After one long and wild ride, Gerry Duggan's tenure as the mastermind behind the Avengers Unity Squad is about to come to an end. With next month's "Uncanny Avengers" #23, Duggan's multi-year run will conclude with an issue packed with answers to questions readers have had for a while -- particularly where Rogue and Wonder Man are concerned. That's not all, either, as the issue will reveal what's next for the powerhouse Southern belle and the Merc with a Mouth following their surprise lip-lock last month.
This week in X-POSITION, "Uncanny Avengers" and "Deadpool" writer Gerry Duggan returns and answers all of your questions about the end of his "Uncanny" run and the future of the Merc with a Mouth.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Gerry! Let's start with a question about Deadpool's social circle from Kusanagi.
In Deadpool's title, he's kept up pretty consistent ties to his "UA" teammates. Will we continue to see some of them going forward? Or will 'Pool be more isolated?
"Deadpool" will undergo a dramatic change in "Secret Empire." Sometimes advertising and publicity ends up using hyperbole to describe a change in a character’s status quo. That is not the case here. "Deadpool" readers should buckle up. What that will mean for his Avengers status will become clear as the story unfolds in both the main book, and our "Deadpool" tie-ins. There’s a very deep connectivity.
You're also starting a run on "All-New Guardians of the Galaxy." Kamose1234 wants to know if we should expect a crossover.
Deadpool's had some interesting encounters with Rocket Raccoon over the years but now that you're writing "Guardians of the Galaxy," is there any chance we'll see a crossover between the two series? I'd love to see Wade practice sparring with Gamora and Drax or team up with them against Thanos.
If you’re like Kamose1234 and you think Wade in space sounds like a hell of a lot of fun -- please check out "Deadpool" # 30 in May. [Mike] Hawthorne, [Terry] Pallot and [Jordie] Bellaire have really and truly gone all out on an 80-page original graphic novel. It’s one of the best-looking comics ever made, it’s a one and done, and it gives Deadpool several puzzle pieces that will become incredibly important in 2017-18. I tried to make the most fun "Deadpool" script for this team -- and they really crushed it.
Kamose1234 also has a question about Rogue and Deadpool's relationship in "Uncanny Avengers.
What specifically do you think has led Rogue, despite her initial dislike, to take a romantic interest in Wade?
Tom [Brevoort] and I spoke early on about making sure that Rogue was the star of the run, and how we’d build the dynamics around her. She was incapacitated, and Steve Rogers’ bench was depleted when he turned to Deadpool. At that point, it was quite earned. "Deadpool" readers were not the ones that rolled their eyes at Deadpool’s inclusion on the Unity Squad. I’d like to think we made believers out of everyone else along the way -- the way that Rogue came around.
As for their friendship: a kiss after you kick the Red Skull’s ass and free Xavier’s brain from his clutches is a gesture that rings true. She had also pulverized him the previous issue. In "UA" # 23, Pietro correctly observes that they’re two of the loneliest people in the MU. You can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. Plus, think of this from my perspective: I inherited one character that can’t really touch people easily, and another that doesn’t even like to be looked at, let alone touched. Of course I was going to have to mash them together. That’s not to say you have to like it, but I know we earned it. What’s next for them together or separately has already been written -- though, not necessarily by me. It’s a fun time to be fans of both characters.
With your "Uncanny" run coming to a close, Kenny wants to know about what could have been.
Were there any characters you had planned to use for your run on "Uncanny Avengers," but didn't get the chance to do so?
I think I’d threatened to include a larger battle to include Gambit, Magneto and another surprise of two -- but I was on a clock. Issue #22 actually shipped on the last week it could have gone to printer without unbalancing Nick [Spencer]’s road to "Secret Empire."
On a personal note: I didn't think I'd get a swing at any of these great characters, so I’m grateful for that. Rogue has always been one of my favorite Marvel characters, and to be able to tell a story that brought her life full circle is extremely gratifying. Charles Xavier saved Rogue from a life of who knows what when he went against his X-Men and took her in to educate her. She was able to save Charles’ mind from further misuse. When I look at the team, Voodoo was the great find for me. I was so happy with the beats we found for him to shine. Gotta give the editors their credit too: I didn't reach for Cable, that was their suggestion and it was brilliant.
While we're talking about Cable, here's a relevant question from Psimitar.
With Cable's solo ResurrXion book due out in less than a month, will there be any attempt to a) resolve some of the dangling plot threads such as his A.I. Belle and the Tachyon Anchor that Stryfe attached to him and b) provide a bridge to James Robinson's "Cable" solo book that explains how he's back to his earlier look, particularly the Techno-Organic arm as opposed to the cyberarm we saw in "Uncanny Avengers"?
This is the most Cable question you could have asked, so sincerely -- thank you. It was a joy to write some Cable. We made up Belle, because it’s always fun to have a tricorder and always a bummer when characters talk to themselves. Also, AI is going to change our lives -- and it already changed Cable’s. He returned from 2087 on a mission, to stop the Unity Squad’s missteps that would lead to an apocalypse. He said he was stranded here, but after you read "UA" # 23 you might wonder if Stryfe had in fact hit him with a “tachyon anchor” after all. I don't know if people will continue to write that he has an AI in a hard drive in that arm or not. I’m looking forward to James’ Cable book -- and time travelers have a way of surprising you. Lately, Cable surprised me. It turns out you should never really say goodbye or even hello to a time traveler. They’re likely to pop up when and where you least expect them.
John has a suggestion for your next solo series...
Are there any other members of the current Unity Squad you would like to tackle for a solo series? I personally think you would be able to do a great Quicksilver.
Thanks, I love Pietro. I think I’d like a crack at a Deadpool book someday.
Speaking of a Deadpool book, The Big G wonders if we'll see fallout from the Rogue/Deadpool smooch.
Will the recent Rogue/Deadpool smooches play into Deadpool's current troubles with Shiklah?
I think you’ll see by the end of "UA" # 23 that life doesn’t always go the way you want, or the way you think it’s gonna go. It’ll be interesting to see what you guys think of "UA" #23, and then later to see how the dust settles after "Secret Empire."
Ahead of issue #23 arriving in stores, Calintz has a question about Wonder Man.
With "UA" #23 being your last issue, I'm glad you are bringing the Rogue and Simon plot. I'm a big fan of both and wanted to know that after issue #23, will there be any more development between Rogue and Simon or is this issue the end all on that plot point? Basically will we get any in-depth on Simon's part as to what its like sharing Rogue's mind or what he experience through her in regards to the good and bad things in life.
As custodian of these characters you inherit the good: the stories you like, the bad: the stories that might not be your favorite, and in the end all of these stories make up a life. Rogue and Simon are too great examples of legacy characters that have had many, many stories over the years and some of the things that have been done were things that I loved, and some other things I tripped over a bit. I’m very happy to say that as I wrap off the book, both are back on the board with their respective powers and ready for whatever trouble other writers and artists cook up for each. Your specific question about what, if anything, Simon remembers from his days trapped inside Rogue’s body -- that gets a concrete answer in "UA" # 23.
Next up, Maestroneto has a big picture question for you.
Gerry, sincerely, what do we have to do to get you on an X-Men book? Because we need you on an X-Men book.
Well, that’s very kind of you. The X-Men have always been a close and personal favorite, but right now my heart belongs to the Marvel Cosmic Universe. I’ve cooked up the biggest story yet for the pages of "Guardians Of The Galaxy." I hope I get to collaborate on all the weird, dangerous and messed-up stories that I have notes for. I hope we surprise readers. If you’ve been digging "UA," leave Earth with us. Oh, and regarding the X-Line, here’s a funny story from a few years back though: I actually pitched an X-Men book to be cowritten by ["Veep" showrunner] David Mandel. Unfortunately, it was not something that lined-up with the publishing plan that was on the horizon for the X-books. He’s a wonderfully talented writer and a true X-Men fan.
That's amazing. Now I'm picturing Kitty Pryde saying Anna Chlumsky's dialogue from "Veep" and it's surprisingly perfect. We close out this week with a question from Sam.
I heard your interview last week on Comedy Bang! Bang! and I was wondering if you'd ever want to have some variety of cross over between that and any of your Marvel works? We all know the Time Keeper would be a formidable foe to the Guardians, but can the Avengers stand up to the might and fury of Scott Aukerman?!?!
In the cosmic world, anything is possible. Aukerman, like Mandel is a huge comics fan. Check out the "Spidey/Deadpool" guest issue he did. He was a gent to have me on, but I would be obligated to help the Guardians defeat the Timekeeper. I imagine it would have something to do with approaching via one of the directions he doesn’t care for, and catching him by surprise. Thanks for listening; I hope I wasn’t terrible on the podcast.
Special thanks to Gerry Duggan for taking on this week's questions.
Keep checking CBR for information about the next X-POSITION!