X-POSITION: Daniel Way on "Deadpool," "Astonishing X-Men"

Living forever may sound good on paper, but in practice? It can get to be a pain in the posterior -- just ask Deadpool. As an individual who can't die, the Merc with a Mouth has the ultimate case of "been there, done that." No challenges are left for him except death. Fortunately, for the entertainment of his readers, Deadpool is never one to walk away from a challenge!

In his confrontation with immortality, Wade recently picked a fight with the Hulk. After all, if you want to get ground up into paste, is there any better way? Needless to say, things didn't go according to plan. What does this mean for Deadpool and where will he go next? Let's just ask his writer, Daniel Way, as he joins for today's X-POSITION!

The scribe also keeps busy currently by taking the X-Men on a jaunt through Monster Island in the pages of "Astonishing X-Men," so be sure to ask him about that too. Monsters and mutants -- it's a match made in comics. Ready to begin? Let's dive in!

Our pal Renaldo gets us rolling with an assortment of topics. Here's a little potpourri:

1) With the "Astonishing X-Men" books being a showcase for superstar writers like Warren Ellis and Joss Whedon, did you feel any pressure in taking on this title? How did you establish the roster of Scott, Logan, Emma and Armor? Was it completely up to you?

In a word -- yes. Which is why it was great to have [Editor] Nick Lowe and [Assistant Editor] Sebastian Girner there to back me up. And the pressure didn't just come from following the work of two incredible writers, by the way. As anyone who's done so can tell you, signing on to do an X-Men book is not something to be taken lightly. These are some of the best-known and most beloved characters in the world, so you'd better bring your "A" game.

The roster was established during my initial conversations with Axel about the story, which is essentially about dealing with problems that are simply "bigger" than you. By keeping the group small and stacking the odds against them, it makes their eventual victory all the more, well, astonishing.

2) What inspired your Monster Island festivities (and the monstrous cast of characters) as we're usually accustomed to seeing more "named" X-villains such as Sinister and Apocalypse?

I love Kirby monster, and they all live on Monster Island -- their sanctuary. The X-Men also live on an island, under much the same circumstances. When Mentallo invades Monster Island and enslaves its inhabitants, who better than the X-Men to come to their aid?

3) What's it like working with Paco Medina and Jason Pearson on "Astonishing X-Men" as these guys are among the cream of the crop in comics? I was also wondering what would be your dream title to work on and who would be the dream artist to work with?

To clarify, Paco didn't work on my AXM story, but I have worked with him, most recently, on "Deadpool" and it was incredible. It's been a dream of mine to work with Pearson, and it was great to finally have that happen, if only for one-and-a-half issues. Plus, let's not forget Sara Pichelli ("Ultimate Comics Spider-Man") who came in and killed, and Nick Bradshaw, who's finishing out the arc with the work of his (sure to be very long) career.

Dream gig? Well, I recently spent a weekend up at Cherry Capital Con in Michigan with Angel Medina and we talked a lot about how much we'd like to do a Spider-Man story together. Anyone else wanna see that?

4) What inspires you when you write Deadpool? I know it must be major fun! Are you tapping into an adolescence or teenage drama when scribing the Merc with a Mouth?

I really don't know. It just kinda jumps out of me. There's no telling where it comes from, since the only thing I have in common with our boy Wade is that we both have an irrational fear of cows.

Moo! Maroutz also seems to appreciate the way Wade's mind works and had some queries on the merc's thought processes:

1) If you had to guess, where does Deadpool get most of his pop culture references? What websites, TV shows, or magazines would compose his pop culture diet?

Wow, good question. I'd say that he gets it from everywhere -- much like what comes out of his head, what goes in does so without passing through any sort of filter. That being said, I'd bet he watches "Epic Meal Time" every Tuesday, without fail.

2) Deadpool is a mercenary, but he's got morals; for example, he wouldn't let those kids from the daycare die. What would you say Deadpool's top three "rules" are in his line of work?

Geez, Maroutz -- you really put some thought into these, huh? Rule #1: Don't kill anyone who doesn't deserve it. Rule #2: Don't kill anyone for free -- unless they deserve it. And Rule #3: Silencers are for p*ssies.

3) Will Deadpool be affected by "Schism?" I know he's not an X-Man, but I'd love to hear his commentary on the situation nonetheless...

Currently, there are no solid plans to reference "Schism" in my book, but it's definitely a situation that Deadpool would readily exploit, if he had the time. Which he won't, because he's about to become a very, very busy man.

Kimbo has been busy as well creating a laundry list of inquiries for you. Let's see how you like these crazy apples.

1) I'm sorry to say I missed an issue of "Deadpool" a couple of months ago, so I'm a bit confused -- why did he decide now is the time to commit suicide?

Because he feels that he's "done" everything else and he's become bored, disillusioned. He needs a challenge, and what greater challenge is there -- what better way to show everyone how incredibly awesome he is -- than to kill the world's most un-killable man?

2) When Deadpool sees Death in issue #38, he recognizes her. Have they met before? It seems they have a relationship. Is he infatuated with her like Thanos?

Deadpool is very much in love with Death, the girl he can never have, and has been so for a very long time. I'm off-line right now and away from my comic collection, but maybe someone here on the CBR forums can point Kimbo in the direction of some back issues? [Editor's note: Deadpool's relationship with Death was explained in 1998's "Deadpool & Death Annual"]

3) At the end of last issue, Hulk really tried to kill Deadpool. I was curious if Banner was in control of Hulk during that instant? Would you say Banner is an intentional killer?

No, I wouldn't say Banner is a killer. Deadpool put him in an extreme situation -- he could've unintentionally killed that busload of children -- and that's why his reaction was so extreme. But as you'll see in the next issue, Banner/Hulk knew Deadpool would somehow survive and has made arrangements with one of his "associates" to make sure that what happened in Phoenix will never happen again.

4) It's never been clear to me -- is Deadpool crazy because of all of the things he's experienced, or is it a genetic thing with him? Will we actually learn more about his mental problems when he goes to Crossmore? Or is it all going to be laughs and pudding?

Though insanity may run in the family, Deadpool's mania/psychosis is unique to him and him alone. In the next story arc, I'd say you'll learn more about his mental state than you will his mental problems -- in addition to the laughs and pudding, of course.

Andre4000 is our final email of the day and wrote in with some astonishing questions. How about some uncanny answers?

1) I'm sure this may have been explained elsewhere, but why are you and Christos Gage alternating issues of "Astonishing X-Men?" I'm enjoying both stories, but it's kind of distracting...

It was decided by the higher-ups that, since the original artist on my arc (Jason Pearson) isn't exactly a "monthly" guy, that, rather than trying to rush him, it would be better to put out a story, featuring a different group of X-Men, that played in tandem with mine. That way, there'd be an issue of "Astonishing" on the shelves every month. Kinda brilliant, I think.

2) How would you describe the relationship between Armor and Wolverine? How would you say it compares to his partnerships with Kitty and Jubilee?

It's generally more "equal" in that Wolverine doesn't feel compelled to protect Armor. He pushes her, tries to toughen her up because he knows she'll need it.

3) Why do you think Wolvie ends up being father-figure to so many girls? And why don't we ever see him take on boys as proteges?

I'd disagree with you about Wolverine being a father figure. In most cases, he's more of a "not-father" figure. He's old enough to be their father, but he isn't...and therefore, they can talk to him. This is also why young men aren't drawn to seek his counsel or approval -- he's not their father.

4) Armor's new power levels seem fairly intense. I feel as though she's moved to the top of the X-Men roster now. I don't know if you can say for sure, but do you think we'll be seeing lots more of her in the X-Men books?

Ideally, yes. She's a great character.

And now it's my turn to get a little nutty with today's "Behind the X" get-to-know-you question. If you don't mind, please tell us: what would be the perfect meal to you? Feel free to include appetizer, drink, meal, and dessert.

It'd be at Sichuan House in Melbourne, Australia's Chinatown. And since a great meal is all about great company, my son and my girlfriend would be there. Ice cold beer to drink (white gourd drink for my kid). Start with the spicy pork belly, maybe some mouth-watering chicken, then on to spicy rabbit. And maybe some noodles. No room for dessert.

No room for dessert? Then in lieu of a thin wafer, allow me to offer you writer Kieron Gillen as next week's X-POSITION treat! As the mind behind "Generation Hope," "Uncanny X-Men," and the post-"Schism" 'Uncanny' title, readers should have questions sprouting out their ears, so I'm anticipating buckets of virtual mail!

As per usual, quickly type up those awesome observations and wonderful wonder-ments and shoot them to me as soon as possible. Put an "X-Position" in the subject line and I'll be happier than a Transformer shotgunning three gallons of crude oil. See you in seven!

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