By Kevin Mahadeo
Deadpool may claim himself as the one and only Merc with a Mouth, but esteemed novelist Victor Gischler has managed to prove the wacky Wade Wilson dead wrong-or rather undead wrong-in the new ongoing series DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH.
The wisecracking assassin currently finds himself teamed with the most unlikely of allies: a zombie version of his disembodied head. Currently, the Deadpool duo and their female compatriot Doctor Betty find themselves lost in the Savage Land fending off A.I.M, Hydra and a zombie T-Rex. However, as always with Deadpool, there's more madness to come in the coming months as the trio takes a trip down the multiversal road for even more offbeat adventures. The double-sized MERC WITH A MOUTH #7 begins an omniverse-spanning arc introducing a few new characters into the mix, including the mysterious Lady Deadpool.
Gischler took a moment from chatting with the many voices of Deadpool to talk with Marvel.com about writing this new series, the details about the upcoming super-sized issue #7 and to tease a new project in the works featuring one crazy lady.
Marvel.com: What's it been like tackling one of the zaniest characters in comics?
Victor Gischler: There is some work involved in that you want to make sure you do it right and you hope you're living up to people's expectations, but mostly it's a treat. He's a character that allows you to do a lot of things. So, I can feel like playing and just having fun when writing the character.
Marvel.com: Deadpool actually has a couple titles out right now, but MERC WITH A MOUTH is unique in that it stars two Deadpools-the regular version and a zombie head version. How do you go about writing them together?
Victor Gischler: Well, if you think about the old Abbott and Costello team, you got a straight man who sets up the banana, who then sets up the jokes and handles the funny parts. Well, here you've basically got a situation with two bananas and the rest of the world is the straight man. Everyone else around them is the straight man for these two competing lunatics. It's a little too glib to say it doubles the funny or something like that, but you can have one-upmanship and these types of dialogue where he's basically talking to himself but an even more warped, deranged, zombiefied self. If good buddy Deadpool [has] anything holding him back-and it's not much if there is-all that has been stripped away from zombie Deadpool. He's one more step beyond the Deadpool we know and love.
Marvel.com: It's like a buddy cop movie, but far crazier.
Victor Gischler: When [editor] Axel Alonso and I were talking about this originally and tossing around ideas on how this was going to work, the phrase "buddy picture" came up. There is an element of that. I wouldn't want to completely reduce it to that, but there is an element of that I think in the way we're approaching it.
Marvel.com: We're halfway through the first arc and you've already induced a few characters to the title. "Headpool" is the obvious one, but there's also Doctor Betty, who is sort of the female love interest. Is she going to be sticking around for a while or is Wade the love 'em and leave 'em type?
Victor Gischler: When I started writing Doctor Betty, it occurred to me that we could use her for whatever we needed her for and she could be easily disposed of when she had served her purpose. But I have grown to like Doctor Betty enough to keep her around for a while. I would not necessarily say that Doctor Betty is going to be around forever, but she will be around somewhat longer than originally planned simply because she's grown into the role beyond what I had originally envisioned. Also, we're a couple of issues away from introducing another female character into the mix, which I think might skew the dynamic a little bit. I do have a game plan when I write these things, but I'm also open to what evolves.
DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH #5 cover by Arthur Suydam
Marvel.com: You mention another female character coming up and that definitely brings to mind the upcoming MERC WITH A MOUTH issue #7, which features, among others a Lady Deadpool. Care to explain?
Victor Gischler: Well, who is the zombie head? The zombie head is an alternate universe Deadpool that got zombiefied. Well, there is not just one alternate universe. It's an omniverse. There's lots of alternate universes, therefore lots of Deadpools. As you can see from the cover [to issue #7], there is an incarnation of Deadpool from another universe where he is Lady Deadpool. And there's an incarnation from another universe in which he's a little more militaristic as Major Deadpool. There's an Old West universe and we've got the Deadpool Kid. So, those characters are the result of some universe hopping, but it's the Lady Deadpool that caught some folks' attention and started opening doors to other opportunities. We're going to actually see more Lady Deadpool beyond issue #7 of MERC WITH A MOUTH.
Marvel.com: Beyond the obvious differences, how do these characters differ from the Deadpool that readers know?
Victor Gischler: Some are very much the same. They are the same character, but in a different context. Others are very different. I won't spoil anything for the issue, but the Major Deadpool character is very different from our Deadpool. Headpool even comments, "Wow, what a jerk." Sometimes it's very similar. Sometimes it's very different. I think the
|DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH preview art by Rob Liefeld|
Marvel.com: You mention "living in a Deadpool time," and as we said earlier, Deadpool's got a number of titles out right now and quite a few guest spots lined up in other books. How do you feel about the current exposure on a once relatively lesser-known character?
Victor Gischler: If people enjoy something and want more of it why not give them more of it? Readers are going to decide. Readers are going to ultimately control things by spending their money or not spending their money. I think Deadpool is the kind of character that touches on a lot of things people like. If you like humor, Deadpool has that. If you like action, Deadpool has that. It just offers so much. So, I'm not surprised. There are Deadpool fans [that] have known for years what a great character he is and are probably saying, "See, we told you he was awesome." But now it's broken through and a lot of other people are getting in on it.
Marvel.com: What's it like writing comedy in this context? There's the famous "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard," quote, but when it comes to Deadpool it seems both are pretty easy.
Victor Gischler: I think one of the reasons that Axel brought this project to me is because I walk the line between humor that is satirical with a pop culture sensibility and parody in my novels. But humor is very subjective. I will generally in the course of the normal day in my house make anywhere from 10 to a hundred smartass comments. If my wife rolls her eyes and
|DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH #6 cover by Arthur Suydam|
Marvel.com: To close out, I wanted to touch on the future. We know issue #7 begins some universe-hopping; what else is coming up?
Victor Gischler: Well, Deadpool and his posse, which includes Doctor Betty and Headpool, leave our reality to take care of business in another reality. In between are some of these other dimensions, which is how this comes about. But we are taking it to [a different] dimension. I won't be too specific about it. I'll let people find out when they find out. Also, we've got Lady Deadpool coming back, but not in MERC WITH A MOUTH. She comes back for some special stuff later on in DEADPOOL CORPS.
Marvel.com: Whoa. Did you just say Lady Deadpool and the DEADPOOL CORPS? What is that and why does it sound so awesome?
Victor Gischler: It sounds so awesome because it contains three times the amount of awesome usually allowed by state and federal mandates. So, plenty more Lady Deadpool in the works and you'll need to stand by your local emergency broadcast system for the full story.
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