Well, it has BEEN A BIT. I’m writing this on November 14. I’ve been deep in “finish Novel 2” mode for the past month or so, and it’s been hard to think about anything else. It’s turned in, though (and I’ll probably do a blog post about it soon) so I can turn my attention to other things for a while. So, back to my writer’s notes on recent releases…
We’ll start with Daredevil #609. Art and cover by Phil Noto, and lettering from VC’s Clayton Cowles.
This issue kicks off my final arc on the title, “The Death of Daredevil.” As I write this, part three, #611, is out this very day, so readers who are keeping up will have seen 3/4 of the story Phil Noto and I are telling. In some ways, knowing that this was my last arc freed me up. I didn’t have to hold back story beats, or worry too much about how I’d deal with this story down the road. Writing a long-running series is about resource management, to a degree. But here, with Death of Daredevil, there’s nothing left to manage - this is where I put in everything I have left.
The reviews so far have been fantastic, not just for this arc but for everything I’ve done with Phil on Daredevil, and I’d be lying if I didn’t wish we could do more. I’m sure Phil and I will work together again, though - we’ve talked about stuff. In any case, enjoy the ride while it lasts - I know I will.
Next… Darth Vader #22! Art and cover from Giuseppe Camuncoli, inked by Daniele Orlandini, colors by David Curiel, letters from VC’s Joe Caramagna, and cover painted by Elia Bonetti.
This issue got a LOT of love on social media, in reviews, etc., mainly because it gave the longtime Star Wars fans (and even casual ones) something they’d wanted for a while, I think - information on the ancient Sith. We’ve seen so little of the Sith’s story beyond the Palpatine-to-Vader-to-Kylo arc (if you even want to call Kylo Ren a Sith at all, although I would and do. Snoke too.) This issue gave us the story of Lord Momin, a Sith from a long, long time ago, who had a unique approach to the Dark Side. He didn’t consider it just a power to be control - he worshipped it, and tried to exalt it with his works of horrible art. His theory was that the Dark Side giveth and the Dark Side taketh away, and if you don’t give it respect you won’t have as much power.
It’s an interesting point of view, I think, and hopefully new. The next chapter is out today as I write this, #23, and I’ve been really heartened by the way people have been responding to the FORTRESS VADER story as a whole. I was nervous to tell such an iconic chapter in Vader’s history, but it seems to be going well. We’re closing the last chapter this week, #25 - we’ll see how it goes!
And now, the real deal, the biggest book of the week - CURSE WORDS #17. Written by me, art by the super-champion Ryan Browne, colors by Addison Duke and letters by Crank!
This is part two of the arc that began with #16. At that point, we were calling it “Them Blue Wizard Blues,” because I thought the arc would be mostly about Jacques Zacques making Wizord’s life hell. It turned out to be about something else entirely, though, which is why Ryan and I are retitling the arc: QUEEN MARGARET!!! This is the arc where we pull back a bunch of the curtain on our most favorite character in the book, the adorable sometime koala and current quokka Margaret.
This happens sometimes - I would like to think that every single story beat and emphasis is perfectly planned from Issue 1, but it doesn’t always work that way, especially with a book as collaborative as Curse Words. Ryan and I bounce off each other constantly, and ideas emerge from nowhere. It’s great, but that also means you don’t always plan everything ahead of time. The key, I think, is not to be afraid of it, and always choose the best idea, even if it means tearing up track. So, sayonara “Them Blue Wizard Blues,” welcome “Queen Margaret!”
That’s it for October 17… next week is a huge book, Return of Wolverine #2! See you back here then.