Rob Liefeld is responsible for the creation of a plethora of characters in comics, such as Cable, Domino, Shatterstar, and plenty more, but the most notable of them is the “Merc with a Mouth,” Deadpool. Aside from the 2016 film and its upcoming sequel, FXX recently announced an adult animated series is in the works.
However, Deadpool is still going strong in the realm where he originated: comics. Today, Marvel released an original graphic novel titled Deadpool: Bad Blood, written by Rob Liefeld, Chad Bowers, and Chris Sims, with Liefeld doing the art. This 100-page book introduces a new villain, Thumper. “In terms of Deadpool having a nemesis, he has a borrowed group of bad guys. They belong to other characters,” Liefeld explained to GameSpot. “He’s short on his own rogues gallery. Those uniquely Deadpool. I figured let’s give him a menace and nemesis that is unique to him and over the course of the story, you’ll see Thumper has touched X-Force somewhat and Deadpool and Domino.”
Liefeld explained that fans of the character come from all over the place: comics, the movie, and especially the world of video games, like Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, where Deadpool gained a ton of mainstream appeal, prior to the 2016 movie. Along with Bowers and Sims, Liefeld wanted to appeal to as large of an audience as possible.
The graphic novel, Bad Blood, explores Wade Wilson’s (Deadpool) past all while introducing this new villain. “It’s about the depths our new character took to emulate everything about Wade,” Liefeld said. “I just wanted to do something more character driven in terms of establishing a new, sustainable nemesis for Deadpool and relationships are the best way to establish that.”
If the name “Thumper” seems familiar, it might be because it’s named after the character from Bambi “[W]hen I said I wanted the bad guy’s name to be Thumper, I was scared to form those words,” explained Liefeld. “I thought I was going to get laughed at. When I was a kid, my dad drove me to the drive in, and my parents took me to see Bambi, and Thumper was the name of this cute little rabbit. Now, Thumper is the name of a guy who beats Deadpool into the pavement. [Marvel] was like, “Yeah! Cleared! We love it! Awesome!” I can now say that Deadpool is battling Thumper, so there’s something real rich from my childhood there. It’s so damned funny.”
Liefeld is extremely passionate about Deadpool and genuinely excited about what is being done with the character on both the small and large screen. However, the recent news about the adult animated series is something the Deadpool creator cannot wait to share: “The secret I had to keep that was the toughest in the last 14 months was that Deadpool cartoon on FXX. I have great friends in the business. They’re my pals. I do dinners and lunches with them. They proclaimed to me in March of 2016, ‘Deadpool’s gonna be an adult cartoon.’ I’m like, ‘WHAT?!’ I kept all this to myself, and I got the call late last fall that Donald Glover was going to be writing and producing it, and I almost drove off the freeway. I just couldn’t believe it.”
“It just continues to build off that relationship–that Marvel is doing a lot of business with Fox, which is good for everybody. It’s cool, man. I was fortunate enough to see Donald the night of the Golden Globes, where he had won an armful of awards for Atlanta, deservedly so. I congratulated him on his new gig–him and his brother–on Deadpool, and he was excited and had tons of greats ideas, and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to come up with and how the character benefits from another brilliant, creative mind. It’s gonna be great.”
Deadpool: Bad Blood is now available in stores. You can see an unlettered preview of the book above.