NYCC 2011: Daniel Way Puts the DEAD in DEADPOOL

NYCC 2011: DEADPOOL: "Dead"?


For months now, Wade Wilson has been looking for a way to kill himself (despite his powerful healing factor) in the pages of Deadpool. And as announced Sunday afternoon at New York Comic Con, he might finally have found the answer, as chronicled in a five-issue story titled "Dead," starting with February's Deadpool #50. Newsarama talked with series writer Daniel Way about the arc, which he calls "the Deadpool story."

Newsarama: Daniel, the "Dead" story starts in February, and as we know from the magic of advance solicitations, the "Evil Deadpool" arc is right before that. So with that in mind, does one thing lead into the next pretty closely, plot-wise?

Daniel Way: Both arcs stand on their own but, to get the full effect of watching Wade throw the snowball that becomes the avalanche, I’d recommend reading both. Plot-wise, yes; there is a very important element — Deadpool’s “kryptonite” — that is introduced at the end of “Evil Deadpool” that is central to what happens in “Dead." All of that being said, I’m also doing a “Point One” issue (with art by one of my favorite artists of all time, Mr. John McCrea) that will come out right before “Dead” that should bring any reader up to speed. It’s called “Deadpoool: The Musical." It’s, uh… a musical.

Nrama: Moving on to "Dead" itself — obviously, character death is a loaded concept in comics, especially with a character like Deadpool. How seriously should readers be taking the concept? Tone-wise, does the story play things pretty straight, or is it more of a commentary on the concept of death in superhero comics?

Way: A lot of both of those things. A lot of readers have become jaded with the whole, “In this issue…a hero will fall” thing, and I don’t blame them. I’m one of them. That’s why “Dead” is what it is; and it’s nothing like what you think it’ll be. Bluntly, I don’t think readers can prepare for this one.

Nrama: Deadpool has had a death wish for a while now, though he obviously hasn't been successful in his attempts. Though it's still way early, what can you tease about the way out he discovers? Is it big and splashy or maybe surprisingly subtle?

Way: All I can tell you is that this isn’t something I pulled out of a hat—this is not retcon. This something that goes back to the very origin of the character. Is it subtle?! Hell, no — this is a Deadpool comic!

Nrama: The details of the "Dead" story are pretty scarce — can you share any info about what other characters might be involved, other than, of course, Wade Wilson himself?

Way: For now, I can tell you that X-Force will be playing a key role, as will Kingpin, Typhoid Mary and The Hand. That's just in the first issue...and it's only half the cast.

Nrama: As the writer of the book for more than three years and nearly 50 issues, I think it's safe to say you've probably had the longest run on a solo Deadpool title in history at this point. (And nearing Cable/Deadpool's number, which ran for 50 issues.) How do you character the ongoing experience of writing the character for that long — who, by his nature, routinely finds himself in increasingly over-the-top situations?

Way: Since I started writing the series, I’ve always ended Deadpool’s “quests” (world’s greatest merc, world’s greatest hero, etc) with both a resounding victory and an equally resonant and crushing defeat. The trick, if there is one, is to keep the carrot juuust out of Deadpool’s reach. Plus, Deadpool’s not the most…focused guy in the world, so it’s relatively easy to switch things up whenever I feel a story has been played out. All I have to do is have him say, “Yeah, okay…uh-huh, I’m bored” then drop a laundry sack full of grenades and cheap, poorly-made fireworks into the mix. Next chapter.

Nrama: Your Deadpool run is also nearing Wolverine Origins as, I believe, the longest work of your career. What is it about Deadpool that keeps you engaged?

Way: The lack of impossibility. I can do literally anything with this character and no one bats an eye. Oh, that Deadpool… he’s so wacky.

Nrama: Carlo Barberi is back on art for #50. What makes him right for this story?

Way: Carlo’s been with me on this book since the second arc and, since then, he’s become (who I and many others consider to be) the Deadpool artist. When it came time to tell the Deadpool story, it was a no-brainer.

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