Declan Shalvey breaks down the Canadian combatants' deadly dynamic!

Everyone’s favorite immortal Marvel characters tear each other to pieces in writer Declan Shalvey and artist Mike Henderson’s limited series DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN!

But the fighting between big mouth Wade Wilson and crotchety old James Howlett only teases at the larger game at play in this five issue event. With a new Omega-level mutant named Maddie on the run, the two heroes will have to fight a mystery organization—and each other—to keep her safe. And on November 15, issue #2 claws deeper into the battle and its surrounding secrets.

We spoke with Declan about writing and drawing comics—and what makes this team-up unlike any other.

Marvel.com: You’ve made the transition from artist to writer for this series. What’s that switch been like?

Declan Shalvey: With writing, I’ve gotten to dip my toe a bit, with the Nick Fury CIVIL WAR II: CHOOSING SIDES serial from last year and the VENOMVERSE story I did this year. In both cases though, I drew those stories as well. Writing an actual Marvel limited series for another artist seemed pretty intimidating, but a challenge I felt up to. I had just written a creator-owned graphic novel for another artist that ended up being roughly the same page count, so between that and the previously mentioned shorts, I think I’d built up enough confidence to do something as ambitious as DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN.

Marvel.com: As an artist, do you automatically illustrate the story in your head while writing a story? If so, does it make writing easier?

Declan Shalvey: In a way—I’ve heard some writers tend to draw layouts when they’re writing, but I feel I have a good sense of how much I can fit into a page as I’m writing. My brain has some visuals in mind, so I’ll structure a lot of the other moments around the bigger moments. Because of that, I know where to dole out the appropriate real estate—I know to have some moments with more space on the page more than others.

I’ve been fortunate to work with Mike Henderson on this project, as I feel we have a large overlap in our visual sensibilities. There’s a few pages that look just like what I had in my head. Others look very different, but in interesting ways that feel very like Mike, so I respect his choices.

As an artist, I have a similar relationship with my colorist Jordie Bellaire. I tell her what I’m thinking and she’ll deliver on that—or do something different that’s better than what I would do. I’ve learned to embrace those opportunities as an artist, so I try do the same with my writing; I leave the artist the space to bring something of their own to the book. It can only result in more good ideas being available.

Deadpool Vs. Old Man Logan (2017) #1

Deadpool Vs. Old Man Logan (2017) #1

Marvel.com: Have you found an element of the writing process that you enjoy more than the illustration process? How about vice versa?

Declan Shalvey: The writing process can be a lot more frustrating than the illustration process…probably because I have so much to learn. But also with illustration, I want to lock everything down before I start drawing in order to be more productive overall. With writing, results end up being more nebulous—it’s harder to pin things down and say they’re “done,” but that’s been the great thing about working with Heather Antos as my Editor. She’s been great to push me to do my best on the book, and to point out where I might need to spend more time developing the story.

I will say that writing takes up a very different part of my brain, so it can be difficult to focus. My natural state has always been drawing—I can pick up a pencil and get to work instinctively. Writing means I have to force myself to sit in the chair more and get words on the page. My favorite part of both disciplines, though, is the problem-solving. Taking words and making them into a visual narrative feels like solving a puzzle that I find very satisfying. Similarly, breaking down a story and figuring out story problems can be hugely rewarding.

Marvel.com: You did the cover art for another “DEADPOOL VS.” series in DEADPOOL VS. THE PUNISHER with Fred Van Lente and Pere Perez. Did drawing the covers for this run feel different since you’re also writing?

Declan Shalvey: The DEADPOOL VS. THE PUNISHER covers got assigned so far ahead of time, I didn’t have much story material to work from so I just had to come up with random visuals to help sell the book. The covers on DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN on the other hand…I had the advantage of knowing all the story…but I don’t want to incorporate too many story elements from the book. I tried to create a more unified design look to the whole series, so it always has the two title characters, generally fighting, with a limited color palette and a strong, bold design approach too.

I didn’t tie in anything about Maddie or the mysterious baddies. I’m hoping every cover of DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN will be recognizable as part of a unique and identifiable limited run. That’s what I tried to do anyway—and again, Editors Heather Antos and Jordan D. White were really accommodating by letting me try to do so.

Marvel.com: It’s so cool to pit two immortal characters against one another. How did you want their invincibility to come across in the story and art?

Declan Shalvey: Oh I just had to try and rip both these guys to pieces; this book allowed us to push things as far as we possibly could. There had to be a “Parental Advisory” tag on this book, otherwise what would be the point in doing it? It’s been brilliant fun to bang these characters heads together…figuratively and literally.

The violence has been a lot of fun to write, and from what I can tell, Mike loves drawing it. Getting to the heart of the matter though—the violence ends up being trivial because both these characters have invincibility. Swords and claws won’t really hurt these two…what really affects them will be mistakes from their past. And the young mutant that they meet in issue #1 brings a lot of that stuff to the surface as the series progresses.

Grab DEADPOOL VS. OLD MAN LOGAN #2, by Declan Shalvey and artist Mike Henderson, on November 15!

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Howard the Duck, Deadpool and Punisher are featured in the new gear.

Rap juggernauts Run The Jewels have just unveiled an expansive collection of goods produced in collaboration with Marvel. The new items reimagine the duo’s iconic imagery in the context of the Marvel Comics universe, including a variety of shirt designs, keychains, and more. The initial items are available at the group’s webstore (runthejewelsstore.com) with some items exclusively available to purchase at stops along Run the Jewels’ ongoing Run The World tour.

For a look at the initial Run the Jewels/Marvel product take a look at the gallery above, which includes items featuring Deadpool, Howard the Duck and the Punisher.

This is not the first time Run the Jewels and Marvel have crossed paths, as the Run the Jewels logo was the inspiration for several Marvel variant covers beginning in 2015, and the duo also appeared on an episode of This Week in Marvel. This year, a Run the Jewels song — “Legend Has It” — was featured in the teaser trailer for Marvel Studios’ Black Panther.

The hip hop phenomenon known as Run the Jewels continues to roll its way into the hearts & minds of fans worldwide. Following the release of their breakthrough new album RTJ3, the duo continue to make a thrilling impact on the landscape of music & culture. From main stage festival heroes to media darlings, groundbreaking artists to digital mavericks, serial entrepreneurs to presidential surrogates, Run the Jewels have arrived. The group just released a new song, “Mean Demeanor” for the FIFA ’18 video game, which is also featured in the TV ad starring Cristiano Ronaldo. Their latest U.S. tour kicked off Oct 5th in Houston, TX, and includes a taping of the legendary ACL TV show.

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Writer Robbie Thompson explores a new dynamic between Spidey and DP!

Fighting with your friends might just be one of the worst feelings in the world. When your pal has the proportional strength and speed of a spider or a nearly unmatched healing factor, well, then things can get really rough.

So it goes in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #23, due out November 8. Writer Robbie Thompson took a breath to tell us all about the quarrel between these former buddies.

Marvel.com: Despite surviving Arcade’s death traps in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #22, Peter and Wade are not, shall we say, great at the start of issue #23. What has ruptured their awkward partnership?

Robbie Thompson: Spider-Man and Deadpool’s lives are turned upside down post-Secret Empire. Spider-Man has gone back to basics, and Deadpool is wanted for murder—having killed Agent Coulson at the behest of St-evil Rogers.

When we pick up their story in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #23, Spider-Man learns that Deadpool is back to putting the “Merc” in the Merc with the Mouth. With S.H.I.E.L.D. no longer around, Deadpool has exploited their absence to the max and become [an] arms dealer.

From his POV, he tried to be a good guy, but it just didn’t take. From Spider-Man’s POV, Deadpool has to be taken in once and for all; he’s gone too far this time and has to pay for what he’s done.

Marvel.com: What does each one want to do to the other? How clearly defined are each’s plan for the other?

Robbie Thompson: For Deadpool, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy. He’s going back to what he’s always been. And he does not care at all what anyone thinks about his decision…

…with the exception of Spider-Man. Spider-Man gets a pass! But of course, Deadpool has no interest in going to jail.

But jail isn’t all that Spider-Man wants for Deadpool. He wants to bring Deadpool in for all the right reasons, but he also wants to help him. It’s the Deadpool Reclamation Project to Spider-Man.

After everything that went down with Itsy-Bitsy, Spider-Man feels like he owes Deadpool—but he also feels that deep down, Deadpool has the capacity for good. He saw first-hand how good he could be. So, Spider-Man wants to rehab Deadpool…

…no matter how much punching and kicking that will take to make it stick this time.

Marvel.com: Besides one another, what antagonists are bedeviling the bickering duo in this issue?

Robbie Thompson: I don’t want to spoil the end of our second issue, but they will find out that they are both being antagonized by a very familiar villain from Spider-Man’s past, someone they can only stop by teaming up.

Marvel.com: Fights between friends can be no fun, but this book long has an established ability to balance the serious and the humorous. How are you making that balance work? How does new artist Chris Bachalo help you realize both sides of that tone?

Robbie Thompson: A big help in keeping it fun is the new status-quo in each of their main books. [AMAZING SPIDER-MAN writer] Dan Slott and [DEADPOOL writer] Gerry Duggan have done such an amazing job of placing these two in really new and exciting positions in their lives. Deadpool is in a dark place and Spider-Man is in a low point career-wise, and yes, they both have competing agendas in our book, but they’re going to [go] down swinging and quipping the whole way!

Early on, too, editors Nick Lowe and Jordan D. White had a great idea to give Deadpool a supporting cast in this book; he’s stolen a S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier, and it’s populated with some really bizarre characters from the Marvel Universe that have provided a lot of levity. If you’re a longtime Marvel fan, there will be some familiar faces and some new ones in Deadpool’s motley crew.

But the hero of this book is Chris Bachalo. He’s killing this thing with crazy action and a well-balanced tone. I’m looking at the art for #23 right now and it’s so much awesome! Chris has an amazing eye for design and detail, but what I love about what he’s done in this book is getting the most emotion out of the characters right from the jump. From the first time you see his Peter, you know exactly where Peter’s at in his life and you get a sense of his exasperation and annoyance later on when he’s in the Spidey suit. And it’s the same with Deadpool. He’s also brought our supporting cast to life with great performances, as well as new designs. Tim Townsend is inking and they are an absolute dream team.

Marvel.com: For fans of the duo, how much hope can you give them of these two making amends and reuniting? Is there any chance at all or is the end nigh?

Robbie Thompson: There’s always hope for these two knuckleheads! But it’s going to be a process; Spider-Man’s heart is in the right place, but Deadpool is pretty dug in. They may come to blows, but they’re also going to have to reluctantly team-up to beat a much bigger foe.

See what becomes of this dream team with SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #23, coming your way from writer Robbie Thompson and artist Chris Bachalo on November 8!

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Listing Deadpool’s most immoral moments ever ahead of Marvel Legacy!

On October 25, writer Gerry Duggan and artist Scott Koblish send Deadpool back down villainy lane with DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #288!

Wade has been trying to play the hero—with limited success—for far too long. Now he breaks bad again, Deadpool style.

“It’s hard to blame Wade for the events that precipitated Secret Empire. He got all the credit for the bad things he did, and none of the props for the decent stuff,” explains Duggan, “Wade had done so much wrong before he ever heard Cap say the words ‘Hail Hydra’ that once he did he was already stuck on his side. Now his life has burned down. Sad!”

To prepare for this wicked road trip, we took time to highlight some of Deadpool’s more questionable stops in his recent history…“Like that time he uppercutted Kitty,” suggests Duggan. And with that, we’re off!

The Metaphor in the Room – DEADPOOL #2 (2012)

Weirdo zombie presidents attempt to take over the world, so S.H.I.E.L.D. decides to send Deadpool to hunt them down in an attempt to avoid the PR nightmare of, say, Captain America publically beating down our beloved former leaders.

In this issue, he finds Teddy Roosevelt doing what he does—big game hunting in the treacherous wilds of the Los Angeles Zoo—and…long story short, Deadpool sets a live elephant on fire. In his defense he did warn the elephant first! Sort of!

Quick, a Distraction! – DEADPOOL #11 (2012)

The demon Ventis hires—cough, blackmails, cough—Deadpool into killing people on his behalf. Wade gets hot on the trail of a victim when he runs into the devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

The two don’t exactly see eye-to-eye and Daredevil succeeds in hogtying the Regenerating Degenerate. However, he makes the mistake of thinking that Deadpool plays by the rules (tisk-tisk, Matt!), allowing Wade to up and shoot a random guy on the street to escape. Solid distraction but dang, that’s cold.

Baiting the Enemy – DEADPOOL #5 (2015)

Less hurting-random-people-and-animals and more standard bad parenting for this one. Madcap wants Wade to suffer and threatens to kill his daughter, Ellie, to make it so. In response, Wade beats him to the punch and deliberately uses his daughter like chum in the water to bait Madcap into the open. Luckily, Quicksilver manages to get Ellie out of harm’s way at the last moment.

Come on, Wade. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a morally-ambiguous, violence-desensitized kid on your hands. Break the cycle, dude!

Deadpool Kills Everyone – DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE (2012)

Let’s just breeze right over this one; we all remember DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. You can’t forget the crazed mercenary shooting Spidey in the face, making it rain hero chunks after blowing up the Avengers Mansion, and of course, the piéce de résistance, turning Beast into a fur cape.

Oh and of course there’s DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN (2017)—because if there’s one thing Deadpool excels at, it’s beating a dead horse…or just dead bodies of any kind, really.

Deadpool Kills Everyone Else – DEADPOOL: CLASSICS KILLUSTRATED (2013)

With everyone in the Marvel Universe six feet under, Deadpool branches out into new fictional timelines to find new victims in DEADPOOL KILLUSTRATED. With the help of his enslaved mad scientist core, Wade finds a way into some of our favorite storylines to do what he does best: murder everything that moves. I guess he gets points for not discriminating? His victims include Moby Dick, Tom Sawyer, Dracula, “The Jungle Book” animals, the Three Musketeers, and basically every other literary character you ever read about in school. English teachers, avert thine eyes!

Blinding Horror – DEADPOOL #14 (1997)

Deadpool keeps a blind old woman as a prisoner! But that’s not all! After finding an opportune moment to escape, the woman—named Blind Al—runs away to Maine to hide out with a friend named Tommy, in the belief that Wade won’t be able to track her there. But after a 3,000 mile journey, Blind Al arrives at Tommy’s house only to find Wade waiting inside with a mutilated Tommy—a next level psychopath ploy to ensure that Al stays with him of her own accord.

And people call this guy a hero!?

Find out what depraved deeds Deadpool adds to his list of indiscretions in DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #288, by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Scott Koblish, on October 25!

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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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Writer Elliott Kalan discusses his collaboration with artist Todd Nauck!

On October 4, SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #22 features an awe-inspiring twosome that cannot be missed. No, not the ones in the masks—writer Elliott Kalan and artist Todd Nauck!

Kalan and Nauck have sent Spidey and the Merc to face off against the mad game designer Arcade in a custom deathtrap known as Murderworld. At a time when Spider-Man and Deadpool’s partnership stands on shaky ground, this smart-talkin’ team-up will be tested like never before.

We caught up with Elliott to hear more about what lies ahead for the super duo.

Marvel.com: What made you decide to use Arcade as the newest enemy for the Wallcrawler and the Merc with a Mouth?

Elliott Kalan: You can never really predict or completely figure Arcade out. He’s a mostly amoral madman, but at the same time he’s very attuned to other people’s psychologies and weaknesses—and apparently has the massive financial resources to build, like, an entire personalized theme park of death.

So, for Spidey and Deady, the excitement came from figuring out how Arcade sets up his park to prey on their particular weaknesses and insecurities. And then finding out how Spider-Man and Deadpool resist and overcome that. Also, Arcade loves a good joke—just like our two stars. His sense of humor can just be a little off. A little homicidal.

Marvel.com: What made Madripoor the right setting for this tale?

Elliott Kalan: Madripoor is one of those places on the Marvel map that gives you a chance to escape the standard world of New York, for example, and get away with things you normally wouldn’t be able to.

I’d hoped to do a Madripoor story when I wrote SPIDER-MAN & THE X-MEN—I tried to hit as many X-Men locales as I could. But I only managed to fit the school, the Savage Land, the Mojoverse, outer space, Mr. Sinister’s laboratory, and the mental plane into my six issues…

Madripoor feels like a strange place for Spider-Man to find himself in; it’s so fundamentally criminal a place—as least as it’s been written. Yet what better place for Arcade to set up shop than a nation that’s never had the highest respect for the law?

Marvel.com: How did you come up with Arcade’s death traps? And how did collaborating with Todd Nauck bring that to life?

Elliott Kalan: It proved difficult for me to come up with death traps for Arcade—until I started thinking about it in game metaphors. Arcade’s work often takes the form of a game—a video game, a pinball game, and so forth—so I had like a mental block until I realized, “Oh, in issue #21, this can be like a board game, and one trap will lead somewhat directly into the next.”

And then in issue #22, I thought, “Okay, enough of that…now let’s just get super crazy.”

Todd was instrumental in making everything happen. There are a few moments where I wasn’t even sure how things would work out visually, then Todd said, “Oh, you mean like this?” And it felt like he reached into my brain and put it on paper—only a thousand times better. There’s a moment in issue #22 involving Deadpool, a fighter plane, and a dinosaur where Todd just went ahead and made my dreams come true.

Marvel.com: How was the overall collaborative experience with Todd? Were there elements in the script you knew you’d be able to pull off with him as your artist?

Elliott Kalan: Todd’s amazing. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time—and having recently learned he’s also a fellow fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I knew we’d get along. I fully trusted him to be able to take everything I handed him and tell the story as clearly, dynamically, and gorgeously as possible. He really made a bunch of my half-baked concepts shine. Todd gave me the freedom to get as big and crazy as I wanted, but also to not to be afraid of adding as much dialogue as I needed. I really I hope I get the chance to work with him again in the future.

Marvel.com: In your mind, what are the essential traits that truly bring Spidey and Deadpool to life on the page? And by personally revisiting Spider-Man with this story, did you alter your approach to him since writing SPIDER-MAN & THE X-MEN?

Elliott Kalan: My take feels essentially the same because I’ve been living with Spider-Man as a moral and ethical guidepost since I picked up WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #90 (with the hologram cover) at age 10 and began my tutorship in his philosophy.

To me, the essence of Spider-Man is having a strong moral and ethical code but struggling with them emotionally. He’s constantly in the process of striving to be the best—but he often fails because to choose one moral value means inadvertently turning your back on another. He is truly the greatest of all Marvel heroes because he’s humanly weak and his choices are difficult to make, but he makes them anyway.

And I see the essence of Deadpool as someone who decides to become Spider-Man after a lifetime of being the exact opposite of that. He strives to do better, but gets weighed down by years of sin and, frankly, a knowledge of how much easier life can be when you don’t follow the rules. It’s harder to navigate morality for him, and when he sees someone like Spider-Man he sees an impossible ideal—but he still finds the strength to attempt to get closer to that ideal.

Both Spider-Man and Deadpool are emotional and moral strivers constantly coming to terms with their failure to be perfect and refusing to let that failure stop them from trying. But don’t let all this heavy talk fool you, this story is basically about Arcade throwing killer robots at them.

Marvel.com: How might you pitch this storyline to readers who aren’t sure if they should pick these issues up?

Elliott Kalan: Face front, True Believers, this titanic two-parter is chock full of Mighty Marvel Milestones! Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and everyone’s favorite Merc with a Mouth are pushed to the limits by the amusing atrocity of Arcade! Arcade as you’ve never seen him before—a glimpse of his private life, and with multiple different haircuts! A robo-wolverine! Tigers! Dinosaurs! Tidal waves! Thinly veiled satire! Plus, the first appearance of the Sensational New Marvel Discovery who’s sure to be everyone’s favorite Character Creation of 2017: the blade-wielding apex assassin who could only be called The Stinger! Don’t miss it, folks, this one has it all!

Marvel.com: Yup, that works.

SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #22, by Elliott Kalan and artist Todd Nauck, hits on October 4!

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Cullen Bunn brings Wade Wilson’s latest murder marathon to a close!

Another one of Wade Wilson’s homicidal rampages comes to an end in issue #5 of DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN, out September 27. The limited series from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dalibor Talajic came as a follow-up to the duo’s wildly popular DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE from 2012.

Bunn has big plans for the finale this time around and it’s chock full o’ villains. We caught up with Cullen to discuss the specifics of the last issue, why killing Spider-Man hit a high point and how the bloodshed has just begun for the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: The last DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE concluded with Wade entering our world to take vengeance on the real-life Marvel editors like Jordan D. White. What kind of epic ending can we expect this time around?

Cullen Bunn: The ending of this story will be vastly different [from] the tale we told before. We’re not having Wade break through the ultimate fourth wall here. The final issue of the series will see Wade facing off against a number of villains, including those who corrupted his mind and set him against the Marvel heroes in the first place. We’ll be seeing some pretty intense encounters with the likes of Magneto and The Red Skull. The ending of this series, I think, is much more tragic than the end of the previous tale.

Marvel.com: Did you consider any other conclusions than the one you settled on? Can you give us an example or two of rejected ideas? 

Cullen Bunn: I always had this ending in mind. As most readers have guessed, this story takes place in the same world as the classic Wolverine tale, “Old Man Logan”—at least, it takes place in a version of that reality. In this world, Logan killed off most of the X-Men, but Deadpool had a big role to play in the deaths of many of the other heroes as the villains finally got organized and made a play for world domination. At one point, I thought of ending this series with an encounter between Logan and Deadpool in the ruins of the world, but I decided against it, saving that for some time later, maybe. 

Marvel.com: What about this limited series will you miss the most after the release of issue #5?

Cullen Bunn: I love working with Dalibor. He’s such a great collaborator, and I like his dark take on Deadpool. I’ll miss the way he draws Deadpool’s masks and eyes, if that makes sense. I’ll also miss playing with the idea of different comic book formats. Comparing Deadpool’s current adventures to a manga style world or a horror comic or even an ad for pastries was a lot of fun for me, and it was like a walk down memory lane of all the types of comics that have influenced me over the years.

Marvel.com: What are your top three deaths of this series and why?

Cullen Bunn: The death of Peter Parker in issue #2 is a favorite, because it is just so terribly dark. For the same reason, the death of Spider-Woman is dark, but for different reasons. Both of those deaths played so well with the theme of Deadpool seeing sort of light-hearted and zany adventures even though he was doing something awful. And the deaths of Moon Knight and Punisher was fun for me, because Moon Knight put up one hell of a fight.

Marvel.com: Do you think there’s any way Deadpool could come back to kill the Marvel Universe for a third time? If so, how would you go about writing it?

Cullen Bunn: Sure! There’s probably a way to do a similar story in a few years. One of the nice things about this series is that the Marvel Universe has changed so much since the original tale. There’s no telling how much the Marvel Universe will change over the next few years! As for how to write it, I’m not sure just yet. It would have to be vastly different than either of the other stories, and I think I’d have to up the ante in terms of horror and brutality, which may be tough.

DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN comes to a close on September 27 thanks to Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talajic!

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Writer Robbie Thompson lays out his Legacy take on the Web-Head and the Merc!

The Wallcrawler and the Merc’s shaky partnership might not survive Marvel Legacy. With Spidey determined to get Wade Wilson to pay for his past discretions—and Deadpool simultaneously looking to make Peter Parker his pal, things look dire from the get-go.

However, fate—and writer Robbie Thompson—just can’t seem to keep these two away from each other. And on November 8, Thompson and artist Chris Bachalo throw down Marvel Legacy’s SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #23!

Thompson put on his matchmaker hat to give us his take on the characters, their partnership…and something about a retirement home.

Marvel.com: What are your visions for each character? What are the key components to making them feel as they should?

Robbie Thompson: They are the greatest duo in all of comics! Ever!

I think there are two keys to a Spider-Man/Deadpool book—and first is that it should be fun. Both of these characters are hilarious in their own right, but because they have such different senses of humor, putting them together can be ridiculously awesome. They bring out the best and worst in each other, and it’s important to honor each of their character’s histories—as well as their shared history of team-ups. The second key is making it an emotional story. I really loved what [writer] Joe Kelly and [artist] Ed McGuinness did with their last run. They had all the over-the-top action and humor you’d expect, but there was a very emotional story at the core of everything—and that’s something we’re very keen on holding up with this run.

Marvel.com: How about Spidey and Deadpool’s relationship to each otherwhat are the essential pieces there?

Robbie Thompson: Deadpool loves Spider-Man. And Spider-Man…tolerates Deadpool.

They both know how to push each other’s buttons (especially Deadpool). It’s the type of rhythm and chemistry you’d see in a classic buddy comedy—two opposites forced to work together. I think there’s also some classic sibling rivalry in their dynamic, too. So it’s essential that they’re both driving each other a little nuts, but they both also look out for the other…a quality that’s tested in the story we’re telling.

Marvel.com: How would you summarize your overall concept of the book?

Robbie Thompson: Spider-Man versus Deadpool!

Is their bro-mance over? After killing Agent Coulson, Deadpool is definitely on the outs in the Marvel Universe. And making matters worse, Deadpool really leans hard on the “Merc” in “Merc with a Mouth.” In the wake of Secret Empire, he’s become, well, a bit of an arms dealer. And Spider-Man can’t just sit and watch. This time, as you’ll see in the first issue, Spider-Man decides it’s time to bring Deadpool to justice.

Deadpool doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him or his business dealings…except Spider-Man, of course. Can they work this out peacefully? Will Deadpool go quietly? Not. Likely.

Marvel.com: How do you like working with Chris Bachalo? In what ways does he inspire your vision for the title? In what ways does he help you realize the tone and feel of the book?

Robbie Thompson: Chris is the vision for this title! He’s the best. I am a longtime, die-hard fan of Chris’s work. He’s one of my all-time favorite artists. At college when I was broke, I’d scrape together pennies just to pick up an issue of GENERATION X.

[Editor] Nick Lowe set up a fun meeting when we started working on this title—we all met at Disneyland and hashed out the first arc together while waiting for rides! Chris has incredible storytelling skills and it’s been a dream come true working with him on this book. He has such a clear sense of what he loves to create. He makes my job easy.

Working on DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME, I started writing looser scripts—and that’s the same process here; the scripts are the bare bones of the story in order to create the most space for Chris to weave his magic. And his work so far has been absolutely beyond expectations. He’s killing it and I cannot wait for people to see what he’s done.

Marvel.com: What’s happening in your first arc? Are there any recognizable characters, beyond Spidey and the Merc, that readers will encounter in the opening arc?

Robbie Thompson: I can’t give away too much detail without spoiling some larger things, but you’ll see in issue #1 that both Spider-Man and Deadpool are reeling from life post-Secret Wars. They’re both in really different places in their lives.

Spider-Man knows Deadpool killed Coulson—and he’s pissed. And when he sees that Deadpool has become a bit of an arms dealer, well, he throws down the gauntlet. Spidey knows he still owes Deadpool for making sure he didn’t cross the line with Itsy-Bitsy—but he also knows Deadpool finally has to pay for all of the bad stuff he’s done. Spider-Man feels like he needs to rehabilitate Deadpool. And Deadpool has zero interest in any of that.

Deadpool deals with some personal darkness at the top of our story and that’s going to give Spider-Man some pause. But he’ll remain determined to bring Deadpool to justice. Even though Deadpool wants to bring Spider-Man in to help with his latest enterprise.

So these two will be at odds from the start of the first issue, but there’s someone who’s going to get in the way of their shenanigans—someone that forces them to work together, even if only for a while. He’s going to be very, very familiar to fans as he’s one of Spider-Man’s classic villains.

Marvel.com: Beyond that, where do you hope to take the duo? Are there any other characters you’re excited to handle…or perhaps already have a plan for?

Robbie Thompson: We’ll be going to the future!

Taking a page from the flagship Deadpool book—where they’ve flashed back to untold Deadpool tales and brought those events to the present—we’ll be flashing forward into the distant future where Old Man Wilson and Old Man Parker are living in a retirement home. They are the two grumpiest old men in history—and were a blast to write. But something has gone horribly wrong in this future, especially for Spider-Man. Old Man Wilson is desperate to get Old Man Parker out for one last adventure, one last shot at redemption, and finds the perfect opportunity when someone from their past—our present—comes back to haunt them.

We’ll be flashing forward like this every two or three issues, until this future story ties directly into our present story, launching our second arc. Scott Hepburn is drawing the future issues and his art has been outstanding!

SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #23, by Robbie Thompson and artist Chris Bachalo, is available on November 8!

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Gerry Duggan and Scott Koblish prepare to pit the Merc against his one-time partner!

As the Marvel Legacy era begins, the Merc with a Mouth heads back to his murderous roots in DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287! On October 11, he’s eschewing fame, the Avengers—and even some of his old friends—as the “Deadpool Kills Cable” story arc kicks off from dynamo creative team Gerry Duggan and Scott Koblish.

To prove that he’s back to his lethal origins, Wade Wilson has chosen Nathan Summers—the guy he spent an entire series with in the mid-2000s—as his first target.

We chatted up artist Scott Koblish and Editor Jordan D. White to find out what turned these two former friends against each other.

Marvel.com: Deadpool’s not exactly known for taking big events seriously, but how does this tale tie into Marvel Legacy?

Jordan D. White: Deadpool began his existence as an X-villain in NEW MUTANTS and then X-FORCE before he became the hero of his own stories. Even then, when his series began, he wasn’t a straight-up hero—he was a long way from the Avenger we’ve seen in recent years. He was a mercenary, killing people for money.

For a while now, he’s been trying—really trying hard—to be a better person. To be a hero, like the Marvel mainstays he admires. Unfortunately, every time he strikes a heroic pose, fate takes the opportunity to kick him where it counts. So he’s giving up on good—and doubling down on his roots.

Marvel.com: Killing Cable seems a little extreme, even for Wade. What brings about this change of heart?

Jordan D. White: In addition to being disillusioned with the side of the angels, Deadpool has made some pretty dark deals to protect the ones he loves. To protect his daughter, he made a deal with Cable’s evil clone/nemesis, Stryfe. Stryfe saved his daughter’s life (along with three other people), so now Deadpool owes him four deaths. Guess whose name appears first on his pointy-armored list?

Marvel.com: Deadpool’s currently spending his time backing Steve Rogers without fully committing to Hydra. Does that lead into this at all?

Jordan D. White: It does, in that Deadpool has just pretty visibly backed the wrong horse in a hugely public way. He went along with Hydra’s takeover, was a member of their Avengers…and on a more personal note to the good guys, he killed everyone’s favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Phil Coulson. If you know Deadpool…the thing he wants more than anything else is to be accepted for who he is. Secret Empire serves as a pretty big setback to that, which sends him in a bit of a downward spiral.

Marvel.com: Scott, how do Deadpool and Cable differ when it comes to fighting one another? How do their different approaches to combat come across on the page?

Scott Koblish: I think of Cable as more of a tank and Deadpool as more of a sports-car. Even though Cable is a mutant and Deadpool is a mutate, both men lean heavily on their use of weapons, although Cable uses more fantastical choices—bigger, more bizarre, and futuristic weapons. Cable recently has been leaning on Belle, the personification of the tech in his arm, and it’s been fun exploring what Gerry has come up with for Deadpool to counter her contributions to the fight. Weapon-wise, Deadpool will use anything to get his point across and you can even see that in the first page of issue #287.

By the way, the Legacy numbering has been a lot of fun for me to think about—I’m trying to make this the best Marvel #287 ever—even if that means I have to fight against issues like FANTASTIC FOUR #287 and UNCANNY X-MEN #287. I can assure you, I am swinging to take them down! We’ll do our best to make the deaths of Malcolm and Randall a distant memory!

Marvel.com: Jordan, how does Cable respond to Wade’s lethal new point of view?

Jordan D. White: If he’s a really good friend to Wade, he will probably say, “What do you want to do? Kill me? Well, buddy—of course I’ll support you in all things and help in any way you need.” But I suspect he may not be that good of a friend.

Marvel.com: Scott, you’re no stranger to Deadpoolhow is it chronicling this next phase in his evolution?

Scott Koblish: Over the last few years I’ve tried to explore a number of artistic flavors with Deadpool. For the most part, I was able to focus on the humorous and wacky aspects of the character—DEADPOOL: FLASHBACKS and DEADPOOL’S ART OF WAR come to mind—but this is the first time I’ve gotten to draw Wade in a real desperate and angry place.

It’s been enjoyable—I am trying to broaden my range and really sell Wade’s terrible situation following the events of Secret Empire. There is still some humor here and there, but selling a joke isn’t my focus on this arc; the thing I’m focused on here is selling Wade’s more despicable behavior. It’s no more Mr. NicePool.

Marvel.com: You’ve worked with Gerry on this character a number of times before. How would you say your collaborative relationship has evolved?

Scott Koblish: Gerry is fantastic, just a top-notch all-around great guy and a really exceptional writer—I love working with him. Every script he comes up with, I can easily and quickly visualize it in my mind. We’ve worked in a variety of ways at this point, from full-script to the old Marvel plot-style. I really like being challenged and Gerry can be counted on to push me in a lot of really great ways. We’re building on what came before, as well as striking out in directions Deadpool hasn’t explored in a while, so hopefully the reader will click with what we’re doing here. I love what the Deadpool team has come up with for this part of Deadpool’s life, and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of issue #287 when they have it in their hot hands!

DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287, by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Scott Koblish, hits shelves on October 11!

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Elliott Kalan opens up about Arcade’s latest deathtrap!

Some super villains like to take their opponents out with simple means: a gun, a knife, maybe even a bomb. But that’s not Arcade’s style. This baddie creates Murderworlds—death-themed carnivals of carnage. And on September 6, SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #21 will see the Webslinger and the Merc with a Mouth thrown headfirst into the master assassins’ bloody circus.

So, what kind of maniacal machinations will our heroes face in this Murderworld? We sat down with writer Elliott Kalan to find out.

Marvel.com: Murderworld is one of the most terrifying concepts ever. What inspired Arcade to create it?

Elliott Kalan: Arcade has three great loves in his life: showmanship, gamesmanship, and, of course, murder. It was only natural that he’d combine those things into an enormous deathtrap amusement park, which he consistently rebuilds and reopens despite the enormous cost involved and the almost inevitable likelihood that a super hero will destroy it. As for what was going on in his mind when he came up with it…probably calliope music?

Marvel.com: What goes into creating a Murderworld? It seems like it would require a fair amount of planning in advance.

Elliott Kalan: The most fun in writing Arcade was figuring out how this version of Murderworld would work, so I have to assume that’s where the real fun of it is for him, too. If he’s anything like me, then he starts with a theme—in this case, Madripoor—and factors in the people he’s going to be trapping—in this case, Spider-Man and Deadpool—and then thinks of increasingly complicated things that can be thrown in their path. It’s an incredibly complicated way to kill someone, but Arcade enjoys the game aspect of it more than the actual killing. He wants the chance to compete with his victims, not just take them out right away. He’s like a cat toying with a mouse. A cat who has an unlimited supply of money and robots.

The real question I have is: does he build it all himself or does he hire contractors and make them sign NDAs and everything?

Marvel.com: We all know Deadpool and Spidey for their senses of humor. So in a weird way, they might have an appreciation for Murderworld, especially Wade…

Elliott Kalan: Deadpool definitely has a certain admiration for Murderworld because it combines fun and danger in a way he can really get into. Spider-Man likes his humor without the violence. Something I hope I was able to get across in this story is each character’s moral limits when it comes to the “fun” of violence. Spider-Man is a true hero—violence is only a means toward righting a wrong and humor is how he makes it palatable for himself. Deadpool gets a certain joy from violence, but he doesn’t like to see innocent people hurt and he recognizes that sometimes enough is enough. Arcade is a madman who essentially sees the world as his toy box; Spidey and Deady aren’t so cool with that.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #21 cover by Will Robson

Marvel.com: Sowhile he does enjoy it a littleWade also thinks that Murderworld casts violence in the wrong light…

Elliott Kalan: Sometimes it can be hard for Wade to remember that violence isn’t fun for other people. He can regenerate pretty much any body part and it’s nearly impossible to kill him—he can sometimes forget that isn’t the way other people live their lives. Though ever since he became a family man, he’s had a better understanding of this. The younger Deadpool would have loved the idea of a place like Murderworld—but the older, more mature Deadpool has mixed feelings toward it. It’s almost like he’s okay with violence as long as everyone involved is a responsible adult with super powers, or at the very least, is obnoxious enough that he thinks the world would be better off without them.

Marvel.com: The Murderworld’s mainframe has demonstrated sentience in the past. Will we see more of that?

Elliott Kalan: Not in this one, but we’ve got plenty of other crazy things going on in the story. Basically, you might know where page one will start—they’re trapped in Murderworld!—and where the last page will end—they escaped Murderworld!—but I guarantee you’ll never guess the stuff that happens in between.

Marvel.com: Would you like to tease anything else?

Elliott Kalan: This story also sees the introduction of a bold, exciting new character to the Marvel Universe: The Stinger! But he may not make it out of this story alive. So…I guess don’t expect to see him in any of the movies.

Dive into the murderous mayhem with SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #21, by writer Elliott Kalan and artist Todd Nauck, on September 6!

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