There. That’s the image that let me know I’d be in fantastic shape art-wise for my run on Daredevil – the long-running series from Marvel Comics that commences its next chapter with a new #1 issue today. I wrote it, Ron Garney did unbelievable work penciling and inking it and Matt Milla colored it. The image above is one of the very first things Ron drew as we were talking about the series. I knew that a lot of the action (at least early on) would be set in Chinatown, due to the fact that Daredevil’s new apprentice – a fellow named Sam Chung who goes by the hero name Blindspot – was based down there. In addition, Matt’s new job, as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, is based downtown as well. So, Ron was able to put together this little mockup of what that might look like… and wow, right?

We’ll get more Chinatown-set action as the series continues, but this is where it began. So… I knew I’d be more than good on the art, all I had to do was write the damn thing.

Daredevil is a challenging gig. It’s known for really sophisticated, thoughtful takes on superhero-ing, the psychological impacts of vigilantism, the cost of the costumed life, and so on. It’s boasted some of the best writers and artists in comics history, from Stan Lee to Alex Maleev Frank Miller to Chris Samnee to Brian Michael Bendis to Paolo Rivera to Ed Brubaker to David Mazzucchelli to Ann Nocenti to Kevin Smith to Michael Lark to Joe Quesada to Klaus Janson and many others to… the guy I get to follow on the title, the amazing Mark Waid. Many of these folks are heroes of mine – the Bendis DD in particular was a seminal run for me in my “modern phase” of comics reading. Following all of that up – not easy.

There’s also the fact that I’m an attorney myself, which hypothetically *should* translate into me being able to write a great book about a superhero who is also a lawyer. I dunno about that bit. I know a lot of lawyers, and very few of them are running around on rooftops after hours smacking criminals around. They’re generally too beat from 60- 80- 100-hour weeks. But I don’t want to be disingenuous – my experience in the law *should* allow me to explore some new angles in the many trials of Matt Murdock. (HA! Get it? You won’t get THAT kind of business from a non-lawyer DD writer!)

Anyway, lots of pressure – Daredevil is a signature gig, and with the TV show airing on Netflix right now, the character’s exposure is possibly at its highest peak. If I get it right… all good. If I screw it up… not so good. So… how did I approach it?

First thing, I had to put aside pretty much everything you’ve read so far in this post, except knowing that I had the art in my back pocket. I had to step aside from everyone else’s take and find my own. I didn’t (and never) want to just ape someone else’s approach. What’s the point of that? I’d rather go down in flames for doing something I believed in, that was mine, than coast along by relying on the goodwill generated by another writer’s take. I LOVE Waid’s Daredevil. I’ve read that first issue over and over again – it’s perfect. But there’s more than one kind of DD – that’s part of the beauty of the character. So, I knew almost from the start that I would go a bit darker, a bit weirder. You’ll see as the story continues that the villains are odd. It’s not a supernatural book by any means, but it is a creepy book, from time to time. I don’t want it to feel safe.

That said, with a new #1 I think it’s smart to give readers a taste of what they might be expecting before going too far off the deep end – so Matt is back in New York City. He’s lawyering again – although now a prosecutor instead of a defense attorney. He has his secret identity back. He has this new apprentice kid, Blindspot.

(By the way, one of the early previews of the cover for Issue 1 had some people thinking that Blindspot was actually Gambit, a heavily Cajun-accented X-Man known for macking on any lady within arm’s reach. I was amazed that people would think that – what the hell kind of book would a Daredevil-Gambit story even be? Why would Gambit become DD’s apprentice? Just made me laugh – but then I thought about it, and if there’s ever a chance to get Gambit into a story during my run, maybe I’ll do it. I doubt Gambit fans would be too thrilled with the idea I’m currently playing with, though…)

Anyway, Daredevil #1 is designed to be a mix of what you know and what you don’t know. I’ve changed a lot about his setup – but yet it still should sort of feel like the Daredevil you know, the one you’ve been watching on Netflix. That will evolve over time as we move deeper into DD’s new world.

I see the run as a huge novel – I’ve currently plotted out through around Issue 24, the first two years on the title. So, things that happen in these early issues (and before this, in the eight month gap that’s taken place between the end of Mark and Chris’ run and this new #1) will have ramifications and resonance as we move forward. (How did Matt get his secret identity back?) We’ll interact with heroes and villains new and old, and we’ll see members of Matt Murdock’s supporting cast from prior runs (people like Foggy Nelson, Kirsten McDuffie and more.) I’m working on a big Elektra story right now. The way Matt is with them won’t necessarily be the way you’re used to – but I don’t believe my job on Daredevil, or any book, is to give you what you’re used to.

It’s to do my job.

“I’m glad you’re back. This city needs you. And I think you need this city, too.” – Steve Rogers, Daredevil #4



Wow – you’d think this blog and I are no longer on speaking terms, for the frequency with which I’ve been posting here recently. That’s not the case – it’s just that I’ve been spending my writing time elsewhere. Given the choice between a script or a blog post, I’ll always take the script. Still, there’s a lot to talk about – my 2016 is looking quite interesting, and 2015’s not done yet, either. Maybe I’ll find a few minutes here or there to write some of that up.

For the moment, though, it’s New York Comicon! This year promises to be super crazy nuts, in a good way. I have a new series being announced on Saturday at the Marvel Cup O’ Joe panel, my band is playing a show at the Oni Press / New York Super Week Rock ‘n’ Comix party Thursday (that’s tonight!) and I have plenty of other panels, interviews, etc.

The most important thing to know is that I’ll be at table W15 in Artist’s Alley for the show when I’m not at a panel or whatever. I will have some help at the booth, so even if I’m not there, someone should be able to let you know when I’m back, and sell you stuff if you want it. I’m going to try implementing a new policy this year, which is that if you buy something when I’m not there, you’ll get a little ticket which will let you skip the line when I’m back and get it signed right away. We’ll see how that works.

I’ll have lots of Lando, Civil War, She-Hulk, Letter 44, Strange Attractors, Death of Wolverine, Swamp Thing and other items, including some very rare variants (such as the Maleev/Soule Lando #1 “red cover” exclusive.)


At the table all day, other than a signing at the Marvel booth from 2-2:45. I have an interview right after, so I’ll probably be back to my table at about 3:30.

Then, Thursday night, starting at 7:30 at Rock Bar (185 Christopher Street, a very quick subway or cab from the convention, and a slightly longer walk), it’s the Rock’n’Comix party! Thrown by Oni Press, hosted by Albert Ching of Comic Book Resources, what you’ll be getting is a bunch of performances and live readings by a lot of cool folks. My band is playing (Charles Soule and the Rocket Fuel), for the first time out in a while (sort of the same theory as the blog), which I’m excited about. I’ve been working on a lot of new material and a whole new vibe for what we’re doing over the past six months or so, and this is the debut. In addition to that, you’ll get performances from Americans UK, Dean Haspiel, Antony Johnston, Ted Naifeh and Run by the Gun. Doors at 7:30, cover is $5, and I would guess we’ll be on around 9/9:30. Come on down – it would be awesome to have a full house for this!


I should be at the table all day, except for a break around mid-day for lunch. Again, that’s W15.

In the evening, I can be found here: https://thepit-nyc.com/event/co-ed-geek-girl-slumber-party-2/, for the Co-Ed Geek Girl Slumber Party (note the Co-Ed – it’s open to all!) It’s a variety show/improv comedy thing, which promises to be quite the amusing time. It’s hosted by Lorraine Cink, who you might know better as Marvel’s The Watcher, from many live videos and coverage of cool things.


This is the busy day – I’ll be at the table in the morning and the afternoon, but there’s a gap from about 11-3:45 where I have a bunch of panels and interviews and so on.

11 AM – Writers Unite! The long-running panel, hosted by Jim Zub (www.jimzub.com) of Wayward and Skullkickers fame, in which he, often me, and other great writers lay down some serious truths about breaking into the comics business. This year, we’re joined by Marguerite Bennett and Steve Orlando – should be fantastic. For all you aspiring writers or process junkies, this one is not to be missed.

2:45 PM – Marvel Cup O’ Joe! This is one of the big Marvel Q&A panels, at which I’ll be talking about Daredevil, Uncanny Inhumans, other Inhumans stuff… and I just may have a new series being announced. Actually, there’s no just may about it. I will have a new series announced here.


11:00 AM – Marvel Unlimited! This is always fun – a super secret panel for members of Marvel Unlimited, with sneak peeks at cool new things from all facets of the Marvel Multimedia Empire, from comics to TV to movies.

And then, a few hours later, I collapse. The show should be prettttttttty wonderful this year, and I hope to see you out!

I don’t know if you’re reading this on the main blog home page at charlessoule.wordpress.com or somewhere else, but if you’re at the main page, you can see some links over to the right ——>. Man, I need to update those things. While I think those are all great series, I mean, 27 came out in 2010/2011. I’ve done a fair bit of work since then.

On the list it goes.

Today is a big day! The first issue of my Lando series with Alex Maleev  comes out today, and it’s also the day that the first issue of my Civil War series with Leinil Yu hits. Kind of crazy.

The other big announcement is that I’m writing Daredevil, with Ron Garney on the art, starting this fall. Also crazy. I’ve done a few interviews talking about my take – one just hit at the AV Club, and I did another for Marvel.com with some additional information that should be popping up soon. I’ll try to do a post here with some thoughts soon as well.

Beyond that, just writing, writing. I have a few new creator-owned things I plan to show around a bit in San Diego, and I just finished a pretty substantial draft of a novel called The Oracle Year that I hope will be out in the world relatively soon. That side of things is really complex, though, and it’s hard to say whether it will work out. I’m proud of it, though, and I hope you will get to read it, if you’re so inclined.

Okay, enough with the updates! My schedule for this weekend is packed, with lots of interviews and signings and so on. Here are the highlights:

Thursday, July 9

4:30 PM – Marvel Panel, Inhumans and Mutants, with Jeff Lemire, among others. This one should be interesting – Jeff’s the new head writer for the X-Men side at Marvel, and I’m currently leading the charge for the Inhumans. We will discuss such things.

Friday, July 10

10 AM – Marvel Secret Wars Panel – I’ll be discussing Attilan Rising, Civil War and the state of the huge Secret Wars event. Should be great.

1 PM – Signing at the Marvel booth.

3 PM – Signing at the Oni booth.

Saturday, July 11

1 PM – Signing at the Marvel booth.

2:45 PM – Marvel Cup O’ Joe panel – probably discussing Lando and Daredevil, I think.

4 PM – Childhood Dreams Come True: Writing Licensed Characters – at which I will discuss my childhood dreams.

The other thing – I plan to bring a very limited number of the Lando #1 exclusive variant Alex Maleev and I did (see the post directly before this one for info) and I’ll have them available. How exactly that will work I’m not sure, since I don’t have a table, but if that’s something you’re interested in then I strongly suggest you follow me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/charlessoule).

See you in California!

At Special Edition NYC this past weekend (one hell of a good convention, by the way – completely focused on comics), if you swung by my table, or the table of my esteemed collaborator on the Star Wars Lando Calrissian comic for Marvel, the incredible Alex Maleev, you may have noticed an email signup sheet to get more information about a special cover he and I put together for Lando #1, which will hit stores on July 8, 2015. We think of it almost like our own “action figure” for the book.

However, since it’s quite likely that many of you reading this did not happen to be in NYC this past weekend, I thought I would put up a post to explain. This is a “variant” – a special limited run of the issue with the same story on the inside, but a special, unique cover on the outside. And speaking of that gorgeous, painted cover art from Mr. Maleev, let’s take a look at it:

STWLANDO2015001_DCX51 (no UPC)Pretty damn lovely. We tried to set it up with minimal extra “stuff” on the front – no bar code, etc. (that’s on the back.) The idea was to try to make it seem like an art piece, to the extent we could.

How can you get one, assuming you’re interested? Well, you get it from us. These won’t be in stores (unless stores get some from us, but it’s not a sure thing that your store will do that, of course.) Alex and I are having the entire damn run of these things shipped to us (we both live in Brooklyn), and we’ll turn around and send them back out after signing, re-packing, whatever. Should be a pretty fun day, actually. The expectation is that we’ll have them out around the street date of July 8, with some possible flex there depending on logistics. But we’ll do our best.

If you think you might want one, send an email to soulecomics@gmail.com expressing your interest, and we’ll get back to you with all the details. We didn’t do a huge run here, so it’s first come, first served.

Now, if you don’t want one, no sweat – you’ll be able to get the regular cover everywhere on July 8, both digitally and at your local comics shop. Speaking for Alex and myself, we certainly hope you do!

It’s the Monday before Emerald City Comicon, which is heralded by many in the biz as the official start of convention season, running through New York Comicon in October. I think that’s less true than it used to be – I’ve already done two shows this year, for example. However, it still feels like ECCC is the first big show that tons of my friends attend, many of the publishers set up, etc. (That said, I’ve heard great things about Planet Comicon in Kansas City. That one just happened a few weeks ago, and I may try to put it on the list for next year.)

I’ve been attending ECCC since 2009 (with one exception in 2010 – I was scheduled to go, but my father passed away a few weeks beforehand, so I had to miss that one.) I’ve posted about it here almost every year as well. You can do a search on “emerald” or “ECCC” if you’re interested in seeing the timeline. I found it to be pretty interesting.  Here’s my first post about the show, from 2009. Here’s another from 2011. Things have changed since those days, both for me and the show. Emerald is now a huge endeavor, just acquired by Reed Expo, one of the biggest players in the comic convention business. And I’ve gone from hoping to get a few people to check out my very first published work (Strongman) to writing a new chapter for Civil War, one of the biggest events in Marvel Comics’ history.

But more on that in a minute. First, let me give you my schedule for the convention this weekend. I’ll be set up for most of the show at table W-05, which is between two of my current collaborators, Steve McNiven and Ray Fawkes. Steve and I did Death of Wolverine together, and we’re also working on the upcoming Uncanny Inhumans series. Ray and I are doing the Wolverines weekly series. Bring your issues out, and we’ll sign ’em.

I expect to have the following items available:

1.Letter 44 Volumes 1 and 2! The second trade collection of Letter 44 is debuting at the show. It looks incredible:


It’s shiny! I’ll also have some of the single issues that haven’t been collected yet, including some cool variants of issues #1 and #8 (which started the first arc) and the Letter 44 mission patches.

2. Death of Wolverine HC (both covers – McNiven’s original and the Joe Quesada variant,) as well as some variant covers of the single issues. I expect these to go fast.

3. Strange Attractors HC.

4. 27 Vols 1 and 2 (probably limited copies)

5. She-Hulk, Inhuman, Superman/Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns trades, as well as some singles. If there’s something specific you want from any of these runs, ask me in the comments. I may have it, but I may not bring it unless you specifically request it.

Random other stuff too, probably. I’ll have a good batch of material. I expect to be at my table for the entire convention, unless I’m at a signing or panel. Here’s that schedule:

Friday, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Writers Unite! This is a long-running panel I’ve been doing with my pal Jim Zub for many years – who I actually met at ECCC for the first time in 2011. We had pizza at the Alibi Room, along with Nathan Edmondson and Bryan J. Glass, who I also met for the first time that weekend. Funny to see what’s happened to all of us in the intervening years. Good times.

This time around, we’ll be joined by Kieron Gillen, and we’ll be providing some really solid tips to aspiring comics writers. I really vouch for this one. If you want to write comics, it’s very useful.

Friday, 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way. Just as it sounds. I’ve done this one before, and I always enjoy it. I’ll be talking alongside a rogues’ gallery of great Marvel writers and artists about how we got into the industry. Always fun.

Friday, 4:00-5:00 PM – Signing at the Oni Booth. I’ll be signing the new volume of Letter 44 as well as whatever else you want to slap down in front of me. This is my only scheduled signing at Oni for the weekend.

Saturday, 3:00-4:00 PM – Marvel, From Black Vortex to Secret Wars. This should be the big “here’s what’s coming up at Marvel” panel, with cool art teases and a fun Q&A. Always a good time.

Sunday, 12:30 AM -1:30 PM – Science in Comics. The idea here is to talk about realistic depictions of science in comics – I was asked to participate because of my work on Letter 44 and Strange Attractors. I believe Frank Barbiere, Michael Moreci and some other great folks will be joining me as well.

Otherwise, I’ll be at W-05. Friday night I’ll be at a very long-running tradition for ECCC, a secret karaoke evening I do every year with a few friends. Very hush-hush and on the DL.

Now, Civil War… as announced by CNN on Friday evening, I am writing a new story set during the superhero Civil War that raged through the Marvel Universe back in 2006-2007. The book is being drawn by Leinil Yu, the incredible artist who did Secret Invasion for Marvel, among other great stories.

The original story was written by Mark Millar and drawn by Steve McNiven. It revolved around a gigantic fight between Captain America and Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) over ideological differences related to something called the Super Hero Registration Act (SHRA). The idea of the SHRA was that people with significant metahuman powers or tech should register with the government and be trained up, almost as a super-powered police force. Iron Man was for this idea, because he thought it would make the world safer, while Cap was against it, because he thought it infringed too much on the freedom of the people who were being forced to register.

I did an interview with Marvel.com about the series, which goes into some additional detail about what will happen in the story. I’m sure those who read the Millar/McNiven original are wondering how the hell we can tell another Civil War story, as the war ended in that book with Cap’s surrender to Tony. You’ll see. The way it works allows me to cleanly, and in continuity, take the Civil War and expand it out across an enormous canvas in space, time and scope.

I’ve been working very, very hard on it since the end of last year, and I’m very pleased with how it all works so far. We’ll see how it’s received. I don’t want to talk too much about it at this point beyond the comments here and in that interview, but if you have questions, go ahead and hit me up in the comments or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/charlessoule).

See you in Seattle!

(Obligatory intro text paragraph – feel free to skip down to the non-italic text if you’ve already been reading these posts.)

This is the last of twelve essays I’ve written, one per day leading up to the release of She-Hulk #12, the final issue in the current run of the title, on February 18. The idea was to look at each issue a bit more in-depth before we got to that last one.

If you haven’t read She-Hulk, but you’d like to, you can get the trade for issues 1-6 here, buy all the issues digitally here or hit up your local comic shop.

You may have noticed that this post is going up on Thursday, February 19, while the final issue of She-Hulk actually hit shelves yesterday, on the 18th. I decided to wait to post this for two reasons. First, I really, really wanted to finish the script for the fifth issue of [redacted] yesterday, and it took longer than I expected. That’s a tricky project.

Second, this post will feature spoilers, as have all of my little writeups, and I wanted to give people a chance to find the issue and read it before they accidentally stumble across my thoughts here. I actually went to three shops looking for a copy before I could find one – the first two places were sold out, which seems like a nice thing.

Anyway, issue 12 – the ride’s over for now. Let’s talk about this last installment.

Lots to wrap up in this issue – I needed to explain all of the little bits and pieces in the Blue File mystery in a satisfying way, figure out how to get some punching going, say goodbye to these characters (for now) and work in a Howard the Duck cameo:

HowardTurns out that good ol’ Howard is taking office space in Jen’s IdeaHive building down in DUMBO, which we’ll see in Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones’ Howard the Duck series, starting any minute from Marvel. I love that so much. (Also, I’ve read the first issue, and it’s pretty darn delightful.)

If you want to see more of Jen, Patsy, Angie and Hei Hei, that’s the first place to look.

Anyway, back to the list of to-dos for this issue. You may note that there’s a big item missing from that list – a good explanation of what the hell is up with Angie and Hei Hei. I was reading some reviews of this issue (I try not to read reviews, but I am only human, and I really wanted to see what folks thought of this one,) and one referred to Angie as a sort of “paralegal Mary Poppins,” offering her services to attorneys in need across the Marvel Universe.

That’s not exactly it, but that made me laugh, so for now, let’s say that’s what Angie and Hei Hei are, until I get an opportunity to tell their story in more detail. The truth is, I felt like I didn’t have enough space here to do their story justice. It deserves at least a few issues, and I didn’t want to shortchange them with a few throwaway lines at the end of this story. Whether or not I get to tell that story… we’ll see. I know exactly when and how I would like to do it, but of course that will depend on many other factors. We’ll get to that.

For now, all you get is that apparently she can do this:

SpellI hope readers weren’t too bummed that I didn’t fully explain Angie here, but I felt strongly that if I couldn’t do it right, I didn’t want to do it at all. If the stars never align for me to write it the way I want to, I’ll make sure the truth gets out eventually, either here or somewhere like it.

I loved writing the flashback sequence that opened the issue – it’s always fun to go back and use older versions of characters.

HeroesI’ve always loved that Captain Marvel costume in particular. Such a great design.

By this point you’ve (hopefully) read the issue, so you know what happened – Nightwatch executed an in-story retcon to change the Marvel U’s perception of him from the villain Nighteater to the hero Nightwatch. He did so by murdering a town’s worth of people and using their “mental energy” to power a spell that would rewrite reality.

Dr. Druid was the magician behind it – one interesting note that I haven’t heard about yet, although I thought I would – Dr. Druid is technically a hero himself. So what the hell is he doing here, working with villains like Nighteater, Shocker and Vibro? Well, it turns out Dr. Druid’s continuity includes some pretty tough times. At least once, he was possessed by an evil spirit of a sort, after which none of the other heroes trusted him all that much. He was forced to take odd jobs to survive, some of which were for bad guys – and this is something that happened during that phase.

Nighteater is a new creation for this series. I actually thought he came off pretty badass for a guy we only see for a few pages:


That’s one hell of a cool design and color scheme – once again, kudos to Javier and Muntsa. I actually liked Nighteater more than Nightwatch – at least Nighteater is honest about who he is (for a while.) Nightwatch is just a lying liar.

I’d like to point you to a review I read today from the folks at Retcon-Punch, a site I’ve come to love for their very sharp reviews and discussion not just of my books, but many other titles as well. They did a writeup on this issue as well as what they thought it meant in context of the series as a whole that really nails a lot of the themes I was trying to work with here. You can read it here, if you want to. Rather than me go through all of that here, I thought I could just piggyback on their hard work. You know me – nothing like a quick, easy shortcut.

I hope the whole thing works well when you read it as a unit – these mysteries are hard to build, and sometimes you forget something you intended to do when you laid in a clue in an issue you wrote nine months before. But that said, what you see is pretty much what I was planning from the beginning.  (One funny thing, though – the D-list Marvel hero I was originally going to retcon wasn’t Nightwatch. It was determined that using the one I originally wanted would hypothetically invalidate a bunch of Fantastic Four stories, or at least put them in a strange and not necessarily desirable light. I think Nightwatch worked out really well, but the other character would have been fun too. And no, I won’t tell you who it was. The FF mention is enough of a clue.)

Favorite panel: This seems like the perfect opportunity to make special mention of an element of this book I haven’t talked about enough to date – Kevin Wada’s unbelievable covers. His work helped to lock in the title’s vibe – it’s not a cheesecake book, it’s about a kickass icon. The cover for this last issue might have been my favorite out of all 12 (including the amazing triptych covers for 8-10), and even though it’s technically not a panel, I think we can stretch the rules just this once:

tumblr_nhtmfqv7ol1qbkgzfo1_1280Look at her expression! Kevin has promised to paint me a Jen I can stick on my wall, but he is not exactly the least busy guy in the world. Hopefully I’ll get one eventually.

Favorite character: Jen Walters, especially in this panel:

SorryShe is the best.

And that, as they say… is that. I will miss working on this series immensely – everything I said in the little note that ends the physical copy of this issue is completely true. Will we do more? I can’t announce anything – there’s nothing to announce – but the door remains open. If my schedule permits and Marvel’s schedule permits, then hopefully we’ll get that season 2. In the meantime… I’d say keep your eyes on Wolverines, the weekly series I’m writing. Especially around the beginning of April.

Thank you all for reading, both these posts and the series. This has been a fair amount of work to put together, but I’ve enjoyed the look back. As always, if you have questions about this issue, or anything at all, you can reach me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/charlessoule) or via the email form at www.charlessoule.com.

(Obligatory intro text paragraph – feel free to skip down to the non-italic text if you’ve already been reading these posts.)

This is the eleventh of twelve essays I’m writing, one per day as we lead up to the release of She-Hulk #12, the final issue in the current run of the title, on February 18. The idea is to look at each issue a bit more in-depth before we get to that last one. I’m doing these in conjunction with a live-tweet using the tag #12daysofshehulk on Twitter, also one per day leading up to the release of 12 starting at 7 PM EST – so you can play along at home! Feel free to @ me (I’m @charlessoule) – I’d love to hear what you think of this issue and all the others, whether it’s a re-read or you’re checking them out for the first time.

If you haven’t read She-Hulk, but you’d like to, you can get the trade for issues 1-6 here, buy all the issues digitally here or hit up your local comic shop.

Tomorrow’s might be a bit delayed, fyi, because I expect it to be filled with spoilers for the last issue of the series, and I don’t necessarily want to have people accidentally reading it before they’ve had a chance to get the issue.

But we aren’t there yet, are we? Nope – today’s Issue #11, “Titanium Blues.”

I wanted to check off two boxes with this issue, both of which I suspect were pretty obvious. First, I wanted to write a big fight between Titania and She-Hulk. Second, I wanted to write a big fight. And that’s Issue 11!

Titania is a very cool character – she’s pretty much She-Hulk’s big bad. They’ve had some truly epic battles over the years, and in much the way it’s almost mandatory for a Batman writer to eventually write a Joker story, I think She-Hulk writers tend to find their way to Titania eventually.

The lady’s real name is Mary MacPherran, and she has an interesting history. She was powered up by Dr. Doom in the original Secret Wars miniseries back in the 80s, along with her best bud Volcana (who we also see in this issue.) You can bop on over to her Wikipedia entry if you want to know all the ins and outs, but the thing about Titania that most interested me was that she’s always been something of a blue collar character.  Some writers have hit that harder than others, but I thought it could make her a good stand-in for general anti-lawyer bias.

I mean, let’s face it – some folks think lawyers are just greedy scum, using the system to their own advantage. And let’s also face it – some lawyers are exactly like that. Many, many more are not, of course, but one bad apple…

ApplesSo, Titania doesn’t like lawyers – from where she’s standing, it all comes easy to them. They don’t really do anything, but they get to live the good life off the fees they charge honest, hard-working people.

While she and Volcana were hired to attack Jen as punishment for her continuing investigation of the Blue File, it’s always better if you can make a fight personal. So, throwing in the anti-lawyer thing alongside the long antagonism between Titania and She-Hulk seemed like it would be a nice engine for this battle.

I also wanted to write a fight issue after 8-10, which were very talky. It would be sort of a palate-cleanser both for the readers and for Javier/Muntsa. Superhero fights are fun to construct, and I hear they’re fun to draw. Reversals, unexpected allies/enemies arriving…

Friends(Note the way Hellcat’s crowbar is superheated after smacking Volcana in panels 1-2, by the way – that’s some amazing work from Muntsa. Also, of course, the Fantasticar, a callback to Issue 3 – apparently Jen parked it on the roof of her building and never gave it back to the Fantastic Four.)

Both sides need to seem like they’re winning and losing in almost equal measure. The fight needs to have an ebb and flow to it, like a really good song or a classical composition. As many surprises as you can come up with, really.

Such as… Hei Hei being whipped about five miles into the air by Titania, after which this happens:

Super Hei HeiAs Angie Huang put it back in Issue 2:

ImpressiveSo, we have a monkey that has a winged battle mode, and we also see Angie directly using what appears to be some sort of magic or superpowers in this issue. Pretty weird. What is the deal with those two?

Another neat little thing about this issue – I knew I wanted to stage the fight north of the city, because Jen would want to get civilians out of the line of fire. She’s thrown down enough with Titania to know that serious property damage tends to result. Up north of NYC, we get into the Hudson Valley, where it’s less populated, especially in the mountains along the river. So, I was poking around for a specific place to set the fight, and found this:

BreakneckI realize that’s a little small, but I wanted to get the awesome color work from Muntsa in here for the leaps – She-Hulk is green, and Titania is purple. So good. If you can’t read it, the name of the mountain where they end up is Breakneck Mountain – a real place. If there’s a better place in the world to set a Titania/She-Hulk fight, I don’t know where it could be. Just one of those awesome happy accidents like finding the county of Divide in North Dakota (see Issue 5) or the fact that Mark of Zorro was playing at Mann’s Chinese back in November 1940 (see Issue 10.)

Other things about this issue – you’ll note that when Titania is doing her big rant about how much she hates lawyers because they just talk all the time… who’s not talking there? Jen says almost nothing during the entire fight, in fact. When it’s time to get down to business, she gets down to business.

And then, of course, the reveal on the last page – Nightwatch is behind the Blue File, and everything bad we’ve seen related to it in the series so far. But how? And why? You’ll find out… tomorrow.

Favorite panel:

RunIt’s really four panels, but you get so much from them. Such a great sense of time passing, especially across the three “sky” panels. This might be one of my favorite bits in the whole series, actually.

Favorite character: Super Hei Hei.

Super Hei Hei 2Right on, Super Hei Hei. Right on.

Tomorrow… it all comes to an end.

If you have questions about this issue, or anything at all, you can reach me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/charlessoule) or via the email form at www.charlessoule.com.