The Skrull invaders attacking Earth seem to be representatives of a very caring man. In the heat of battle, the alien shape shifters will tell even their most hated opponents, "He loves you." This September, the Skrulls will meet a person that even this mysterious "He" would find difficult to love. Deadpool, the Merc with a Mouth, is back in a new ongoing series from Marvel Comics. CBR News spoke with writer Daniel Way about Deadpool's "unique perspective" on the world and what fans can expect from the new Paco Medina-illustrated series that launches with a tie-in to "Secret Invasion."
Deadpool's most recent appearance was in the pages of Way's other ongoing title, "Wolverine: Origins." In a story arc called "The Deep End," the garrulous gun-for-hire set his sights on taking out Wolverine. Over the course of the story, Deadpool demonstrated his penchant for manic and deranged behavior, but in the arc's penultimate chapter, Wolverine tells Deadpool he's not crazy.
"Deadpool is not insane. He understands there's reality and than there's what he wants to see," Daniel Way told CBR News. "It's a conscious decision. He's decided not to participate. He's just bending his reality around himself because his reality is so fucking terrible."
The choice to make his own reality springs directly from the experiences that endowed Deadpool with his incredible healing factor. "He doesn't have a lot of love for his fellow man and we get into this particularly in 'Deadpool' #2," Way said. "He was created in a lab by humans to kill humans and when that didn't work out they threw him away. He was cast into a deeper, darker pit where they started cutting him apart. They treated him worse than a guinea pig and when he finally escaped, he found himself alone in a world populated with these humans. So what's he going to do? He's a lot like Wolverine in that there seems to be no end to this sad story, which is why the mania has kicked in."
Deadpool's dementia not only helps him cope with the world, it also gives him a strategic advantage over his adversaries. "Just because he doesn't see the world like you or I doesn't mean he's doesn't see it with 20-20 vision," Way explained. "A lot of times his plans work because they're outside the realm of logic. You can't decipher them because there's no discernable code. And you can't see where he's going with them because for all intents and purposes it seems like he doesn't know. Deadpool is the x-factor in all the plans he comes up with."
Another facet of Deadpool's personality demonstrated in his recent appearances in "Wolverine: Origins" was his ability to find and push people's buttons. "It's because he's the ultimate observer. He's not, 'One of Us,' which is the joke behind the title of the first 'Deadpool' arc and it's also a reference to that line from the movie 'Freaks,'" Way stated. "It's one of those things where he sees what we don't. He can see through things like artifice or bravado. To put it mildly, Deadpool has a 'unique perspective.'"
The seeds for Deadpool's unique perspective were planted early in his childhood. Wade Wilson's mother died giving birth to him, which left young Wade to be raised by his drunken, abusive father. Growing up with his father, Wilson learned to use violence and humor as coping mechanisms. It's because of this childhood and the later traumas that turned him into Deadpool that Wilson feels adrift in the world.
"What he's looking for is not necessarily a father but an anchor to this world," Way explained. "He just wants some sort of acknowledgement that he's here and exists; something that makes him feels he belongs here, because he just keeps getting kicked out. He's trying to get involved but it seems like things are conspiring against him or he just snaps for whatever reason. He's done things in the past that made no sense. He may not be crazy but he's had plenty of instances of momentary insanity. He's even snapped and done some awful things to people who were his friends. Maybe it was to push them away because he felt they were getting to close or that he was picking up liabilities.
"There's a metaphor with Deadpool in that cancerous shit that's eating him alive," Way continued. "He was dieing of cancer when he got his healing factor but the healing factor attached to both him and the cancer. So even though he can create he has just as much capacity to destroy."
Deadpool's chosen profession as a mercenary is a way for him to weave those creative and destructive impulses together as well as protect himself from the expectations of others. Said Way, "There was a line in, I believe, the second part of 'The Deep End' arc in 'Origins' where he's having an argument with himself. He built this reality around him where he's a gun-for-hire and because of that nobody really expects anything of him. Yet they want him around. It's the perfect situation for him. It's something he made. He had to build this around himself."
His mercenary status not only protects Deadpool from other people's expectations, but it's also a way for him to keep people from getting to know the real him. But Way feels there are a few characters that have gotten to know the real Wade Wilson. "I think there was a pretty cool relationship between him and Cable," the writer remarked. "There was a part of Cable that only seemed to be explored in small doses, more so in 'Cable & Deadpool' and now with what Duane [Swierczynski] is writing in the current 'Cable' book. Cable's a man out of time and much like Deadpool he has a unique perspective. I think Deadpool was maybe searching for a bit of meaning in his interactions with Cable.
"There are some women, too," Way continued. "I can't wait to dig into the relationship between Deadpool and characters like Siryn, or Deadpool and Domino. I'd definitely like to get to some of his old flames."
Deadpool's relationships with women are often messy, complex, and in one particular instance, disturbing. "Let's not forget that this is a man who fell in love with Death, whom he envisioned as a woman," Way said. "In terms of deep seated psychological issues with women it doesn't get any more twisted than that."
His protagonist may have once fallen in love with Death, but Way doesn't see Deadpool as villain. He doesn't necessarily see him as a hero, though. "I don't think even he's decided yet. He wants to leave both doors open," Way laughed. "I don't think he could ever be truly evil. I don't think it's in him, but at the same time he's never going to be the knight in shining armor. He just can't be those things. He'll constantly be in the middle, swaying back and forth based upon who invites him in."
In preparation for their invasion of Earth, the Skrulls gathered massive amounts of intelligence on Earth's heroes and villains, including Deadpool. But when Deadpool gets involved with "Secret Invasion" in issue #1 of his new series, the Skrulls find they still don't really know who Wade Wilson is or what he's capable of. "Deadpool is the mystery wrapped inside the riddle inside of the enigma," Way remarked. "There are things known about him. He's Wade Wilson, a gun-for-hire and he's got this healing factor which is unique and can't seem to be replicated, but he is a bit of a mystery to the Skrulls."
Way continued, "Brian Bendis and everybody at Marvel have done a fantastic job with the Skrulls. These guys are bad-ass. They have a plan of attack and the attack happened. It was a 'Secret Invasion.' But you have to understand the more organized the attack against a guy like Deadpool, the more his method works. Madness is his method. You can't outflank him or out maneuver him."
Way has seen Paco Medina's art for "Deadpool" #1 and said the artist expertly captured the epic feel he wanted for Deadpool's entry into "Secret Invasion." "Paco is absolutely incredible. He's a hugely talented artist and now that he's on a book where he doesn't have to draw a team of heroes he's going bonkers. Every panel he's going off," Way stated. "And he's constantly open to revisions. Sometimes he'll turn in a thumbnail and say I was thinking of doing this or maybe this.'"
Like its protagonist, the tone of "Deadpool" is a mercurial mix of crazy action, drama, and humor. "So far it's been pretty easy to balance. I feel good about it," Way remarked. "I don't think I could write the character the way ['Cable & Deadpool' writer] Fabian [Nicieza] did, where he's constantly delivering jokes. I like to save them and make them count by hitting accent points."
Deadpool will be in a very precarious position following his initial three issue "Secret Invasion" tie-in arc. "There are going to be a lot people looking for him for many different reasons," Way explained. "So the question is; does he run straight at them? Or does he fade into the wood work and go do something else? And will fading into the woodwork be part of another of his larger Rube Goldberg style plans?
"Also anyone who likes the way I write Bullseye will like the fact that he's going to show up in 'Deadpool' in the near future," Way said. "With those two guys you can't fit much more crazy into a comic book."
Way and all his collaborators have gone out of their way to make sure "Deadpool" is a book with plenty to offer both longtime fans and new readers. "We spent a lot of time putting together this first story arc and first issue," Way said. "I think everybody involved is bringing their A game. As a Deadpool fan, I think we're returning him to the fold. We're putting him right into the middle of the Marvel Universe."
Now discuss this story in CBR's Marvel Comics forum.