February 21, 2018- DAREDEVIL #599, ASTONISHING X-MEN #8, ASTONISHING X-MEN VOL. 1 TPB
These are going up a touch late, because I was traveling overseas last week and wasn't really able to get much keyboard time (which, honestly, isn't a bad thing), but I had some cool books out last week - worth discussing. I had a bunch in the Astonishing X-Men world, both the 8th issue in the series as well as the collected edition of the "Life of X" arc (Issues 1-6.) I also had Daredevil #599, the second-to-last chapter in the "Mayor Fisk" story. A few words on each... (maybe a little less than usual, because I want to get to this week's releases in a second too.)
Let's start with Daredevil #599. I can't believe we're almost to the end of the "Mayor Fisk" story, which will hit next month with Daredevil #600. This issue is all about ramping up the conflicts, pushing us to the moment where we can't wait to see how it all wraps up. It was tough to plot this one, because there are a ton of threads to balance, but the key for me was realizing how tough it would be for Daredevil, with his super-hearing, to live in a city where the name of his number-one adversary was on everyone's lips. It's supposed to mirror, to a degree, the way Twitter, the news and similar media sources just seem to be almost aggressive these days. We become part of other people's discussions whether we want that or not.
#600 is just a few weeks away - man, I can't wait. That issue, like this one, will be drawn by the amazing Ron Garney, with colors by Matt Milla and letters by Clayton Cowles, all stalwarts of the run.
Astonishing X-Men #8! Written by me, art by Paolo Siqueira, inks by Walden Wong and Roberto Poggi, colors by Edgar Delgado and letters by, once again, the amazing Clayton Cowles. Cover by Mike Deodato, Jr. who's just been doing amazing work recently, I think.
This issue starts to deepen the story of Proteus and X (the recently returned from the dead Charles Xavier - but younger, different, a bit darker.) In particular, it was fun to dig into Proteus' backstory. I don't want to spoil too much of what happens here, but sometimes when you run the numbers on the original stories, things get weird. It's always good to do your homework, especially with the X-Men. It tends to inform whatever you're writing in cool, unexpected ways. When I really broke Proteus apart and looked at his earliest stories... man, it's pretty tragic. It opened up his story for me, which is always good - it made him a person, instead of a cookie-cutter villain.
I saw some chatter online that not everyone is sure about X - not sure what his deal is, not sure if they like him yet. Fair enough. All I'll say is that we're in part 8 of a 12-issue story, 2/3 of the way through. You're supposed to be a little unsure. Wait and see - that's all I'll say.
The first volume of my Astonishing X-Men series, which collected issues 1-6, the entire "Life of X" storyline, which describes how Charles Xavier comes back to life, and what he's been up to since he died. (Only in the X-Men could such a sentence make sense.) So many great artists here - every issue a different penciller. We started with Jim Cheung, then Mike Deodato Jr., Ed McGuinness, Carlos Pacheco, Ramon Rosanas and finally Mike del Mundo. You'd think that would feel scattershot - it doesn't, really. Each issue has its own focus, but builds to a larger story. It works, and man, these folks can draw pretty.
The cast of the book (it's not really a team, as you'll see, more a group of mutants thrown together by circumstance) includes Old Man Logan, Mystique, Rogue, Gambit, Bishop, Archangel, Fantomex and Psylocke. I hadn't written some of these characters before, and it was fun to figure out ways to bring them forward while staying true to what we've seen before. I'm particularly proud of what we did with Bishop, making him sort of an endless sentinel against the apocalypse. ALL the apocalypses. I'd love to write him more going forward.
That's it for the stuff on shelves now. On February 28 (tomorrow, as I write this,) I'll have Darth Vader #12 and the final collection of my sci-fi epic Letter 44, Vol 6: "The End." Lots still happening as we move toward the release of my novel THE ORACLE YEAR on April 3, too - head over to the novel's page on the site for pre-order information, bonuses, giveaways, etc.