Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday Comics: Charles Soule

When new writers come onto the scene, it usually takes awhile for me to take notice.  But there is that wonderful discovery when I'm reading that I'm enjoying and then I see that it written by someone I know writes another title I enjoy.

This is the case with Charles Soule.

I have only noted his work in the last few months.  After the complete revamp of the creative teams in charge of the Green Lantern universe, Soule was given the reins to Red Lanterns.  I had been collecting that title, but more out of continuity to the other Lantern stories.  It followed the rage-fueled Reds who are led by the sympathetic but brutal Atrocitus.  One of the problems for the book was that the inherent ugliness of the characters (both moral and physical) made it hard to connect to the stories.

Soule's solution is excellent.  Guy Gardner has been tasked by Hal Jordan to go undercover as a Red Lantern.  In and of itself, that is interesting, but in Donnie Brasco like fashion, Guy not only has embraced the Reds, but he ousted Atrocitus as their leader.

Soule has given us a hero we can root for.  Not only that, but he has given strong personalities to the other Reds that makes us care about them.  And even though the Reds are still violent, Guy has taken them on a more heroic bent.  I'm not sure where it will go, but I am greatly enjoying the ride.

I started buying the Superman/Wonder Woman title because I thought the idea was intriguing.  I didn't realize Soule was writing it until I finished the 3rd issue.  This has so far been one of the consistently best books each month.  Soule does a fantastic job of exploring these unique characters and their relationship while setting against a heavy action backdrop.  I love his insight that Superman doesn't think of himself as above humanity because he was raised in a human family.  Wonder Woman is in many ways more of an alien than he is because of this.

The romance is handled delicately but not schmaltzy.  What could have been a simple gimmick book is actually a fun exploration of the different corners of the DCU.

After realizing how much I enjoy his writing, I was in the comic book store and saw that he started writing for Marvel's She-Hulk comic.  So I picked up the 1st issue and it was very good.  Unlike the action heavy books that he also writes, She-Hulk focuses on the character as a celebrity lawyer.  Soule's background is that he is a licensed attorney, so he brings a great deal of inside-baseball insight into the story.  While there is some punching and action, the book reads much more like a legal procedural show set against the characters of the Marvel Universe.  In the first issue, she takes on a woman suing Tony Stark aka Iron Man for stealing a technology design from her late husband.  Oh, and her late husband was a super villain.

If you get a chance, I would pick up something Soule is writing now.  I look forward to even bigger and better things from him in the years to come.

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