One of the things I've enjoyed about this story is the sort of extended cast of characters in the present-day story that developed around both Spider-Man and Deadpool, which includes characters like Silk, Husk, Mockingbird, Screwball, Hellcow, and super sharks Bruce and Deborah. What's it been like bouncing all these characters off your protagonists and each other? And will we continue to see more of those characters in the future?
Well, again, I owe a big thanks to Nick, who early on wanted there to be a supporting cast, and also a big thanks to the artist that launched this run, Chris Bachalo. Nick loves pushing relationship and character dynamics, and it’s been really fun to build a team around Deadpool as well as Spider-Man. He, Chris and I bounced a few ideas back and forth and quickly settled on this motley crew. My favorites to write are probably Bruce and Deborah. They weren’t originally part of the team. But Chris created a really fun cover featuring them, and that quickly led to more story for the Murder Sharks.
Chris pitched bringing Husk into the group, and it was so cool to see him return to a Generation X character. I’ve also really enjoyed bringing Silk back into Spider-Man’s world. I missed Cindy! As for seeing these characters in the future, they’ll all be in the coming issues, I just hope they survive the coming madness!
Speaking of the future, I know you're a huge Fantastic Four fan, and in issue #32 you got to debut the FF of Old Man Wade and Parker's future. What inspired your takes on these characters?
I was at New York Comic Con and met the crazy talented artist Scott Hepburn for the first time in real life. We sat and talked about what was to come in the future storyline, and Scott asked if the Grumpy Old Spider-Man and Deadpool might meet other future heroes in this crazy future timeline. I thought that sounded like fun, and asked him to think about what characters he might like to draw. A couple days later he emailed these amazing designs. They were so much fun and so detailed. Scott’s character work is just outstanding. To be honest, the overall tone and original ideas for the future storyline were a bit broader and sillier, but when Scott sent us his designs for Old Man Parker and Old Man Wilson, the tone of the story really changed. He added so much weight and history to their faces. And that design sensibility carried through to the creation of these new characters.
We exchanged a few more emails and the Future Fantastic Four was born. But it all came from Scott’s great question and amazing designs and ideas for future characters to play with in this sandbox. I hope his designs end up as back matter in one of the trades. There were some characters that we didn’t get to that were so much fun. So, yeah, I am a huge Fantastic Four fan, but the idea for them in this book all came from Scott and I’m grateful. It’s always a pleasure to get to write, “It’s clobberin’ time!” so, thanks, Scott!
These last few issues have seen you collaborate with Scott and a variety of talented artists who all have a gift for the action, heart, and the humor that fuels your story. Which artists are you collaborating with on the next few issues of Spider-Man/Deadpool?
Nick and Kathleen have really outdone themselves casting this book. Chris is one of my all-time favorite artists, and to get to work with him and launch this story was a dream come true. He brings so much humor to the book, and all this incredible detail which tracks through the story in ways you don’t expect. Even when the characters are wearing their iconic masks, he makes them so expressive. Scott is outstanding, and as I said above, his design work is incredible. He brings so much heart and emotion to the story. The pages he’s been sending in for issue #34 are out of this world good. He just keeps raising the bar.
Currently, we’ve got the awesome Matt Horak penciling the book. Matt came in and did a few pages on previous issues, and it was clear right away he was perfect for this book. Matt’s got a great eye for character and humor and his design for Master Matrix just blew me away. He and Nick traded emails about it and I just sat back and watched as Matt really created something special. I can’t wait for people to see his work in issue #33. With issue #37 we'll have a soon-to-be-announced addition to our art team, who I'm very excited for, but can't talk about right now.
Finally, what else can you tell us the tone and action of the remaining chapters of this story? It feels like you've been telling a long-form tale. Are you nearing its end game?
Yeah, it’s all been building to this arc, and comes to a head in issue #36. We set out to test Spider-Man and Deadpool’s relationship, and it builds to our Future and Current storylines crossing over, as Peter confronts his own past and his parents’ involvement in part of Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s dark history. Along the way, Deadpool is confronted by his Future Self and the two have to figure out if they’re really capable of change, and redemption. The future of the Marvel Universe depends on it, so, no pressure Wade and Old Wade!
Spider-Man/Deadpool #33, by Robbie Thompson and Matt Horak, is available on May 23 from Marvel.