Duggan Pits Hawkeye & Deadpool Against Crime - and Each Other

As Hawkeye, Clint Barton is renowned across the Marvel Universe for his skill with a bow. And while Deadpool is known more for his healing factor than his mastery of weapons, he still is an expert swordsman. However, there's one weapon that both of them have mastered: the deadly art of sarcasm! This fall, it's Avenger vs Mercenary when they unleash their barbed wits on each other and a horde of foes in the six-issue miniseries "Hawkeye Vs Deadpool."

The buddy action series begins in October with a special #0 issue, as writer Gerry Duggan and artist Matteo Lolli drop the Avenging Archer and the Merc With a Mouth in the proverbial jar, close the lid tight and shake it up. Over the course of the story, the two find themselves battling it out with each other and several villains, all while attempting to work as a unit to solve a murder. We spoke with Duggan about the series.

CBR News: Gerry, how did this assignment come about for you? Was it inspired by the recent Hawkeye and Deadpool team up story in "A+X?"

Gerry Duggan: Actually, I believe this was ["Hawkeye" editor] Sana [Amanat's] idea. Obviously Matt [Fraction] is doing a wonderful job on "Hawkeye," and a cornerstone of our "Deadpool" run is that people don't really want to be seen next to him. So this is a very fun odd couple to play with, where they're both more or less the 'Oscar' of the equation. 
Both of these books have a very specific voice; we're going to see if we can make those voices sing well together in one comic. It's an opportunity for a lot of fun.

What do you find most interesting about Hawkeye? What's it like bouncing him off of a character like Wade?

Hawkeye is a lot of fun to write. I'm sort of in awe of that book, as a lot of comic fans are. He's a guy who flings himself at danger and manages to save the day -- at great cost to his body. 
Wade is similar. He obviously has regeneration, but there is this element they both share in that neither one is near the top of lists of names that people would want to team up with. So it's fun. We're sort of treating them like they're guys at the dance who are clinging to the side of the wall.

There is a life and death problem they're confronted, with and they are at each other's throats the whole time, but when push comes to shove, they are going to do the right thing.

It does seem like they are both 'leap before you look' kind of guys, which suggests that they're initial dynamic would be somewhat confrontational.

Yeah, exactly. I think the expectation is that you'll see Hawkeye and Deadpool fight, and that expectation will certainly be met. How it happens, though, I think is a fun beat. It will also happen more or less continuously throughout, which is a lot of fun to write. I hope that fun translates to the page.

Would this story be comparable to some of the other buddy action stories you've written in books like "A+X," where you wrote a Kitty Pryde and Spider-Woman story, and a Captain America and Cyclops tale?

I think you're right on the money. I'm a long time reader and admirer of Shane Black, and he's sort of the best at that. He writes people that needle each other so well. "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is one of my favorite films. If you haven't seen it, go see what convinced Marvel that Robert Downey Jr. was Iron Man.

I love trying to come up with something sharp to stab into them, and something sharp from their tongues. To me, that's the great fun of it all. I think that's been a fun equation we've been using well on the main "Deadpool" book.

A lot of Shane Black films use the Christmas season as a backdrop, and I understand "Hawkeye Vs Deadpool" will also use a holiday as part of the setting --

Yeah, the #0 issue takes place on Halloween night in Bed-Stuy. I'm actually doing a couple Halloween books this year. "Nova" will have a beat on Halloween, too. I'm a huge fan. Halloween and Christmas are two of the best times of the year.

What sets the action of your story in motion?

The #0 issue has a lot of fun character stuff between these two guys and includes some of their supporting cast members, and some surprise members of their supporting casts. The whole thing kicks off with a murder, literally at Clint's door. Then, the [story's] threat is something that will be very personal for both characters. The tightrope I walk is trying to make the threat real, dangerous and immediate, and then also to have some time for those guys to sort of yell at each other as they're going through a drive through.

I think Sana is keeping me honest and [assistant editor] Devin [Lewis] is helping a lot too. I'm already scripting well ahead and Matteo's art has really been wonderful. He's the perfect guy for this.

Can we expect to see some characters like Shiklah and Agent Preston from "Deadpool" and maybe Kate Bishop or even Clint's brother Barney from "Hawkeye?"

I can't say yes to specifically all of those names, but there are some surprising names that will turn up, and some names that you maybe would want to see and I think you'll see in a fun way. I'm very grateful for the chance to play in the "Hawkeye" corner of the sandbox.

Does "Hawkeye Vs Deadpool" feature just one antagonist? Or are Clint and Wade up against a multitude of foes?

It starts with hopefully a surprising Spider-villain that I've never had a chance to write, and then it may begin to involve several different facets of crime, be they organized or not. I'm having fun!

I hope fans of either character will give me the benefit of the doubt. I'm not just betting heavily on Deadpool because Brian[Posehn] and I are writing "Deadpool.

Earlier you mentioned a murder sets the story in motion. I imagine you're also going to have a bit of fun with that, since Clint and Wade aren't necessarily the best detectives considering how impulsive they are.

That's sort of the great thing. If they were really to think about it, they might leave this one for the NYPD, but Clint is committed because he has a lot of regret over this one. I think it's okay to say that he's having a difficult day when he's asked for help, and brushes aside the person seeking help. This ends up being the catalyst for his emotional involvement in the story.

Matteo Lolli, the series' artist, recently drew Deadpool in a "Thunderbolts" annual --

Yes, that's right. He's been doing some Deadpool for a while now, and we were lucky enough to get him. The first thing he did was sketch some really wonderful faces of Hawkeye, and we're going to use them all. There are a few faces that just looked so sour, you could just picture him standing next to Deadpool while Deadpool is saying or doing something horrible.

Finally, as co-writer of the "Deadpool" ongoing series, you can follow up on any of the repercussions from this for Wade. Will we see some of the aftermath from "Hawkeye Vs Deadpool" feed back into "Deadpool" at a certain point?

That's an interesting question. The answer is yes, and I didn't mean for it to happen this way, but there is, from the outset of the #0 issue, a really fun moment that we've been building towards for a long time in "Deadpool." I didn't mean for it to happen here, but it fit. It was sort of the perfect puzzle piece that we needed. I think it's fun.

I do hope that "Deadpool" fans will check this out. I know we've been doing a story right now that ties in to "Original Sin," and you'll see some of the reverberations of that, even, in this book.

So it's a book with plenty of connective DNA to what you've been doing in "Deadpool" -- is it accessible for new readers as well?

100 percent. In fact, coming into it cold is sort of like jumping into a cold pool, where the shock is sort of better than just tipping your toe in. So if you're a "Hawkeye" fan who has not read any "Deadpool," I promise that you'll be traveling at the same speed that everyone else is. It's the same if you're a "Deadpool" fan who has not read any "Hawkeye." I credit the editors for maintaining the balance there.

I'm really happy with our first issue. I think it's one of the better first issues that I've managed to shove off of this laptop of mine. I hope fans of both characters will come into the book with open minds. There's a lot of action, and hopefully some laughs to be enjoyed this Halloween.

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