The most prolific Deadpool artist ever pens his goodbye to the character.

This week’s DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #300 is a monumental moment in the history of the Merc with a Mouth.

Issue #300 not only packs plenty of surprises for Wade Wilson, but it’s also the final Deadpool story for both writer Gerry Duggan and artist Mike Hawthorne. Duggan has elevated the Regeneratin’ Degenerate to new heights since he began on the book in 2012, and Hawthorne has drawn more pages of the character than anyone in history.

In celebration of this classically-Deadpool, foul-mouthed farewell, we asked Hawthorne to sum up his Wade Wilson experience in his own words. So, Mike, take it away…

I think most people think they know exactly what Wade Wilson is about. And I thought I did too. A punchline with real punches. He’s a comedy routine set to explosions. He’s grilled clown and shredded straight-man all rolled into a tortilla and deep fried.

Then I learned more about him, and his fans.

I met a lady once who’d survived cancer and told me Wade was her hero. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that his audience would include this woman looking at me with a mix of pride and genuine affection for this character that helped her get through some dark stuff.

I just assumed it was all goofballs like me. I’m self-centered like that.

So year after year, page after page, I got to know this guy. Draw his face angry, and sad. Lots of times smiling. And I got to love the creep for being so willing to beat himself up to find something like happiness, knowing deep down he kinda doesn’t deserve it.

Let me tell you this joke my kid told me: A Horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Hey, why the long face?” The Horse says, “Alcoholism is killing and destroying my family.”

I laughed my ass off when she told me that joke. The joke isn’t perfect, you might not even think it was funny…but the way this kid delivered it was magic. I also felt a bit of terror at my laughing because I had an uncle that drank himself to death.

It occurred to me that this was my job with Wade—to sell all the jokes, with all their humor and horror, and hopefully make you feel like Wade is as real to you as he is to me. I tried to work some of that magic my kid showed me, knowing I’d brick a lot of those shots. But I tried like hell. Promise.

Wade is that one friend you want to hide from, but when he does show up, you catch yourself suppressing a grin. He’s a terrible friend, father, husband…but he’d probably die for you if things got really, really bad.

So, here’s to Wade Wilson! I hope the next crew loves you as much as we did.

Sorry I hit you with a planet once.

Con cariño,
Mike Hawthorne

Catch the end of an era with DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #300, right now.

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The artist highlights his favorite pages ahead of Deadpool's 300th issue!

Next week, DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #300 marks a landmark moment in the history of the Merc with a Mouth. Written by Gerry Duggan with art by Scott Koblish, Matteo Lolli, and Mike Hawthorne, the issue presents an explosive finish for both this era of Deadpool and for several members of this all-star creative team.

Among those celebrating their final outing alongside the Regenerating Degenerate is Hawthorne, who has drawn more pages of Deadpool comics than any artist in Marvel history since he started with the character six years ago.

Jordan D. White, the editor on every page of Hawthorne’s Deadpool run, says, “Mike Hawthorne was one of the first artists we signed up for Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn’s DEADPOOL, doing main art duties on the second arc of the book. Since then, he’s taken Deadpool up against S.H.I.E.L.D., got him married, made him rich, gave him a new arch-nemesis, shot him into space, and much, much more! He’s been a dream to work with, and honestly, no matter how much praise has been heaped on him for his work on this series, it’s not enough. He’s a star.”

To celebrate the culmination of the artist’s Mercenary activities—and the massive story on the way in DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #300—we thought we’d hand the mic over to Hawthorne himself for a look back at his favorite pages and stories.

Mike, over to you…

DEADPOOL (2012) #8, page 2

This page was literally the first Deadpool page I drew (back when I also inked my work on the book), so it holds a special place in my heart. However, it also served an important story point we returned to over and over: Deadpool’s Mind Museum. This “Chuck E. Cheese” inspired mind room was just a front for Deadpool’s actual mindthe Museum itself.

This page also established the tone for how I wanted to approach the book, with a focus on storytelling and tons of visual sight gags to embellish the jokes Gerry was telling. I wanted to set Gerry up as much as I could to sell his story and humor, and I got to show him how I might do that with the very first page.

Most importantly, we have Deadpool together (inside his mind) with Agent Preston. Preston, for me, has been the most important person in Wades life. He’d later get married, have a child (or two), make friends, but no one got as close to Wade as Preston did (…well, maybe one other person did, but we’ll get to him later). I can’t imagine the series without her, and I’m thrilled I got to nail down how important she was from my very first page.

DEADPOOL (2012) #23, page 3

This page is just one of an entire issue where Deadpool takes down a helicarrier full of bad guys. I think we managed to nudge Wade out of the clown territory a bit here and make it clear that he is a very, very dangerous man.

DEADPOOL (2015) #1, page 2

Gerry and I got to relaunch the series with a new #1, and Gerry wrote this incredible action sequence for the new book. I don’t want to give too much away for folks who haven’t read it, but we got to play a little with Wade’s life (rich! Avenger!). We also played with his cast, adding some really interesting players to the roster. This was very much a Team Deadpool comic, no longer just a solo comic. That opened up many story options, expanded the kinds of stories we could do, and gave us new ways to torture our guy Wade. Nothing like giving someone money and friends before taking them away to make a guy miserable!

And boy did we go out of our way to make poor Wade miserable!

DEADPOOL (2015) #5, page 4

Later on, Gerry and I really wanted to give Wade a villain to play against, and Madcap was perfect. After all, who else could out-Deadpool Deadpool?

I think we needed to find a character that could symbolize how being near to Wade can feel like a curse, and maybe also serve as a stand-in for Wade’s self-loathing.

DEADPOOL (2015) #30, page 14

On its face, this spread wasn’t important to the story on a whole. However, when you dig deeper into issue #30, you find that two important things happen here. One is that we get to see Wade expanding his reach beyond Earth-bound fist fights. Seeing Wade having adventures through the galaxy was a thrill for me, and allowed us to show that Deadpool can be Deadpool anywhere.

The second takeaway is the reason Wade is in space: he’s in a desperate search for a way to keep his family safe. He’s quite literally willing to search the entire galaxy to find a way to keep his loved ones from harm.

This issue illustrates the overarching motivation for Wade in our run. He’s willing to do anythingand I mean anythingto keep the people he loves safe…even from himself.

On May 9, catch the finale of a landmark Wade Wilson story in the oversized DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #300!

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Marvel Legacy ushers in a terrible new era for the Merc with a Mouth!

Wade Wilson faced the music in DEADPOOL #36.

The Regenerating Degenerate’s choices during Secret Empire have come back to haunt him…and now he’s at the mercy of Stryfe and on the run from everything he once held dear.

The turning tides in DP’s life herald a new period in his story—and on October 11, Marvel Legacy’s DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287 marks the start of the chapter.

Written by Gerry Duggan with art by Scott Koblish, Stryfe seeks payment for services rendered. It’s a life for a life—Deadpool owes him four—and the first name on the mutant clone’s list won’t surprise anyone: Cable.

Now Wade, having recently reached higher highs than ever before, hits rock bottom as he’s forced to kill his way out—or face the deadly consequences. Notes Duggan, “He’s putting his head down and just doing what he owes in order to get out of this. He’s not really looking to be very clever at this moment.” The grim circumstances have forced the Merc with a Mouth to recede to just a Merc.

When the thought of reneging on his debt crosses Wade’s mind, he receives an immediate rebuke—if he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain, the Preston family, and maybe his daughter Ellie, will pay the price. Outsmarting an evil time traveler has to be even harder than it sounds, especially on your own; “There really is no one left that will trust him. He used to be a member of an Avenger squad and unfortunately that’s over. His marriage is over. A lot of his friendships are done,” explains Gerry.

So, has Wade Wilson completely resigned himself to this bleak fate? Gerry doesn’t seem so sure: “Even though Wade seems like he’s still doing terrible things—and he is—he’s still doing honorable things, so that still acts as his motivation.”

Duggan continues, “We spent a lot of years building him up and we’re destroying him in quick time. We’ll see what he has left after we strip everything away, it will be interesting to see what survives of the character after this.”

DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287, written by Gerry Duggan with art by Scott Koblish, hits on October 11!

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They continue fighting for Captain America, but why?

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

It might seem like every hero in the Marvel Universe remains staunchly opposed to Steve Rogers and his new role as the head of Hydra. However, as we’ve seen throughout SECRET EMPIRE, he’s got a group he still calls The Avengers. We can understand why Taskmaster, Superior Octopus, Black Ant and maybe even Deadpool made the jump, but what about stalwart Avengers Odinson, Scarlet Witch and Vision?

The team first debuted in SECRET EMPIRE #1 fighting the huge monster known as Kriggorath. When the beast refuses to deal with Captain America, he calls in his team and they utterly destroy the monster. In #3, Baron Zemo lead the team in an attack on Atlantis to retrieve a Cosmic Cube fragment only to find a decoy.

The group did the same in SECRET EMPIRE #4, when they wound up in Alaska looking for another fragment at the same time that A.I. Iron Man, Sam Wilson and the others appeared to do the same. Thanks to Hank Pym-Ultron’s machinations, the true Avengers members all sat down for a skewed take on a family dinner, but the good guys walked away with the Cube piece.

In that issue, we also got hints as to why these former heroes remain loyal to an apparent traitor. A demon called Chthon possessed the Witch, an A.I. Virus keeps Vision in line and, according to A.I. Stark in #4, Odinson “just wants his hammer back.”

In SECRET EMPIRE #5, we learn a bit more about the former Thor’s role in all this. Captain America wielded the hammer at one time to quell the opposition, but leaves it in Washington, D.C. because he doesn’t feel he needs that kind of additional power all the time.

In the same issue, Odinson wonders about his decision to stand by his longtime comrade and friend Steve Rogers. They claim to be able to help the purgatory-trapped Jane Foster and also reconnect Midgard to Asgard, but he questions how they treat the innocent.

As Thor questions his decisions, both Scarlet Witch and Vision seem to be fighting their own torments. Meanwhile, as we’ve already examined, Deadpool feels an intense devotion to Cap, but also lied to Hydra about the resistance hiding in The Mount in DEADPOOL #32, so we’ll see which way he truly goes.

If you’re wondering how Doctor Octopus went from being, well, dead to running around in a body with Spider-Man’s powers and his own unique appendages, then you should check out the Clone Conspiracy story. The short version: Doc Ock put his consciousness in a clone body. Now he’s working with Hydra to ensure Parker Industry’s utter failure, as established in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25. And then there’s Taskmaster and Black Ant. Those guys are just bad. Nuff said.

Seeing as how Hydra’s Avengers stand big as life on the cover of SECRET EMPIRE #6, expect them to continue playing an important part in this event.

The Empire Strikes Back

Both Taskmaster and Black Ant – formerly the Irredeemable Ant-Man – go back to their days together in SECRET AVENGERS. They wound up in the super villain-run country of Bagalia where Captain America crashed a ship in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1. In CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #11, Taskmaster discovered the important video footage of Cap first saying “Hail Hydra” from that first issue and tried to exploit it. In the following installment, they tried selling ousted S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Maria Hill the information. While waiting to make the transaction, Madame Hydra showed up, zapped them and brought them into the fold.

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Gerry Duggan helps us overthink Wade Wilson’s next move!

Wade Wilson returns to Earth on June 14 in DEADPOOL #32 written by Gerry Duggan with art by Matteo Lolli, and we’re all wondering if he’ll be adding that Hydra green to his could-be Christmas-themed wardrobe. Unfortunately for us Duggan remains stoically tight lipped about what’s in store for the Merc with a Mouth as Secret Empire creeps its way over, but he did let slip a few cryptic pieces of information that we will, of course, read way too far into.

First we set the scene: Wade and Steve Rogers showcase almost polar opposites. On the one hand you have the original Captain America, whose father died young but his loving mother raised him. Plagued by a sense of duty and honor he went on to participate in a super soldier program leaving him the epitome of an American hero: strong, handsome and just. While on the other hand, Wade rebelled into delinquency until he became a mercenary and, eventually, a participant in a super solider program that left him horribly disfigured.

But Wade has always looked up to Captain America and Duggan says the upcoming issue bridges that gap, showing readers what happened leading up to Secret Empire that affects Wade. “His moral compass definitely spins sometimes and he uses Steve as his true North,” explains the writer, “I think they’d both agree that he is at his best under the guidance of Captain America. That may not be the case forever, but right now he has no reason not to trust Captain America.” But what if Steve doesn’t point true North anymore?

Leading us to our first clue, Duggan let slip that Deadpool has already made some decisions that will prevent him from going back, if he chooses to do so, once Steve Rogers has his big Hydra reveal. “He understood there would be good days and bad, recently there have just been more bad, but he hasn’t realized that he bet on the wrong horse,” he reveals, “When Captain America says jump you don’t even ask how high, you just jump.”

Deadpool #32 cover by David Lopez

Duggan continues, “We know Steve Rogers is a bad guy, but you can have more than one bad guy. We’ll see how it goes with our choice of bad guys.” Oh man, I think that means another seemingly good guy but actually a bad guy mastermind lurks behind everything. You could assume that applies to Deadpool, “His best friend’s name is Hydra Bob, so if anyone would be comfortable with a status quo shift it would be Deadpool,” notes Duggan.

And our last cliffhanger: “The country is changing. Captain America is changing. We’re using the opportunity to change Wade’s life in a very big way,” tease Duggan, mysteriously adding, “You’re going to have to retitle the book.”

I can’t even begin to imagine what this means…it’s a self-titled book. Is Deadpool not actually Deadpool…do we find out that Wade Wilson died and someone has been pretending to be him? “He has a mutant daughter now so that can affect his decision making,” Duggan concludes. “The big thing about Secret Empire is what you’re willing to do for family; Ellie will factor in.”

Your guess is literally as good as mine in this case, so be sure to check out DEADPOOL #32, out June 14, and find out just what Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli have in store for us!

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Iban Coello, Salva Espin, and Scott Koblish monster mash together for a crossover event!

“If these two crazy kids can’t make it, what chance do the rest of us have?”

Okay, it seems unlikely that anyone’s thinking that about Deadpool and his wife Shiklah. In fact, they should be more concerned about all the collateral damage that will come from the huge, monster-filled “Til Death Do Us…” crossover running through DEADPOOL, SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL, and DEADPOOL & THE MERCS FOR MONEY.

Like all good crossovers, this one involves a ton of creative folks like writers Gerry Duggan, Joshua Corin, and Christopher Hastings, artists Scott Koblish, Salva Espin, and Iban Coello, and editors Jordan D. White, Heather Antos, Devin Lewis, and Allison Stock. We sat down with all three artists to see how the event will play out and which monsters and guest stars they had the most fun with!

Marvel.com: At the heart of this story is a relationship that’s falling apart between Deadpool and Shiklah. Does this add different layers to the conflict on a visual level?

Scott Koblish: Most definitely; they’ve already had a pretty challenging relationship before the events of the last few months—I’ve even helped to draw some of their ups and downs—so it’s been a really wonderful opportunity to play with some of the emotional beats. They really do love one another, it’s just that a marriage becomes more challenging when one of the partners in the relationship is trying to conquer Manhattan with a vast monster army.

Salva Espin: I think that the relationship between Deadpool and Shiklah always has been a tug of love. Well, love and passion. And in this crossover we can find some scenes talking about it. Performing this in the panels is a great challenge for an artist.

Iban Coello: The relationship between Shiklah and Deadpool makes this conflict very personal for them. I try to reflect these feelings in the way I draw these characters. It’s complicated but it’s necessary for the plot.

Marvel.com: “Til Death Do Us…” features some of the most classic Marvel monsters around. How was it paying tribute to the original designs while also putting your own spin on them?

Scott Koblish: Who can deny the pure joy of drawing Frankenstein? I can also say that drawing Jack Russell—in his current situation—was tremendous fun, and one of my favorites is Marcus, the Diabetic Symbiotic Cybernetic Werewolf Centaur; he’s a real gas.

Salva Espin: As Scott [said], I think that Frankenstein is the [funniest] to draw. Other than that I especially like to draw the Mummy. I like this classic monster with bandages very much. Mack the Knife—the mummy guy—is my favorite character in the 90’s videogame “Captain Commando.” For Dracula’s minion-vampire army I always try to draw vampires based on the classic Nosferatu.

Iban Coello: I’m drawing Dracula in my pages and I’m enjoying it a lot! He has a different look from the classic Bela Lugosi style and it’s very fun to draw him like a badass!

Marvel.com: What was the process like coming up with some of the new monsters seen in the crossover?

Scott Koblish: I relied on a lot of what [past Deadpool artists] Reilly Brown and Mike Hawthorne established as far as drawing the monsters who associate with Shiklah. I felt it was important to keep that visual through-line. Reilly’s continuous cover over the first three issues was also a great inspiration.

Salva Espin: In my case, I return to the designs of most Shiklah soldiers that I have drawn in previous issues where Deadpool had scenes at the Monster Metropolis and the [limited series] MRS. DEADPOOL AND THE HOWLING COMMANDOS.

Iban Coello: I had a list with examples of monsters I can draw in the pages, but I’m adding some Alien type monsters because I love the movies. Reilly’s cover is a great inspiration too!

Marvel.com: Being a crossover, the story brings in some other costumed characters that don’t usually appear in the regular books. Did you have a favorite you were excited to draw?

Scott Koblish: I really enjoyed drawing Gorilla-Man and Hit-Monkey. I’d thrown Hit-Monkey into a panel of Deadpool’s wedding issue, and Gorilla-Man is on that cover, but I’d always wanted to draw them some more. It was really nice to revisit Masacre again; he’s a really tall, bulky guy and it’s fun to contrast him with Domino and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. I’ve also had a lot of fun with Marvel’s current version of Dracula too.

Salva Espin: Drawing Spider-Man is always spider-great! Spidey and Deadpool are cool characters and a great team in the panels. A gift for an artist. Oh! And Ben Franklin! The scenes where this character appears are really funny!

Iban Coello: Drawing Spider-Man is like a childhood dream for me and I’m enjoying every panel where he appears!

Marvel.com: Overall, was there a lot of communication with the other artists and writers about how to present the most cohesive story possible?

Scott Koblish: Jordan, Heather, Devin and Allison have done a great job of keeping everyone in the loop. They’ve sent me the artwork from the different chapters, so everyone is on the same page. There are a lot of characters running through this adventure! It’s exciting to see Salva and Iban’s versions of the story. It certainly makes me want to work harder whenever I see how great their artwork is!

Salva Espin: Yes, in my experience I can say that I’ve always had good communication with editors and writers, especially for these kinds of crossovers, where sometimes the artists are producing the pages in parallel. In addition to this, and thanks to the Marvel gods too, Gerry Duggan’s scripts are so clear and visual that is really easy to do a cohesive story without problems.

Iban Coello: All the editors are doing a great job maintaining communication for all of us. I have a lot of pages from Scott and Salva that I use as reference when I’m lost, and they’re doing a great job!

“Til Death Do Us…” kicked off with DEADPOOL #28available now—before moving into SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #15 and then DEADPOOL & THE MERCS FOR MONEY #9!

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Gerry Duggan and Jordan White talk about blowing up Deadpool’s marriage and more!

You know the story: assassin meets Queen of the Monsters; assassin and Queen of the Monsters fall in love; Queen of the Monsters declares war on the city where assassin lives—a tale as old as time, right?

Well, perhaps not, but it has become Deadpool’s life in the crossover event Til Death Do Us Part. Spread over three books—DEADPOOL, SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL, and DEADPOOL & THE MERCS FOR MONEY—beginning in March and running into April, the storyline will test Wade Wilson’s marriage, his resolve to be a hero, and the structural integrity of Manhattan’s skyscrapers.

We caught up with DEADPOOL writer Gerry Duggan and editor Jordan White as they packed up their emergency supplies and they kindly spent some time filling us in on the blockbuster storyline.

Marvel.com: Where I want to start might be an odd place to begin considering we are talking about Deadpool, but I want to get serious for a moment. At the heart of this story is the relationship between Deadpool and Shiklah. From a writer and editor’s perspective how do you guys view their relationship? Within the story, how does each character view their relationship to the other?

Gerry Duggan: I’ll take a stab at it and Jordan you can jump in if I’m off base.

I think…look, there are days when being married is the best thing in your life and there are days when it can be work, even for the best relationships, right? For a lot of relationships. I’m happily married for coming up on 10 years and these years have been the best of my life.

The thing about Deadpool and Shiklah is that they…you have to really look at how they approach their commitments. Deadpool is a little laissez faire about commitments. Or can be on some days and then others—he’s so wonderfully consistent about being inconsistent. So, yeah, he’s not a great husband. If this were Divorce Court, I would absolutely raise my right hand and say, “Yeah, she made not a great choice,” in terms of a husband. But there are days when he was the only person she could’ve married.

Sometimes in romantic relationships logic doesn’t always dictate the decision making. There is heart and libido; they’ve burned bright but they have gone back and forth. This is not the first time they’ve fought and I think we’ve shown that when they are fighting that actually excites Shiklah. Everyone knows the sort of couple that loves to fight and this is the couple that loves to fight.

Jordan White: It’s important to remember that Shiklah literally married the first man that she met after hundreds of years left in a coffin. Now it turns out she really liked him. Again, if they had just met and started dating, it would’ve been wonderfully pleasant. Instead, they got married immediately to thwart an evil plan of Dracula’s. As most people who get married do. [Laughs] They got married for that reason and, you know, it’s good to thwart Dracula but it’s not necessarily the foundation of the most solid relationship in the world.

Now does that mean that they can’t be good together? No, they’ve had some great times. But it definitely means that…when Deadpool married her, he had no idea what he was in for and when Shiklah married him, she had no idea what she was in for. They had experienced each other, living on the road together and having adventures, but that isn’t what their life is.

I think Deadpool had no idea she was an actual serious queen with responsibilities.

Gerry Duggan: And that is very much at the heart of it. And the other thing is Deadpool kind of oversold himself. He arrived and said, “Don’t worry. I rule this place. I rule this world.” And she thought that was all very charming, “I’ve met the king of Earth.” He had to walk it back, “No, no. I meant culturally. I’m popular.”

If there was a quickie marriage lemon law, she’d have a case to get her money back.

Jordan White: When they got married, he had spent days and days with her, spending all attention to her, which is what a lot of early relationships are like. But at this point, he’s really more concerned with being an Avenger. Or taking care of the daughter he didn’t know they had when he got married. Or all sort of different things that keep coming up.

And she’s like, “Umm, I’m the Queen of this world, why are you not being here as my consort?”

Marvel.com: It’s Shiklah’s role as a queen where the inciting event of this storyline springs from. Much like Namor stories of old, man has overreached and insulted another kingdom and the ruler feels as though he or she has no choice but to strike back in retaliation. Obviously without spoiling things, can you give a tease as to why Shiklah has felt so offended by the surface world that she feels the need to declare war on Manhattan?

Gerry Duggan: There’s an inciting incident in the first chapter; Deadpool has been up and down with Shiklah for a long time now and what really starts the story off is about humans and monsters, no surprise, not being the best of neighbors. Shiklah has responsibilities as the monarch of the monster metropolis and that brings her into conflict with the surface world.

And then, because she is Mrs. Deadpool in some circles, that immediately drags her husband into it.

Marvel.com: And for the first time, perhaps, Deadpool has some big responsibilities and goals of his own, but also this largely ideal he’s chasing after, to become a hero. What is it like, internally, for Deadpool to be placed in this position where he’s caught between his love for her, his commitment to her, and these new goals he’s begun to pursue?

Gerry Duggan: I think he’s a guy who’s compromised by all these selections. Now there’s been a development recently, in the most recent issues of DEAPOOL, that will further complicate his life and decision making. For a long time now, he was anointed a replacement for Logan on the Unity Squad by Steve Rogers. In Deadpool, I think Steve Rogers saw someone who was at his best when he was receiving orders and was acting the good soldier. He focused a lot of that Deadpool energy to good effect in the pages of UNCANNY AVENGERS.

Now a lot of these things are fraying.

It would be incompatible to have a wife who is waging a war on Manhattan and an Avengers ID card and he knows he’s got to tie this one off.

Marvel.com: To broaden the focus a bit, this storyline will also feature Spider-Man and the Mercs for Money. How do they specifically end up getting pulled into this mess, as opposed to any number of other New York based heroes?

Gerry Duggan: Deadpool has their phone numbers, which is a huge bummer. We actually have a gag of Deadpool reaching out and ringing for help. Not everyone answers the call, but…

I should say Parker Industries, too, has a specific plot point that would’ve brought in Parker regardless of his connection to Deadpool.

Deadpool: Til Death Do Us Part by Reilly Brown

Deadpool: Til Death Do Us Part by Reilly Brown

Jordan White: Also, Shiklah is definitely making a bit of a ruckus and that attracts people’s attention.

They are people he has a pretty close relationship with. In SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL, him and Spidey have actually—well Deadpool has always liked Spidey a lot, but Spidey is almost starting close to respecting him which is interesting.

Then over in MERCS while they don’t all necessarily respect him, they do work with him on the regular. So they are definitely all people he can count on. Although, like Gerry said, there are some other people he was thinking he can count on that he can apparently count on a little less.

Marvel.com: How is it to write with Joshua [Corin] and Christopher [Hastings]? What has the process been like, to collaborate together on this project, to craft this storyline?

Gerry Duggan: It’s always fun to write comedy in a group and these are guys who are very funny.

But they are also writing very serious character stuff too so they’re wonderful additions to this team. As are the artists who are doing tremendous work. And Reilly [Brown] who originated Shiklah is doing amazing work on the covers. Tremendous, tremendous work.

I’ve always been very lucky on collaborators for DEADPOOL and that’s true again here. I always liked being surprised and having ideas thrown out there that I wouldn’t have had to make the story better and we’re really very lucky to have that again, coming from every direction.

Marvel.com: With the artists—Scott Koblish, Salva Espin, and Iban Coello—are they all paired with a specific writer, on a specific book, or is this some rotating around?

Jordan White: The creative teams stay on each book. So Gerry is working with Salva Espin on DEADPOOL, Joshua Corin is writing the SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL issues with artist Scott Koblish—Josh did the recent DEADPOOL: TOO SOON? series as well as the Monsters Unleashed issue of SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL—and then [for the] MERCS FOR MONEY issues we turned to Christopher Hastings who’s been writing GWENPOOL for us and taking over from Cullen Bunn for these, but it is the regular artist Iban Coello who’s sticking with us.

Gerry Duggan: GWENPOOL is so fun that it has been really neat to have [Christopher] onboard for this.

Jordan White: I love that book.

Gerry Duggan: Yeah, it’s great. A lot of fun.

Marvel.com: Have you gotten to see any of the art coming down besides Reilly’s covers?

Gerry Duggan: Yeah. It’s really amazing work.

Jordan White: It’s really really good so far.

Marvel.com: You mentioned the balance between Deadpool as a typically humorous character—that’s a trait that’s very important to his stories—and serious character work. From a writing standpoint—and an editing standpoint—how do you find that proper balance?

Gerry Duggan: Sometimes the jokes present themselves early, sometimes the jokes aren’t there until you are doing the lettering polishing pass and sometimes the jokes don’t show up at all, they just take the day off.

All these stories are about characters being portrayed as real people. Even though Shiklah is a demon and Deadpool is a superstar unkillable mercenary, I feel like their story, their relationship has a real feel to it. They have highs, they have lows. They love each other, they fight like hell against each other. It is Sid and Nancy-esque but it helps ground it. The gags sort of take care of themselves if you write a real story about real emotions, in my estimation.

Jordan White: I think Gerry’s been very good at that for his entire run, writing very funny stories that always have a real emotional base, a real—the ability to punch you in the gut. Like…one of the big ones was the issue when Deadpool was trying to find his daughter and the woman who gave birth to his daughter and he finds the woman’s dead body. He makes a few jokes but then it gets so serious and so upsetting and real. It was an amazing impressive issue and I feel like he’s pulled that off a number of times throughout the series and it’s always really great.

Yeah. Gerry, you’re good. [Laughs]

Marvel.com: What do you want to make sure the reader knows so they put this on their pull list because they are not going to want to miss it?

Gerry Duggan: Hmm…hmm…hmm.

I think if you are a Deadpool fan or a Shiklah fan or a fan of both, I think you are going to want to see these two characters who love each other very much but are opposing each other. I think you are going to see a story with real emotion and a lot of guest stars. We’re in the entertainment business and we have to entertain even when bad things are happening to good characters and I think we are accomplishing that here.

Shiklah’s arrival in the Marvel Universe felt a lot like—you know, downhill, out of control, no breaks. I think we’re capturing that again. This isn’t the death of Deadpool or the death of Shiklah, this is a new road for their relationship to explore. Even though not great things are happening to their marriage, I think they are great things for these characters and a lot of fun for the fans.

Jordan White: This is just the beginning of the Deadpool’s suffering.

Gerry Duggan: Those are the words Jordan has in stone outside his office, actually.

Til Death Do Us Part takes over Deadpool’s life and his books beginning in March!

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Deadpool's new foe attempts to gain a psychological edge on his adversary!

This note is being written for the purpose of record keeping and any possible future legal issues. Unlike a typical session, the information here is not confidential. The subject in question, who identified himself only as “Madcap,” is not recognized as a client. He did not attempt to seek therapy in good faith, did not go through the proper procedures, and repeatedly threatened this writer and the rest of the staff.

Madcap presented in a garish costume and mask, although there was some question about whether the mask was, in fact, his actual face. When he first arrived in the office, he attempted to claim he was a member of Wade Wilson’s mercenary team that had seen this therapist recently and was here for their records. When I, overhearing it, went to the front desk to introduce myself and question him as I did not remember him, he changed tactics, drawing a weapon and shoving me into my office.

Once inside the office, he seemed to change again, acting as though he was legitimately seeking services. He detailed a trauma history that included the death of his parents and sister, exposure to an illegal chemical, and a history since of incarceration and physical violence.

However, as session continued, it became clear to the writer the subject was trying to get information on Wilson and other costumed individuals connected to that client. When called on it, Madcap flew into a rage, threatening the writer and saying the rest of the office would “get it worse.”

Attempting to contain the situation, I returned to asking him intake questions. In time, he began to espouse what I can best refer to as a sort of absurdist nihilistic philosophy. He expressed his disbelief in order and human goodness and his intention to slowly push the word towards a more “honest” place—that is one of randomness and inherent cruelty.

Thankfully, one of the staff had taken initiative and reported the subject to the police. When Madcap saw several cruisers parking in front of our building, he left the office in haste. A look at our records reveal he was unable to steal any on his way out. Our clients have still been made aware of Madcap’s “visit,” but there is no reason to believe he acquired any protected health information at this time.

For further information on Madcap, this writer recommends the works of Doctors Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli. Their newest evaluation of him will be available on December 7 in the file marked DEADPOOL #23.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist with a philosophy but it is less absurdist nihilistic and more grilled cheese focused.

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Wade Wilson prepares to face Madcap, mortality, and more under the direction of Gerry Duggan!

2016 has been a big year for Deadpool. He went global with the Mercs for Money, he battled Sabretooth, and he somehow got himself wrapped up in a Civil War. All while celebrating his 25th anniversary!

This October, Wade Wilson’s big year continues as writer Gerry Duggan alongside artists Mike Hawthorne and Matteo Lolli introduce the Merc with a Mouth to the brand-spankin’ new Marvel NOW! We spoke with Duggan about his love for Wade Wilson and the mad adventures in store for him this fall in DEADPOOL.

Marvel.com: Madcap is back. With that in mind, can you tease what’s next for Wade as we look ahead to the start of Marvel NOW!?

Gerry Duggan: Madcap has a very personal and deep-seated grudge against Deadpool now. And maybe rightfully so, having been trapped inside of his head. I inherited that storyline; it was a kind of happy accident that I was very happy with because it gave the context to make Madcap a very important bad guy.

In this next comic that Matteo Lolli is drawing, DEADPOOL #21, Madcap makes his move. At first it seems ineffective and then it proves to be something that could destroy Deadpool. It’s a shorter arc for us, but by the end of the fourth issue you see the lengths that Deadpool will go to negate the threat that Madcap is presenting. Deadpool’s dropped a lot of bodies but he’s never done anything quite like this. And I’m really looking forward to seeing what people’s reactions will be. It’s one of those shocker last pages…

Marvel.com: Speaking of Matteo Lolli, you’ve worked with incredible artists during your long tenure with Deadpool. How do you find the individual strengths and flavors of these different artists influence the comic?

Gerry Duggan: I’ve always been lucky with collaborators. [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Axel [Alonso] and [editor] Jordan [White] lined up Tony Moore, Scott Koblish, and then Mike Hawthorne and their work has totally set the tone for Deadpool. They’re each, in their own way, phenomenal storytellers.

Now Matteo has joined in and he’s really one of the funniest guys I’ve worked with. He’s a guy that, from his work on HAWKEYE VS. DEADPOOL, has wonderful storytelling, great action, and then on top of that is similarly able to do sight gags.

I write the script once for the editor, then the script goes to the artist, and then I rewrite the script before lettering after the boards come back because it is inevitably better and different.

Deadpool (2015) #21

Deadpool (2015) #21

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Marvel.com: You’ve written several different titles over the years, from UNCANNY AVENGERS to CHEWBACCA, so what is it about Deadpool that keeps you coming back? What is it about Wade that you connect with so well?

Gerry Duggan: I’m always trying to find ways to challenge myself in terms of what kinds of scripts I’m turning in. But I love the collaboration with these artists so much that I’m always excited to run and write a new arc for them. At the moment I feel like I have more story than I know what to do with.

You know, I had a funny thought recently. It’s been somewhat of a rough year, maybe for everyone, but I was reading another comic where the hero saves a woman that’s considering jumping off a building, just by being there and comforting her and having the right words to say. And I thought, “Wow, it’s a good thing that wasn’t Deadpool!” And I thought that I could never really tell that story.

And then I slept on it and thought, you know what, maybe that reaction is exactly why I should try and write that story. And that actually became DEADPOOL #20, which Matteo Lolli drew. It’s a one-off story where Deadpool interacts with someone that’s having a crisis.

And if the jokes are funny and the drama is elevated, it felt like that was something I could challenge myself with. To go, “Oh, that would be a terrible Deadpool story or a short Deadpool story,” and then figure out a way to make that a successful Deadpool story. Those are the things that I push myself to do.

Marvel.com: On that note, you’ve given Wade such a rich, at times heart-wrenching, personal story in this run. How do you find the balance between Deadpool’s signature wit and the darker, more emotional side of his story?

Gerry Duggan: I think that’s the sweet and sour of the work that I do; the ability to have laughs on one page and then a gut-punch on the page turn. That always feels [really] good. I always think the closer that you can make those moments, the better. That’s how I know if I’m on the right track, if you’re laughing on one page and then crying on the next. This character accommodates that in a way; he can handle those g-forces. That helps the wild ride feel of Deadpool.

Check out DEADPOOL #21 from Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli on October 26! And stay tuned to Marvel.com and all our social channels for the latest on Marvel NOW!

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The Merc with a Mouth goes Shakespeare with help from writer Ian Doescher!

Wade Wilson has always had a way with words but never quite like this.

Springing from the pen of writer Ian Doescher, DEADPOOL #21 features a 60-page tale sure to see civil blood making not so civil hands unclean. If you remember your freshman English class at all, then yes, your mind went to the right place. The Merc with a Mouth just discovered iambic pentameter.

Before you can let Deadpool know which of his bad parts didst thou first fall in love with, we invite you to wonder can the devil speak true as Doescher reveals some of the behind the scenes of “The Merc of Menace.”

And, please, remember, if this interview have offended, think but this and all is mended, that you have but slumber’d here, while these words did appear.

Marvel.com: Obviously, you are no stranger to Shakespeare. With that in mind, how familiar were you with the second half of this equation, Deadpool? Any prior encounters with the character as a reader before securing this gig?

Ian Doescher: My only exposure to Deadpool before this project was the movie, which I loved.

My kids want to see it, and the answer is no.

When I started working with Marvel on the comic, I started digging into past issues to get a better sense of his world

Marvel.com: What makes Deadpool a uniquely appropriate character for this kind of story to be built around?

Ian Doescher: First off, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall regularly, like so many Shakespearean characters do in their soliloquies or asides to the audience.

More than that, he’s a trickster character who has a Shakespearean-sized wit. He reminds me of some of Shakespeare’s wittiest and most sarcastic characters: Benedick from “Much Ado About Nothing” for sure, but also Iago from “Othello” and Hamlet.

Marvel.com: What other Marvel characters end up being pulled into this Shakespeare world?

Ian Doescher: I’m tempted to say you’ll have to wait and read it, but the honest answer is…just Deadpool. We discussed whether some of the other characters should double as Marvel characters, and ultimately decided against it.

Marvel.com: Should fans anticipate the story will follow the basic plot structure of “Merchant of Venice” or is that just a name that was ripe to have “Mercenary” subbed into?

Ian Doescher: No, there’s almost nothing of “The Merchant of Venice” in my DEADPOOL issue. “The Merc of Menace” just has a nice Shakespearean overtone to it.

Marvel.com: Creatively, what kind of challenges and advantages were involved in writing for someone else to draw as opposed to creating it for someone else to portray on stage?

Ian Doescher: The biggest challenge writing for someone to draw is making sure that each panel contains a single action that can be conveyed through a single drawing. In other words, pictures don’t move, so you can’t have someone punch someone else and then point their finger at them in the same panel.

The biggest advantage is I don’t have to worry about a limited set –if I need something to appear, I just write it into the world and boom, there it is. With a stage, and especially an Elizabethan stage, you are more limited.

Head to marvel.com/sdcc2016 for live coverage and all the latest from San Diego Comic-Con 2016!

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