The Merc With A Mouth Heads For The Swingin’ 1960s in DEADPOOL #20
CREDIT: Marvel Comics
Time travel is rampant in the Marvel U these days, but when it comes to traveling back to the heady days of the 1960s there only one title imaginable that could do it justice: Deadpool.
In December’s Deadpool #20, series writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn once again team up with artist Scott Koblish (who's early art for the book you can see exclusively here) on a one-off Flashback issue into the far off past – this time, the Swinging Sixties. Replete with a cover by Gødland’s Tom Scioli, this flashback to Deadpool stories past promises vintage Deadpool, as well as Cable, Celestials and even Devil Dinosaur and Moonboy – as only Deadpool can deliver.
Newsarama: Gerry, coming up after the end of the current arc is December’s Deadpool #20 – another of the epic flashback issues. Just to get people up to speed, how would you describe these jaunts?
Gerry Duggan: Deadpool while popular, isn't from the same rock as much of the Marvel Universe. He's from a newer sediment level. 20 years is all well and good, but we're going to keep building Deadpool as a character -- both forward and backward in time. When we're done, I hope it feels like he's been around much longer than he actually has been. It will be an illusion of course, but a fun one. The nice thing about the inventory issues is it allows us to introduce an alabaster 70s pimp named the White Man, and while all eyes are on him for two issues the much more important Carmelita sneaks into Deadpool's life. We're playing a long game now. There's still some loose threads from the first six issues that are due to be resolved. S.H.I.E.L.D. never paid Wade. Deadpool #20 is a lot of fun, but I'll be honest - it will not serve as connective tissue as much as 7, or 13 did. We needed the pallet cleanser after 19. That’s not the norm for us. Most "inventory" issues will reverberate.
Nrama: So what’s your one-liner about this issue in particular?
Duggan: It's Marvel's swingin' 60s! If you like your comics with some Kirby Krackle - this one is for you.
Nrama: How’d you go about figuring out how to write in the style of this issue’s era?
Duggan: Well, this is my first shot at true Marvel Style. We outlined the issue for Scott Koblish in about 20 sentences, one per page. He went away and absolutely drew his face off. This issue is supposed to be Wade just sneaking off for a vacation, and it probably ends up the most adventure ever crammed into one Deadpool issue. It's really special. Scott and colorist Val Staples are a special team.
Nrama: Part of the magic that comes with these issues is the art by the aforementioned Scott Koblish. How’d you and Marvel luck onto him in the first place, and what’s it mean having him involved in each one?
Duggan: Our editor Jordan White pitched the idea of an inventory issue, and he showed us Scott's stuff. Brian and I already had some comedy pitches for other eras of the Marvel Universe, so Jordan mentioning his "throwback" idea felt like we were being entrapped by a narc or something. I still recall my reaction to seeing Scott's work from Deadpool #7 - I felt almost bad that he had to draw anything we wrote. Anyone that was expecting this book to take a hit on quality after Tony Moore was in for a big surprise. Then Val put his period-realistic color over Scott and we had something that was truly special, and I knew right then that we were going to be fired. We were finishing up writing the equally talented Mike Hawthorne's first arc when the art started coming in for #7 - and I remember even the page - it was the Party Time Fruit Liquor ad. I just remember thinking. "Ugh. Getting fired is gonna suck". I didn't know, or frankly care if people liked any of what we had planned for Deadpool, but I know what I like -- and the problem is -- when you work for as long as I have in Hollywood, it always felt like - the more fun something was, the quicker it was going to be over. Pilots are like that - weeks of fun, followed by unemployment and looking for the next fun. So, looking at the pages -- I could only conclude that "of course it was all going to end". When we didn't get fired off Deadpool I was confused for a while.
Nrama: This was initially going to be a one-off theme, but it turned into something when Scott Koblish emailed you guys a style guide of how Deadpool would look in different eras. Can you describe that for us, and how that inspired Deadpool #20 specifically?
Duggan: We told Scott before he wrapped # 7 that we had other issues from other eras in mind, and wanted them to buffer bigger arcs. He just said "cool" which I interpreted as "Cool, yeah, but go fuck yourselves" but not too long after he emailed us a single jpeg that had several designs for Deadpool costumes from various eras. At that moment, Scott became a series regular, with Tony and Mike. On the quick, he changed gears with us when Deadpool #13 became Deadpool #13 and #14 for schedule reasons, and he's going to have lots more to do moving forward. Credit the naming of the White Man to Scott, by the way.
Nrama: And can you say what other eras these flashback issues might lampoon next?
Duggan: We want Deadpool to leave the Marvel Universe - like a comic book Voyager satellite. And we'll get there. But we're also bouncing around. An issue in the 50s is being drawn now -- while issues for new 70s, 80s and 90s comics are being outlined for written - it's like we're a classic rock station! My favorite part of these issues is hiding important moments inside of them. There's more of that ahead.