Deadpool has a long history with the X-Men – he debuted in New Mutants #98, and has consistently fought with and against mutantkind for decades. But now, in the 'Dawn of X' era, Wade Wilson will finally cross paths with the mutants of Krakoa in Deadpool #6 from writer Kelly Thompson and artist Kevin Libranda.
But Deadpool isn't breaking into Krakoa for personal gain – he's there to find a "reckoning" for how the X-Men have treated him over the years, and according to Thompson, "he's got a point."
Newsarama spoke with Thompson ahead of Deadpool #6's August 5 release to find out which X-Men wade will meet, what this caper is all about, and what's ahead in the next big arc of Deadpool.
Newsarama: Kelly, how does it feel to be returning to Deadpool now that comics are back in swing? How has your perspective on Wade and this title evolved in that time?
Kelly Thompson: It's so great to be back. I feel bad though, because for people that are loving the book (or those who are looking for it) we really have run into a bandsaw schedule-wise. Just as we were about to drop two standalone issues last April that kind of changed our direction just a little bit (Deadpool #5 and Deadpool #6), COVID-19 hit.
And even after that, scheduling has been tricky and left us with a big gap between issue releases. So I really can't wait for people to read Deadpool #6 as it's one of my favorite issues we've done and sets up this second arc with Elsa that I'm really excited about. I think for me, like the fans, it's mostly been a lot of anxious waiting around for Wade to get to come back and thinking about what should come next for him after issue #9.
Nrama: Deadpool #6 is a big issue, as Wade is leaving Monster Isle for another mythic Marvel island – Krakoa. What's bringing Deadpool into contact with the X-Men?
Thompson: Mostly he's pissed. [Laughs]
In general, the X-Men (and everyone maybe?) have fairly abusive relationships with Deadpool. People use him for his skills when convenient for them, but they also shut him out of being a part of their lives in big ways. He is rarely welcomed in to be a part of their lives…or even just respected.
And I'm not saying that's totally unwarranted… Wade is a wild card and he's hard to trust or predict…it's like willingly letting a tornado into your life… but if you can't handle the tornado at dinner, maybe don't call the tornado when you need help, y'know?
So it's fair I think for Wade to be feeling a bit resentful about that and when a way to break into Krakoa sort of drops in his lap, of course he's going to take it.
Nrama: Deadpool has had an on-again-off-again relationship with mutantkind and the X-Men. What is he hoping to find on Krakoa?
Thompson: A reckoning! Well, maybe nothing that extreme but a…soft reckoning? Is that a thing? He's sick of being taken advantage of and being disrespected and he wants to call them on that. And maybe steal some stuff too. I didn't name the story 'Nobody Cares if you Survive the Experience' for nothing! [Laughs]
Nrama: How does it feel getting into the X-Men during 'Dawn of X'? Which X-Men will we Wade encounter?
Thompson: So exciting. I've made no secret of my deep and eternal love of the X-Men and I'm always pumped to get to play in their pool. I jammed in as many X-Men cameos as we could muster in 20 pages and still tell a reasonably coherent story.
We get Emma Frost, Wolverine, Storm, Magik, Rogue, Armor, Polaris, and very small cameos from Beast, Sage, and Glob…I don't think Beast even gets any lines? Sorry, Beast!
Nrama: Kevin Libranda is drawing this story. What makes him the perfect artist to introduce Deadpool to this era of X-Men?
Thompson: Oh man. Kevin killed this.
First of all, he draws the absolute cutest Jeff The Land Shark…he also designed this terrific character called Jelby who is ridiculous and has my entire heart. But this was a really tough issue with so many guest stars and a good amount of action but also some really emotional Deadpool stuff and Kevin just sailed through it all – he made it look so easy.
Nrama: After Deadpool meets the X-Men, previous solicits showed Elsa Bloodstone in danger in the next arc. What can you tell us about what's coming up? Have plans changed in the last few months?
Thompson: Plans haven't changed much – in part because I'd written through issue #9 (the end of the new arc) by very early into quarantine, so even with delays, we were already pretty locked in. That story is a bit more personal to Wade and Elsa and will really test their burgeoning friendship and if it might be able to become more.
Nrama: What has been the biggest challenge of taking on a character like Deadpool so far? What has surprised you the most about writing this series?
Thompson: Well, I knew I would love doing it. But I think, like so many things in life, the thing I love most about it is also the most challenging thing - which is that Wade can do anything – and has done almost everything. So it's a challenge to find genuinely new adventures for him – and great creators have taken him to dark, inspiring, and revelatory places too – so finding a way to do that again in a way that brings something new – it's a tough ask.
Probably my biggest surprise so far has been how easy it actually was to get to Wade's emotional core. He's meta so he feels like he's shielding himself, but I've found him far less guarded than a lot of characters I've tried to get inside.
Nrama: With Deadpool finally coming back, what do you want fans to know about #6 and beyond?
Thompson: I want them to know that issue #6 is perhaps my favorite issue yet – we had all those great guest stars – but we also get to see Wade being hilariously petty (always fun) – but also being right – or at least mostly right!
The X-Men don't treat him with respect and he maybe freaks out about it inappropriately, but he's got a solid point. They should also know that our new arc - which I believe starts in October - is tentatively called 'True Love Story' and is a dark weird ride.