It’s the biggest release day I’ve had in a while, with three huge issues out - my last issue on Daredevil, my second-to-last issue on Darth Vader, and the third part of Return of Wolverine. An embarrassment of riches!
Let’s start with the biggie, Daredevil #612, my last issue on the main title. Art by Phil Noto and letters from VC’s Clayton Cowles.
Aww man, right? My last issue of Daredevil. I woke up this morning at like 4 AM (not my usual wake-up time, thank god) and that was the first thing that popped into my head. It’s the last day I’m the writer of Daredevil, a title I’ve held for more than three years. (While my first issue, Daredevil #1 with Ron Garney, Matt Milla and Clayton Cowles) came out almost three years ago, I’ve been working on the title since April 2015. I’m one of fourteen writers with long runs on the title since 1964, a list that began with Stan Lee.
Fourteen. In fifty-four years. Getting to write a long run on Daredevil is one of the most exclusive jobs in all of comics. I think the ending Phil, Clayton and I made here speaks for itself, but I will say that this arc (and, to a degree, the run as a whole) is about the fear of nothing you do mattering. I think that’s maybe the only thing Daredevil really fears - and it’s a fear I think many of us can relate to these days.
I’ll write a longer piece about my run on Daredevil over in the main blog section soon, but let me thank everyone who contributed to this run, everyone who made all the stories that served as the foundation for this run’s adventures, and especially everyone who supported us, from readers to retailers to press. THANK YOU.
Let’s head over to Darth Vader #24, which is part 6 of the FORTRESS VADER epic, and the second-to-last issue in the run as a whole. I’ll tell you what, friends, it’s been hard to see these series go. First Poe, now Daredevil, and on the imminent horizon, Vader. Now, I have lots of great things coming up - I should probably be working on them instead of doing this, in fact - but I will miss these books.
But we’re not done yet! So, Vader #24. Art and cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, inked by Daniele Orlandini, colors from David Curiel, letters by Joe Caramagna, and cover painted by Elia Bonetti.
How about that cover, right? Vader! On fire! Successful comic runs are about everything - not just the scripts, not just the art, not just the lettering… all of it. Certainly the covers, and we have been so lucky with Elia Bonetti’s beautiful paintings here.
As far as the story - EPIC BATTLE! I wanted to show Vader as something we don’t often see in the stories - an inspiring leader. Remember, Anakin Skywalker was a general - he knows how to lead troops into battle. It’s not something we see him do often, and I don’t think Vader ever does it out of loyalty to any cause. He pulls out the inspiration trick when he needs a bunch of people to fling themselves headlong into certain doom because it suits his purposes.
And of course… Momin. We get to see more of him here, the full, real-deal version of the Sith Lord. I could have done three issues of battle between Vader and Momin, but that might have been a little indulgent. Or a lot indulgent. The story is the story, and #25, out December 16, is what it’s all been building toward. Get ready - it’s nuts.
And my third issue out today… Return of Wolverine #3! Art by Declan Shalvey, colors by Laura Martin, letters by Joe Sabino, cover art by Steve Mcniven, cover colors from Sunny Gho.
We’re past the halfway point in Return of Wolverine, and the events here are the thematic centerpiece of what I’ve been trying to say with this series. Wolverine battles the X-Men, and it’s a real-deal fight, no screwing around. Bad things happen. Part of the fun (and challenge) in writing this was finding a way for Logan to plausibly fight a squad that included Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde, Storm and Iceman. I mean, heavy hitters one and all. I’m a pretty big fan of powers-based battle choreography, and I think this one worked out well.
That said, the last page is intense… but we get answers a-plenty in #4, and then the big finale in #5. It’s a heck of a ride, just you wait.
Next week is mostly (but not entirely) about the collections for me. It’s all four Hunt for Wolverine trades (including Weapon Lost), plus the final Poe Dameron trade - V5, “The Spark and the Fire". We also get another taste of Wolverine in the X-Men Holiday Special, where my Curse Words colleague Ryan Browne and I show you how the #hotclaws save the season. And even better, CURSE WORDS #18 is out! That’s right - we return to Wizord, Margaret and the gang to see all the latest hijinks. See you in 7!