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The True Lies Behind Deadpool Vs. Gambit

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by Vince Brusio

Now collected in a trade paperback! It’s the con to end all cons. Or is it? After all, films like The Sting and Ocean’s 11 show us that when you deal with people who are professional liars, you don’t really know what’s up or down until it’s too late. That’s the point. Confuse your opponent, and it’s that much easier to take their money…all while they think that you’re on their side.  Such is the plan for Deadpool Vs. Gambit: The V Is For "Vs" TP (AUG161011), but neither hero is a rocket scientist (or really good at counting cards), so getting away clean may involve hitting a few speed bumps. It all doesn’t add up in this exclusive interview with writers Ben Acker and Ben Blacker!

Deadpool Vs. Gambit: The V Is For "Vs" TP (AUG161011) is in comic shops November 9.

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PREVIEWSworld: Without spoiling the book, can you each give us your pitch on how this series unfolds? How would you describe Deadpool Vs. Gambit behind the microphone at a Comic Con panel?

Ben Acker: The pitch for this book is what happens when you do an Ocean's 11 caper in the Marvel Universe? What if that pensioner you've swindled out of her life savings is the Thing's dear sweet Aunt Petunia? Deadpool and Gambit, two morally flexible "heroes" team up with the Black Fox, a cat burglar,  and a con artist to perform a series of heists and scams. But as with all con artist movies, nothing is as it seems, except for the things that are … exactly as they seem.

Ben Blacker: There are cons within cons. Deadpool and Gambit — neither of whom is exactly Mr. Fantastic in the brains-department — have to solve this puzzle box while trying to keep their own con-balls in the air.

PREVIEWSworld: Can you both give us the scoop on how this project came together? How did you two communicate ideas/tweaks during production?

Ben Acker:  It was the brainchild of our editor Jordan D White who pitched us the idea of a story in which Deadpool and Gambit pull a con. Blacker and I love con artist movies. Have you seen Brothers Bloom? It's so great. We've seen all sorts of these stories play out in movies and TV, but hardly ever in comics, and I can't think of a time I've seen it in super hero comics. It sounded like fun and a challenge, and so far it is both. 

Ben Blacker: It's an elaborate and ambitious story to tell in just five issues, so Acker and I got ourselves a string-laden crazy-board and didn't work on anything else until we'd broken that story. There were times we were about to get thrown off the case, but we were onto something, dammit!

We were lucky, too, to collaborate again with Danilo Beyruth, who drew our Slapstick story. So our con on Danilo was getting him to draw all of the awesome stuff of which he is capable.

PREVIEWSworld: What character dynamics between the two will play out in the story? Both are strong-headed personalities. So do sparks fly the moment they hit the ground running?

Ben Acker: A story like this is ultimately about trust. So when we start the story, our guys trust each other and then that trust is called into question. Constantly.

Ben Blacker: These are also characters who get to be funny. Deadpool, obviously, is purposefully funny. Gambit has this carefree, fun-loving, almost hedonistic attitude that both compliments and clashes against Deadpool.

PREVIEWSworld: Were there any particular past works that you each reflected on before drafting this story? Or did you lock yourselves in the Danger Room for 7 days until you had the storyboards finished?

Ben Acker: We looked at The Sting, The Brothers Bloom, The Lady Eve, Oceans 11 (Soderbergh), Spanish Prisoner, House of Games.

Ben Blacker: In comics, we've been keeping up with everything Marvel is doing. Since Hawkeye, I think, there's been this great freedom in just letting the characters be the characters, and the books can embrace this sort of genre blend that's not happening much in other media. Where Hawkeye had the feel of a cable dramady, or, say Squirrel Girl is an indie comedy, or Howard the Duck is a comedy noir, we're hoping that Deadpool v Gambit will feel like a comic con movie. (But not a ComiCon movie).

PREVIEWSworld: Imagine you're a fan, and not the book's creator. How would each of you look at this story from the outside? What is it about this story you think that will make the comic shop customer geek out?

Ben Acker: Oh man, we craft the story from a fan place, as we're longtime fans first and foremost. The comic shop customer is gonna geek out over the characters they're gonna see in this book, between the household names like Spider-Man and Daredevil and the more obscure, like Black Fox. Brother Voodoo pops in for a minute too. And it's not just seeing characters you geek out over either. Between the kind of story this is and the kind of writers we are, you'll see different sides of them. Having fun, busting chops, love, hate, coffee, ghosts, jazz, magic, dancing, gambling. The works.

Ben Blacker: Yeah, because a con story has to be multi-layered, we really get to have our kitchen sink and eat it too. We're throwing everything and everyone we love in the Marvel universe into this book.

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