Even before he signed an exclusive contract with Marvel Comics earlier this month, comic book writer Charles Soule has been quite active in the Marvel Universe. While working on acclaimed runs with DC titles like ‘Swamp Thing’, ‘Superman/Wonder Woman’, and ‘Red Lanterns’, as well as his creator-owned book ‘Letter 44,’ Soule has the hefty task of killing a beloved X-Man and dealing with the fallout in ‘Death of Wolverine,’ taking Jennifer Walters to court in ‘She-Hulk’, and hatching all-new children of the Terrigen Mists in ‘Inhuman.’ But now that the multi-faceted writer is firmly with the House of Ideas for the foreseeable future, he’s about to be even more engrossed in the Marvel Universe than ever before.
However, before his star rises even higher, we had the chance to chat with Soule about his various projects at this year’s Baltimore Comic Con. Though he was one of the most popular creators on the floor the whole weekend, he was awesome enough to give us a few minutes of his time in between signing books for his fans and speaking on numerous panels to give us some inside scoops on some of his most popular books. Check out our conversation below to find out more about his plans for the end of his ‘Swamp Thing’ run, who and what is to come in ‘She-Hulk’, and his feelings about this new push in the comic book industry towards diversity.
ScienceFiction.com: First of all, congrats on your exclusive contract with Marvel. But that means that you have to leave ‘Swamp Thing.’ Do you think you’ll leave it with a huge, mind-blowing mess for whoever comes in after you to pick up the pieces or are you going to tie up your run nicely?
CS: I’m hopefully going to do both. I want it to be something where… I mean, I’ll have been on ‘Swamp Thing’ for quite a while when I finish. I’ve had one of the longer runs on the title, so I really want to end it with a definitive stamp and leave my mark on it, but obviously not kill it for whoever is writing it next. I want to leave Swamp Thing in an as good a place as I found him.
SF: Since you began your tenure at Marvel, you’ve worked with a wide variety of characters from Thunderbolts to Wolverine to She-Hulk. What is it about these characters that draw you to them?
CS: They’re all different. You know, Superman and Wonder Woman are icons, so the opportunity to write them in a way that hadn’t necessarily been seen before was very, very appealing. She-Hulk is an attorney and I always thought that she was kinda awesome. I’m a lawyer when I’m not doing comics stuff, so that attracted me to that. Every book has an angle that I enjoy. If they didn’t, I don’t think that I’d be able to write them, so I generally take projects where I have something to say. All of the projects that I’ve done so far I’ve definitely had something to say.
SF: It’s one thing to work with such a huge character like Wolverine, but you’re offing him with ‘Death of Wolverine’. Do you find it more daunting to work with established characters like Logan as opposed to the basically free reign you have with something like ‘Inhuman’ where many of the characters are a blank slate?
CS: They’re different kinds of challenges. The Wolverine book had a very specific mandate, which was to kill him. So it was really about trying to do that in a way that honors his legacy and all though highfalutin things that you might want to say, but I really wanted to do him justice. Whereas with ‘Inhuman’ and all the new characters, it’s a different kind of task. You want to make people that are interesting that people will want to read. Making people up is almost harder than telling a cool story with somebody that people already love. With Wolverine, I’m relying on 40 years of other great creators. But with someone like Reader or Lineage or the other Inhuman characters that I’m creating, it’s all up to me to get people interested from the get go. It’s a lot of fun challenges. That’s part of why I’m on so many books because I like challenges and they all present me with different challenges.
SF: So far you’ve got to utilize some incredible guest stars like Doctor Doom, Hank Pym, Steve Rogers, and Matt Murdock. Do you have any more epic guests coming up that you can talk about from ‘She-Hulk’ or any of your other books?
CS: It is nice that the Marvel Universe is connected as it is, so I’m able to jump into these different characters and use them briefly. It’s really fun. I absolutely have some plans for some great, interesting cameos in all the books. I like mixing it up and making it seem like the Marvel Universe is cohesive, so we’ll see what goes on, but I’ve got plans.
SF: Speaking of your plans, ‘She-Hulk’ is filled with some pretty badass ladies like Hellcat and Jen, but one badass we don’t know much about is paralegal Angie Huang. Will we get to delve into her backstory more soon and find out more about her mysterious past?
CS: That’s intentional. I’m playing the long game with Angie. I think she’s super cool. The way that she’s portrayed in the book is super cool. She’s not a typical comic book heroine at all. She’s kinda weird, yet she gets it done, and I think that’s a nice thing to show.
SF: I know that the book mostly focuses on Jen and her practice, but there are a couple of other She-Hulks out there. Is there any chance that we may see one of them pop up during your run?
CS: Mostly right now it’s Jen Walters because I think she’s awesome and I don’t see the need to bring in other characters. I think the cast of the book is really singing right now. You know, never say never. Down the road maybe, but right now it’s Jen and the crew that we’ve gotten used to seeing so far.
SF: Finally, being at the forefront of this new wave of female-driven books, I wanted to get your thoughts on being a part of this recent movement in comics where things are becoming more diversified. These days we see a lot more female or multicultural heroes starring in their own books rather than just appearing in supporting roles. What do you think about this emerging trend?
CS: You know, I’m writing the kind of books that I would write whether there was a movement or something like that going on or not, but I do think that there is one and I agree with you that there’s a push towards more female-driven books and diverse casts. Not even just diverse casts, but writing people as people as opposed to a black guy or an Asian lady or whatever it might be. Everybody is different, right? So write them how they actually would act. That’s really the movement that I love and I think that’s such a wonderful thing. I’m going to keep doing my part to keep it going and I hope that other writers will too.
Are you excited to see what Charles Soule has in store for the Marvel Universe when he dives deeper into the House of Ideas? Are you sad to see him wrap up his DC Comics titles because of his new exclusive contract? And what are you most looking forward to seeing from the writer and his current books in the days to come? Let us know in the comment section.