August 8, 2018- DAREDEVIL #606, DARTH VADER #19
Two big, big releases from me this week: Darth Vader #19, kicking off "Fortress Vader," and Daredevil #606, starting the Phil Noto era on the book, as well as a cool story called "Double Vision." Let's start there. The art and cover for the issue are by Phil Noto and letters by VC's Clayton Cowles:
Daredevil #606 was a tricky one, because it had to begin a new storyline after a pretty definitive conclusion to the "Mayor Murdock" story in DD #605, and had to introduce a new artist in a big way: my friend, the brilliant Phil Noto. I've worked a bunch with Phil over the years, including our Poe Dameron series, an issue of my Astonishing X-Men run and other bits and pieces here and there. He is a wonderful guy and an incredible artist, and I wanted to give him something super cool to draw. We talked a bunch about what he likes and what he'd like to do for Daredevil - I also would like to think I know how to write to his strengths after writing so many pages for him. (He may disagree!)
Regardless, I love how this turned out. It feels like a new beginning, and has a pretty weird, cool hook - the return of Mike Murdock to the pages of Daredevil. Mike Murdock never really existed. He was a made-up twin brother for Matt that he created in order to throw Foggy Nelson and Karen Page off the scent that he was Daredevil. Supposedly, this rascal Mike was DD, which led to a bunch of odd stories that had Matt pretending to be Mike, even to the point of falling in love with Karen as Mike. It was all very confusing, very silly and very 1960s. It's often considered sort of a low point in Daredevil, to be totally honest. Charming at best, when looked at through a modern lens.
SO WE BROUGHT HIM BACK! Of course, it doesn't make a lot of sense yet, but it will. I have to say, too, writing a dirtbag jerk version of Matt Murdock is a joy. This story runs through issue 608, and then something else very cool will begin.
Next, Darth Vader #19, the start of the huge "Fortress Vader" story that will reveal how (and more importantly why) Vader set up that gigantic castle on Mustafar that we saw in Rogue One. Art and cover art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, inked by Daniele Orlandini, colors by David Curiel, letters from Vc Joe Caramagna, and the cover is painted by Elia Bonetti:
"Fortress Vader" is a massive, seven part story, the largest arc in my run so far. There's a lot of story to tell, and I wanted to build up to the stuff we all want to see. A picture will begin to emerge over the next few issues, but you should think of 19-20 as Act I, 21-22 as Act II, 23-24 as Act III and then the big #25 as a sort of coda. It's all important, and I think every issue stands on its own. #22 is particularly cool - that's the Tale of Lord Momin.
In #19, we see a bunch of worldbuilding as far as the ongoing but winding down Jedi Hunt, and the seeds of something called "Project Harvester," which gets picked up on later in Star Wars Rebels, the animated show that just concluded. It's all part of a bigger tapestry, and the fun of writing these stories is finding ways to tell tales that are satisfying in and of themselves but do feel part of the overarching narrative. A nice balance to work toward as a writer.
Next week... Poe Dameron #30! The penultimate issue. See you back here then, and don't forget to check out the Store if you're looking for signed copies, merch or other goodies.