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Deadpool Team-Up: Meet Mr. X

Frank Tieri returns to the Merc With a Mouth and brings one of Wolverine’s deadliest foes along

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #891 preview art by Chris Staggs
By Chris Arrant

It seems Deadpool has reached into every corner of the Marvel Universe over the years. In the current series DEADPOOL TEAM-UP, the Merc with a Mouth has been taking his networking skills to a new level, though not without a few bruises and broken bones.

In the DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #891-on sale now-Wade Wilson takes on a new foe with help from an old friend. Veteran Deadpool writer Frank Tieri returns to the character and brings the red-and-black mutant mercenary against a formidable foe from Wolverine's rogue's gallery: Mr. X.

"Well, Mr. X was always designed to be a Wolverine villain," explains Tieri, who created the character while writing WOLVERINE several years ago. "Now, one thing that often works in villain/hero combos is to go opposite-see Joker vs Batman, Leader vs Hulk, me vs [Marvel editor] Ben Morse-and if you think about it, Mr. X has a lot of qualities that are contrary to Logan's; he's tall, rich, cold as ice, calm, sophisticated and he gives in to his murderous tendencies instead of holding back like Logan does.

"The thing is, he also has a lot of qualities that are opposite Deadpool's-I mean, no one's ever exactly accused Wade of being calm and sophisticated, for example."

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #891 hinges on revenge sought on Mr. X by one of his victims.

"There's a new character I created for this story named Mr. Y," reveals Tieri. "As Mr. Y describes himself, he's what happens when Mr. X 'plays

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #891 preview art by Chris Staggs
with his food.' Translation? X didn't actually kill him like he does his other opponents, but instead did something he viewed that was worse than death: cut off his fingers, his eyelids, his nose, his ears, etc. Basically left him like a rump roast with eyes.

"You can see why Mr. Y might be a tab miffed about the whole being turned into a human chopped salad thing, which is where Deadpool comes in. Mr. Y hires him to kill Mr. X and the good times get rolling from there."

In his appearances, Mr. X has been established as a cultured and competitive man who seeks out the best fighters in the world to test himself and learn all manner of fighting techniques. He's one of the few characters that can claim a victory over Wolverine. What makes Mr. X so dangerous? His telepathic ability to feel out his opponents and predict their actions; but what would a telepath make of the scatter-brained mind of Deadpool?

"That's the million dollar question, now isn't it?" poses Tieri. "It's actually why Mr. Y hires Wade in the first place. He figures Mr. X won't be able to see into Wade's diseased excuse of a brain, making him too unpredictable for Mr. X to deal with. And of course, things might not exactly end up quite as simple as that, because if it was, Deadpool kills Mr. X in like two panels and there'd be a whole mess of blank pages."

For Tieri, it's a welcome return to a character he cut his teeth on in comics, and for artist Chris Staggs, it's a chance to cement his career after two previous stints on Wade Wilson with the DEADPOOL #900 and in DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #897.

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #891 preview art by Chris Staggs
"Chris has really done a great job here, especially since this is not a very easy story to draw with all the off-the-wall stuff I've got Deadpool doing in this," Tieri praises. "There's one particular scene I was especially impressed with that he nailed, though-and yes, it's what Mr. X does see inside Wade's mind. It ain't exactly what you would call pretty, kids."

When we asked Tieri about the whole "teaming up" aspect of the tale, he clarified in a way only he can:

"There's a slight team up-and I mean like five seconds-when they're faced with a common enemy. Other than that, they'll be trying to turn each other into Alpo."

Tieri's been a longtime fan of Deadpool, going back to his earliest days writing the character. All-in-all, he's still the same Merc with a Mouth that Tieri loved in the first place.

"The only thing that's really chanced since I last wrote Deadpool is his popularity, which is off the charts now. I mean, we're talking about DEADPOOL TEAM-UP here! But other than that, I wouldn't say my vision of him has changed all that much. I still basically regard him as Bugs Bunny with an uzi. And in fact, I still say humor is probably the most important part of approaching a Deadpool project. Simply put, I think Deadpool stories have to be funny."


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      this could be one of the best & funniest fights of the year.