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5 Ronin

5 Days of 5 Ronin: Deadpool

Peter Milligan and Sebastian Girner wrap up our behind-the-scenes look at this amazing series

By Ben Morse

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the 5 RONIN series—go out and buy the book before you read it!

For the past five weeks, we’ve been witness to a unique and remarkable new take on familiar Marvel icons in 5 RONIN, conceived and executed by writer Peter Milligan, editor Sebastian Girner and a quintet of tremendously talented artists.

5 Ronin Deadpool concept art by Leandro Fernandez

With the release of the fifth and final earlier this week, as well as the coming hardcover collection on May 25, we spoke at length with Milligan and Girner about each installment of this epic tale and will be presenting these exclusive commentaries all week long. Additionally, each artist to work on 5 RONIN has provided a wealth of sketch materials to illustrate how they created this vivid world set in 17th century Japan.

Monday we talked Wolverine, Tuesday we discussed The Hulk, Wednesday we covered The Punisher and yesterday we got to Psylocke—today we wrap things up with the mysterious and unpredictable Deadpool.

Marvel.com: Though he starred in his own, Deadpool also appeared in every other chapter of 5 RONIN; why was he the interconnecting thread?

Peter Milligan: We wanted just that: A connecting thread; something that, however obliquely, joined the apparently disconnected chapters. 

Marvel.com: Was the Daimyo based on an existing Marvel character or was he a new creation?

Peter Milligan: The Daimyo is based on a historical character, though pretty loosely.  The daimyos were incredibly powerful feudal lords, subordinate only to the Shogun. The Daimyo in this story is based loosely on a Daimyo who committed some infamous atrocities.

Sebastian Girner: The Daimyo is very loosely based on the feudal Lord Oda Nobunaga, who was one of the three great daimyos that unified Japan in the Era of Warring States. Infamously he ordered the burning of Mt. Hiei by  Kyoto to subdue the warrior monks that ruled the area. This is a plot point in the Hulk issue. He is remembered as one of the most brutal figures in Japanese history.

5 Ronin Deadpool concept art by Leandro Fernandez

Marvel.com: How much of Deadpool's drunken confusion was legitimate and how much was an act?

Peter Milligan: Ah hah! That, as they say, is the question.  And if you’re expecting the answer here you’re looking in the wrong place.  Clearly this man is disturbed, his mind broken, but to just what degree is a moot point.  It is clear that sometimes he is as he seems to be: a fool. But there are other moments—as in the final episode when he seems to achieve clarity after his fight with the Daimyo—when he appears anything but a fool.  The rest we leave for the reader to decide.

Marvel.com: Did Deadpool ever really realize who he was and what he was doing over the course of his final battle with the Daimyo?

Peter Milligan: I refer you to my previous answer. But he certainly does seem to achieve some form of clarity or even epiphany. But was this too a form or madness or delusion?

Marvel.com: Why did Deadpool have to be the Ronin to kill the Daimyo? Did he have to be?

Peter Milligan: I don’t know if he had to be.  But it pleases my ironic nature that this man, who seems so unfocused in a story of driven would-be revenge-takers, is the man who ends the Daimyo’s life.

Sebastian Girner: And what’s even sweeter in my mind is that he doesn’t even remember the reason for doing it.

5 Ronin Deadpool concept art by Leandro Fernandez

Marvel.com: What do you feel this conclusion means for the other Ronin beyond what we are shown?

Peter Milligan: I think it means different things—though one thing for certain is that it means change.  

Marvel.com: How did Leandro Fernandez fit as the artist for this final chapter?

Peter Milligan: This was an incredibly difficult episode to pull off from an artist’s [point of view].  Not only were there those big battle scenes, but the nuances of Deadpool’s expressions.   Leandro—like the other artists –really made the book his own.

Thanks to Peter and Sebastian for being awesome all week! Remember to pick up 5 RONIN #5, on sale now, and get your retailer to pre-order the hardcover collection!
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