"Deadpool was always the guy" – Brian Posehn on Deadpool #1
Today marks the release of Deadpool #1, the latest installment of the Marvel NOW!
initiative co-written by stand-up comedian Brian Posehn and television and comic scribe Gerry Duggan. The series will be penciled by Walking Dead co-creator Tony Moore.
For Posehn, a heralded stand-up comedian who was part of "The Comedians of Comedy" as well as a writer for the highly influential "Mr. Show," the book's arrival is the culmination of twelve years of pitches and a lifetime of geeking out. Writing the series alongside Posehn is his longtime friend and collaborator Gerry Duggan. The two had previously worked together on the Image limited series "The Last Christmas," which told the story of Santa Claus confronting a post-apocalyptic world and his growing antipathy towards Christmas. The two have a comfortable yet productive working relationship.
"He writes all the plots," Posehn said, "and I write the fart jokes."
When Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso suggested artist Tony Moore for Deadpool, it was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. In addition to being a perfect fit not only for the theme of the opening arc but the tone of the book as a whole, Moore is a personal friend of both Duggan and Posehn. All three were fans of the character's treatment under writers Gail Simone and Daniel Way, both of whom contributed greatly to the current portrayal and position of the character in the Marvel Universe.
"He's the perfect guy of all the artists I know out there for this," Posehn said. Their editor Jordan White echoed those sentiments, adding "as soon as [Axel] said it, I was like 'oh my God, that has to be the one'."
Posehn grew up primarily as a fan of Spider-Man, a character he gravitated towards because of the constant quips and wise-cracks he would deliver while pummeling his foes. Having the added element of a true loner ostracized by mainstream heroes made Deadpool not only a suitable choice for Posehn and Duggan, but really the only one they considered.
"Deadpool was always the guy for Gerry and I," Posehn said.
Besides being a humor book, the character is also unique in that he sees things differently than other Marvel heroes and is often the only one who picks up on the absurdity of the situations he finds himself in. Posehn admits that in this sense he identifies with Deadpool, having grown up as an ostracized metal nerd who later turned his angst and unique interests into a writing and stand-up comedy career.
"You feel like a rogue as a stand-up," Posehn said, comparing situations in his career to the sort of shenanigans Deadpool is regularly mired in. "You're definitely on your own. There's no back-up, and it could go South at any time."
Although discussions occurred over three years and hotel night caps at the San Diego Comic Con, the journey for Posehn actually began twelve years ago when he was given an opportunity to pitch a Deadpool movie to Avi Arad. But it wasn't until several years later when he was introduced to Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso by mutual friend Rick Remender that the wheels were set in motion for an eventual gig writing a book.
"It wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for a combination of our friends pushing for us and Comic Con," Posehn said, adding (and emphasizing) "and alcohol."
In the first arc, called "Dead Presidents," Deadpool is brought in by S.H.I.E.L.D. to do dispatch of Presidents who have been resurrected and gone rogue. The timing of the first storyline couldn't have been more perfect, coming so close after the Presidential election and Halloween, but all involved still thought the idea was a long shot.
"We were pitching this as the third story," Posehn said. "We thought, we clearly can't do that one in the beginning, we have to win everybody over first."
"We thought there was no way they'd let us do this," added editor Jordan White. "But they did."
As for what to look forward to, Posehn and Duggan hinted at various cameos and possible crossovers. One possibility mentioned was the Thunderbolts, which includes Deadpool in its roster. Posehn, a self-professed heavy metal fan, also hinted heavily at another potential storyline.
"I don't worship Satan, but I'm familiar with him," Posehn said. "He might rear his ugly horned head."
For all parties involved in the creation and release of this new series, it's been a labor of love. While working on the eighth issue of the series during late night sessions on Skype, Posehn and Duggan still find themselves expressing disbelief at the good fortune to be doing something they had dreamt of doing as kids.
"Gerry and I talk to each other all the time, just shaking our heads and saying 'this is so cool.' It's been super, super cool."
Posehn wrapped up the discussion with a sentiment shared by all who have read the issue thus far: "I hope I get to do it a long time."
Deadpool #1 is on sale now. Pick it up at your local comic shop or online at http://www.marvel.com
Be sure to check out our other feature on writer Gerry Duggan
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