The 'Great Tragedy' of DEADPOOL's SECRET EMPIRE Affiliation & Killing of PHIL COULSON

"Deadpool #32" first look
Credit: Matteo Lolli (Marvel Comics)
Credit: Marvel Comics

Deadpool has teamed with villains before - and even been one - but his recent affiliation with HydraCap Steve Rogers has thrown some for a loop.

With last month’s Deadpool #31 however, the series took a serious turn of events when Deadpool manipulated by Rogers’ loyalty, had Wilson kill S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson. Coulson and Wade had an established friendship, but it showed what Deadpool was willing to do now that he’s become one of Rogers’ top men.

Credit: Matteo Lolli (Marvel Comics)

With Deadpool #32 out this week, long-time series writer Gerry Duggan opened up to Newsarama about the issue and hinted at serious consequences later on for the merc now that he’s aligned himself with Marvel’s Most Wanted.

Newsarama: Okay, Gerry, Deadpool has already had an interesting year with his “Til Death Do Us” arc, what’s his mentality going into crossing with the events of Secret Empire.

Gerry Duggan: Well things were going sort of right with Uncanny Avengers and things were definitely burning down in Deadpool, and his state of mind heading into Secret Empire is that he’s trusted Steve Rogers for a long time and followed orders from him. If anybody was going to have sway over Wade, it was going to be Cap.

Nrama: So let's talk about Wade as an assassin and his killing of Phil Coulson. However, is he going to take pride in the situation though? Does he even really understand what's happening right now with Steve?

Duggan: You know I was talking with a friend and we got to talking about how fascism creeps before it learns how to march. For Wade, he’s done a lot of horrible things before, So if there's a dirty job, he knows he can do it. In Wade’s case though, he’s already up to his neck before anybody even says “Hail Hydra” and that’s the tragedy of it. He’s sort of complicit to it without even the ideology coming into play and we’ll get into that, too, in an only-Deadpool-way hopefully.

Credit: Matteo Lolli (Marvel Comics)
Credit: Matteo Lolli (Marvel Comics)

I think these issues are very funny, even if they're the most serious issues we've ever done.

It's fun to look at the preposterousness of the rise of fascist Steve Rogers.

Nrama: You know you mentioned that Deadpool trusts Steve completely, but is that trust reciprocated on Steve’s side?

Credit: Matteo Lolli (Marvel Comics)

Duggan: Yeah, I think so because he came to Wade after Logan died and asked him to take that slot on the roster in Uncanny. That was a huge opportunity for Wade, but it sort of takes a loose cannon of the board.

I think Rogers would say that he’s at his best when he’s giving orders that he follows. Wade may come to disagree with that but he’s had no reason not to trust Cap. Again, that’s the great tragedy.

Nrama: On his place in Steve’s roster this time around, is Deadpool in the role of a soldier or more of something he’s comfortable with like a mercenary?

Credit: Marvel Comics

Duggan: Well, some big stuff goes down that will cast the die. It’s a little also like for Wade, you’re right, he’s a merc, but Rogers is taking advantage of that. He’s been exploiting it in a good way in Uncanny Avengers but now that he is lawful evil, he’s the perfect soldier.

Nobody says “Hail Hydra” in this issue because this is the road to Secret Empire and he has a Wade Wilson that will do the hard deeds.

Nrama: With this issue you’re working with artist Matteo Lolli. What him a great fit for this story instead of your usual collaborators like Mike Hawthorne and Reilly Brown?

Credit: Matteo Lolli (Marvel Comics)

Duggan: I think the thing all these Deadpool artists have is that these are people can make you laugh with one page and then hit you with the gut puncher when you turn it over.

The quick swings and moods are the keys to Deadpool because not everybody can tell a joke but these guys can make you laugh and hopefully make you cry.

Lives are destroyed in an event like this and it’s not something we tie into lightly or even as just a gag. It’s an opportunity to see how close we can put Deadpool into this. Look, he’s also compromised slightly and he has a mutant daughter and how does that fit into this new world order.

Credit: Matteo Lolli (Marvel Comics)

Nrama: Deadpool has been interacting more and more with the rest of the Marvel Universe with his alliance in the Uncanny Avengers so will there be anybody stopping by later on to be the voice of reason for Wade?

Duggan: The situation is for Wade that on the other side of the fence, that once Rogers is out in the open, he’s already standing on one side of the line and here’s there firmly whether he wants to be or not is sort of irrelevant.

Credit: Matteo Lolli (Marvel Comics)

We do have some fun guest stars and in some instances, meaningful guest stars but they aren’t necessarily allies.

Nrama: Is it weird to take Deadpool in this serious direction?

Duggan: I don’t think so. Before this era of Deadpool and before I started writing with Brian Posehn, it was a more serious Deadpool.

After this event though, we won’t be able to tell the same kind of stories and I’m excited about that and try something else.

Nrama: How serious are these ramifications?

Duggan: I’m aware we’re headed into Legacy and you know that I want to find a new and exciting thing to attack and fans of our run they might be angry but all these events are opportunities but this is the event with the biggest change. We made good use of Original Sin and Secret Wars, but I think this is the one we’re going to be remembered for.

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