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Exclusive: Gerry Duggan and Jordan D. White on the Death of Deadpool in Marvel’s DEADPOOL #250 (A.K.A. #45)

Exclusive: Gerry Duggan and Jordan D. White on the Death of Deadpool in Marvel’s DEADPOOL #250 (A.K.A. #45)

By all accounts, 2014 seemed liked Deadpool’s best year ever. Not only did the Merc With a Mouth get married, but Wade Wilson’s long-awaited solo movie finally got the greenlight, he found inner peace, and he inspired more creative convention cosplay than Naruto and Attack on Titan combined. However, as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. And today, we can reveal that this April marks the end of Deadpool at Marvel Comics. Yes, you read that right. Not only is the ongoing series coming to an end with Deadpool #250 (a.k.a. #45), but they are killing Deadpool once and for all.

The news may come as a shocker given the character’s incredible popularity, but given the nature of Deadpool’s existence and the exceedingly dangerous situations he is thrust into on the regular, it was only a matter of time until Wade Wilson’s luck ran out. The Death of Deadpool is the centerpiece of Deadpool #250 (a.k.a. #45), which promises to be a beast of an issue, clocking in at 96 pages and boasting a murderer’s row of creative talent like Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas, Scott Koblish, Mike Hawthorne, and many more. In addition to the main story, we’ll also see what happens when Deadpool gets his hands on a fully-powered Infinity Gauntlet, as well as many other stories to give our favorite chimichanga aficionado a proper send-off. The clock may be ticking on Deadpool, but it looks like it’s counting down to something truly magnificent.

To take you deeper inside the beginning of the end of Deadpool, I caught up with writer Gerry Duggan and editor Jordan D. White to pick their brains about what we can expect, why now is the right time to kill the Merc With a Mouth, and much more. But first, take an exclusive sneak peek at the cover for Deadpool #250 (a.k.a. #45) and the solicit text.

Note: This is technically the 250th issue of Deadpool, hence the titling conceit. You’ll learn more about how they figured out the math of it all in the interview below.

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Here’s the official solicit:

DEADPOOL #250 (A.K.A. issue #45)
Written by GERRY DUGGAN, BRIAN POSEHN, BEN ACKER, BEN BLACKER, NICK GIOVANETTI, PAUL SCHEER, JASON MANTZOUKAS, MIKE DRUCKER, & MORE
Penciled by MIKE HAWTHORNE, SCOTT KOBLISH, & MORE
Cover by SCOTT KOBLISH

FINAL ISSUE!
That’s right—if you add together all the Deadpool series (creatively) issue 45 is the big 250th issue of Deadpool! What better way to celebrate than to end the series? In our over-sized main story, ULTIMATUM comes at Deadpool for revenge, so he has no choice but to take them on—ALL OF THEM. Then, in an Infinity Gauntlet crossover, what would Deadpool do if he got the six gems from Thanos? Plus: a slew of stories showcasing Deadpool’s closest friends and allies by special guest writers! Also, SPOILER: Deadpool dies at the end of the issue.

Nerdist: Let’s talk about this solicit, because I have to say it was pretty shocking – definitely not what I was expecting. I think the last time I spoke with you guys about Deadpool, he was getting married. Things seemed so hopeful! So why does Deadpool have to die? Does Marvel have sort of a deep-seated hatred of characters with healing factors? They’re killing them off left and right.

Gerry Duggan: No, we love our characters with healing factors! It’s just Wolverine’s dead, Deadpool’s going to die, and Steve Rogers is an old man. There’s no more healing factor. [laughing] So there’s absolutely nothing to your question.

No, you know what? I will say this: in all honesty, the story that you’re going to get in Deadpool #250, is a story that we really have been building to since the first issue of Deadpool NOW. And it will absolutely feel – it will feel, I hope, readers will think that this is an appropriate end for this Deadpool.

We’ve tied in with some events – the last couple, we did Axis and we did Original Sin, and I think both of those were very good opportunities for Deadpool. It’s not like we’re sort of doing this just to do it. We’re doing it because it makes sense.

Jordan D. White: And anybody who’s been reading Deadpool while Gerry’s been writing it knows that we’ve been having a really good time doing terrible things to Wade.

GD: Yeah.

JDW: There’s only so many terrible things you can do before you gotta just kill him, right?

N: Yeah, eventually.

GD: I will say, though, that the manner in which he dies – even us telling you that he’s dying, it’s not really a spoiler, because when you see how he dies, I think your head will explode. [laughter]

JDW: We have a lot of evil laughter when we talk about this issue.

GD: Yeah, I know, we do. It’s true.

JDW: We can’t explain – when you read it, you’ll understand. But we cackle a lot about it.

N: It’s good to at least enjoy that schadenfreude. I take it you guys don’t feel guilty about killing him now that he has a wife and has been reunited with his daughter and he found inner peace?

GD: [laughter] Well, I mean, the interesting thing, I guess, like the – I’m not sure how to say this. Look, I always feel slightly guilty hurting Deadpool, but Jordan has sort of mentioned a cornerstone of what we have attempted to do is surround it with people that cause him to be pained, like his new wife, hopefully. You’ve got relationships that – they become weak points on Deadpool, and do we feel bad? Eh, a little bit, but then the laughter starts, and we realized what a horrible thing that we’ve done, and the joy of hurting Wade sort of takes over. I feel no regret about what we are about to commence on.

N: I feel like Deadpool is better equipped to bounce back after suffering a tragedy like that, or suffering some sort of terrible event – more so than other characters.

JDW: In a way, I think that’s his most heroic and admirable quality, he never stops trying. I don’t mean that he fails at everything he attempts, because that’s not true, but he definitely sets goals for himself, like being a hero, and being a good guy, and being accepted, and being loved. He doesn’t often attain those things, but he finds a way to keep going and rise above it, in a way, which is the thing I think that makes him admirable. Almost nothing he does is admirable, but that’s the one thing. [laughing]

GD: He so rarely lets that mask slip. He is like so many of the sort of tortured comedians that have left this mortal coil, there is the comedy mask hiding his real feelings underneath. We’ve sort of begun to let that slip a little bit. In the most recent issue that’s on the stands, in fact, we made a very sort of literal visualization, I think, of that on our last page. There is a sense that there is an impending doom sort of in his life. It would be like the doom of his choosing. Not a doom of his choosing, but a doom of his own making. Whether or not that plays out – I’m not sure we could say right now.

I will say the death of Wolverine was a very sort of serious. I think as with all things Deadpool, even when something horrible is happening, I do think it will be enjoyed by the reader. Even the most horrible things that we’ve done to him, you know, are still fun. I hope. I think. This is definitely a blunt, over-sized celebration of that.

DeadpoolWeddingFinal

N: Let’s talk a little bit about the rest. This is a huge issue. I was very impressed by a lot of the additional writing talent you listed there: Jason Mantzoukas, Nick Giovanetti, Paul Scheer and Mike Drucker. How did you guys go about soliciting who you wanted to join you on this issue?

GD: Jordan has very good taste, so he actually has been working at a lot of these guys before, where he’s with guys that were sort of on his – in a “to-do” list. So Jordan pitched us the names, we were like “Great! If they’re available, grab them.” In fact, one of the names we can say, right?

JDW: Yeah.

GD: Yeah, Scott Aukerman is also making his Marvel debut in this issue, as well.

N: Whoa! That’s awesome.

JDW: We hadn’t lined him up when the solicit was written, but yeah – it’s all confirmed now. He’s going to do a short – it’s going to be great.

N: Fantastic. That’s great.

GD: Yeah, it’ll be fun. It does feel like a companion piece, in a spiritual sense, to the wedding issue. Not just for the size and scope, but I think maybe as a bookend of his life.

JDW: [laughing] The two big events in your life — you get married, then you’re dead.

N: Yeah – till death do you part.

GD: If he’s just not getting as much time as he thought he was, but who of us does?

JDW: Basically, there’s three big sections to the book. There’s the big finale to the run, which is the story in which you get the end where he dies. We’re doing a flashback story, which is a full-length…

GD: Can we sort of spell out what that is at this moment, or would you rather hold off?

JDW: I don’t know. Do you want to say it? I guess we should.

GD: “It’s an Infinity Gauntlet tie-in issue.” But for now, Dan, this story is pretty simple. It’s Deadpool, as Jordan said, getting his hands, not just on an Infinity Stone, but the entire Infinity Gauntlet.

And what happens to the Marvel universe when that happens. It’s pretty simple. Deadpool summons the entire Marvel universe for a celebratory roast. Deadpool, in the past, had a secret adventure with not just the Infinity Gauntlet, but with many of the luminaries of the Marvel universe. So we’re really excited about that as well.

JDW: And then – so that’s the second part of the book. But then the third part, as you said, we’ve got a whole bunch of really great and funny writers who are all doing stories focusing on this terrific supporting cast that Gerry and Brian have had built up over the course of the run. So they get to have some nice spotlight stories, and all the ones I’ve read so far are super funny! They’re going to be a real blast.

GD: Yeah, I’ve been really thrilled that the stories that have come in have really made us want to raise our game. They are stories that will be worth the cover price alone. You’re getting a hell of a lot of entertainment under one roof. It should be really neat.

N: Just the prospect of seeing Deadpool roasting the entire Marvel universe – that is worth the price of admission right there!

GD: Yeah, it should be real fun. There may be some other special guest stars, but I know we can’t talk about that. It’ll be a fun issue, and that’s the most important thing. Even though we’re doing these many, terrible things, I hope it still is fun, and I believe it is. It’s been a hell of a run. We’ve been very fortunate to come on board to a book that was already at cruising altitude, thanks to our predecessors, and Jordan’s work on that book.

You know we enjoyed a lot of success that some of our early predecessors didn’t have with the character because they weren’t sure how long they had, and in health and success, the fans have really spoiled us and allowed us to get to 45 issues, which, you know, in today’s comic market place is an achievement. So I tip my hat to everyone that’s kept us healthy and supported us through our many crazy [chuckling], experimental, weird things we have done to Deadpool. It’s been a hell of a fun ride, and we got to work with some of the best artists in the world. They’ve really all spoiled us.

This is another big celebration that really recreates – I feel like we’re very lucky to have gotten this opportunity to do a lot of the fun stuff.

JDW: Oh, speaking of the history of Deadpool, I should mention, if it’s all right, I can tell you how we reached 250. People can check my math if they want to – I can back it up. So the idea was, I added together all the books that were in the main Deadpool book at the time, or the ones that carried the torch, because there was no main Deadpool book.

So I started with Deadpool Circle Case, 4 issues. Then there was another Deadpool mini-series after that, 4 issues. Then there was the original ’97 Deadpool, which was 69 issues. Then there was Agent X for 15 issues, then we had Cable and Deadpool for 50 issues. Dan Way’s Deadpool series for 63 issues, and then now our new book for 45 issues, and add them all together, and that should come out to 250.

GD: That ought to shut down a lot of internet message boards. [laughter] That just stops a firefight of extraordinary proportions. Save your tweets, everyone.

deadpool-abe

N: All those wasted hashtags. That is really awesome. Getting to 45 issues with a single-character, standalone book is an accomplishment in any medium. especially with Deadpool. It’s been very cool to see him sort of have this meteoric rise to pop culture super-stardom. When were at WonderCon, and we had an episode of Nerdist News where we had like 10 different Deadpool cosplayers on there, and each one had a wonderfully weird spin on it. 

JDW: That’s great.

GD: Yeah, it’s really neat. We’ve seen that love too. A lot of the folks are new fans, which boggles my mind. If we were somebody’s first digital comic, or even some of them, first comic, and I’m deeply grateful for that.

N: One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about your run of the book, in particular, is that it felt like a team-up book since the very beginning. Those were always some of my very favorites, seeing how these different disparate personalities would play off of each other. Hawkeye and Deadpool, another book I’ve been enjoying, is coming to an end this week. Are there any pairings with Deadpool that you guys wanted to pursue but hadn’t been able to, for whatever reason?

GD: Hmm. You know, it’s funny you mention that. You actually meet Agent Preston before you meet Deadpool in that first issue, and I think that was a conscious sort of decision. She was a heroic figure when he wasn’t, sometimes.

About the team-ups specifically, we always wanted to bounce him off of someone. We see him as the lone wolf for a long time, and he’s great like that, and I think maybe some of that is going to come back around now. I’m excited to see what people think of this next and unfortunately, or fortunately, last great arc that Salva Espin is coming in to do, that has a real sort of dark tone, I think. And that’s saying something, considering all the stuff that we’ve done to this poor bastard.

But, you know, about the actual Marvel team-up stuff, it’s actually quite the opposite. Not only did we get to do Power Man and Iron Fist, but we actually got to do Power Man and Iron Fist with the tiara and chains and everything. We bent every rule that existed in order to get what we wanted. It was never a fight about any of it, truly.

When we pitched something that was approved, it was approved because it was either going to be good or funny or hopefully both good and funny. Marvel wanted us to do these things and have fun, and the inventory issues were a real opportunity to do that. We weren’t just thinking that this was history that rose up. We were digging down into the foundation of the Marvel universe, going the other way at the same time. It was neat. I’d love to see more of it, if stuff were possible.

JDW: Again, I think looking back, I am always more surprised and impressed by the things we get away with than the things than the things that get denied. [laughter]

GD: There have been instances where we sort of went for a joke and we knew that we weren’t going to get that in, but we went for it anyway. But the other side, we really have been very lucky to have gotten away with that stuff. It just felt fun, and I’m glad that that seems to be the consensus that most people have enjoyed sort of, even while things have been tough, it was fun.

JDW: Wait until people see issue 40. We get away with some crazy stuff there! [laughing]

GD: That one is just around the corner, and I agree with you. I think that that actually might be our most knives-out issue, maybe in all 40 issues. We just go for it. Like check all the boxes for insurance. We drive it like it’s a rental and we are not responsible for it. But in a weird way, it’s actually the thing that I think might have the most lasting social effects, too.

JDW: [laughs]

GD: But who knows? I may be very wrong, but it is another sort-of-flashback issue. We can talk about it, because it’s been solicited. Anyway, it’s actually one of the old promotional comics of yesteryear that were paid for by a corporation. There used to be Spider-Man and Crest Toothpaste team up to fight cavities with the Green Goblin. Well, in this one Roxxon Corporation is very interested in promoting their new shale gamma-cracking, and they hired Deadpool to sort of spread the good word! Spread the gospel of gracking. It does not quite go as planned, and it really goes off the rails in I think a spectacular, fun way.

JDW: People will be quite surprised.

GD: People will be quite surprised, I hope. [laughing] It’s some of our best joke writing. There’s a lot of pot-shots in there, and then Scott is – Scott’s a guy that doesn’t get quite enough credit for the things he does. Scott Koblish, he’s a very funny guy in his own right, going out and writing jokes, and I think he’s been doing some stand-up now. He brings a lot to those inventory issues.

Wait till you see the colors of it. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Val Staples really did some spectacular work.

JDW: And there’s a celebrity guest…

GD: And a big celebrity guest.

N: It’s got everything!

GD: An experimental process that I’ve never seen in a comic book. We did that with Hawthorne during the breakout from the Danger Room, and again we have something I’ve never seen in a comic book before. I’m really, really excited to see what the reaction to Deadpool 40 is.

spidermanaimtoothpaste0514

N: I really appreciate the throwback to those old branded comics, because I remember always being baffled by why Spider-Man was teaming up with Captain Crunch to fight the Sogs, or why every hero solved crimes with Hostess Fruit Pies.

GD: Brian and I actually have a collection of those comics. Like, I have the X-Men and Western Leather Boots at the Texas State Fair. One of the craziest ones is Superman and the Quik Bunny. Look, I hope I’m not spoiling this, and Marvel tends to quash it if I go too far, but bring your pencils and pens and other writing instruments, because we have a great activity page.

N: Oh, I hope there’s a word jumble!

GD: I don’t think it’s been in a comic book since at least the mid-80’s.

N: Yes, it’s definitely been a minute – since they switched to glossier paper. 

GD: It’s crazy that we’re going to do the last issue of Deadpool, and then no more Deadpool. I’m very happy that I get to be around when the bomb drops.

JDW: [laughing]

N: Are you guys ready to say goodbye to it?

GD: It would be great – I went to a couple of signings that we had people straight-up get married. I went to a college in Maryland, and two gentlemen got married to each other that day, dressed up as Deadpool, and it was fantastic. It would be great if there was a signing that was an Irish wake.

JDW: [laughing]

GD: If anybody is interested in putting Deadpool in a casket in a bar, I will come to that bar.

JDW: [laughing]

GD: It would just be a pile of meat that Deadpool left.

JDW: Oh, wonderful. I think you went too far and you ruined it.

GD: That’s the Chicago way. Go too far and ruin it.

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Deadpool #250 (a.k.a #45) is available this April from Marvel Comics.

What’s your favorite Deadpool moment? Let us know in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. Reason says:

    so they gain a huge pop-culture hit, and as it peaks.. .they kill the franchise? please explain.

  2. voiceofreason says:

    way to be complete dicks to your fans guys.

  3. Mclark says:

    Oh well he might be resurrected eventually all comic book characters come back right? right? *sob*

  4. Mclark says:

    why why kill deadpool

  5. Bacon says:

    If he does..”die” then he can finally meet his one love…Death.

  6. kid-Z says:

    Yeah I like Deadpool *cry sound,cry sound* now that that’s over with, I just like to state that they’ll probably bring that degenerate back because that’s how marvel is. I’d bet temporary.

  7. Deadpool and everything he has done is my favourite Plz plz plz don’t kill him off or marvel is dead to me forever.