NYCC 2016: Interview with Charles Soule

poe dameron cover 2I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with Charles Soule for a few minutes at New York Comic Con. Since we last talked at Baltimore Comic Con last year, he’s finished his run on Lando, written the Obi-Wan and Anakin series, and is currently writing the ongoing Poe Dameron series for Marvel Comics. (And that’s in addition to all the other books he writes for Marvel and all his creator owned work.) Needless, to say, he’s stayed busy.

Bria for Tosche Station: Thank you again for talking with me this morning and congratulations on conquering the world of Star Wars Comics.

Charles Soule: It has been an incredibly ride. Doing a series set in Prequel time, doing a series set in Original series time, and new era time? I can’t believe it. I still can’t believe it.

TS: I think you might actually be the first person to have written in all three eras in the new canon.

CS: I guess the dream’s achieved. I can retire now. It’s all happened.

TS: I think it was at NYCC last year that the Obi-Wan and Anakin book was announced which I loved by the way. What was it like getting to delve into another era and its characters since before that you’d been working on Lando?

CS: The thing that I really liked about it was that not only was it a Prequel Era story which is sort of unexplored to begin with but it was in the unexplored—no one has written anything between Episode I and Episode II as far as I know other than this.

TS: One or two Legends books but not much.

CS: So it was very cool to be able to look at a time when the Jedi were… they weren’t ascended but they were certainly powerful and their infrastructure was in place and all that. Palpatine was active but hadn’t yet revealed himself as Sidious. The relationship with Anakin was really developing. There were all these really potent, dramatic things I could do with the Obi-Wan series that aren’t available in other parts of the timeline so I was really thrilled to get a chance to take a crack at it. Continue reading

Review: Obi-Wan and Anakin #5

Perhaps more so than with any other book, it is a damn shame that Obi-Wan and Anakin comes to an end today and isn’t an ongoing because Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto have knocked it out of the park with every issue. Obi-Wan and Anakin #5 concludes a fantastic story that’s a must read for all Star Wars fans.

This review contains spoilers. Continue reading

Review: Obi-Wan and Anakin #4

Four issues in and the mystery on Carnelion IV just keeps getting deeper. Out today is Obi-Wan and Anakin #4 by Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto and this book just keeps getting (yep, you guessed it) better and better.

Look. It’s not that I’m not solidly enjoying all the pages of Obi-Wan and Anakin because I am. The situation on Carnelion IV is fascinating and something I want to know more about. Checchetto and Mossa are doing some absolutely beautiful work on those pages. But the Palpatine stuff… hot damn, that’s what makes this book shine. You know those giant omnibuses that have 30+ issues of a comic? Yeah, I would happily spend a day curled up with a book or two of those reading a Soule written comic just about Palpatine, Anakin, and Obi-Wan in the years between the Battle of Naboo and Order 66.  The manipulation is so beautifully done. Pages like this make me see why people find Palpatine to be such an intriguing character. Plus? This may be the first time that someone has, within the story itself, acknowledged how little agency Anakin Skywalker has ever had when it comes to making decisions about his life. (Spoiler alert: he hasn’t gotten to decide anything.) It’s something that has been discussed between fans but it is especially painful to hear Anakin himself actually talk about it.

One of the coolest things about the limited series that Marvel has been doing is how distinct they all feel. It’s been their chance to experiment more especially when it comes to genre. There’s something about this arc that just feels more… science-fiction-y than some of the others. (It’s because of the mechs which are AWESOME.)  Also worth mentioning about this issue is the beautiful work that Checchetto did on the cover. That would look gorgeous as a print or poster.

Obi-Wan and Anakin continues to be a fantastic book and the only thing that makes me reluctant to pick up the next issue next month is that it means this will be coming to an end.

Review: Obi-Wan and Anakin #3

Everyone’s favorite Master/Padawan team is back in Obi-Wan and Anakin #3 by Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto.  It’s a little more of everything that’s made this book so gosh darn good thus far.

Palpatine.  We’re going to start with Palpatine.  Look, I know I said it last time but I’m sad that we can’t get a Palpatine ongoing from Soule.  He is so clearly having the time of his life getting to write these Palpy Flashbacks in this book.  I know he’s already writing the Poe book and a zillion others for Marvel but… oh you mean that even writers have to sleep sometimes?  Alas.  Getting back to the point, it’s fun to watch Palpatine and Anakin interact because while he clearly has an agenda, he doesn’t have to be nearly as subtle because Anakin just doesn’t pick up on the manipulations.  It’s simultaneously delightful to watch Palpatine be the Puppet Master and incredibly sad to watch Anakin be manipulated by someone he trusts.

Back in the current time line, Obi-Wan’s brokered a temporary truce between the waring groups but… okay can people please stop taking advantage and twisting Anakin to their goals?  If you’re not careful, you’re all going to turn that poor boy to the dark side and then you’ll– Oh wait.  Crap.

Checchetto’s art paired with Andres Mossa’s coloring continue to be drop dead gorgeous, by the way.  This is an amazing team who puts out some really gorgeous work.  I hope we get to see more from this pair in the Star Wars universe.

Obi-Wan and Anakin continues to be so enjoyable that I can’t stop wishing it was an ongoing.  (How’s that for an endorsement?)

Review: Obi-Wan and Anakin #2

Do you know what would have been a better title for this lovely comic by Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto? “Obi-Wan and Anakin and HOLY CRAP PALPATINE NO!”

After crash-landing on Carnelion IV, Obi-Wan and Anakin find themselves pulled into the middle of an intense battle between the Open and the Closed. It’s not long before it becomes clear that there’s more going on here than either group is letting on. In the past, young Anakin pays a visit to Chancellor Palpatine.

I wish that I could focus my musings on this issue to be more about the Carnelion IV parts but everything Soule is doing with Palpatine is incredible and he’s not even doing that much. Palpatine’s page time in this book is short but a combination of Soule’s writing and Checchetto’s art packs a hell of a punch. There’s a page that got an honest-to-goodness audible reaction from me and that doesn’t happen every week with comic books.  If Soule wasn’t already lined up to write Poe Dameron after this, I’d be clamoring for a Palpatine book from him.

That’s not to say that the main story isn’t good. I’m curious to see both where it goes and who exactly sent the distress call. There’s also clearly a ton of history between the two people that could likely make for a fascinating tale all on its own. It’s also fun getting to see Master and Padwan work together but also have their moments to shine.

The best compliment that I can pay this comic so far is that it’s not quite what I expected but it’s definitely something that has me impatiently waiting for more every time I finish an issue and if that’s not a solid recommendation from me, I don’t know what is.

Review: Obi-Wan and Anakin #1

Hallelujah we’re getting back into the Prequel Era! And not only that: it’s a largely unexplored area of the Prequels. Set several years after The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 by Charles Soule and Marco Checchetto takes a closer look at the master/padawan team during a time when Anakin’s struggling to fit in to the Jedi Order and Obi-Wan’s struggling to do right by his young padawan.

There are some spoilers in this review.

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