Writer Robbie Thompson teases the arrival of The Chameleon!

On December 27, The Chameleon steps into the spotlight.

His chalky skin, his hollow eyes, his arrogant disposition…all of it will be familiar to Spidey fans. And he plans to take out the Wall-Crawler and the Merc with the Mouth with one big, brilliant plan in writer Robbie Thompson and artist Chris Bachalo’s SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #25!

We caught up with Robbie to get a peek inside the upcoming issue.

Marvel.com: Chameleon has been portrayed in a variety of ways over the years. What do you see as the key to Chameleon? How would you describe your “version” of Chameleon in this storyline?

Robbie Thompson: The Chameleon keeps you guessing. He constantly changes his appearance to get what he wants, but I think that deep down, he’s hiding from himself. He’s running from something and he’ll never escape it. That desire may be hidden, but it runs deep and in our story, and it’ll push him to try to pull off one of his biggest heists ever.

Chameleon sees what Deadpool sees in the absence of S.H.I.E.L.D.—an opportunity to steal weapons and sell them. But we learn pretty early on that this has been a disguise as well. He’s hunting for a much bigger payoff.

Marvel.com: What made Chameleon the perfect choice for this storyline? Creatively, how does having him in the story spark you as a writer?

Robbie Thompson: It’s made me paranoid! Chameleon could be anyone! He could be me! And all credit to editors Nick Lowe and Jordan D. White for suggesting Chameleon for our story. When we started talking about where Spider-Man and Deadpool would be at the beginning of the story, coming from their flagship books, we really wanted to have them go up against a familiar foe, as well as someone who could shine a light on our heroes and also mess with expectations.

He’s a classic, original Spider-Man villain and it feels great to play with that history. Chameleon was the perfect choice and really fueled our early conversations about how to shape the story we’re telling in the present, as well as the story we’ll be telling in the future, which starts with issue #26. That story features Old Man Parker and Old Man Wilson in a retirement home decades from now and it’s been ridiculous fun to work on with artist Scott Hepburn.

Marvel.com: How would you describe Chris Bachalo’s depiction of the super villain?

Robbie Thompson: Chris is a master storyteller and his work on this book has been incredible. I can’t say enough good things about his work. I’m an enormous fan of his and have been for years, and I feel really fortunate to be collaborating with him on this story.

With Chameleon, we have the opportunity to bring in a lot of different characters and looks—anyone could be Chameleon under that mask! Don’t trust us! Don’t trust me! Chris’s first reveal of Chameleon looks so fantastic and I can’t wait for folks to see what he does with the character moving forward.

Marvel.com: What about the combination of Deadpool and Spider-Man makes The Chameleon want to go for broke this way?

Robbie Thompson: Chameleon, a master manipulator, he sees a golden opportunity in the current landscape of the Marvel Universe—one that can really play to his strengths and one that has the potential to increase his strengths and powers tenfold. And also make him a ton of cash.

He’s messing with Deadpool for a very specific reason, which will be clear in issue #25, but because he studies human behavior, he’s going to detect conflict between Spider-Man and Deadpool and use it to his advantage as the story moves on. The more Spider-Man and Deadpool get at each other’s throats, the more it plays right into Chameleon’s plans.

Marvel.com: How does the Wall-Crawler view this new version of his old enemy?

Robbie Thompson: At first, it’s going to seem like Chameleon gets up to his old, thieving ways. Spider-Man feels like he knows this guy and his usual M.O. and that it should be easy.

It’s pretty clear from jump, though, that this is an amped up Chameleon. And as Spider-Man pieces together that Chameleon wants one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s darker secrets, he’ll have to up his game and put his feud with Deadpool aside to stop Chameleon before he goes too far.

Marvel.com: Last but not least, give the readers the elevator pitch on why #25 will be a can’t-miss installment.

Robbie Thompson: SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #25 is Part Three of “Arms Race!” Set in fabulous Tabula Rasa! Spider-Man vs. Deadpool vs. Chameleon! One of Deadpool’s crew loses their minds! Comedic dismemberment! And the next phase of Chameleon’s plan!

SPIDER-MAN VS. DEADPOOL #25, by Robbie Thompson and artist Chris Bachalo, drops on December 27!

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Spider-Man turns over every rock and looks behind every door in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #24


By November 22, Spider-Man has just about run all out of patience. On that day, SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #24 hits stands and the Merc with the Mouth remains out and about. The Wallcrawler cannot take it anymore so he has decided to hunt down his former sorta-kinda partner.

We brainstormed some ideas for ol’ Webhead in the office and ran them by writer Robbie Thompson to see what he thought of them.

Patrol the whole of Manhattan via webswinging

Why it is a good idea:

“Patrol via webswinging is the perfect way to hunt for Deadpool,” agrees Thompson. “Deadpool is noisy, and likely to be less than conspicuous. So Spider-Man can cover much more ground this way, and check every nook and cranny for the Despicable Deadpool.”

Why it is a bad idea:

“What if Deadpool is in Jersey?” he wonders.

File a missing persons report with the NYPD

Why it is a good idea:

“Missing Persons report is a perfect idea,” the writer acknowledges. “Let the NYPD do their due diligence, while Spider-Man can use the free time catch up on Netflix shows.”

Why it is a bad idea:

“The NYPD have more important things to do, Spider-Man!” shouts Thompson. “Get off the couch and find this maniac!”

Consult one of Manhattan’s numerous psychics

Why it is a good idea:

“It can’t hurt,” shrugs the writer. “Plus, maybe they’ll give Spider-Man some winning lotto numbers. He could use the cash after his company went bust. Maybe just head straight to Dr. Strange’s and get this sorted straight away.”

Why it is a bad idea:

“What if the psychic actually ‘gets in the mind’ of Deadpool?” he says, outlining a worst case scenario. “Might not ever escape that circus.”

Ask Cable. They’re like best friends, right?

Why it is a good idea:

“Cable would definitely be a good resource for finding Deadpool…” nods the writer.

Why it is a bad idea:

“…in many pieces,” he adds.

Read the Daily Bugle’s super hero coverage to see if he’s mentioned

Why it is a good idea:

“The Bugle is the city’s most widely read paper with the best coverage of superheroes…”states Thompson.

Why it is a bad idea:

“…not named Spider-Man,” he continues. “Might be tough on Spider-Man’s ego. But maybe he could take out a ‘Missed Connections’ ad: ‘I was the super-hero, you were the anti-hero. The 7 express train last week. You were doing the Mad Magazine fold-in, I was hunting you down to bring you to justice.’”

Google him. It’s worth a shot.

Why it is a good idea:

“You could find his Facebook or Twitter page,” Thompson points out.

Why it is a bad idea:

“You could find his Facebook or Twitter page,” restates the writer.

Get the Spider-Mobile out of mothballs and take a road trip to try and find him.

Why it is a good idea:

“This is a great idea,” enthuses the writer. “I’m stealing this idea.”

Why it is a bad idea:

“There is no bad to this idea,” Thompson argues. “Hence: stealing it.”

Foster a bloodhound for a weekend, try to get him to pick up Deadpool’s scent

Why it is a good idea:

“Dogs are great trackers and make the best of friends!” the writer explains. “Spider-Man could use some friends right about now.”

Why it is a bad idea:

“Who will walk that poor dog when Spider-Man is not around?” he worries. “Who?! Okay, I’ll do it.”

Canvas the five boroughs with “Have You Seen This Merc” posters

Why it is a good idea:

“Hey, posters work for garage sales, why not finding Deadpool?” admits Thompson.

Why it is a bad idea:

“Wade would constantly call the hotline with false information, sending Spider-Man all over the city/country/world, to the most ridiculous places,” he states.

Reach out to a super hero friend who might be better at this

Why it is a good idea:

“Now this is a great idea which Nick Lowe and Jordan D. White pitched for the first issue we worked on!” reveals the writer. “So you’ll actually see this in SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #23. Spoiler alert: it totally works! Kinda.”

Why it is a bad idea:

“Perfect idea is perfect!” Thompson contends. “It leads to shenanigans and fun and near death experiences! Fun for the whole family!”

SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #24, by Robbie Thompson and artist Chris Bachalo, hits on November 22!

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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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See how Marvel's number one deathtrap builder got his start!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Arcade resurfaced this week in the pages of SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #21 by Elliott Kalan and Todd Nauk looking to test his brand new Murderworld on the title characters! This, of course, fits right in with his history of putting the Wall-Crawler through a series of deathtraps going back to his first appearance in 1978’s MARVEL TEAM-UP #65 and 66.

Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Arcade made his first appearance right after the Dean introduced Peter Parker to his new roommate, Brian Braddock, otherwise known as Captain Britain! 

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #65

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #65

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Back in England, representatives of the Commission inquired about hiring Arcade, a master assassin, to kill Braddock because they think he might be Captain Britain.

Meanwhile, in NYC, thanks to a misunderstanding, Braddock assumed that Spider-Man had done something shady to Peter Parker’s apartment, turned into Captain Britain and gave chase. After the requisite fight and origin swap, the heroes made friends just in time for a tricked-out trash truck to trap them both!

In the following issue, Spidey and Cap found out why Arcade charged so much for his hits. Instead of simply killing his targets, the murderer put them inside incredibly complex death traps. In this case, they awoke inside large clear balls that turned out to be part of an enormous, murderous pinball machine. 

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #66

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #66

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The implements of death proved more outlandish and dangerous from there. The heroes figured out how to work together in order to eventually escape Murder World, and also save Braddock’s girlfriend Courtney Ross, destroying what Arcade built in the process. Surprisingly, undeterred by the fact that his quarry escaped and that the people who hired him died, Arcade jauntily moved on to his next project.

Over the years, Arcade’s plied his wicked wares on everyone from various X-Men and The Thing to Hellcat. Luckily, he always leaves a small chance of escape to keep things fair, so our heroes tend to walk away relatively unscathed.

Flash Forward

One group of heroes who did not walk unharmed starred in the book AVENGERS ARENA. In that 18 issue series by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker, the bow tie-loving villain had 16 young heroes captured and brought to an elaborate island version of Murderworld. The captured young men and women – including X-23, Chase and Nico from RUNAWAYS and AVENGERS ACADEMY alums Hazmat and Mettle – found themselves dealing with a very serious version of Arcade, not averse to killing kids or releasing the footage he recorded of the event to the public in an effort to expose their actions to the world. Some of the survivors decided to go after their enemy once and for all in the follow-up series AVENGERS UNDERCOVER.

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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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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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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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Joe Kelly brings his bromantic run on this buddy book to a close!

Warning: This article contains spoilers for SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL

In the past, putting Spider-Man and Deadpool together has been a kind of a light, funny affair. However, their relationship evolved a lot over the course of writer Joe Kelly and artist Ed McGuinness’ tenure on SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL, turning into a kind of emotionally fraught philosophical allegory—with butt jokes.

Kelly has worked on both characters extensively throughout his career, even writing their first team-up 20 years ago! As he concludes his current run with SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #18—available now—we quizzed him on lessons learned this go around and bringing the story to a suitable close.

Marvel.com: I noticed that, in a previous interview you said that this was a dream project you couldn’t say no to. Has it lived up to that expectation?

Joe Kelly: Yeah, it definitely has. The whole team is really outstanding. Working with Ed is such a pleasure but everyone—[inker] Mark [Morales] and [colorist] Jason [Keith] and all the editors and everybody—it’s been a really, really wonderful experience. It definitely lived up to my hopes and expectations for sure. Deadpool’s the cornerstone of my career and Spider-Man has always been my favorite super hero, so it sort of felt like coming home.

Marvel.com: So, I did a little research and I found out that you and artist Pete Woods actually wrote the first instance of Spider-Man and Deadpool interacting in 1997! You guys were the ones to trail blaze that fan favorite pairing! Having worked with them before, do you have a set paradigm you stick to with Peter and Wade or did you set out to go somewhere new with them in this project?

Joe Kelly: It was definitely a combination. I mean, having done so much work with those characters and especially Deadpool, there are certain things that I feel like you almost have to do and explore. But it was really important to me to make sure I wasn’t just rehashing things that we had done before; I knew the readers wouldn’t want that. Like, it’s not 1997. I never want to go backwards, you know? But there’s so much territory to play around in with all both of those characters. Deadpool is so layered now—he’s a 20-year-old character! What was the most exciting for me, and especially worked out in the pitch, was this idea that Deadpool—despite his current popularity in the Marvel Universe—had still been a killer and Spidey just would not reconcile easily with that. [We wanted] to see how that relationship was gonna play out with the moral high ground for Spider-Man and the sort of fanboy bro crush side of Deadpool, and then to [shift] that [dynamic] over the course of the story. I’m glad I was able to go back to the well, and who [knows] what the future will hold? If enough people ask, I’m pretty weak-willed; I could be suckered into saying yes again.

Marvel.com: This series has gone into some more serious territory for both of the characters which is interesting because generally in the past when the duo have come together it’s been more light-hearted and funny. You guys dive into their relationship in a big way that we haven’t really seen before. How has it been going darker with the characters?

Joe Kelly: I think the expectation was that it was just going to be a light buddy book, and that absolutely works—there’s reasons to do that and it’s fun, and there’s no reason not to do [some of] that sort of stuff—but to get too caught up in that [would ignore the fascinating dynamic]. Deadpool’s disregard for the universe and life, etc., runs really deep whereas Spidey has this sense of [duty] to all of that same stuff and feels a literally cosmic level of responsibility and guilt so integral to his character. I feel like the universe is out to get both of them, in different ways and for different reasons. Some of that stuff they bring on themselves, which is either [because of] their poor choices or their blind spots.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #18 cover by Ed McGuinness

Marvel.com: Aside from the jokes and silliness, both of them do have pretty troubled pasts. It makes sense that they’d come together to help each other through that with their friendship…

Joe Kelly: Right, I wanted to see if that friendship could evolve and what would happen if it did. With Deadpool it’s about “Can he be the person he wants to be? Is that possible in [this] universe? Is he doomed to fail?” Especially having someone like Spider-Man at his side, that makes for a really volatile combination that you know is not going to be pretty over the course of time. It is gonna start out as fun and light, but these guys have too much going on and so to shy away from that stuff would have been a mistake. For me, that was the opportunity I got excited about. Spidey has confronted his dark side before, there’s no question, but [it’s different] to do it with Deadpool who loves him so much and wants to be him. Ultimately, there would be sacrifices made [for both of them.] When we finally get to the end of the Itsy arc, you’re definitely getting a sense of [what each will choose] when they’re really boxed in…[but] it’s always about choice.

Marvel.com: People find common ground between them because of the comedy element and the costuming, but they’re actually pretty different philosophically. I wanted to ask you how they’ve been rubbing off on each other—literally, figuratively, and even narratively?

Joe Kelly: I think that the first arc where Spidey acknowledged that they were friends was when you could see them trading off some stuff. Not the dark stuff, but Spidey being willing to cut loose in the Thor issue and live life in a little more of a goofy way, and then Deadpool really trying to step up his game—even with the Mercs for Money issue where he’s saying “What we’re doing isn’t great but the world’s more complex than that”—having those counterpoints is what you want to see as [they’re] becoming friends. But then a question that is raised is can people change?

Deadpool aspires to be [something new] because he knows that the reasons people love [him as a hero] are false. Deadpool knows that, in his heart, he’s not the greatest guy on the planet. And Spidey really is this pure soul, but he gets pushed and pushed and pushed…will he break?

If Spidey was left alone, would he have killed Itsy Bitsy? Maybe. I mean, it’s possible, if Deadpool wasn’t there. And if Spidey hadn’t gone so far down the road with Itsy Bitsy, then would Deadpool have had to make that sacrifice and take a life, which, in our universe, he hadn’t been doing for a while. So for him to have to cross that line again morally…does that mean [Wade] couldn’t really change, even if he wanted to? The answers for both of them are left sort of ambiguous.

Hopefully whoever comes on after it will run with those themes and that’s the most interesting thing about these guys. Like you said, on the surface there’s a lot of reflections. [Deadpool character creator Rob Liefeld] has openly said many times that he wanted to do “Spider-Man with guns” and that was part of the Deadpool creation. But they’re very distinct [from one another now] and you want to make sure you’re giving them their due.

Pick up SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #18 to catch the end of Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness’ run, available now!

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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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