Punch a guy like Deadpool and he bounces back, good and wacky as new. He’s a science experiment. Clint Barton rallies too, but not because he has any kind of healing factor. He just can’t help himself.
This fall, two of Marvel’s pluckiest vigilantes collide in a flurry of firsts and trick arrows, as Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli pit HAWKEYE VS. DEADPOOL in their own limited series.
“I’m channeling my inner Shane Black,” says writer Duggan of the unexpected odd couple and the hijinks about that ensue. “It’s a very character-driven piece. The #0 issue takes place on Halloween, and I’ve very excited by what each gentleman is wearing for the occasion. That alone made me very happy.”
Unfortunately for the residents of Bed-Stuy, Mischief Night overstays its welcome, and a tragic crime sours the festivities.
“A murder mystery begins to unfold, and Barton feels bad about this one,” says Duggan. “This one’s personal. He loses someone who’d come to him needing help. Deadpool has an entirely different reason for being personally invested in this caper. Neither man is willing to let the other one go and handle it and they each have some very different ways of operating.”
Duggan works with artist Matteo Lolli to capture some of the distinct visual style and language of David Aja’s HAWKEYE layouts.
“I generally give artists a lot of leeway in the script, because they’re typically able to find a better way to get something across visually,” Duggan explains. “This time around I scripted it pretty closely, doing my best to maintain the style of what [Matt] Fraction and Aja did on the majority of those HAWKEYE issues. It will be evident that that’s what we’re going for. These characters sort of intrude on one another, in every sense of that word. Deadpool will inhabit that Bed-Stuy world, and later on Clint will navigate that crazy world Deadpool thrives in.
“Our editor Sana Amanat really wanted to play with the conventions of these books. So we’re doing really fun things. Imagine a signature HAWKEYE spread that now Deadpool is a part of. It’s quite uncomfortable, and I think that’s a good gag. As much fun as I’m having putting some laughs in there, it starts with a dead body, and we’ll collect more dead bodies as we go. There is a real threat. There’s a very important thumb drive that’s missing, containing details on the personal and family lives of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. When different organizations hear about this, it becomes a bit of a dog pile. We’re going to get to use a certain Spider-Man villain I hadn’t gotten to play with yet.”
The writer also derives particular pleasure in scripting for Clint Barton, Marvel’s ultimate knock-around guy.
“It’s so much fun writing a character like Clint, whose superpower is sort of to win at all odds, trading health and safety to do it,” he explains. “There’s a physical toll that he takes. There’s something really fun about a character [that] can leave it all behind. I’m not saying that Deadpool isn’t fun. He’s certainly great fun. But when Deadpool breaks his hand, we know it’ll be alright. Those bones and tendons will knit. Those wounds will heal. Clint’s a more fragile guy, and I think that’s always compelling. There’s a cost to all of this. There’s the expectation, too, with a title like HAWKEYE VS. DEADOOL, that there will be a confrontation between these two. I think we make that happen in a smart way. It’s not the same old take on the misunderstanding that often sends two heroes into conflict. We have a twist on that.”
It’s worth noting that the story’s full title is “Hawkeye vs. Deadpool vs. Crime”—the list of conflicts keep on coming.
“A cornerstone of our DEADPOOL run is the notion that other heroes are uncomfortable with the idea of a team-up with this guy,” says Duggan of his work on the ongoing series with co-writer Brian Posehn. “Clint’s no different. He’s right. He could handle this on his own. Deadpool feels the same way. Maybe at the end they’ll have a different opinion of one another, but, then again, they may not. We maintain that sense of ‘Deadpool vs.’ throughout all five issues. There is always something to fight over, whether they spar physically or verbally.
“I’m also excited to write gags—and I use that term pretty loosely—for an archer. I think there’s stuff that we do in our first issue that has great fun. Even if you’ve been reading HAWKEYE or the character himself for decades, you may see him do a thing or two you’ve never seen before.”
The action kicks off this October in HAWKEYE VS. DEADPOOL #0