As longtime comics fans know, the Marvel Universe is home to a seemingly uncountable number of dangerous and mentally imbalanced characters. Of them all, however, only two have been so unhinged that they were able to court the physical personification of Death. One is known for his ability to commit murder on an intergalactic scale and the other is famous for his swift sword and even faster mouth. And when you're talking about Thanos and Deadpool, you're talking about two characters who would almost certainly hate each other on a nigh-cosmic level, given their differing outlooks on life and their unintentional romantic rivalry.
This September, the Mad Titan's deadly seriousness and the Merc with a Mouth's razor sharp wit clash when they're brought together for a bi-weekly four issue miniseries. In "Deadpool Vs Thanos," by writer Tim Seeley and artist Elmo Bondoc, the unlikely duo team to rescue their missing ex-girlfriend Death, and restore balance to the universe. In an exclusive first conversation with Seeley -- along with the debut of Tradd Moore and Matt Wilson's first issue cover -- the writer tells CBR about the joys of writing his dueling protagonists, which sections of the Marvel Universe they'll visit in their quest for Death, and which heroes and villains will stand in the way of their cosmic quest.
CBR News: You've drawn Deadpool before, back with 2009's "Weapon X: First Class," but I believe this is your first time writing the character. Given the number of darkly humorous and/or horrific elements that pop up in your creator-owned books, he seems like a guy that would be right up your alley.
Tim Seeley: Jeez, was it really 6 years ago that I drew 'Pool?! Good lord, the time -- she flies.
This is actually my second time writing him, as I wrote the "Guardians Team Up" issue with him and Rocket [Raccoon] just before this series. But, yeah, obviously I'm a bit of a newbie. But, like you said, there probably isn't a character in comics more matched to my sensibilities than Deadpool. I could write his dialogue all day. I think, as a character, what makes him so interesting to me is that he's a horrifically tragic guy -- and to a degree he retaliates against what life gave him by being a terrible person. But, he also has moments of absolute humanity. I think that's my favorite aspect of teaming him with a guy like Thanos, who is also an occasionally "redeemable" villain -- contrasting what makes them the "bad guys."
This is your first time writing Marvel's premier cosmic villain, Thanos, however. What's that like? Would you like to write more of these types of larger than life, alien villain characters?
I love "cosmic" stuff, particularly the Marvel and DC versions of "cosmic space opera." To me, there's very little difference between the crazy space stuff, and small intimate crime stuff, other than scale. It all comes down to interpersonal relationships between the cast. Thanos has always been a favorite of mine -- "Infinity Gauntlet" came out when I was 13, which was a perfect age to be bowled over by it. So, yes, give me all of the space toys! I WILL WRITE THEM WITH GLEE!
What's it like bouncing these characters off of each other? How would you describe the dynamic between them? And is this a story where the titular duo is at war the whole time, or do things eventually turn into a buddy action-comedy?
Basically, Editor Jordan D. White and I talked about it -- and realized that this would be a short fight. So, Thanos kills Deadpool on page 2 of Issue #1. We just get that out of the way real quick, and then the story begins!
The dynamic we play with is a shared relationship -- both Thanos and Deadpool have had love affairs with Marvel's personification of death, cleverly named Death. In this story, Death goes missing, which causes a plague of immortality across the universe. Nothing can die. And it's messing up everything. Death reaches out for help -- from Deadpool. So, there's a jilted lover aspect to Thanos in this tale, but he needs Deadpool to find her.
Basically there's a huge, cosmic level crisis, which a huge percentage of the living beings in the universe would consider a blessing, and the only people who can save us all isn't the Avengers or the Fantastic Four or the Guardians of the Galaxy -- it's Thanos and Deadpool.
Where will your title characters' investigation take them, and who will they be facing as they struggle to complete their quest
We went big on this one -- this story takes us all across Marvel Earth in issue 1, from one end to the other of Marvel space in issue 2, all across Marvel Hell in issue 3, and issue 4 takes place in, well, nowhere! And there's a lot of cool cameos too -- from Mephisto to The Grasshopper!
They're stuck fighting together against the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Doom, Mephisto, a death worshiping rabbit -- and several characters from the same race as Crystar, Crystal Warrior!
[Laughs] Awesome! Both Deadpool and Thanos have had supporting casts develop around them over the years, and Deadpool recently even developed a family. Were you able to use any of Wade Wilson or the Mad Titan's supporting cast for "Deadpool Vs Thanos?"
I shed a lot of the supporting cast, as this was really about Thanos, Deadpool and Death -- but one of Deadpool's old enemies is a major cast member in this series. One who dresses like a chicken.
Newcomer Elmo Bondoc, who Marvel fans probably know best from his work on "Ms. Marvel" #12, is bringing "Deadpool Vs Thanos" to life. That issue had a nice combination of comedy, emotion and the fantastic, so it seems like he'll be a great fit for this story.
I was skeptical at first, to be honest. But Jordan felt like he was our guy, and I trust Jordan with my life. Turns out, I was the asshole, and Elmo is amazing. His comedic chops are right up there with veteran cartoonists. I was stunned by how well he drew my crazy-ass script.
Finally, how would you describe the overall tone of "Deadpool Vs Thanos?" Is this primarily a sci-fi action/comedy/mystery, or does it goto some darker places?
It's a big superhero story in the grand tradition of Marvel cosmic stuff -- but it's also a pretty dark little character study about two men who love Death, the concept, and the sexy, skull-faced lady. It allows me to explore some of the ideas I've touched upon in "Revival," but also to go in a different, larger scale direction. I think it's one of the best things I've written, and I thank the wonderful Jordan, Heather Antos, and Elmo Bondoc for making it possible. You should all buy it. All of you.
Marvel had a lot of faith that combining their biggest baddie with their biggest anti-hero was worthy of a bi-weekly series, and I think readers will get a whole lot of joy out of tuning into this thing every other week. They let me do a whole lot of nutty, and occasionally very twisted things, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!
"Deadpool Vs. Thanos" runs bi-weekly beginning in September 2015.