With three issues in stores now, Marvel's team-up limited series "Deadpool v Gambit" is now past its halfway mark and barreling towards a conclusion. The Merc with a Mouth and the Ragin' Cajun have made way too many people mad while trying to pull off one more job, and the powerful Fat Cobra has given Wade Wilson a totally unexpected power up. Things can only get wilder from here.
This week in X-POSITION, "Deadpool v Gambit" writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker answer your questions about everything from Gambit's fate to his chemistry with Deadpool and more.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Ben and Ben! Let's start things off this week with a few questions from Purplevit.
Hi! Really loved "Deadpool v Gambit" so far! As a Gambit fan, the cover for issue #5 really scares me a lot. Should Gambit fans be worried?
Ben Acker: Absolutely. His fate is in our hands. In "Deadpool v Gambit" issue #5, I can safely tell you that Gambit either lives or dies once and for all -- and let me just say that between you and me, he dies. Or lives. But definitely only one of those two. Fans of Gambit won't want to miss this one. And if you're not a fan of Gambit, you should still check it out.
Ben Blacker: We don't wield enough power in the Marvel U to do any lasting damage to any character you love. We are doing some damage to characters you don't love.
Loved how you described Gambit as ridiculously agile. Will we be able to see more of his super agility and hand-to-hand skills in the last two issues?
Acker: Absolutely. If you read both those issues, there will be no way not to see it.
Blacker: Is that like a secondary mutation, this super-agility? Scrambler should've scrambled that up too leaving Gambit a stiff-legged Frankenstein.
I'm going to cross my fingers for a "Stiff-Legged Frankenstein" series from Acker and Blacker now. Next up, Neko has a question about chemistry.
I think you've done a great job portraying Gambit and Deadpool as friends, I think that should be a long lasting element between the two characters. What do you enjoy the most when writing Gambit and Deadpool together? What do you feel is the connection between the two?
Acker: They're two guys who can see the fun of what they're doing. They're not angsty. They're not crybabies. In this adventure especially, they're having fun.
Blacker: That neither is really altogether morally good is a fun aspect of both to play, especially when they disagree with each other.
YeahX3 has a question about the series surprising supporting character, Fat Cobra.
I was super surprised to see Fat Cobra show up in such a major role in this story. We haven't seen him in years. Have you been waiting to find a way to use Fat Cobra in your Marvel comics, or was there something specific about him that made you drop him into this story?
Acker: Oh, I've loved Fat Cobra since I first read about him in "[Immortal] Iron Fist." I wish I could say that our decision to use him was based purely on affection for the character, but the plot demanded his inclusion as you'll see.
Blacker: We're having such fun working out this character that by the end of this arc, you'll just be calling him "Cobra."
And in line with that question, here's one from Jericho.
You guys are writing both super popular characters (Deadpool and Gambit) but also using a ton of lesser-known ones too (Scrambler, Fat Cobra, Absorbing Man). Do you prefer writing the big names, or do you like playing with some of Marvel's forgotten toys?
Acker: Great question. It's just as fun to elevate lesser-known characters as it is to bring popular characters down to our level.
Blacker: I will only work with super-popular characters. It's good for my Twitter-follower count. For further example, see my recent run on Daredevil, which I wrote under my pen name, "Mark Waid & Chris Samnee."
Here are a few questions from Caitlin about your writing process.
I loved the "screw/screwdriver" gag in "DvG" #3. Did that come out of real notes from the editors or was it all part of the gag as written?
Acker: The gag evolved as we received notes about what we could and couldn't say. All the parts we didn't get to say were because we couldn't say them.
Blacker: If they'd let me edit the books, there'd be a lot more blacked out. Entire plot points and about 70% of the dialogue. And it'd be called "Mark Waid v Chris Samnee."
And how do you guys come up with all of Fat Cobra's moves? I'm imagining you both in the same room just screaming vaguely kung fu sounding non-sequiturs at each other.
Acker: They're the last to go in. We see just what the drawings describe in terms of palm strikes, blocks, knife hand stuff and then comes the typing of non-sequiturs. I believe the original "Iron Fist" run had similar stuff, if not quite as silly.
Blacker: I studied kung fu for years. Every one of those moves is real. Those panels are teeny documentaries.
Now Trevor has to know about one sequence from "Deadpool v Gambit" #3 in particular.
Absorbing Man absorbing a hot dog was so hilarious. I gotta know where that joke came from. I want to see Absobring Man absorb everything now!
Acker: You gotta figure a guy like Absorbing Man will try absorbing everything at least once. In a fight where it's not Thor or Hulk coming at him, he sees some freedom to experiment.
And here's a question from Trevor about the book's artist.
With artist Danilo Beyruth, there are so many visual jokes in here, have any taken you by delightful surprise?
Blacker: What Danilo did that really took us by surprise (though we shouldn't have been, since he's so good at it) are a lot of the action sequences. They feel very visceral.
And we close out this week with a pair of Qs from R0d.
In the first issue, we saw Deadpool and Gambit's last job together. So my question is: how long did they work together for? Was that job something recent? Or did their partnership last for years?
Acker: You no doubt noticed that they interrupted a rehearsal for "Hamilton" and that Deadpool hadn't heard any buzz whatsoever for it. In fact, you surely noticed that the rehearsal wasn't at the Richard Rodgers Theater where the play is currently running. It was at the Public. By googling when "Hamilton" was at the Public, you can find out when that caper took place.
Blacker: I am surprised that millions of people didn't recognize this and put it together to figure out the timeline! So obvious!
I'm enjoying the series so I'm wondering, what are the odds for a "Deadpool v Gambit" ongoing?
Acker: Me too. Please write your congressional representative and the Marvel offices.
Blacker: We're pitching our brilliant, handsome, devilishly clever editor Jordan D. White very hard for a version of "Deadpool v Gambit" as an ongoing series. Because Jordan D. White is a shining star in the Marvel universe, not to mention the most dapper, talented, and Einsteinian of human, and because we've promised to be on our best behavior, we're certain he'll give our idea the green-light, and you'll be holding the first issue in your paws early next year. Also, assistant editor Heather Antos is a phenomenon. She'll be doing variant covers for the first issue of this new series. These are promises I am making.
Special thanks to Ben Acker and Ben Blacker for taking part in this week's X-POSITION!
Next week, "Uncanny X-Men" and "Civil War II: X-Men" writer Cullen Bunn will join us here at X-POSITION! Have a question for Cullen? Go ahead and send 'em in via an e-mail with the subject line "X-Position". But get 'em in quickly, because the deadline's Friday! Make it happen!