Welcome, X-Fans! Don’t let this week’s feature image fool you — Deadpool wants you to think he’s taken over, but this is still very much another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT!
But in comics, that’s right, Deadpool’s back! Well, OK, Marvel’s Merc with a Mouth’s been around for awhile now (especially in Wolverine and X-Force), so let me rephrase…
Deadpool’s ongoing series is back! This November, Wade Wilson stars in Deadpool #1, from the creative team of writer Alyssa Wong and artist Martin Coccolo. What do Alyssa and Martin have in store for readers? Well, lucky for you, Alyssa was down to stop by X-Men Monday and answer a few X-Fan questions about the series to come! Let’s get started.
AIPT: Welcome to X-Men Monday, Alyssa! After much teasing by the X-Office — and much speculation among X-Fans — we finally know you’re writing an all-new Deadpool series. Let’s go back to the beginning — how did this opportunity come about?
Alyssa: I happened to meet Gerry Duggan on Free Comic Book Day. He was so nice and asked me if I’d ever be interested in writing something for the X-Office. Later, Jordan D. White reached out for a chat. (I pitched him a truly terrible non-Deadpool idea. He was quite gracious about it.) While we were talking comics, Deadpool came up!
I love writing mouthy wild-card characters with dubious morality, deep emotional scars, and a long string of antagonistic relationships (see: Doctor Aphra), and I had such a great time playing with the comic format while writing my short Young Avengers story for Marvel’s Voices: Pride 2022. Deadpool seemed like a great fit!
AIPT: Very nice! Now, X-Fan Roland said Deadpool’s motivations have ranged from the truly selfish to the truly selfless. Where might we expect your iteration of Deadpool to fall along this spectrum?
Alyssa: I mean, I love writing selfish characters. Deeply principled, altruistic heroes are actually the most challenging for me! But the exciting thing about writing selfish characters is that no matter what they choose to do, their actions will surprise you. If they decide to be selfless in the moment? Surprise! If they decide to be selfish, the way they choose to prioritize themselves can also be interesting and unexpected.
I think my Deadpool definitely leans harder on the selfish side. But we’ll see what happens as the series continues! There’s only one way to find out — and Deadpool’s not the only truly selfish character in town…
AIPT: X-Fan Adam! is someone who normally doesn’t enjoy comics like Deadpool. BUT, Adam! loves everything you’ve ever written. So how would you pitch your new Deadpool series to Adam! and similar readers?
Alyssa: First off, thank you, Adam! That’s really sweet. It always makes me happy to hear that people enjoy my work.
I would say… when I write, my focus is always on emotional interiority. I want to know what a character feels, and I want the audience to feel it just as intensely. I want them to fall in love! I want them to hurt! I want them to dig past the layers of defenses they’ve built up over the years, and I want to crack open those hearts and lay them bare.
One of my favorite ways to do that is to build a really fun, action-packed, funny romp, and then bring the hammer down hard when they’re least expecting it. That’s a vibe I’m bringing to this Deadpool run as well.
Two of my big influences for this story are shoujo manga and body horror, so expect romance! Weird gross stuff! Hot villains! And a brand-new mutant who Deadpool is smitten with. It’s gonna be wild.
AIPT: Speaking of body horror, let’s talk visuals. How has it been collaborating with artist Martin Coccolo and what can readers expect from Martin’s Deadpool art?
Alyssa: Martin Coccolo is a genius. Every time he turns in a page, I’m absolutely blown away. This book is gorgeous. Martin’s work is so dynamic, so lush, so beautiful. And his range! He captures both tenderness and extreme gnarliness and makes them look effortless. Also, he’s got a great sense of humor and gets all my stupid jokes. I love working with him.
There are certain pages that I just can’t wait for you to see — especially the splash pages. This book is a treat for the eyes.
AIPT: And then you mentioned romance. THREE X-Fans — DeadAce007, Queen Shiklah’s subject #789, and Travis Buckman — all wanted to know what your thoughts are on Shiklah and Deadpool’s marriage to her. Also, this may or may not be spoilery, but they were wondering if there’s any chance Shiklah could appear in your series.
Alyssa: Shiklah is very cool — I love a powerful, scary woman character. And you already know I love romance! It’s always sad when things don’t work out… but I’m curious what their relationship is like now.
Shiklah doesn’t appear in the first story arc… but after that? We’ll have to see!
AIPT: Obviously, you’re already working in the X-Office. But X-Fan Nate X was wondering if your Deadpool series will be focused on the larger Marvel Universe or the X-side of things this time around.
Alyssa: This series is definitely focused more on the larger Marvel Universe. I’m pulling in some non-X-characters, like Doc Ock and [redacted], as well as some characters who toe that line. However, Deadpool is technically part of X-Force now, and he’s got his eye on a very cute mutant, so I wouldn’t rule the X-side of things out completely…
AIPT: X-Fan Nate asked if your Deadpool series will pull characters/storylines/
Alyssa: That’s a great question. I want this run to be welcoming to new readers as well as exciting for dedicated fans, so it’s a delicate balance to strike. In that sense, I’m approaching it as more of a clean slate — we’re jumping into the story at a very intense moment for Wade, and that’s pretty much all we need to know going in.
AIPT: Speaking of past Deadpool stories — X-Fan KrakoanNat’l-ist wanted to know what your favorite Deadpool story arc or run is.
Alyssa: Oh man! I mean, I’m a huge fan of Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn’s Deadpool. Like, all of it. It’s weird, and charming, and fun — and that’s the magic combination for me.
AIPT: X-Fan Jon Mercano was wondering what the immaturity level of your Deadpool series is going to be on a scale of 1 to 10.
Alyssa: If 1 is squeaky clean and 10 is middle school poop jokes, I think I’d rate this series a level 4 or 5? (I’m actually curious what Jordan would rate it!)
AIPT: [Side note, X-Fans — I checked with Jordan and he said that sounds about right! Back to Alyssa!]
Alyssa: There are a lot of very stupid jokes and bizarre body stuff, and Deadpool just wants to smooch. So badly. But I never want to get too mean about it.
Being mean is easy. And there are lots of other ways to be an annoying, entertaining ding dong without it.
AIPT: Finally, we’re all about serious comics journalism here at X-Men Monday. So… X-Fan Cris James asked what type of content Deadpool would make if he was a TikToker.
Alyssa: I feel like Deadpool’s TikTok channel is a mess. Lots of stupid dances with situationally inappropriate text (like the ones of couples dancing while the words “We’re getting divorced! :)” appear above them), roasts of various X-Men (also accompanied by stupid dances), prank videos that end badly…
But his most popular TikToks are ones where Deadpool shows you how to make disgusting retro Jello salads. He walks you through the steps, and then he eats and rates them. There’s something morbidly fascinating about watching a man shovel a Jello salad studded with corn, cottage cheese, and strawberry pieces into his mouth, using only his bare hands. He’s built a small cult following, and who can blame them?
The big question is: when’s the Jello salad merch drop?
AIPT: I feel like that’s a question for Jordan, but it’ll have to wait for a future edition of X-Men Monday. But for now, Alyssa, thanks so much for taking the time to tease your upcoming Deadpool run! Remember, X-Fans, Deadpool #1 goes on sale November 2, 2022.
Want an eXclusive, early look? Here are a few preview images, courtesy of Jordan.
In the neXt edition of X-Men Monday, writer Danny Lore stops by to discuss New Mutants #29 and more!
Until neXt time, X-Fans, stay eXceptional!
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