House of Cards Meets 2001 Meets West Wing Meets Alien
On this episode of the interview show, Derek talks with Charles Soule about his most recent creator-own works, specifically Strange Attractors (Archaia) and the currently ongoing Letter 44 (Oni Press). They spend most of their time discussing the latter and the various narrative threads and subplots interwoven within the series. In their conversation, Charles tells Derek about the extent of his research for the title, his love of NASA history, the intrigue of writing political drama, and the ways in which his background in law helped give birth to series’ premise. They also discuss the contemporary rootedness of Letter 44 and the extent to which recent presidential history plays out in its storyline, albeit ramped up and taken to speculative extremes. Much of the conversation is also devoted to Strange Attractors, a book similar to Letter 44 with a high concept and a keen scientific bent. Charles explains how his interest in complexity theory and his love of New York City combine to create an unlikely sci-fi drama. But even though Derek is mostly interested in his non-mainstream work, he nonetheless asks Charles about his efforts in the DC and Marvel Universes — e.g., his experiences writing Swamp Thing, Death of Wolverine, Superman/Wonder Woman, and She-Hulk — how he balances the superhero narratives with his creator-owned work, and the ways he negotiates both franchise limitations and fanboy expectations. All in all, it’s a fun interview, with listeners being able to hear about creative facets of Charles Soule that rarely surface in other interviews.
This week on View from the Gutters our topic work is Black Widow, Vol. 1 & 2, written by Nathan Edmondson with art by Phil Noto. The series follows Nastasha Romanov—the Black Widow—on her adventures away from the Avengers both as an agent of SHIELD and a private mercenary taking jobs which will help her balance the ledger of her life and make up for the many wicked things she did as an agent of The Red Room.
Black Widow is a look at the less super-powered realms of the Marvel Universe, and as a work stands more in line with the Jason Bourne or recent James Bond-style espionage/action movies than traditional superhero books.
In our recommendation section, our hosts nominated Formerly Known as The Justice League, Wayward, Rice Boy, and Low for discussion on the next episode, and our selected title is Wayward.
Our hosts for this episode are Andrew Chard, Brant Gillihan-Eddy, Tobiah Panshin, and Kayleigh Fleeman.