Writer and attorney Charles Soule is a busy, busy man. The Marvel-exclusive writer visited the CBR Yacht at Comic-Con International in San Diego to discuss his many projects with CBR TV's Kiel Phegley. From his upcoming "All-New, All-Different Marvel" run on "Daredevil" to hanging out with Lando Calrissian on Marvel's "Star Wars" miniseries to his expanding Inhumans empire with "Uncanny Inhumans," everything is on the table.
To begin their conversation, Soule talks about the pressure he feels taking over "Daredevil" with a new #1 this fall, following in the footsteps of Mark Waid and so many other great writers before him. Soule discusses his approach to the character, whether growing up reading "Daredevil" made him want to become a lawyer, and whether fans of his "She-Hulk" series can expect to see Jen Walters make an appearance. He also talks about what it's like working with artist Ron Garney, a veteran artist who has worked on nearly every Marvel character but who is bringing something very unique to his "Daredevil" pages.
On how he approaches following up the award-winning run by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee:
Charles Soule: My feeling is I'm not just following Mark, I'm actually -- how am I gonna follow Frank [Miller] Brian [Michael Bendis], Ed [Brubaker], Mark, everybody else who's been on it? And it is not easy, right? The only solace is I feel I was in this situation before when I took over "Swamp Thing" from Scott Snyder, which was my first gig at the Big Two at all, DC book. That book had Alan Moore, Brian K. Vaughan, Scott Snyder, Joshua Dysart, Grant Morrison, Len Wein -- murderer's row of writers and artists on that title. "Daredevil's" the same way. Ultimately all I can say is he's a character that I've loved for a very long time. I feel like I can -- I have a Daredevil in my head that I can write, I have a take that I'm happy with, that I think is different than any other take that we've seen for a number of different reasons and I'm gonna do my best. What else can you do, right?
On the tonal difference between "She-Hulk" and "Daredevil" and whether fans can expect Jen Walters to appear in the series:
The "She-Hulk" that I wrote, that Jen Walters, it was kind of a breezy book in some ways. It took on serious things, but it always had kind of a lightness in tone. Whereas this "Daredevil" will also have some lightness in tone, but not -- it's a very tonally different book than "She-Hulk." Figuring out what She-Hulk looks like in my "Daredevil" would be a very interesting thing to do -- and even as we're talking about it I'm getting excited about doing it, so I have no specific plans for when that would happen, but the idea of it is very appealing.
On having Ron Garney along for the ride on "Daredevil":
It looks like a Ron Garney thing, it looks like his style, but I would say that he has gone very noir with the way it looks. It reminds me a lot of Frank Miller's -- there's a lot of ink on the page. It's very dark, very very heavy shadows. Lots of things are implied. The characters feel very physical and when they punch you really feel it. But there's still a lot of almost an impressionist tone to it -- not completely, but it's pulled back from a heavy realism of, say, a Steve McNiven, who I'm also fortunate to work with on other books. It is exactly the look I wanted, and I didn't even realize it until I saw the pages but I think people are going to be very excied.
Next Soule talks about spending time in a galaxy far, far away, working on Marvel Comics' "Lando" series. The writer explains his approach to the iconic character, whether he's influenced by Billy Dee Williams' real-life persona, and his hopes to meet the fan-favorite actor.
On whether he thinks about Billy Dee Williams the actor or the character of Lando Calrissian when writing "Lando":
I think he made the character. I haven't read the shooting script for "Empire Strikes Back," but I would suspect that a lot of that charm and that smarm -- everything that makes Lando Lando came from Billy Dee Williams. Maybe not everything. I'm sure they had somebody like that in mind when they wrote it, otherwise they wouldn't have hired him to play the character. But at the same time, he made it what it is.
I was able to find that voice quickly. I mean, I've seen those movies so many times, "Empire" and "Jedi," I've thought about "Star Wars" since I was a really little kid, I think many of us have. It clicked really fast for me. It's a thrill in the way that the first time you write dialogue for Batman, or the first time you write Daredevil, whoever -- somebody that you've thought about as a pop cultural figure for decades and then you put words in their mouth. It's really kind of an electric thrill, and Lando, for sure, was that.
In the final part of the discussion, Soule turns his focus to the Inhumans. With "Uncanny Inhumans" #1 debuting in October, the writer explains what's in store for the Terrigen Mist-powered heroes, whether Marvel Studios' plans for the characters have affected his stories and more. Soule also comments on what it's like to work with "Death of Wolverine" artist Steve McNiven again, Medusa's new relationship with Johnny Storm and the burden and benefit of working with such a huge cast of characters.
On the emotional core of his "Uncanny Inhumans" story:
It's essentially an estranged mother and father, Black Bolt and Medusa, who are going after their missing son, Ahura, who has been sort of taken back in time by Kang the Conqueror. That's a pretty strong story engine, I think.
On shaking things up for the Inhumans and telling different kinds of stories:
I think that if you write a character the same way he or she has always been written for, whatever, fifty years some of these guys at this point, you're just dead in the water. You have to mix it up. And I think people can be resistant to change, but then when you give it to them if it's well executed they end up liking it more than -- they love it, right? The idea of Medusa being with Johnny Storm, the idea of Medusa basically not being with Black Bolt, was something that seemed very -- again, lots of story there, lots of drama, lots of potential there. You put her with Johnny Storm, who is about as different from Black Bolt as anybody could possibly be -- the guy won't shut up -- it felt really right. It felt that was a pairing that, maybe it lasts for the ages, maybe it doesn't, but for the ability to get some cool stories out of it it seemed like the right way to go.