick up Deadpool and are wondering who Hitman Monkey, is just look online or down the shelf and the one-shot will be there. It explains his origin, where he came from, and why he's on the path that he's currently on."
Deadpool and Hitman Monkey won't be the only ones causing trouble in the "Whatever a Spider Can" arc. Way revealed that a couple of characters from Deadpool's past will be appearing in the arc in supporting roles.
Regular "Deadpool" artist Paco Medina will draw the entire "Want You to Want Me Arc," while "Whatever a Spider Can" finds the art chores split between Medina and artist Carlo Barberi ("Deadpool: Suicide Kings"). "Carlo and Paco are having the time of their lives with 'Whatever a Spider Can.' It's an extremely dynamic arc. It's becoming a battle of who can strike the most insane poses," Way said. "They've got Deadpool, Spider-Man, and Hitman Monkey, so it's going to play out like the most insane chop sockey flick, but with more Western than Eastern fighting styles."
The months ahead are going to be a tumultuous time for the Marvel Universe. A number of event stories will be rocking the MU to it's core, and Deadpool has a part to play in one of them; "DoomWar," a five issue mini-series which begins in February and finds Wade Wilson aiding The former and current Black Panthers, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four in a battle against Doctor Doom. The "Deadpool" series won't be tying in to "DoomWar," but it's possible that the series may have a fun nod to "Siege," the Avengers story that begins next month. "Norman Osborn is going up against not only the Norse Gods, but the assembled classic Avengers [as well]," Way said. "That's some Must See TV for Wade Wilson. It's the Thrilla-In-Manilla. He's got to see it."
2009 was a big year for Deadpool, and Way is very grateful for all the fans, retailers, and other creators who have gotten behind the character. "I really appreciate all the support this book has gotten from the first issue. Everything is coming up Deadpool right now," the writer said. "When we started, we were pretty territorial about keeping Deadpool in our book, but as momentum built around the series, it just made sense for the character to get another series and start popping up in other books. Creators are fans of the character too. They look at Deadpool and want a piece of that instant fun. To throw Deadpool into your book is like spiking the punch. And I totally understand that. If I wasn't writing the ongoing series, I'd sure as hell have him show up in one of my books."