Friday, August 10, 2012

Posehn for Deadpool

It was revealed a few months back that Daniel Way's "Deadpool" series would be ending. Most Deadpool fans consider this a good thing, but I personally have enjoyed the majority of his run. Even so, it's clear that he's winding down and new blood is always welcome.

Then this week, it was revealed that Deadpool would be getting a new series during the "Marvel NOW!" marketing push and that it would be written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan (Posehn's frequent collaborator).

In case you don't know who Posehn is, you might recognize his face:

He's a fairly prominent comedic actor/stand-up comedian/voice actor/writer/nerd. My personal favorite role of his was Octus from the tragically short-lived show "Sym-Bionic Titan" (still waiting on that DVD release, Cartoon Network).

While he's by no means an inexperienced writer, he and Duggan have only done one other published comic book title, "The Last Christmas", which I haven't read, but it's supposedly about a post-apocalyptic Santa Claus. I might have to check that out.

Regardless, I'm reasonably certain that the hiring of Posehn and Duggan was what prompted Liefeld's comments from last week. He probably sees this as Marvel hiring a couple of no-names because they don't care about Deadpool.

Personally, I think Marvel hired them because they figured that comedians would be the best choice for a character like Deadpool, who is supposed to be very funny.

As for how I feel about it... well, since I haven't read "The Last Christmas", I can't say whether or not Posehn and Duggan have a good sense of comic book writing. It is a very different animal from writing for stand-up, TV, or film. The last time I saw a comic book written by a nerdy comedian was the Serenity tie-in "Float Out" written by Patton Oswalt and it was... pretty dull.

Even so, I'm a little optimistic about this choice primarily because if anyone can get Deadpool, it's probably a stand-up comic.

The thing a lot of writers miss about Deadpool's humor is that he's not funny for the sake of being funny or because he's immature or because he's crazy. Humor is, more often than not, a defense mechanism. The funniest person you know is probably surprisingly insecure. They feel like they have a lot of personal shortcomings so they try to overcompensate through humor. Deadpool is the same way.

Deadpool's life SUCKS. No one likes to work with him, he's hideous, he has a lot of physical and psychological trauma, he can't die, and nothing ever really works out for him. Humor is about all he has left. Humor is his greatest weapon, causing his opponents to underestimate him or get annoyed with him. Humor is his greatest defense, allowing him to play off like nothing matters to him so that he can avoid making any moral commitments. Humor helps him maintain his grip on reality, giving him a way to justify all of the horrible things that have happened to him.

Humor is Deadpool's mask.

If you've ever seen biographies on stand-up comedians, you'll find that a great deal of them are dealing with some kind of depression or anxiety. In a way, a lot of them use their stand-up as a way of handling their personal issues.

Then we have Posehn. Not only is he a stand-up comedian, he's an overweight, middle-aged nerd. You can bet your ass he understands the use of humor as a defense mechanism.

So I'm going to give Posehn and Duggan a little bit of faith here. They may not have the most experience in the world, but I'm reasonably confident that they'll be able to at least understand the character better than most writers do.

Also, I'm pretty inclined to support any writers that Liefeld probably isn't happy with.