|DEADPOOL #900 preview art by Dalibor Talajic|
By Kevin Mahadeo
When it comes to mental madness, the Marvel Universe's resident mouthy mercenary Deadpool contains enough crazy to fill the local loony bin. The character constantly holds conversations with himself out loud, habitually hallucinates and shatters the fourth wall on a regular basis. This amount of nuttiness normally adequately fills your average comic book issue, but for the celebratory 104-page DEADPOOL #900, things get even more insane as some of the biggest creators in comics lend their own touch of madness to the mix.
Whether battling aliens with probes, mimes with guns or a psychologist with a notepad, the Merc with a Mouth faces his fair share of obstacles both mental and physical in this anniversary issue bursting into shops on October 14. The issue features stories from the mad minds of Jason Aaron, Mike Benson, Victor Gischler, Charlie Huston, Duane Swierczynski, Fred Van Lente and Joe Kelly accompanied by art from Kyle Baker, Shawn Crystal, Sanford Greene, Damion Scott, Chris Staggs, Dalibor Talajic and Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld.
Marvel.com asked each of the writers two key questions.
What do you love most about Deadpool?
DEADPOOL #900 preview art by Chris Staggs
Kelly: "I know that the obvious answer is the humor, but my favorite part about Deadpool is his massive character flaw: he's someone constitutionally incapable of doing the right thing, but continues to try. He's his own worst enemy and that sort of character makes for the best stories. Now add the humor to that, and you get an anti-hero who really stands apart-who can make you laugh while he's doing something that'll make you cry later."
Gischler: "[Deadpool] is just so damn versatile. You can get laughs, but he also gives you action. Deadpool will approach a challenge like no one else in the Marvel Universe. He frequently does unlikable things yet he himself remains likable. Also, we all have those things we want to say to the idiots in our lives, but an internal censor keeps us in check. Deadpool's internal censor is broken."
Van Lente: "Deadpool is best known as the 'Merc with a Mouth,' but in our story 'Silent but Deadly,' Dalibor Talijic and I try to prove he's pretty awesome when he can't talk-or hear-too."
Swierczynski: "I like that even though he's bats--t insane, Deadpool's top of his class when it comes to killing stuff. Then again, maybe he isn't all that insane. Sometimes he behaves like the only sane character in the Marvel U."
DEADPOOL #900 preview art by Rob Liefeld
Aaron: "[I love] getting to make the kind of jokes you could never make with Spider-Man."
Huston: "I don't have any real history with Deadpool. Until very recently I'd never read any of the titles. But what I liked, what drew me into writing a story for #900, was the breaking of the fourth wall. Once that's down, all rules are off."
Benson: "Same thing I love about Moon Knight: mental illness. It's my nitch. If the character has issues, bring it to me. And unlike [Moon Knight], Deadpool actually has some levity to him. Not to mention, the guys got mad weapons coming out of his ass. C'mon on!
How do you approach writing one of the craziest characters in comics?
Kelly: "I have to admit some hesitation about working with Deadpool again, but it's been awesome. I love writing humor and since these have been shorter DP projects, humor is the focus. It's a little like going back to college for alumni weekend only to find your former drinking buddy who you used to drag around town getting into inconceivable amounts of trouble with is still there, but only now he's a professor and making a ton of money. So he takes you out for dinner and dares you to do a funnel, which you haven't done in years, and a few hours later you wind up in a backwards Tijuana 'dancing hall' on stage with...I've said too much. It's good to be writing Deadpool again."
DEADPOOL #900 preview art by Dalibor Talajic
Gischler: "I have no idea [how I write the character]. Usually I black out. When I wake up there's 22 script pages on my computer. I think elves are writing it."
Van Lente: "I look in the mirror."
Swierczynski: "I know this is going to sound like voodoo hoodoo, but sometimes characters do talk to you-and when writing Deadpool, it's sometimes best to step back and let him take over the keyboard. It's kind of like channeling him through a Ouija board."
Huston: "[I approach the character] by thinking as little as possible. Better to let the guy in the back seat do the driving. My run on MOON KNIGHT had a great deal of black humor, but the overall tone of the book was grim. With Deadpool the humor always leads and the pathos comes in the back door. As characters I'd say there's very little that the two have in common other than mental illness and a psychotic streak of violence. But one of the more distinct differences is that Marc Spector is someone actively trying to engage his madness and overcome it so that he can be the hero he dreams of being, while Deadpool tends to revel in his instability."
Benson: "Ah, you want the secret recipe, huh? Fine. Two cups action. One cup heart. And whole lot of self-referential wise cracking remarks. Mix it together and you got Deadpool. Might not be nutritious but it tastes great."
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