Charles Soule

A Rebel Jail and An Imperial War Highlight February 2016’s Star Wars Comics

Like Darth Vader #16, this issue picks up on threads left over from “Vader Down”, helping make that crossover feel more like a part of the overall narrative and not just a one-off stunt. It also features Sana Starros, the character introduced as Han’s wife in the series’ second story arc, which also helps add to the impression that these issues are part of a larger whole, and not just a series of self-contained stories.

‘Obi Wan and Anakin’ #1 is brilliant and awkward

Obi Wan and Anakin #1 boasts some beautiful setting work and planet designs from Marco Checchetto although his faces are inconsistent, especially with Anakin and another padawan, who looks like a more cartoonish version of Mace Windu. Charles Soule gives his lead character distinct voices and a tense kind of camaraderie as they leap and explore this supposed abandoned planet. However, his plot runs out of steam in the last third of the book, which seems like the first few minutes of an away mission in Star Trek. So despite its interesting conversations about ethics and politics, Obi Wan and Anakin #1 ends being a bit of a mixed bag as far as plot and art and definitely has room for improvement.

‘Uncanny Inhumans’ #2 – Inhuman Methods

Overall, the Uncanny Inhumans (featuring Johnny Storm and Beast) are doing big things in their corner of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe. Soule puts forth the effort to include Beast, who is relatively new to the new cast, and have the cast interact with him to varying degrees in some fantastic scenes. The interactions between all of the players make the comic worthwhile given their history with one another. Johnny Storm being called out on his relationship with previously dating Medusa’s sister Crystal is complicated, yet funny to think about in the light of the events of the story. Uncanny Inhumans #2 is another big step in Kang’s plan of dominance, and another step for Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, and the rest of the art team to prove why the Inhumans are larger than life and can give the X-Family a run for their money.

‘Uncanny Inhumans’ #1- (In)humane Loyalty

If Uncanny Inhumans is the flagship title to lead the charge of the wave of books concerning our Inhuman friends, then with the help of Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, and the rest of the art team, it’ll be a welcome change of pace for the Marvel Universe.

Death of Wolverine #4 is a noble end for a legendary character

In Death of Wolverine, Charles Soule, Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, and Justin Ponsor had the tough job of killing off one Marvel’s most popular characters in a way consistent with his legacy of his character. Death of Wolverine #4 contains the actual “death”, and Soule, McNiven, and company stick the landing. Except for Doctor Cornelius’ supervillainous monologues, Soule’s script is terse and minimalist. Wolverine doesn’t say much, but he does a lot in keeping with his early characterization in Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men where he would be the one still scrapping and fighting even after the Hellfire Club had taken out the other X-Men. In this last story, Soule examines all the different sides of Wolverine from lab experiment and animal to soldier, superhero, and samurai. And Steve McNiven’s art continues to be a treat from his landscape portraits of the Nevada desert to Wolverine’s last, visceral hand to hand battles. Inker Jay Leisten tightens his lines and elucidates the details of Cornelius’ lab as well as the lines on Wolverine’s determined faces. Colorist Justin Ponsor continues to be one of my personal favorites as he sets a different mood for each scene from a washed out brown for one final flashback of Weapon X to the sterile environment of Cornelius’ lab and one last walk in the sunlight.

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