10 Questions: A true Marvel, this Brooklyn lawyer is a force across a galaxy of comic book genres
A young corporate lawyer sits at his computer, putting the finishing touches on an email.
He hits send.
His first comic book manuscript is off to the publisher.
Can our hero create a successful career in comics? Will he be able to balance his parallel professions? Can he ever achieve his secret dream of becoming a novelist?
Flash-forward almost 15 years—whoooooshh!—and Charles Soule is now a best-selling comic book writer whose character credits include Daredevil, Darth Vader, Superman, Wonder Woman and Wolverine. Soule left BigLaw in 2004 to open a solo immigration practice in Brooklyn, and a few years ago he stepped away from full-time practice. Now he spends most of his time telling stories. His debut novel, a thriller called The Oracle Year, was published this spring by HarperCollins, and it already has been optioned for television. And there’s plenty more action to come.
You’ve been a comic book fan since you were a kid, but how did you know how to jump from reader to writer?
It was in the early to mid-2000s, back when posting on message boards was big. A number of prominent comic writers maintained these boards, and while there were a lot of threads about great comic books, you could also find a lot of professional advice about how the industry worked and how to break in.
And you did! You regularly make appearances at comic book conventions around the world where people often dress up like their favorite characters. Have you ever seen someone dressed up like a character you created?
Oh yes, many times! It’s always a massive thrill that someone would connect with the person you’ve written in such a specific way.
Do you have a favorite series you’ve written?
I am very proud of my work on Marvel’s She-Hulk title. She’s a complex character—a lawyer named Jennifer Walters who is also an 8-feet-tall, green, superstrong lady who has to balance her working life as an attorney with her work as a superhero. It sounds over-the-top, but I saw it as a chance to talk about issues of work-life balance, solo practice and whatever legal issues I thought would be interesting. Superhero stories are great for that—looking at mundane concepts through an exotic lens.