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Tuesday Q&A

Tuesday Q&A: Daniel Way Pt. 1

The Deadpool writer talks about the upcoming fiftieth issue and more in the first of this two-part interview

By Chris Arrant

Gifted with a miraculous healing factor that rivals with Wolverine himself, Deadpool feels he’s cursed with the inability to die—and that’s a challenge he can’t turn down. Beginning this February in DEADPOOL #50, Wade Wilson seeks to find a way off this mortal coil in “Dead.”

Writer Daniel Way first took on Deadpool in an arc of WOLVERINE: ORIGINS back in 2007, then kicked off a new solo series the next year. Over the past four years, the writer has pitted the Merc with a Mouth against Norman Osborn, Skrulls, the Thunderbolts, the X-Men, vampires, and even Captain America. And now as we get closer towards the milestone fiftieth issue and Wade’s war with his own mortality, Marvel.com spoke with Way about what lies ahead.

DEADPOOL #50 teaser by Carlo Barberi

Marvel.com: This week’s DEADPOOL #49 acts as the finale of the “Evil Deadpool” story and gives us our first glimpse of what you have planned for the next arc, “Dead.” What can you tell us about this week’s issue?

Daniel Way: As you said, DEADPOOL #49 leads directly into the “Dead” storyline starting in #50; at the end of the issue you’ll see the inciting incident that leads our Merc with a Mouth down that road. Between now and #50 we’ll be releasing a special Point One issue that’ll act as a primer for what’s happened as we head into this new arc. For those planning to jump on with DEADPOOL #50, #49.1 is a fun way to get the gist of the previous 49 or so issues in one shot. It’s actually a musical, with three musical numbers giving readers a brief run-through of where he started and where he is now.

Marvel.com: Could this be your own version of Deadpool: Turn off the Dark?

Daniel Way: [Laughs] I’m waiting for someone to get on YouTube and do just that.

The Spider-Man musical is really where the idea came from. Editors Jody LeHeup and Jordan White figured out a funny way to do it, by doing it as a sampler platter, so to speak, of what Deadpool is. There’s a lot of violence, comedy, insanity and strange twists in the story, and the quickest way to get that across ended up being in music. Music you read though, as opposed to what you’d listen to.

Marvel.com: Artist John McCrea joins you on this Point One issue, and he seems like a perfect fit for Deadpool.

Daniel Way: Yeah, John McCrea really went all out on the art. Before I got the lettering proof I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out, but John really delivered. Taking the musical genre and shoe-horning in comics drama is a big task, but John really nailed the timing. The lettering was perfect too; John was really smart enough to make space in the art so that the word balloons could be positioned in the right way to maximize the rhythm of the text. I couldn’t believe how well it turned out. I was fully prepared for it to either be great or not-so great, but after seeing what John has done with my script I can’t wait for it to come out. It’s something you don’t see very often, and very unique.

DEADPOOL #50 teaser by Carlo Barberi

Marvel.com: Who came up with the idea to bring John in to do DEADPOOL?

Daniel Way: I’d talked with my editors several times about bringing John McCrea in on DEADPOOL, but he wasn’t available until now. It just lined up that he was available to do this. I worked with John on one previous occasion, and I’ve been excited to do it again.

Marvel.com: In February we segue into the landmark 50th issue of DEADPOOL and the aforementioned “Dead” arc. Does Deadpool finally get a date with the love of his life, Death?

Daniel Way: It’s hard to say much of what goes on without spoiling it. What I can say is that in DEADPOOL #50 we find out there is something out there that can kill Deadpool. Despite his miraculous healing abilities, there’s been something out there since the very beginning of the character that can kill him, or at least make it possible for him to die—permanently. The real deal.

And that’s great news for Deadpool, but that’s been his new obsession. Deadpool’s the type of character that’s always obsessed with the things he couldn’t have or couldn’t do. The best way to motivate him to do something is to have as many people as possible tell him he can’t. For this particular goal, Deadpool hasn’t really sat down and thought out the implications of dying; to him it’s just a goal, not a destination. He hasn’t figured out that dying would be the end of the line for him. He just wants to do it. With his manic personality, he hasn’t considered the ramifications of what that means.

DEADPOOL #50 teaser by Carlo Barberi

And now with the news that there’s something out there that could actually kill him, it becomes a kind of mystery where he has to find out who has it and get them to use it. At first you’d think it’s just a mater of him going out into the public and making himself as visible as possible, but at this point he’s wanted by Interpol, the N.Y.P.D. and every international law enforcement agency out there. If they grab him, they’ll lock him up and he won’t be able to get to this thing that could kill him. For “Dead,” he has to figure out a Rube Goldberg-style plan to flush out this thing while still maintaining cover from his pursuers. That means sucking in all of these different parties after him to get them to do what he wants them to do. No one knows they’ve been drafted into Deadpool’s plans until it’s too late. This arc has a very big cast.

Marvel.com: Artist Carlo Barberi returns to help ring in this special story. What makes Carlo the ideal artist to illustrate this milestone issue?

Daniel Way: Well, it made sense. Although Paco Medina drew the first story, Carlo was working simultaneously on the second arc so he’s essentially part of the original team as far as I am concerned. It was very important to me that he get the chance to do this ultimate Deadpool issue; it’s over-sized, has a big cast, and has big things going on. He’s obviously got the chops and you can see how much he’s developed from his first arc to now. I’m lucky I got to keep him on the book as long as I did.

I actually got to meet him at Comic-Con International [in] San Diego this past year after years of working together. We got to sit next to one another at the Marvel booth signing comics, and in between fans we got to have a conversation talking about how we loved each other’s work.

Come back to Marvel.com tomorrow to read the second part of our interview with Daniel Way, talking about Deadpool and the 50-issue path he’s taken to get to this point, and featuring exclusive art from issues #49.1 and #50!

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      Deadpool is a mercenary, yet he does not kill. Killing would imply that death by Deadpool is unnatural.