The monsters of the Marvel Universe tend to flock to far off locales like Monster Island, but what if they suddenly found a more populated place to their liking, such as Staten Island? And to make matters worse what if the monsters were governed by a brash and mercurial ruler? What if that ruler's name was Deadpool?
If you answered: New York is royally screwed, you might be right. You'll find out for certain though this November when writer Kelly Thompson and artist Chris Bachalo kick off a new volume of Deadpool. CBR spoke with Thompson about the former Staten now Monster Island, what Deadpool is doing there, and the heroes, creatures, and villains he'll run afoul of in his new capacity as monarch of Marvel's monsters.
CBR: What's it like writing Deadpool as a protagonist in his own book versus writing him as a supporting player in other characters' stories?
Kelly Thompson: It’s actually a relief! The trickiest thing about writing Deadpool in a supporting role is that it’s so easy for him to overwhelm the narrative and steal the spotlight. So when it’s his narrative you no longer have to worry about that!
The early teasers suggest that the monsters of the Marvel Universe play a huge role in your Deadpool run. What inspired you to go in this direction with the character? And will this series be about metaphorical monsters as well as physical ones?
Absolutely. I am a big fan of monsters in media, because they’re cool as hell and give great opportunities for stories that both look and feel BIG. But even more importantly they take the metaphorical and make it literal…and where Wade is concerned that’s particularly relevant. Wade has worn so many different roles over the years and I think he’s a character that really looks inward at himself…even if he pretends he doesn’t. So being a King of Monsters brings up a lot of questions that you maybe don't want to examine for yourself…but probably should. So yeah, in between jokes and violence we’ll be doing some serious existential darkness. Fun!
[Laughs] Wade's new adventures bring him face to face with the inhabitants of Monster Island, which are now living in the real world location of Staten Island. What kind of place is the new Monster Island when your run begins? How does the rest of New York feel about having the island's new inhabitants living so close to them?
New York (including Staten Island) is, predictably, not wild about Monsters taking over. But I think we’ve got some surprises about how well (and how badly) all of this is going to go down, so hang on true believers…or something pithy like that!
[Laughs] A monster story opens the door for a character I know you enjoy writing, Elsa Bloodstone. What can you tell us about Elsa's role in this book and her relationship with Wade?
I swear on a stack of Captain Americas I did not come up with the monster-based storyline in order to bring Elsa Bloodstone into the story…but once I had the story in place it seemed obvious that she should appear…and once I started playing Wade and Elsa off of one another well…it was magical. Magical and also gross. And violent.
Chris Bachalo is drawing Elsa, Wade, and all the monsters in Deadpool. What kinds of creatures have you and he designed?
Well, I leave as much of the design stuff up to Chris as possible since he’s a straight up genius when it comes to creative character design. We’re using both existing monsters from the Marvel Universe and also some wonderful new characters. So in the case of the former it’s great to see Chris’s take on classic designs and in the latter – I gave him details on the new characters and a few suggestions and then just let him go…I figure that’s the way everyone wins the hardest.
Captain America also plays a role in your initial story, and he and Wade have a pretty complicated past. How much of their past together does Wade remember?
The memory stuff is a little tricky, because it’s fun for readers (and for me) to see and play with those existing relationships, so…I just try to tell the best and most interesting take on the story without getting completely caught up in the details of exactly what Wade does and does not remember. It’s a bit of a tightrope I admit. But memory or not, pretty much everyone admires Cap and that’s easy to play with on any day.
Who are some of the other supporting players and guest stars we'll meet in your initial issues? Is Jeff the Land shark from your West Coast Avengers run coming to the new Monster Island?
Jeff The Land Shark and Elsa Bloodstone are definitely showing up in big ways and I think people will really enjoy that (Chris draws a particularly adorable and charmingly violent Jeff and I love it!). And we’ve got a handful of monsters new and old as supporting characters…and I think we’re close enough to the release that I can drop some of those names…I love the names…but as I’m sure you can imagine Chris’s designs are even better! So we’ve got…The Night Wolf, Bunn Bunn The Destroyer, Quonian, Zrrgo Son of Orrgo The Unconquerable, Kholaab The Pile, and…Chet Morita. So yeah, we’re having fun.
Finally, your initial story pits Wade against Kraven the Hunter, another violent man who is very hard to kill. What can you tell us about Wade and Kraven's clash? What made you want to pit these two characters against each other?
Well, it was exciting to get to be the first one to really play with the new Kraven and it made perfect sense that he’d see an island of monsters a ferry away from Manhattan as fertile hunting ground. But he didn’t bargain on Wade and I think that’s where things get really interesting…for everyone.
Deadpool #1 releases November 20.