By Kiel Phegley
With Daniel Way's work in the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe, fans know that whatever happens remains part of the big plan. From day one in the pages of WOLVERINE: ORIGINS, Way set his sights on revealing the most important and classified elements of the star character's past, and with his most recent series DEADPOOL, the scribe brings an intuitive understanding of how the Merc With a Mouth's mind works (or doesn't).
It proves no surprise then that with the events of Dark Reign rocking the Marvel Universe up and down in 2009, both of Way's series will find ways to utilize the trappings of Norman Osborn's new found control of S.H.I.E.L.D. while keeping their eyes on the prize. Starting on January 7 with DEADPOOL #6, Wade Wilson ignites trouble for Norman as only he can while bringing his buddy Bob, Agent of HYDRA along for the ride. Then in WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #33 on February 18, Logan clashes with Nick Fury over the fate of Daken and the Weapon Plus program. Way gave us the word on both series and how they'll be affecting the Marvel U as a whole moving forward in the new year.
Marvel.com: Dan, with each new issue of DEADPOOL, people get more and more of a feel for the gonzo stories you're bringing to Wade's life. What's the attraction to making the fight with Norman Osborn a long-term plotline?
Well, after DEADPOOL #3, Norman intercepted all this Skrull biological data that Deadpool meant to send to Nick Fury like he was contracted to do. Norman used that knowledge to good effect. He knew right where to hit [the Skrull queen] and he looked great. What we've got going on now isn't that we're pulling Norman in. It's that Norman Osborn is building this house of cards, this web of lies, and Deadpool is a very loose end. He could expose Norman.
What you've got to remember is that when Deadpool takes this job in the most recent arc and heads off to eastern Europe, we get that scene where he's flipping on the TV, but he doesn't really know what's going on back home. And he isn't even aware that Norman intercepted the info. That doesn't come out until issue #7 because he gets caught on his way back to the states by Tiger Shark, who was sent by Norman Osborn. The fun in that is that Deadpool really relishes in breaking stuff, and when he gets the inside knowledge, he knows that Norman is lying—especially because he straddles the line between good and evil himself. So the fun comes in that Norman is building this tower of lies, and Deadpool is right there and can't wait to bring it crashing down.
The other fun thing about Norman running the show is that we finally have a bunch of bad guys to go against. And this is just in general. As a writer working in the Marvel Universe, for so long it's been good guy against good guy, and now we've finally got a bunch of bad guys, and we can really go off on them.
Marvel.com: Deadpool has always been out there to poke a little fun at what's going on in the Marvel Universe at any given moment. Does sending him into this big epic story give you a chance to have some fun at the other characters' expense?
I guess it could. I've never really made a point of doing that. When I sit down to write these issues, it's not our intention to be the comedy relief of the Marvel U. It's an action book. It just comes about in a very comedic way because that's how the character dictates it.
Marvel.com: You're bringing in two very different characters in the form of Tiger Shark and fan favorite Bob, Agent of HYDRA How do you pull both of them together in one arc?
During the "How Low Can You Go?" arc, Tiger Shark is Norman Osborn's first attempt at erasing Deadpool. Tiger Shark's a great candidate because he's a complete psychopath. It's not traceable back to Norman because they're not known to have a real association. It's just a pay for play, mercenary type of deal. Norman is a brilliant character, but he's extremely paranoid, so he doesn't just have one plan. He's got redundancies built in. I don't want to give away too much, but Bob figures into that plan as well.
Marvel.com: We haven't seen Bob for a little while. Has he just been off chilling since the end CABLE & DEADPOOL?
Pretty much. Bob is a fairly helpless character on his own. [Laughs
] I'm sure without Deadpool dragging him around and putting him in mortal danger all the time, he would want to just sit around and watch television. But when your friends are in trouble, you just get out there, mix it up and do what you can. I've been telling fans since before the
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first issue came out—because so many people asked about Bob—I kept saying, "He's going to show up, but we have to pick our moments. We have to wait for that moment where only Bob could show up." And I think we have that in [this] arc.
Marvel.com: In DEADPOOL it appears that you're getting to take part in the bigger Marvel U, but on the flip side of that coin in WOLVERINE: ORIGINS, other people will be starting to take threads from your book—specifically Wolverine's son, Daken—out into the rest of the universe in Dark Reign. What did it feel like to be asked for your character to step up in such a big way?
It's something we've been talking about for a quite a long while, as far as getting Daken out there into the Marvel Universe. When this Dark Reign thing first came about, I believe it was [Editor-in-Chief] Joe [Quesada] who threw it out there, and I'm a bit proprietary about other people using the character just because we're still building up and introducing the character. Daken's a very non-traditional character, so I wanted him to be born in a certain way into the Marvel Universe. But when writers like Mike Carey and others want to use him, I don't really have concerns. They're at the top of their game and extremely skilled, so they're not going to just punch him into that role of tough-talking bad ass, because that's not what he is.
Marvel.com: So while Daken is taking a role in other stuff, and you get to take a character who has been kept off the table for a while in Nick Fury. What was it like to get him and use him to open the next phase of ORIGINS?
I love writing Nick Fury. I've written Nick Fury quite a bit. I even wrote him in my VENOM book a long time ago. There's a scene in the third arc of ORIGINS called "Swift and Terrible" where we saw Cyber at the point before he got eaten alive by those bugs, and he basically spills his guts to Nick Fury about Romulus. So Nick Fury has had this knowledge in his
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back pocket for many, many years. Now looping him back around into the ORIGINS story line, he's able to deliver that knowledge back to Wolverine. So he serves a very crucial function in the overarching story. Also, here we are a little more than halfway through the story to remind everyone what this story is about. It has gone in many different directions, but now that we're in that homestretch we are going to narrow down and start to drive toward the ultimate goal.
Nick Fury is there to provide that intel, but it comes at a price. He wants something from Wolverine, and it's not something Wolverine is really willing to give. It's a quid pro quo type thing where Nick is willing to talk about Romulus is Wolverine is willing to talk about Daken, and Wolverine is trying to keep Daken off the radar. During Dark Reign that's no longer an option.
Marvel.com: You're also picking up on the promise of the Weapon Plus program from Grant Morrison's NEW X-MEN run. Is that something you've wanted to make a part of the book for a while?
It really is. And we explore this in the "Weapon XI" story line because there's never been a Weapon XI in name. There's Weapons one through nine and Weapon 10 or Weapon X, which is Wolverine. And then there was Weapon Plus, which was kind of a lateral move, and all the way up to X-23. Now we're bringing that new piece of Marvel history out in the open by answering "Who is Weapon XI? What is Weapon XI?" It's really exploring "What was Weapon X?" and tying it up in a nice, neat bow just to once and for all quantify what was the Weapon X program, who begat the whole thing, what was the goal and was it a success or a failure. It really explains all these Weapon X-related characters and what function they play along the way in the refinement of this ultimate weapon.
"Dark Reign-Makers" continues tomorrow with Dan Slott in the house to discuss MIGHTY AVENGERS and more!
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