As far as personal heroes are concerned, Charles Soule is certainly up there. Not only did he have one of the more interesting runs on Daredevil, but his Death of Wolverine is among the most devastating books I’ve ever read. (And might explain why I ran around the house as a child, knives and forks taped on my knuckles.)
So it should come as no surprise that when I got the chance to interview Soule at New York Comic Con in October, I jumped at the chance. He spoke in great detail about both his Daredevil and Wolverine runs, shedding intriguing light on his creative choices and larger perspective.
In non-comics news, Soule recently released a novel, Anyone. It’s delightful work that tries to make sense of identity and morality in the context of our increasing over-reliance on technology.
AIPT: Thank you so much. Mr. Soule for donating some of your time. I really appreciate it.
Charles Soule: Sure. Thanks for having me on.
AIPT: So the first thing, what I love so much about Death of Wolverine is that you gave him a perfect ending. You said in the second or third issue is that all he wanted to do was have one more sunset and then you gave it to him at the end of the book. In my view, it was perfect. So my questions are as follows: Number one, How did you think of that ending? And number two, how do you feel that he’s been brought back?
CS: I came up with the ending because I wanted to do something that felt different and that wasn’t just him fighting off a thousand ninjas and dying because ultimately that would mean that Wolverine lost. This ending in Death of Wolverine when he basically becomes a literal icon to me, it felt it was just more fitting because Wolverine is sort of an icon. So give him a send-off that that is appropriate for all the things he’s done and all the lives you’ve saved and he can sort of be inspiring to people in a different way. And also, I like the idea of, you know, heroes to ride off into the sunset.
As far as him coming back, I mean, I wrote Return of Wolverine and they asked me to tell the story that brought him back to life. So if somebody else had done him I might have felt weird about it, but I felt like I got to kill the guy and that I got to bring him back to life and that’s a really unique opportunity in comics. So I’m very proud of that whole like trilogy or cycle, whatever you want to call it.
AIPT: Understanding that, what do you think is the best angle to take from here, with his story?
CS: Oh, man. It could go anywhere. Wolverine, obviously, the character has been around for more than forty years and the reason for that is that he is so versatile. You can put in so many different situations. Sometimes he’s a teacher, sometimes he’s a murderer, sometimes he’s a victim, sometimes he’s, you know, a straight-up superhero. So it can be all these different things. And so I think just down the road we’ll just see where different writers decide to take him, which aspects of Wolverine they’d like to focus on.
AIPT: What I love so much about your run on Daredevil, well, at the end of Mark Waid’s run he’s in San Francisco. It seemed like he had been at peace with himself.
CS: He kind of had a happy ending.
AIPT: Exactly! And you made the startling decision to bring him back to New York. Not only did you bring him back, you switched him from a defense attorney to a prosecutor. Which anyone that knows anything about law practice is a hugely different thing. So, why did you make that decision to go from defense attorney to prosecutor?
CS: Part of it is that I am a lawyer. I have a legal background. So I wanted to tell something that felt correct from legal standpoint. So I did that. And then as far as making prosecutor, I wanted to mix it up and show the readers an angle that they had necessarily seen before and so making Daredevil, you know, on the other side gave him kind of access to tools that that we’ve never seen him use before. Like he had access to the tools of government, access to the cops to help him do things, and it kind of, in my view, made his ability to be Daredevil – it enhanced it a bit and made it different than we’ve seen before. And for me, as a lawyer it’s just interesting to write about that stuff.
AIPT: Oh, I never thought about that angle. And then at the end [of the run], the one line I don’t think I’ll ever forget as I read Daredevil going on. I think I’m paraphrasing but you said – if I can’t see the light, I have to be the light.
CS: “I cannot see the light, so I will be the light.” It was just one of those moments that I’m like well, that’s who he is. Right? Like, all he can all he can see is darkness so he chooses to be light. It just felt like a really strong metaphor for everything Daredevil is and everything that my run was about and putting it in as those last moments as the reason he keeps fighting even though it would be so much easier just to lay down was really what I wanted to do. So I’m glad it worked for you.