What happens when you unite two of Marvel’s most unhinged killers? Come October, comic book author Cullen Bunn will combine Deadpool and the Venom Symbiote for a brand-new comic: Deadpool: Back in Black.
Bunn, luckily, is no stranger to Marvel’s Deadpool. As the author of insane Deadpool-branded stories like Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe and Deadpool Killustrated, Bunn has been supplying the Marvel universe with a healthy dose of the Merc with a Mouth for quite some time. Building off a premise Bunn introduced in his Deadpool Secret Wars tie-in issue, Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars, Back in Black will explore the brief encounter Deadpool shared with the alien Venom.
Can you explain how Deadpool and the Venom Symbiote meet?
Well, I did a series last year called Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars, and in that series we discover that Deadpool actually made contact with the Venom Symbiote a few minutes before Spider-Man did during the original Secret War comic event back in the mid-1980s.
So in Deadpool: Back in Black, it picks up a little while after that, Spider-Man’s had the Symbiote, and it picks up pretty much right after the events of Web of Spider-Man #1, which in that book, Spider-Man manages to finally rid himself of the Symbiote and he thinks the Symbiote is dead.
Readers know the Symbiote didn’t die back then because it later went on to bond with Eddie Brock, but in between the time that Peter Parker abandoned the Symbiote and Eddie Brock found the Symbiote, some events unfolded that caused this alien entity to seek Wade Wilson out again, because of their previous connection. That few minutes of connection caused the Symbiote to seek Wade Wilson out in its time of need and that’s where we pick up in Deadpool: Back in Black.
So while both Deadpool and Venom Symbiote are both typically violent characters, their approach to destruction is vastly different. Do you think that’s going to cause a problem when the two are causing mayhem together?
I think that’s going to cause a lot of mayhem. You’re absolutely right, the two of them together, it kind of creates a brand-new kind of violence and mayhem for these two.
The thing is, we’ve seen — most of the violence we’ve seen with the Symbiote has been after it was abandoned by Peter Parker and it sort of got consumed by this rage towards him. To some degree we’re seeing the Symbiote before it really became that angry and we’re seeing the first seeds of that anger in this book. When Deadpool and the Symbiote bond, Deadpool’s first reaction is, “This is my chance to become a real superhero.”
And that’s what he and the Symbiote go out to do, they set out to be heroic. But you’ll see as that goes on, the two of them sort of start having some differences of opinion and that causes them a little bit of trouble.
I read Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars and I loved it. It did the whole throwback to the ‘80s thing, which Back in Black is also doing, right?
Yes, Back in Black is a throwback to the ‘80s. The story takes place in Marvel time 1985, and who knows how many years ago that was in real time. But it’s taking place as if the comic was being published in 1985. It’s a little different than Secret Secret Wars. In that book, it took place within the confines of a book that had already been published, so it was different, dancing between the panels of what we had seen in the original Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars. This book, while it takes place as if it were published in 1985, it’s all new stories, it’s not dancing between — it’s not playing within in any other books. The beginning of the series starts off with some of the events from Web of Spider-Man #1, but beyond that it’s its own story.
But you’ll be capturing that whole 1985, how comic books were written back in the day kind of feeling.
Captions, thought balloons…yes, it is absolutely written as comics were written. I’m kind of channeling comics from that era just through the filter of Deadpool.
How do you feel like your approach to this character has changed through the years?
Well, Deadpool’s a character that kind of changes every series I write with him. He’s interesting because he can play in so many different fields. I can do different kinds of interpretations with the character based on the story that I’m telling. It’s always the same character, but I can just kind of explore different facets of his personality. With Back in Black, it’s a fun series for me, so I’m channeling Deadpool’s fun side and really focusing on fun and chaos that Wade Wilson would bring to 1985 Marvel Universe.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.