The Merc With A Mouth goes solo (again) this November with writers Brian Posehn and Eisner nominee Gerry Duggan (“Infinite Horizon”) at the helm and “The Walking Dead”/”Fear Agent” artist Tony Moore on Pencils.
In a conference call today, Attack of the Show writer Gerry Duggan was joined by Marvel Editor Jordan White in talking about taking ’Pool up against POTUS as the lunatic assassin confronts history’s presidents with Tony Moore speaking to Deadpool’s new look.
Talking about the origins of the first arc, “Dead Presidents,” Duggan says that he and Posehn knew the book would launch sometime between Halloween and the election, so they thought this would be a good way to have fun with election season without being overtly political. In it, Deadpool is tasked with killing the resurrected versions of the presidents of the United States brought back to life by an evil necromancer.
In going up against the zombified versions of the presidents, Duggan says they wanted to exaggerate some of the historical stereotypes about them, allowing Lincoln to be a brawny pugilist and Kennedy the power of super womanizing. When asked about George Washington’s teeth being wooden or real pearly whites, Duggan wouldn’t comment, saying that was a plot point. He also wouldn’t comment on whether we would see any of the living presidents in the book.
When the first issue rolls around, Duggan says that he hopes new readers will find an entry point that’s not challenging, while still staying true to the character’s portrayal over the years. “There’s always a challenge with a new #1,” he says. A new first issue doesn’t require a reboot, and for Duggan, he and Posen are not reinventing the wheel.
Coming onto the book, Tony Moore took the opportunity to revamp Deadpool’s costume, saying that he wanted to given it a look that wold be practical and work in the real world. He tried to “ninja him up” a little bit, adding more black and diminishing the red, adding more practical gear while still keeping the leg pouches from the Liefeld days. “I’m trying to make it more plausible while staying ridiculous.” He joked that he’s trying to simplify from the beginning, with over-designed characters in earlier works like “Franken-Castle” becoming a challenge to draw after a while.
When asked which of the presidents was his favorite to draw (and draw getting decapitated), Moore immediately went to Teddy Roosevelt. Duggan jumped in to add that Teddy definitely deserved more page time.
Talking about what makes the book work, Duggan says that in comedy, a lot of the humor is intangible, and the hope is that you make your writing partner laugh. He credited Moore with being able to translate the jokes on the page and get the timing right. When the pages come back to the writers, they would look at it and tighten the jokes based on Moore’s work, citing a silly forgotten birthday joke in the first issue. Moore says that he tries to take the jokes to the limit, sometimes getting a previously-approved joke nixed after going too big or gross with it.
I asked about writing for Deadpool breaking the fourth wall and White said that Posehn and Duggan used it pretty sparingly, the writer adding that it helps with his alienation in the story. So when they use it, it’s a chance to inform some moments in the story, allowing characters around ’Pool to further doubt his sanity or the wisdom of working alongside him.
Those secondary character reactions are one of the cornerstones of their approach to Deadpool. Duggan says that they’re looking forward to getting mileage out of some of the more respectable heroes in the Marvel U having the opportunity/curse of facing a challenge alongside the garrolous anti-hero.
Let’s close with this sentiment from Duggan: “For $2.99, whether you’re a Deadpool fan or not, we want to make you one.”
You can check out these previews for “Deadpool” #1 & 2, featuring covers by Geoff Darrow and Gurihiru. The first issue will be on sale on November 7th.