A few months back, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick elaborated on her vision for the Captain Marvel comic. Now the Captain’s back in The Avengers and probably going to be your daughter’s hero a couple of summer blockbuster movies from now, so you’re welcome.
But wherever there’s something great in Marvel Comics, there’s Deadpool, Marvel’s wisecracking lunatic ninja, to pervert it. If you don’t know Deadpool from his various multimedia appearances (including starring in an upcoming video game), he’s a mercenary saved from cancer by an experiment that allows him to heal from any wound…but left him horribly disfigured. And he’s completely, irreverently insane. If Daffy Duck were handy with a Mac-10, that would be Deadpool.
Here then, is a behind-the-scenes look at the new Deadpool comic (out today!) from series artist Tony Moore and writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn. Take it away, fellows!
Here are my influences for Deadpool, mostly visual, some just for the headspace I get into to work on it.
Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead Films
This one’s a pretty big influence on me in general, but I think it all really comes pouring out on this book. The Dead Presidents are all twisted maniacal zombies, in the vein of Henrietta from Evil Dead 2. Grotesque and gory, yet a real imposing threat, and still somehow with a dash of humor. It’s a delicate balance to strike, which is generally my goal. Deadpool himself shares a lot of commonality with Ash as well. Smart-mouthed, and as lucky as he is determined. Plus, Raimi’s got a really great comic book sensibility in the visuals. Crazy angles, dramatic lighting, it’s all there.
Again, the balance of humor and horror. I also love the ways the magical and ethereal effects are portrayed, adding a second layer of otherworldy danger to the already nasty Dead Presidents.
The king of horror and humor comics. The grandaddy of gore. My biggest influence for sure. His humor work in MAD Magazine ignited me as a kid, and his horror stuff in books like Tales From the Crypt sealed the deal. In all things, i ask myself, What would Jack Davis do? and try to use that as my guiding light.
’80s and ’90s Action Movies
Rambo, Robocop, Missing in Action, Total Recall, Terminator. Everything John Woo did. These guys knew how to put a lot of lead into a lot of dudes, and with style! Definitely Deadpool’s modus operandi!
’80s and ’90s Comics
That’s where Deadpool was born, and that’s when i started collecting. The overtly grim, the decadently violent. I was nuts for The Punisher. Stuff like Lobo, Marshall Law, Judge Dredd, Hard-Boiled (which is why having Geof Darrow on covers is so exciting!). Those are pretty strong influences on me, and i try to channel that manic chaos into this stuff whenever i can. So many shell casings!
’80s and ’90s Horror Flicks
When it comes to creatively cleaving dudes into pieces, nobody tops Jason Voorhees and Leatherface. And a wisecracking murderer with a screwed up face? I leaned into Freddy Krueger.
Hong Kong cinema, especially martial arts films: From Bruce Lee to Jet Li. Everything Yuen Woo Ping touches. Guys like Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan apply best to Deadpool. People like to see a hero take almost as much damage as he doles out, and with Deadpool’s healing factor, that’s a helluva lot, both ways. Those guys knocked the ever-lovin’ bejesus out of each other, and put together some of the greatest action sequences ever seen.
Grew up reading & loving them. Still love them. This is a dream job. Love writing Deadpool. We squeezed in Dr. Strange relatively early too.
Couldn’t really believe it was on TV. Funny, smart — it’s informed a lot of my writing. It was a mash-up of every flavor of laughter — smart, dumb, songs, you name it. If anyone out there has not experienced it, get on it! I remember the first time I made Bob and those guys laugh — we were on the set of a pilot that didn’t go anywhere. I cracked a joke, it got a laugh. Brian brought me down to earth quickly — he said “Now go write 10 more!” which was another laugh, but it was the truth. Always Be Closing and all that…but that was the day I thought to myself, “I might be able to make a living at this.”
Those guys are my inspiration to always try and beat the joke that you had, even up until the very last minute. Whether I’m punching-up Deadpool with Brian, writing Attack Of The Show, or finishing up a spec screenplay — that last polish pass on the script is key.
Shane Black Films & scripts
Read just about every script he’s written that I have gotten my hands on. His action work speaks for itself, but he’s a funny bastard too. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my favorite films in the last 10 years. Harry Lockhart speaks directly to the audience at times. That will come in handy for us every now and again.
Black’s the master of throwing very different characters together in pursuit of a common goal that always produces a fun ride. Whether it’s Kiss Kiss, Long Kiss Goodnight or Lethal Weapon. Expectations are sky high for Iron Man 3.
Ghostbusters, Big Trouble In Little China — big threats, fun characters that produce chances for comedy.
Classic Action & Martial Arts Films
Classic Jackie Chan, Jet Li. Deadpool is a man of action — between Brian and I, we’ve probably seen them all.
The Friends Of Eddie Coyle, and even…Point Blank. I know this one is going to sound insane, and it’s not evident right away, but there’s something about the world of small time, outsider criminals that might creep in. Desperate men betraying one another. That’s a fun place to play.
Things might get weird. I mean weirder than a guy in a bright red suit taking money to kill people and clean up horrid messes. Some pretty wild things happen at the end of this arc and into the beginning of the next. Readers won’t see some of that stuff until the spring of 2013.
Just like when Gerry and I wrote The Last Christmas, our arc on Deadpool is us putting all our favorite stuff and influences in a blender. I’m sure there is quite a bit of crossover between Gerry’s list and mine. We like the same $#!+. It’s part of why we’re friends.
To me Wade Wilson is the ultimate smart-ass anti-hero. Some of the guys in movies I love and am channeling are:
Do I really have to explain what’s cool about him and why every kid who watched the $#!+ out of the copy of Escape From New York wanted to be him? My friend named his son Plissken and I totally get it.
Roddy Piper in They Live
One of the coolest characters in the history of cool characters. Holy $#!+! That crazy extended fight is one of my all time favorite things. If Marvel lets us have Deadpool fight a guy for an entire issue, I’ll be a happy nerd.
Bruce Willis in half of his movies
If you’re a guy, you know the half I’m talking about. The ones where it’s difficult to kill him, where he dies hard. That one where he’s the last boyscout. He’s so cool in that he rubbed off on Damon Wayans. Even now as an eighty year-old, Willis kicks ass. Red ruled.
Clint Eastwood in The Gauntlet
It opens with him falling out of a car with booze bottles so you know he’s a bad cop. He steals a bus to get a hooker to court, beating up rapist bikers along the way. He’s a beautiful man.
Marion Cobretti in Cobra
To some Cobra is a guilty pleasure. They’re wrong. It’s as classic as Gone With the Wind, which I’ve never seen.
Jack Burton in Big Trouble In Little China
That’s it. If you haven’t seen it, we can’t be friends.
Ash in Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness
A whole lot of attitude and a bunch of ass-kickery with a huge dose of “don’t give a #^(%”.
What else is floating through my head as I write Deadpool? Here’s a quick list: Anthrax, bay area thrash, Pantera, Amon Amarth, every low charisma and even lower intelligence-having ass-kicker I’ve played in Dungeons and Dragons, Return Of The Living Dead, Call of Duty, George Romero, Ghostbusters, John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, John Woo, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Statham in Cranked, The Rock (the guy and the movie), Tony Jaa, Raid: The Redemption, Bob and Doug McKenzie and Shane mother#^(%ing Black.
Deadpool #1 comes out today! Find your copy by punching your zip code in The Comic Shop Locator. And don’t forget to read “Not Just Another Bulletproof Face” and our guide to Ten Indie Comics You Have to Read!
Gerry Duggan is co-writer of Deadpool. He was Eisner-nominated for his re-imagination of The Odyssey, The Infinite Horizon and was also a longtime writer for G4’s Attack of the Show! Find him on Twitter @GerryDuggan.
Brian Posehn is co-writer of Deadpool. He is one of the original “Comedians of Comedy” and has written and performed on numerous awesome TV shows and movies, including The Sarah Silverman Program, Mr. Show, and Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects. His first graphic novel was The Last Christmas (also with Gerry Duggan). Find him on Twitter @theBrianPosehn.