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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