Robbie Thompson jumps into the future with Old Man Parker and Old Man Wilson!
The future arrives on January 10, 2018.
Well, obviously, because January 10 exists in the future. But for Deadpool and Spider-Man, the far-flung future arrives on January 10!
In SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #26, writer Robbie Thompson and artist Scott Hepburn send geriatric versions of Peter Parker and Wade Wilson to a nursing home. But Old Man Pete and Old Man Wade won’t spend the issue going to pet therapy and eating soft foods, they (gingerly) jump into action like never before!
Or maybe they just go to pet therapy and eat soft foods. We asked Thompson a few questions to find out more.
Marvel.com: Besides Spider-Man and Deadpool’s ages, how have they changed in the future? How has the world changed around them?
Robbie Thompson: The biggest difference is that Spider-Man and Deadpool are super old! And totally retired! They’ve hung up their web-shooters and katanas and live in a retirement community, playing Bingo and working on their crochet skills. The world has changed because it’s seemingly moved on without these two heroes, but we’ll soon see they’re still needed in a big way!
Marvel.com: Did writing older versions of the characters surprise you in any way?
Robbie Thompson: That’s a great question. I have to admit, when I first pitched the idea, I thought the tone would be much lighter. More of a spoof, really. And there’s still plenty of the type of humor folks have come to expect from this team-up in our future story. But I was surprised to find the scripts were a lot more emotional. Getting to hear these guys talk at the end of their careers proved really fascinating. I also got really inspired by artist Scott Hepburn’s preliminary Old Man Wilson and Old Man Parker designs. They looked super fun and dynamic, but there was so much emotional weight to the faces he created. So much history. So much loss.
I just love these two old farts so much, and can’t wait for people to see them.
Marvel.com: As you mentioned, Scott Hepburn brings the story to life in issue #26. How did he help you realize your vision of the future Marvel Universe? How did his collaboration influence your approach to the story?
Robbie Thompson: Collaborating with Scott on this story has been a big bag of awesome. We’d met socially at a convention, but this is the first time I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with him. It started with the early designs I mentioned—he just clearly got the heart of the characters and the direction of the story. Then, with each issue he’s really elevated both the characters and the world-building. This future hasn’t necessarily been seen yet and Scott’s built it all from the ground up.
We hung out at NYCC this year and hashed out the details of the third chapter together—he has so many great ideas and put together some incredible character designs for some “future” Marvel characters we’ll be seeing down the road. We’re also collaborating with Ian Herring on colors—I had the great fortune to work with Ian on all of SILK, and his work here with Scott is outstanding.
Marvel.com: This story sets the table for a bigger arc—perhaps the biggest arc of the book yet—which arrives in the summer of 2018. What can you tell us about that?
Robbie Thompson: Early on in pitching the book, editors Nick Lowe and Jordan D. White talked about building our first run into a larger story. I don’t know how much I can reveal, but from a plotting standpoint, we wanted to do what Gerry Duggan did in the flagship DEADPOOL book. That team flashed back and revealed untold stories of Deadpool’s past, then brought those stories to the present. In SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL, we’re flashing forward and the events of that book will tie back to our present day story. There’s a “big bad” that brings our heroes out of retirement in the future. The last page of issue #26 reveals our “big bad,” and it’s off to the races from there.
Marvel.com: From a creative standpoint, what appealed to you about the future storyline? What storytelling avenues does it open up to you?
Robbie Thompson: One of the things I found myself most drawn to in pitching on this book was trying to drill down on why Spider-Man and Deadpool are friends. I get why Deadpool loves Spidey—I mean, who doesn’t love Spidey? But Wade can be tough to love—he doesn’t make it easy. And yet, despite it all, Spider-Man does have Deadpool’s back. Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness created such an emotional story and we really wanted to build on that and test their friendship.
Then, the events of Secret Empire put Spider-Man and Deadpool into an even more emotional space. Peter down on his luck, Deadpool back to being a bad guy. So, in the present, it’s Spider-Man vs. Deadpool. But in the future story, we can see it didn’t all end in tears. And yet, they’re still up to their old bickering. Old Man Wilson and Old Man Parker started as a sillier idea, but the more we started to dig into this future dynamic, the more it felt like we could talk more about the strengths—and weaknesses—of their friendship and tie it all back to the present in an emotional way.
Marvel.com: If a fan dared to skip this issue, what will they be kicking themselves for missing out on?
Robbie Thompson: Who would dare? Who?! It’s Grumpy Old Men with Super Powers! “The Golden Girls” with boys? Uh…“Cocoon” without aliens, uh, but also there’s fighting?
It’s Old Man Wilson and Old Man Parker! ‘Nuff said! Don’t miss it, fam!
Jump through time with Robbie Thompson and artist Scott Hepburn’s SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #26 on January 10!