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Closing the Lid on Deadpool Kills Deadpool

Cullen Bunn provides a pre-mortem on his Deadpool killogy with exclusive Salva Espin art from the final issue!

Deadpool Kills Deadpool #4 preview art by Salva Espin

By Paul Montgomery

With the fourth and final installment of DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL due out later this month, writer Cullen Bunn wraps his “Deadpool Killogy” with a bow and a toe-tag.

Wade Wilson racked up plenty of kills with DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE and DEADPOOL KILLUSTRATED, but his deadliest foes await, just through the looking glass. The rising tide of  extra-dimensional doppelgangers like Motorpool and Pandapool means only one thing stands in the way between Deadpool and ultimate victory: himself. And himself. And himself. And—you get the picture. We’re looking at a veritable funhouse massacre.

As the spree draws to a close, we spoke to Bunn about culminating the epic killogy and learning to love the mouthy merc the only way he knew how: by murdering the dickens out of him.

Marvel.com: Let’s set the scene. I won’t ask who’s left standing by the end of DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL #4, but who are the players? What heads remain on the chopping block for this final death pool?

Cullen Bunn: Well, I can tell you that Deadpool will die. [Laughs] The series thus far has featured almost more Deadpools than you can shake a stick at. So I take that with this last issue and I up the Deadpool quantity quite a bit. There are so many Deadpools at play in the final issue, I think it has to be the most appearances of a single character in a single issue. There are dozens and dozens of Deadpools killing and dying left and right. Up until the end, where we will finally get the confrontation of the Deadpool of our Marvel Universe and the Deadpool who started all of this in DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, who I’ve been calling Dreadpool for a while now.

Deadpool Kills Deadpool #4 preview art by Salva Espin

Marvel.com: Dreadpool. Motorpool. Galactuspool. Pandapool. Is there a napkin somewhere with any unused Pools out there?

Cullen Bunn: There was a napkin with all the names and I ended up using all of them in the series. [Laughs] Then I just threw that napkin away because they’re all in the book. There were a few that jumped out immediately. The Galactus Deadpool was one right from the start that I knew I wanted to do and then there were three Deadpools that appear at the end of issue #3: Deadpool the Duck, Deadpool Dinosaur, and the M.O.D.O.K. version of Deadpool. Those were real quick. When I knew I would be introducing new versions of Deadpool, those were something that came up right away when I was brainstorming. But there were a lot of others that will be appearing in the series; they won’t necessarily get the spotlight, but they will be appearing in issue #4.

Marvel.com: After offing the Marvel Universe, the broader western literary canon and his own analogs, does Deadpool have any more kill in him after this?

Cullen Bunn: My thought on it was this: DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL was supposed to put the final note on the “Deadpool Killogy.” This was going to be the last of the series. However, if you had asked me when I started doing DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE if I would be doing two more books that connected to that story, I would have told you “No way.” I will say, “Never say never.” This is definitely intended to be the end of the killing spree. But who knows? The interesting thing about Deadpool, is every time we work on one of these series, the ideas just start spinning out of control. The artists start sending in ideas, I start sending in ideas to the editor and I’m sure that’s the moment of dread; he sees all these strangely named emails coming in that are all ideas that have sort of spitballed out of the book we’re working on at the time.

Deadpool Kills Deadpool #4 preview art by Salva Espin

Marvel.com: The Deadpool Killogy revels in excess. That’s the fun. But can you speak to the challenge of pushing your imagination to its limits while maintaining a safe teetering posture at the edge?

Cullen Bunn: Well, I don’t know if you have to be too safe when it comes to Deadpool. But when they first came to me and asked if I wanted to do DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, I was interested in it, but I told the editor, Jordan [White], that I wanted to do a little bit of a different take on Deadpool. I wanted to do a darker Deadpool and I wanted to do something that might be a little weird with it, when it could have easily just been Deadpool goes out and kills the Marvel Universe. And Deadpool goes out and kills the literary characters. I wanted to put a different spin on it and take the meta elements of it and push those to the limit in the series. I’ve been happy with how that turned out. It’s played less of a role in DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL, even though it’s about a character killing every version of himself. It’s been less in the forefront, but in issue #4 we’ll bring it back up and bring it all the way back around to those really bizarre meta elements.

Marvel.com: Where do you like to derive the comedy and pathos in a Deadpool story?

Cullen Bunn: I think Deadpool himself is always going to be a comedic character. He’s always going to have that sort of approach to the things going on around him. But one of the things I liked most about these stories is while he’s comedic, even in his murderous incarnations in the earlier series, he’s still comedic but what’s going on around him I’ve tried to play pretty straight. And now, with DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL, when we’re dealing with the main character, the Deadpool we all know and love, so he’s definitely got that humorous bend, but the things that are going on around him, as ridiculous as it may seem, it’s life or death out there. These characters are dying and the thing that I like about Deadpool in this series is finding a way to balance the humor and his zaniness and craziness with sadness he’s feeling, and the sense of loss in losing some of these characters, such as the Deadpool Corps, who are his friends.

Deadpool Kills Deadpool #4 preview art by Salva Espin

Marvel.com: What kills are you especially proud of?

Cullen Bunn: Well, in the first series, I really liked the Spider-Man kill. Only because, that was the moment, I was saying in that series, this is no joke. This is Deadpool killing these characters. That moment in the book got a lot of reaction, both positive and negative. I liked that one for those reasons. I liked how Deadpool took out the Avengers in the first series. In DEADPOOL KILLUSTRATED, all these iconic characters had these connections to Marvel Universe characters. The one I didn’t show that with was the very first person he kills when he travels into the Ideaverse, which was Don Quixote. That was because, in my mind, Deadpool on this insane quest was sort of the Don Quixote character. I liked that moment in the story, although a lot of people didn’t know who that was. I did like the Don Quixote kill. In the new series, I think Kidpool is probably my favorite, only because I was able to get a little jab at my buddy Dennis Hopeless and AVENGERS ARENA in there. [Laughs]

Marvel.com: Deadpool does a lot of killing, but in the end only so many can be showcased on the page. How did you decide which characters meet their maker on panel as opposed to off?

Cullen Bunn: Well, in some cases, I try to figure out what will give the reader the most impact. In most cases it’s, “Will the reader get this joke? Will the reader like this joke?” A lot of those are the ones that make the cut to get a little more page time. And then there are some cases where Deadpool walks into a room and there are a dozen dead Deadpools on the ground. Some of them I may describe, but in some cases it’s a matter of the artist cutting loose and going crazy with some of those Deadpools. And really, Pandapool, who readers have really reacted well to, he was a character who came up because he appeared on a cover. So I said, “oh, let’s use that guy for something.” That’s why Pandapool gets as much time on the page as he does. I saw him on the cover, I liked the idea of a panda Deadpool and I liked the idea that he’s the species that endangers you, and it just took from there. And then readers just really reacted to it.

Deadpool Kills Deadpool #2 cover by Mike Del Mundo

Marvel.com: Do you have any input on those covers?

Cullen Bunn: To some degree. For those, Mike Del Mundo kind of went nuts on them right off the bat, so those were coming in fast and furious. We talked about the initial covers and doing like a SECRET WARS kind of connection at some point, but really those are all the artists just going crazy with those covers.

Marvel.com: It seems like Mike Del Mundo never runs short on inventive concepts for his covers.

Cullen Bunn: He doesn’t, and there was a moment where the second cover had sort of a Spy vs. Spy vibe and I liked that. That kind of got the wheels turning on what the series could have been. A lot of the time, seeing those covers, even before the scripts get written, gets the juices flowing for what’s going to happen in the issues.

Marvel.com: Even more than the typical mainstream super hero, Deadpool demands expression and even exaggeration from artists. Does this change the way you approach those scripts?

Cullen Bunn: You know, maybe to some degree. I usually, in any of the scripts I write, I don’t necessarily change it with any of the artists in mind. I just try to write the script I would write normally. There have been moments where I’m writing this and I’ll throw in moments like, “Under Deadpool’s mask, we need to make sure we see his expression be smirking. Or he’s smiling, or he’s feeling horror underneath this mask.” I think that’s a great thing about Deadpool. You don’t get to see it in a lot of the characters, but Deadpool, you always get to see his expression due to the fact that he’s wearing this mask. I think, especially in DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL, there’s a lot of facial expression work going on there.

Marvel.com: So, all the killing, is it cathartic at all? Do you feel there’s an even greater opportunity for commentary with a character and premise like this and the boundary breaking that affords?

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe

Cullen Bunn: I think so. I wanted to, in this thing, to speak to this whole concept of continuity and “Are stories important?” I remember seeing comments like, “This isn’t in the main Marvel Universe so it’s not important.” Or, “This is an imaginary story, so it doesn’t matter.” And that kind of drove a lot of that very first series, and really all the way up until the final series. Because to me, a story can be important whether it’s in continuity or not. I wanted to get the idea across that what started as this, quote unquote, “imaginary story,” ties in to the Marvel Universe and has impact to the main Marvel Universe and just kind of explore that concept of what’s important to a story and what’s not.

Marvel.com: Previously, Deadpool took on some iconic characters in literature, in DEADPOOL KILLUSTRATED, which raises the question: do you think Wade has the potential to succeed in other forms of media, prose novels or otherwise, or do you think he’s especially suited to the comic book form? Is that where he’s the most powerful?

Cullen Bunn: I’m certain that there are writers who could probably pull off a Deadpool story in prose. I don’t see it myself, it’s hard for me to picture. I think he’s very suited to the comic book medium. The great thing about is he’s a character who knows he’s a comic book character. I think that’s such a core piece of who he is. I think he’s always gonna work best in comics.

Marvel.com: If you were to write a Deadpool novel, would it be first person, second person, third person?

Cullen Bunn: I think it would be all of those. I think if a Deadpool novel were to come about, I think it almost has to play with the stories of writing and it has to be a meta novel, in the same way. I think it needs to push the boundaries of the form, as a character. And yeah, it should be first person, second person, third person, present tense, past tense. I think all of those things would change as it suits the story.

Deadpool Killustrated

Marvel.com: What’s Deadpool’s major appeal for you as a writer and also  as a reader? Are those two things separate?

Cullen Bunn: No, I think that they’re connected for me. When I first started doing DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, I won’t say I was the biggest Deadpool fan. It was some of the first stuff I had ever done with Marvel, was Deadpool stories. Now, I would say I’m a pretty big fan of the character, to the point where I buy the action figures, and the little POP! Marvel Deadpool figures, and stuff like that. I actually like the character and the thing I like about him both as a writer and a reader, is that there’s really no limitation to the kind of story you can tell with him. He’s definitely a no holds barred kind of character. You can go with him, you can tell any kind of story. In continuity, out of continuity. He’s a great character that provides a broad range of stories and I probably wouldn’t have seen that when I first started working with the character on DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. I don’t know that I pictured him that way. I thought he might have been a one trick pony. But I think there’s a lot more to him and there’s a freedom with the character. As a writer, that’s very appealing because I can do whatever I want to with the character and as a reader, it’s nice that the stories can really go in any direction and you’ll continue to be surprised by them.



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I have read all of the deadpool comics and this series is the best