As one phase of Deadpool and Cable’s time-traveling reunion team-up ends, another begins! Even though the digital first series “Deadpool & Cable: Split Second” is rapidly approaching an epic finale, the print edition is just getting started. There’s still plenty of time for fans of the gun-totin’ cyborg mutant and the Merc with a Mouth to get on board for their latest adventure, especially if they’re enjoying the duo’s other adventure in the pages of “Uncanny Avengers.”
This week in X-POSITION, “Deadpool & Cable: Split Second” writer Fabian Nicieza joins us and answers your questions about Cable’s journey from limbo to “Split Second” to “Uncanny Avengers” as well as time travel, Loop and more.
CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Fabian! We’ll get things started this week with a question from RuinTheJules about Cable’s post-“Split Second” plans.
Now that the cat is out of the bag and we know Cable’s in “Uncanny Avengers” now, I was wondering, how much did you know about that plan when you started on this series? I know it was your mission to kind of reset the character in this story.
I was asked to do my usual, confusing, overly complicated, anal-retentive, technobabble continuity spackle to bridge Cable from where he had been to where they wanted him to be, and that’s what I’ve done. This spares the current writers from having to bog down their books with this sort of thing and it makes it easier for the readers and editors to blame me for the confusing, overly complicated and anal-retentive technobabble continuity spackle that got Cable from where he had been to where he now is.
We started “Deadpool & Cable: Split Second” over a year ago, and at that time, Cable’s “relocation plans” had not been finalized. I know they were discussing various options. Since (for so many incredibly valid reasons) I’m not on the “need to know” list, I found out which title Cable was going to next appear in around the same time everyone else did a few weeks ago.
Next, we have a question from L3G0He@d about a simple topic — time travel.
“Split Second” involves a lot of time travel, back and forth in time. As the guy that’s wrote Cable the longest, are you used to keeping track of complex time travel narratives? What do you do to keep everything straight?
I don’t keep it straight at all! And after reading the “Split Second” series, L3G, you’ll see I found a devious way to excuse all of us from having to try and keep track of the “untrackable” — readers and writers alike!
As the man who puts words in the Merc’s mouth, Derrian has a question about your Deadpool dialogue.
Your jokes with Deadpool are on point, and I love how topical you can get with the series. But I know it takes a while to make a comic, so how do you determine what current topics will still be punch-line worthy when an issue hits?
My approach to Deadpool’s humor has always been to make it a combination of multiple touchpoints at once, Derrian. Current topics, politics, religion, pop-culture, comic book jokes are all ripe fodder, but so are touchpoints that are anachronous. For example, I can make a “Happy Days” joke which would be lost on many readers and something Deadpool himself shouldn’t be making in context to his age, but I do it anyway, because it works for his particular mania.
So much of my scripting for the character is stream of conscience that anything and everything goes. And I never worry that every reader will get every joke, because they shouldn’t. I don’t want them to! I’ll often throw at least one thing into a script that maybe, at most, five readers will ever get. The whole chimichanga gag was originally a personal in-joke between myself and one other person — who was deceased when the joke first came out (that’s Mark Gruenwald, who would have greatly appreciated the irony)!
Do you ever have to switch out jokes before publication to make them more or less topical?
Not so much for topicality as because they are deemed just a little too vile for public consumption.
“Split Second” introduced a few new characters, and Purple Flying Thing has a question about one of them.
How did you go about creating Loop and what made you decide to add him into the story?
That’s all Reilly [Brown]’s fault, PFT — I mean, that was all Reilly’s great idea! He very much wanted to do something that would only work the right way on the digital platform by having a part of the story work in two different directions, scrolling forward or scrolling backward.
Philosophically, it sure sounded like a real fun idea at the time. Or maybe it was the beers. In execution, it was more than a bit challenging and took a lot of script work for us to try and get right.
And that leads perfectly into Stephen’s question — in fact, it answers it.
I’ve seen talk online about “D&C” #4 and about how it can kinda be read both backwards and forwards. Reilly Brown winked at this on his blog, too! That’s a cool thing that can only really be done in this digital format. What’s the story behind that, and was that hard to pull off?
Didn’t you see my answer to the above question, Stephen? I mean, seriously, don’t ask a question that’s been answered already, that makes you look like the Class Trump.
And now, Marty has a question about cameos, cosplayers and costumes.
You crammed in a lot of cameos in “Deadpool & Cable” #4 — how many of those were in the script and were there any that Reilly tossed in that surprised you? Or in general, has Reilly snuck anything into the art that surprised you?
What cameos were in Chapter 4? Chapter 5 has appearances by lots of Cable’s supporting characters, but Chapter 4 was just the fight with Loop. If you mean the cosplayers walking on the street in the future, that was Reilly’s idea of what future fashion will look like. And if you’ve seen Reilly’s version of current fashion, you’d understand why that would be something he’s looking forward to…
“Deadpool & Cable” will get a print version at the end of the month, and Evilynne wants to know if any changes will be made.
We have the print version of “Split Second” coming up soon and I wanted to know how that version will differ from the digital one? Was it hard to adapt the story back into the traditional format, and is there anything fun or new readers can expect from it?
The two versions will differ, Evilynne, in that the print version will be on paper that you can buy in a comic book specialty store and hold in your hand with pages that you can turn. And then encase in a plastic coffin so it will be worth a gajillion dollars some day.
As for how it will differ in content, well, a lot of what we did was specifically designed for the digital format, and most of the storytelling, visual cues, pacing, and gags were planned for the single screen swipe format. So I think you’ll lose some of those touches in the print format, but what you will gain is that it will be on paper that you can hold in your hand and will be worth a gajillion dollars some day.
Switching gears, Purplevit has a question about another solo character you’ve written in the past.
Your Gambit solo is my favorite series ever. Can we expect you to write Gambit again soon?
Most writers working for the Big Two don’t get to choose what characters they get to write, Purplevit. They need to be offered an assignment by an editor, so if you’d like to see me write Gambit again, send a note to the current X-editors and let them know.
Next, Delo has placed you in his own “holy trinity” of writers.
You, Loeb and Lobdell were the holy trinity of writers for me growing up. Any chance you would return to an X-book? I think what’s been missing from the X-books for a long while is that soap opera element they had when you guys were writing.
See the answer above, Delo. Wait — which one of the Holy Trinity am I in your equation? Loeb is the respected, elder statesman, so he would have to be the Father. Scoot is the immature man-child, so he would have to be the Son. That leaves me with the Ghost-thing. Maybe I can be unmasked as the real culprit by the Scooby gang at the end of the episode.
And we’ll close up this week with a question from Mike.
As somebody who has had a lot of success at Marvel in the past but has been away for a while, do you keep up with any of the characters you wrote? It’s probably a little easier to do with Deadpool, but have you read other creators’ takes on Sunspot or Nova, for example?
I honestly don’t usually follow the titles or characters that I used to write, Mike (hey, what’s with the normal human name? Don’t you get how the internet works?). I feel it’s a no-win situation for me. If it’s good, then I’m jealous and angry; if it’s bad then I’m bitter and angry, so why bother with jealousy or bitterness when you can just be angry all the time instead?
But if I’m asked to write a character again, I do “catch up.” When I was offered “Split Second” last year, editors-supreme-with-a-dream Jordan D. White and Heather Antos sent me all the issues from the [Gerry] Duggan/[Brian] Posehn run up to that point. I read those to catch up on his status quo (and I was jealous and angry), but I never read any Deadpool work between “Cable & Deadpool” #50 in 2008 and those recent issues. I guess that would include the 732 limited series where he killed everyone and poked fun at classic literature.
Thanks to Fabian Nicieza for taking on this week’s questions!
Next week, the X-Editors return as 2015 nears its end. Have a question for the X-Editor crew? 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!
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