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X-POSITION: Nicieza Sheds Blood, Sweat and Tears for "Deadpool & Cable"

Deadpool and Cable are back. Okay, not back back; they've both had plenty of star turns over the last few years -- especially Deadpool. No, the Merc with a Mouth and the Mutant Messiah are back together for their first major story as co-leads since the end of "Cable & Deadpool" way back in 2008. The pair are back together in "Deadpool & Cable: Split Second," a new digital-first Infinite Comic from Marvel that features a reunion on the creative side as well; former "Cable & Deadpool" creative team Fabian Nicieza and Reilly Brown are back together for one more ride. This time around, the fate of the entire universe is on the line! Yeah, the entire universe! Cable said so!

Nicieza & Brown Promise Ass-Kicking, Hydra-Bashing "Deadpool & Cable" Story

This week in X-POSITION, "Deadpool & Cable: Split Second" writer Fabian Nicieza joins us and answers all of your questions about everything from Cable's future in the Marvel Universe to the inclusion of Wade Wilson's supporting cast and the legacy of Adam-X.

CBR News: Welcome back to X-POSITION, Fabian! We start this week with a question from L3G0Head about the origin of "Deadpool & Cable: Split Second."

Cable. Deadpool. Fabian. Reilly. Who do we have to thank for getting the band back together, and how did this awesome reunion happen?

Former editor Mike Marts was brave enough to show various editors at Marvel that I was no longer contagious. Then the Jordan D. White/Heather Antos editorial team realized Reilly was the only artist who had the intestinal fortitude (and was expendable enough) to endure working with me on a yearlong project!

Next up, Justin has a question about the difference between working on a traditional style comic and a digital-first one, like "Deadpool & Cable."

How does the writing and overall creative process differ when you're working on an Infinite-style digital comic as opposed to a traditional comic? Really enjoyed revisiting the "Age of Apocalypse" and can't wait to check out "Split Second"!

Thanks for the shout out to "AoA," Justin! As for the Infinite Comic format, I decided very early on that because it should be approached from a stronger visual context first, rather than verbal, I wanted to co-plot it with Reilly. As a result, I'll do a very rough breakdown of what the chapter will require and Reilly will do "thumbnail" sketches breaking that down into a rough screen count.

We then go over that and I tighten up the descriptions into a screen breakdown, including some rough dialogue per screen to give Reilly some emotional beats to play off of. Reilly then turns that into finished pencils. As Jay [Leisten] is inking, I do final script. Then they tell me everything I did wrong with my balloon placement flow and fix it.

And none of this even mentions that while, by this point, I'm sipping umbrella drinks on a sandy beach, Reilly works with Jordan, Heather and the production department to negotiate the screen loading process with comiXology (screen swipe flow, balloon placement cadence, make sure the mini "animation" tricks work, etc.)...

...or that they all also have to prepare this for print publication (which is substantially different than our digital version in terms of how the story reveals itself)! It is about five times more work, blood, sweat and tears than a regular print comic, but luckily Marvel isn't paying us five times more for the work!

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Now that we know more about the process, Psimitar has a question about character.

Cable is in a very different place from where you left him in "Cable and Deadpool." Do you find it frustrating coming back to a character that may not have been handled well, do you see it as a challenge to write -- or is it easy for you to make peace with it and can you meet the character where they are?

There are two answers to your question, Psimitar. Yes, I find it frustrating to come back to a character that may not have been handled in a manner I agree with, and no, it wasn't frustrating to come back to Cable because I thought he was handed to me in an interesting, vulnerable place that left open plenty of character and story opportunities.

Besides the title characters, "Split Second" also features appearances from a number of Deadpool's recent supporting characters -- and MiddlePegasus has a question about that.

We get to see some more recent "Deadpool" additions like S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents Emily Preston and Adsit and also Shiklah in "Split Second," which is awesome! How do you decide what recent stuff to draw from when you take on a new book? Do you read through all the characters' recent appearances and see what interests you?

I don't like ignoring everything or immediately changing the status quo of a title just to suit my own ego, Peg. I prefer to draw from ongoing continuity to help ground the character and respect the readers. Jordan and Heather sent me about 30 issues of the [Brian] Posehn/[Gerry] Duggan "Deadpool" run and I hated it because it was pretty damn good, so I used a few of the characters and concepts I hated the most.

This being a Deadpool comic, it's of course a violent affair. Blue Machine wants to know how violent you're allowed to go nowadays.

There's a lot of action and violence in that opening raid on the Hydra base -- it is a Deadpool comic! Is there a different level of gore and blood and evisceration that you can use in a digital-first story like this compared to print versions, or are they the same? I remember back in the '90s when all blood had to be colored black or brown!

No, Blue, I'm following the lead of how the "Deadpool" comic has devolved (I meant to say evolved!) since I've been away! They show levels of gore we never would have done just seven years ago. I think it's pretty childish and it's not something I have much interest in, but it's clearly something the readers (and the creators) seem to enjoy, so I go with the (blood) flow.

Next up in the question flow -- oh, that was smooth -- is one from Jackraow21 about Cable's future.

There is only one question for me, especially in light of the fact that Deadpool is literally everywhere these days, and that is: Can you tell us anything about future plans for his buddy Cable after the "Split Second" mini series? Anything at all. Thanks.

Jack, I can only tell you that I was told there are plans for him and part of my "story responsibility" in "Split Second" is to kind of bridge Cable's status quo between his most recent "X-Force" appearances and his upcoming appearances in "Mille the Model Goes To Space" (damn, I accidentally gave it away!).

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Speaking of Cable, Spiral-Escalator wants to know more of your thoughts about Nathan.

I've seen you talk a lot online about how close Deadpool is to your heart, but I was wondering how you feel about Cable? Is he as near and dear to you, and what parts of yourself do you see in him?

Cable means a lot to me as a character and on an emotional level. I believe I have written him in more issues than any other writer to date. I have tried very hard over that time, when given the chance, to deepen the character and change reader's flawed "'90s pouchy" perceptions of him. I love working on him when I get the chance and confidently state that I understand him like no other writer has, or probably ever will!

As for what parts of myself I see in him? I like to think I share his ability to look at things in a much greater perspective than the limited scope applied by most puny humans. And also his arrogance.

And now it's time to try to learn anything we can about the mystery character on the last page of issue #1 -- take it away, SmartHeart!

Can you give us any hint about who that guy was at the end of "Split Second," the blue Tron guy that teleported out? I assume he's trouble!

Uhm... that was Split Second. As for who he is, you'll find out more in chapter two. Then chapter three... you do understand how this sequential storytelling stuff works, don't you, SmartHeart...?

Split Second remains a mystery... for now! Next up, Taral-DLOS wants to know more about your future plans and if they involve past work.

I loved your recent revisit of the "Age of Apocalypse" story in "Secret Wars." Is there another story from days gone by that you would want to revisit (either as an alternate universe or a sequel; however you wanted), if given the opportunity?

I have to be honest, Taral, I really don't want to be a "nostalgia writer" who is only offered assignments that harken back to 20 year-old work. In the right circumstances (like "AoA"), it absolutely is a lot of fun, but I have plenty of new stories I'd love to tell of existing characters and new concepts for Marvel, DC or on creator-owned work.

And we saved the big question, from The Big G, for last.

Please tell me you plan to bring Adam X The X-Treme back into the 616 fold. I think we comic book fans are finally ready to embrace Adam for the awesomeness that he is. Most comic fans were not ready in the 90s... but now its 2015 and people have changed. We are ready for the real third Summers brother.

I think that over the last 20 years, Marvel has clearly shown they are nowhere near ready to embrace the true story of the Third Summers Brother. And all kidding aside, Big G, that has always been their (and the reader's) loss.

Thanks to Fabian Nicieza for taking on this week's questions!

Next week, "All-New Wolverine" writer Tom Taylor slashes his way into X-POSITION to answer all your Laura Kinney questions! Have a question for Tom? Go ahead and send 'em in via 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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