In 2014, Kletus Casady fought Wade Wilson in Deadpool vs. Carnage - and now with Absolute Carnage front-and-center in the Marvel U, Carnage is back for a rematch - this time, officiated by witer Frank Tieri.
Debuting this week, the three-issue Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool title by Tieri and artist Marcelo Ferreira finds the Merc with a Mouth a guest at the Ravencroft Institute - sharing space with none other than Carnage himself.
Let's talk to Tieri about what's about to happen.
Newsarama: Frank, how did you get Wade Wilson and Carnage into a mental health institution here and get Marvel to foot the bill?
Frank Tieri: Me? Hey, don’t look at me, chief. Blame Spider-Man.
Look, everybody’s got that one friend where other people wonder why the hell you’re friends with that guy. (My friends say that’s me, but whatever.)
For Spider-man, that’s Deadpool. (In fact, I have to say that this series very much deals with Spider-man and Deadpool’s friendship, and what it’s like with being buddies with someone who’s a lunatic like Wade.) But while Spidey has put up with Wade’s crap in the past, this time he goes too far. And as such, he tells Wade not to talk to him again until he goes and gets himself some help at… where else? Ravencroft.
Aaaaand if you read Absolute Carnage #1… you know Carnage just so happens to have taken over the joint. So I think you can see where this is all going…
Nrama: You've written Deadpool before, but how would you describe your take on him as you see it now?
Tieri: My approach to Deadpool has always been the same throughout my career, so really it’s no different here.
Deadpool to me has to have humor. That’s the character. But I’ve always felt for the most part, the threats to Deadpool have to be real and dangerous - and it’s through him, his reactions to it all, where the humor comes in.
So yeah, believe me, Deadpool can joke and make fun of Carnage all he wants - but in the end, Carnage is a very real and dangerous threat. And Wade might not be laughing all that much after this is all said and done with.
Nrama: And Carnage, what makes him tick in your mind?
Tieri: Simply put, he’s a stone cold psychopath.
When Michael Caine says “Some men just want to watch the world burn” in The Dark Knight, Carnage is exactly the sort of guy he’s talking about.
People say sometimes that no bad guy thinks he’s the bad guy, but sorry, I call bull on that when it comes to guys like the Joker, Sabretooth back in the day… and yes, definitely Carnage. Carnage knows he’s an evil son of a b---h and he relishes all the pain and destruction he can cause. And this event certainly gives him plenty of opportunity to be every bit of that son of a b---h he wants to be.
But that’s just where Cletus is starting. That’s his square one. After what Donny Cates has done in Venom and Web of Venom, Carnage has learned about Knull and now he wants to spread his bloodshed through the universe.
Nrama: There's been some famous fiction set in mental instutitions - how would you compare and contrast this with some of your favorites?
Tieri: Well, let’s be honest here… the most notable mental institution in all of fiction is Arkham Asylum. And I really think Ravencroft works best when it plays like Marvel’s version of Arkham.
Where we bear witness to the worst of the worst, where anything and everything can happen. And as we see in issue Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1, with Carnage and company having taken over, the worst of the worst are front and center and have made themselves very much at home.
Nrama: Are Deadpool and Carnage friends, enemies, or somewhere in between in this series?
Tieri: Oh, they’re definitely enemies.
I don’t think a lot of guys get under Carnage’s symbiotic skin. In fact, he’s the one who fancies himself the guy who gets under the skin of others. (Also he likes to skin people, since we’re on the subject of skin. So there’s that.) But Deadpool is certainly one of those that bug him. Although… Deadpool bugs a lot of people, let’s be honest.
Also keep in mind, these two have a history - they fought in Deadpool vs. Carnage - so consider this something of a rematch. A rematch where the loser’s spine gets ripped out.
Nrama: How does this fit into Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman's Absolute Carnage event?
Tieri: Hey, we all know by now what Carnage’s ultimate goal is in Absolute Carnage - and that’s to target every single being who’s ever worn a symbiote and collect their spines and those valuable codexes he needs.
Well, keep in mind, Deadpool at one point has merged with four of them. Think that makes him special to Carnage? A unicorn if you will? Carnage will very much be pulling out all the stops to be getting his grubby mitts on Deadpool’s spine - in fact, expect by Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #2 to see him send his top gun after Wade.
And I’ll just let you guess who that might be…
Nrama: Last question, what would you do if you found yourself checked into Ravencroft with these two?
Tieri: The phrase “severely medicated” comes to mind. (I mean… even more so than I am now.)