Tag Archives: black panther vs. deadpool

Daniel Kibblesmith: writing Loki, Colbert & being funny on the Internet

Daniel Kibblesmith is an Emmy-Nominated writer for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and the writer of comics like Marvel’s “Loki” (2019), “Black Panther Vs. Deadpool” (2018) and others. He’s also the author of picture books like “Santa’s Husband” (2017) and the upcoming, “Princess Dinosaur” (2020). He was one of the founding editors of ClickHole (2014) and his humor writing can be seen in places like The New Yorker and McSweeney’s.

We talk about the differences between writing humor in comics, TV, movies, and Twitter.

Also:

  • The universal appeal of a High School AU
  • Loki as a 60 year redemption project
  • Is Loki immune to woobification?
  • “Like you’re all playing MST3K together but with the entire world”
  • That Low Key t-shirt
  • A hierarchy of 4th wall breaking

Follow @Elana_Brooklyn on Twitter.

C2E2 2019: Interview with Daniel Kibblesmith

Daniel Kibblesmith is a true dual threat, who has written for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Onion News Network as well as comics like Marvel’s Lockjaw and Valiant’s Quantum and Woody. He also has a hilarious Twitter account. At C2E2, I had the opportunity to chat with him about the connections between comics and comedy, his work on Black Panther vs. Deadpool, and his upcoming picture book, Princess Dinosaur.


Graphic Policy: Is it harder to be funnier in comics or prose, and why?

Daniel Kibblesmith: I think it’s harder to be funny in comics because everything has to serve the story and the characters, and in most mainstream cases, the action. So, when you’re funny in comics, I think it has to either have information in it that moves the story forward, or it has to be an icing on the cake. If you’re writing capital “C” comedy, then the comedy is the end that you’re trying to get to.

In narrative stories, it’s one of the tools in the toolbox. I think with superheroes it works really well. It’s one of the reasons the Marvel movies are so popular. They do a great job using humor to explain things and to break tension and to make exposition a little more interesting. So, it’s always a bigger, more diverse project when I have to write something that’s a story instead of writing a humor column, or in the case of Twitter, a million bad jokes.

GP: Do you find parallels between writing for a famous comedian like Stephen Colbert and writing stories in a big, shared universe like Marvel or Valiant?

DK: I think that, at the end of the day, you’re a collaborator with a person or a brand that people have an emotional relationship with so the audience is expecting a certain thing from that person or those characters. You want to make sure that you know their voice inside and out, and that you can deliver what the job requires. In a weird way, I think it can be similar at times. But the subject matter is so different so who can really say?

GP: Let’s talk Black Panther vs. Deadpool. I know Deadpool has these team-up books that pop up every now and then. Was there already a “Versus” story set up, or did you pitch it?

DK: My editors, Wil Moss and Sarah Brunstad, brought the project to me. We had just finished Loki and had a really good time. They were looking for another project to put me on, and in 2018, given how many “Deadpool Vs” titles there were, it seemed weird there wasn’t a Black Panther one. So, it seemed like a project we could get everyone to buy into very quickly from both a behind the scenes and audience perspective.

It was really easy to get excited about this. It was always going to be Black Panther vs. Deadpool. I think the other big decision we made was giving Black Panther top billing because, one, we could make jokes about it, and Deadpool always gets top billing in these. Which I guess we made jokes about it. I think Hawkeye got top billing in one of these though.

GP: That was my favorite “Versus” series.

DK: I really liked the Hawkeye one. I really liked the Gambit one. I read all of them coming into this. For “research”. Because it was Saturday. I had a blast reading all of them, and everyone’s take on Deadpool is slightly different. I loved seeing all the interpretations. I think people think he can be very one note, but if you look into all the different writers, there’s a lot of variation there.

GP: One thing that I found interesting about Black Panther vs. Deadpool was that you decided to focus on T’challa more as a scientist than a superhero. Why did you decide to do that?

DK: It wasn’t really a decision. To me, that’s the character. I grew up reading Silver Age comics from my dad’s collection, and T’challa’s first appearance is when he sends a fake out siginal to the Fantastic Four, hands them their asses with his traps, and he defeats them as a scientist and as a king. I love Black Panther as a superhero. But I think that the Black Panther superhero adventures I really like are when he’s doing stuff in Wakanda that’s either pertaining to being a king or a deposed king, or he’s in Manhattan. Then, he’s much more of a conventional superhero.

But, to me [the scientist] is Black Panther. He’s as much Reed Richards as he is a Daredevil type.

GP: So, Black Panther vs. Deadpool was actually a serious story about curing death. How do you balance the fourth wall breaking jokes with the heavy stuff like death, mortality, and legacy?

DK: People have asked me that a lot, but if you read the [Jonathan] Hickman stuff that I’m a big fan of, Black Panther is King of the Dead. And Deadpool has “dead” in his name. These are two characters who are obsessed with mortality and legacy and indestructibility. Deadpool literally, and Black Panther needing the project the image of being more than a person.

I think all good comedy has an emotional core where the stakes are very real. Whether that’s as dark or sad as I took it or just something human you can relate to. But [both Deadpool and Black Panther] needed to be coming from a real emotional place. And it’s a “versus” title where they’re both protagonists so they both had to 100% know they were in the right even if Deadpool’s version of “in the right” comes with a healthy layer of denial.

GP: Deadpool has been written so many ways. Some write him as a kind of hero, and some as completely amoral. Do you think that he can ever be consistently written as a hero and change, or is he completely set in his ways?

DK: So, my book is about two men. One who is resistant to change. One is desperately pursuing it and is terrible at it. You can guess who’s who. My point of view is that the whole underlying philosophy of superhero comics is that they’re all on a very slow path to change. It might take 75 years.

Because the whole point of serialized storytelling and making sure you stay true to the characters, hitting the beats fans want, and doing it cyclically is that there all protagonists in a story on a journey. They’re looking to change. Or solve some unsolvable problem. Or repair the damage from their childhood.

I definitely believe that Deadpool could be a full-on hero, but it’ll take a minute because of the things people like about him is that he’s relatably flawed. I don’t think Deadpool will ever be Black Panther, but I think he might be a better Deadpool.

GP: I had a lot of fun reading the interplay between Black Panther and Deadpool in this comic. What do you like most about writing “mismatched” heroes?

DK: I realized that I had just finished doing Quantum and Woody. I just realized I had done another odd couple story where one of them was really straight laced and by the book while the other was this criminal wild card. It didn’t even occur to me until I was deep into the Black Panther vs. Deadpool scripts.

I think what’s fun about these characters in particular is that we all know them so well. When you pick up Black Panther vs. Deadpool, you know what it’s like for them to be in a room together. So, as their writer, I got to put them in the room together, and let would naturally happen happen and allow the conversation that I assume would happen to unfold.

I liked getting to bounce them off each other, and getting to test their limits a little bit like getting T’challa to bend a little bit and crack a joke here and there. He’s kind of softened to Deadpool a little bit. Then, the same with Deadpool to express some real melancholy and uncertainty and let his vulnerability show.

GP: I was definitely getting some Gerry Duggan vibes from the way you wrote him.

DK: I’m a huge fan of all of Duggan’s Deadpool. I read so much of it even before I got this gig. What I wanted to is synthesize what I liked by other writers. That’s the fun of writing characters that came before you.

GP: That are icons.

DK: The fun of writing icons is that you get to come in and be like “
I know what Black Panther would do if he had this problem because he’s the Black Panther.

GP: I had one last question about your upcoming picture book, Princess Dinosaur. What are some of the challenges of doing a picture book versus a story for adults or even an all ages comic?

DK: I would say in some ways that a picture book is easier because it’s not necessarily sequential storytelling. There’s less directing. But the artist of our two picture books, Princess Dinosaur and Santa’s Husband, is my friend Ashley Quach, who is just a master illustrator. She does this incredible cartooning in watercolor, and she has done a lot of comics. I think that she and I speak the same language about what we’re going for, and how we’re able to tell jokes with body language and facial expression.

The biggest difference is probably the audience. Princess Dinosaur is aimed at toddlers. So, you want everything to be boiled down to its simplest, most archetypal ideas. But, in a weird way, that’s not that different from comics with these big characters that embody their themes. People who are representative of who their characters are on the inside.

In some ways, it’s really similar because you’re writing these iconic character whether they’re capital “I” iconic because they’re created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, or they’re instantly recognizable, self-contained archetypes.

Follow Daniel Kibblesmith on Twitter.

Preview: Black Panther vs. Deadpool #4

Black Panther vs. Deadpool #4

(W) Daniel Kibblesmith (A) Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (CA) Ryan Benjamin, Rain Beredo
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Jan 30, 2019
SRP: $3.99

INTRODUCING…PANTHER-POOL! (YES, REALLY!)

A classic Marvel team-up gone terribly wrong! Who could have predicted it?! Luckily, there’s an easy solution. All the Black Panther needs to do is give Deadpool a bullet-sized chunk of the world’s most precious resource and let him return to New York in one piece. Wait, you say that’s a terrible idea and that T’Challa would stop at nothing to keep Vibranium out of Deadpool’s homicidal hands? WELL, YOU’D BE RIGHT! But how do you get rid of an unkillable pest? Buckle up, True Believer, because the Black Panther’s about to do the unthinkable!

Black Panther vs. Deadpool #4

Preview: Black Panther vs. Deadpool #3

Black Panther vs. Deadpool #3

(W) Daniel Kibblesmith (A) Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (CA) Ryan Benjamin, Rain Beredo
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Dec 19, 2018
SRP: $3.99

OFF WITH HIS HEAD!
But WHOSE head? Deadpool’s? T’Challa’s? …JACK O’LANTERN’S? (And which Lantern?) Well SOMEbody better keep his head, because Deadpool and the Black Panther now have a MUTUAL THREAT on their hands-and if they don’t act soon, there’ll be no Wakanda left to fight for!

Preview: Black Panther vs. Deadpool #2 (of 5)

Black Panther vs. Deadpool #2 (of 5)

(W) Daniel Kibblesmith (A) Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (CA) Ryan Benjamin
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Nov 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

DEADPOOL ON THE HUNT!
Deadpool’s carving a path through the Wakandan wilderness on the hunt for Vibranium! And his missing right arm! The Black Panther proooobably should be watching him. But T’Challa’s mind is distracted with the possibility of a revolutionary new technology. One that could change the world…starting with Wakanda. But there may not be a country to revolutionize if Deadpool goes unchecked. Will the king and the sometimes-hero reach an accord, or is this a fight to the death?

Preview: Black Panther vs. Deadpool #1 (of 5)

Black Panther vs. Deadpool #1 (of 5)

(W) Daniel Kibblesmith (A) Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (CA) Ryan Benjamin
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Oct 24, 2018
SRP: $3.99

VIBRANIUM BULLETS AND REGROWING LIMBS – EVERYTHING YOU WANT FROM A COMIC IS HERE!

Deadpool’s teamed up with, taken down or taken a beating from just about every hero in the Marvel Universe. And no way is the Black Panther going to miss out on his turn. From Late Show writer Daniel Kibblesmith comes a hilarious romp through Wakanda as Deadpool goes on the hunt for the world’s most valuable resource: Vibranium! When a beloved figure of the Marvel Universe becomes collateral damage in a fight between Deadpool and the Wrecker, the heroic Deadpool sets out to obtain a fragment of Vibranium that could save the victim’s life. But his unconventional methods – ranging from poaching to dismemberment – don’t sit well with the King of Wakanda, and Deadpool’s about to learn that you don’t bring a sword to a claw fight!

It’s Black Panther vs. Deadpool!? The Two Hit Movie Franchises Clash this October

Deadpool has gone up against almost everyone in the Marvel Universe…and now, that roster includes the legendary Black Panther in Black Panther vs. Deadpool, a new story from Lockjaw and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert writer Daniel Kibblesmith and artist Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and a cover by Ryan Benjamin.

For a reason he’d rather not disclose (because, well, it makes him look bad!) Deadpool needs a piece of Vibranium…and the only way to get Vibranium is to go through the Black Panther himself! But Deadpool soon learns that his unconventional methods don’t exactly work against the king of the most technologically advanced country on the planet…

Don’t miss the throw-down of the century when Black Panther vs. Deadpool comes to comic shops this October 3rd!