X-POSITION: Duggan Retro-Fits "Deadpool"

There's no ongoing series more ridiculous in Marvel Comics' vast current library than "Deadpool." Helmed by comedy writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, the Marvel NOW! relaunch of the Merc with a Mouth's solo title has everything: a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent sharing Deadpool's brain, a necromancer named Michael, ghost Benjamin Franklin, a demonic bureaucrat and fake inventory issues from decades past -- and it's only the second arc.

While Deadpool's first-arc undead presidential assassination days may be over, the second arc continues to bring new ridiculously humorous concepts to the table, with even more connectivity to the Marvel Universe to come in a future team-up between the Merc with a Mouth, Captain America and Wolverine.

To shed some light on the newest developments in "Deadpool," X-Position invited co-writer Gerry Duggan to answer all your questions about the present and future of Deadpool, his supporting cast and the process of putting together a new inventory issue in continuity.

Jack starts off this week's X-Position with a question about the recent retro-styled issues of "Deadpool."

#11 cover by Tradd Moore, EXCLUSIVE interior page by Mike Hawthorne

I've been digging the "lost issues" of Deadpool! They're a great way to bridge the gap in stories. How did you develop the concept of doing flashback issues?

Gerry Duggan: We knew exactly what we were doing for the '80s -- [series editor] Jordan [D. White] pitched the inventory issue as a fun way to buffer the regular artists on the arcs. The idea was perfect to use an idea that Brian and I had for years, but we never thought we could work in: "The Legends Of Drunk Iron Man: The Armored Avenger's Most Intoxicating Tales." It turned out to be a great issue -- there was a lot of heart on the page in the way that Deadpool helped Tony out. During the creation of that issue we said we'd liked to keep doing it, and Scott [Koblish] had unprompted e-mailed a "style guide" of Deadpool of different eras. We were floored. We knew we could write an issue for each drawing -- there's about six or seven of them. No, you may not see it. Someday maybe it will be a cool extra in a trade paperback or if we're lucky an omnibus or something.

Did you find that you had to adjust your writing style a bit to match with the retro-ish Marvel feeling of the issues as a whole?

Brian really spent some time re-reading some "Power Man" issues for #13. It's really fun. A lot of the credit of the "feel" of these books belongs to Scott and [colorist] Val [Staples]. Brian and I do things like use thought balloons and there's a sassy caption box in the '70s issue, but again -- you have to give those guys the credit for making it feel real. And credit Jordan for the initial idea, and then protecting it through the process.

Tim has queries both about the artistic interior about Deadpool's mind as well as supporting cast member ghost Benjamin Franklin.

1) It was pretty cool to see inside Deadpool's head -- he's got a really good, if narcissistic, grasp on art. Where did he manage to get all that artistic education?

He would tell us, but he can't recall. He's always been more complex than anyone gives him credit for. If you'll notice -- the paintings are pretty recognizable. You don't need an MFA to at least recognize them. You will get a peek at the "darkened gallery" before too long too. Fun stuff. It's been fun to see that some of the fans have theories about some of the art that may or may not pan out.

2) Ghost Ben Franklin as part of the main cast of the book continues to be one of the most fun surprises of the series. Any chance of getting to see him go off on his own non-presidential adventures?

He's a member of our supporting cast, as is Michael. Though they may come and go as the situation warrants. I would read a Ben-Michael solo story, would you guys?

cora_reef's questions continue the supporting cast trend, trying to glean some more information about Agent Preston.

Deadpool's interaction with Agent Preston's son was actually kind of heartwarming (for Deadpool, anyway). Does Preston's psyche being stored in Deadpool's head mean he's going to expand his emotional core or is it more of a forced thing due to Preston's presence?

EXCLUSIVE: #11 art by Mike Hawthorne

He's forced to spend a little more time looking inward and in doing so to examine some things that will help him grow a bit. Preston doesn't want to be his therapist, but they save each other. Right now especially. Our long term goal is to shed some light on who Deadpool is -- not spell it all out. Sometimes when a character loses its mystery completely, it can be hard to recapture.

I'm also a big fan of the recap page, which makes for hilariously entertaining reading. How much time is spent writing the recap page versus the rest of the issue? Why is so much importance placed on making the recap page as interesting as possible?

Oh, good. The recap page credit goes to Jordan & his Marvel interns. We're busy doing the letters column replies. Oh, now might be a good time to mention that we didn't have time to do one for #11. It will hopefully be back for #12. We do try to make each reply funny. Glad you're digging all the sweet meats of the book.

MarvelU716 has questions about Michael the Necromancer and demonic bureaucrat Vetis.

Poor Michael! Where will Deadpool find another kilt-wearing necromancer to take his place?

Speaking in D&D terms, Michael is a wizard with very low wisdom. A rare trait. He's made some mistakes that have come back to bite him -- and the last page of issue #9 was Deadpool's attempt to cheat the devil. His story is not over.

What went in to the process of creating Vetis? He certainly fills a gap in the Marvel Universe that I didn't really know existed: mid-level demon bureaucrat!

Hell would be bureaucratic, right? We enjoyed the opportunity that we were presented with [in] issues #7 and #8 -- to create an '80s villain, and make him very much feel like he was from the late '70s/early '80s and then just one issue later re-create him in the Marvel NOW! Lots of fun. It's debatable whether you'll get more Vetis stories. We'll see.

dpoolfan wants to know more about the upcoming "Deadpool" arc featuring a team-up between Captain America and Wolverine.

The stories in "Deadpool" have so far been pretty self-contained, but I saw you're branching out by teaming Deadpool with Captain America and Wolverine. How will readers get further sense of connectivity to the Marvel U with that arc?

There is a very specific and immediate threat to Deadpool, but it has much broader implications for the Marvel Universe. Deadpool is important to some bad people for the wrong reasons. Once the stakes become clear Cap and Logan realize that even though it's not their fight -- they would be wise to try and nip whatever's going on right in the bud.

Do you ever think Deadpool will get a drastic costume change? Is there any suit that you'd really like to see Deadpool put on?

We love what Tony [Moore] did with the Marvel NOW! design. I have an idea of what Deadpool will be wearing when we wrap our run...

EXCLUSIVE: #11 art by Mike Hawthorne

Jim the Troll wraps this X-Position by asking some cross-reality questions about the Merc with a Mouth.

How much of the Agent Preston-in-reflective-surfaces is the artist drawing it in without direction and how much of it is you writing it in for him to draw?

Any time you see Preston we have expressly called for her to be drawn in the script. We don't want to overdo/underdo Preston and her interaction. There is a fun endgame for her. We're using her, and the space in Deadpool's head like the museum to learn some more about him.

Any chance that your Deadpool and Cullen Bunn's Deadpool from "Deadpool Kills Deadpool" will meet?

I don't want to spoil that book. Then again, I think the title says it all. At least whoever loses, you win!

Special thanks to Gerry Duggan for returning to X-Position to answer "Deadpool" questions!

Next week, X-Position welcomes back "Uncanny Avengers" scribe Rick Remender to answer all questions about the X-Men/Avengers combo squad! Got a question for Rick? Send over an e-mail with the subject line "X-Position" or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. Either way, make sure those questions are in by Friday! Do it to it!

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Tags: marvel comics, x-position, deadpool, gerry duggan, mike hawthorne, marvel now, scott koblish, brian posehn, val staples

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