If you've read any of Mick Foley and Shane Riches' excellent WWE Superstars series for Super Genius comics, you know that CM Punk, the character has already been the star of a four-color adventure. But this Spring, the retired pro wrestling will flex his creative muscles as the author of a story in Thor Annual #1 from Marvel Comics.
Punk, back to being introduced as "Phil Brooks aka CM Punk" (at least for this news item) is interviewed by Ryan Penagos of Marvel.com about the gig, which has been a long time coming for the lifelong comics fan. The roots of it seem to go back to the WWE's Summer of Punk, as San-Diego Comic-Con 2011 is when he first remembers chatting up Marvel editors about writing for the publisher. You may remember Comic-Con 2011 as being a crucial point in his angle that Summer, as he crashed a Triple H panel at the convention with the WWE title belt he walked out of the company with following Money in the Bank in Chicago.
As the former WWE champ transitions into working on the many interests that he always kept on the back burner for wrestling, you might think that a shot at writing a character whose movies have grossed billions of dollars would be a dream job. Punk's excited about it, but the Thunder God isn't the Marvel toy he most wants to play with:
I've just got this Punisher story in my head, and I think it's super, super awesome. I can read Jason Aaron's Punisher and everybody else's [take on the] character and it's good, but I think that my Punisher story is pretty badass. So everything I do for Marvel is going to be leading up to, "Please just let me write my Punisher story." So until they let me do that, you're gonna get all kinds of other stories about all kinds of other characters until they satisfy this need I have to write Frank Castle.
Award-winning comics scribe Aaron, along with another really talented writer in Ed Brubaker, are names that Punk drops as influences. But despite being friends with the long-running Thor and Punisher author, he's still not sure how he's going to approach scripting his tale. He has enlisted another friend, Rob Guillory (whose work on Chew you should check out if you're interested in a smart, funny and different non-superhero book), to draw the thing, so he should be okay if he writes it out full script or goes Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Marvel-style and just provides Guillory with a plot and adds dialogue after he gets the penciled pages.
Either way, he thinks he'll succeed in this new role because he's a comics fan more than because of his experience acting out larger than life dramas in the wrestling ring:
Wearing tights in front of thousands of people and kind of, almost play-acting, I think down the road, it might give me some sort of insight depending on what kind of characters I'm writing and what the story is, but I'm not really sure it prepared me so much for being able to script a comic book.
I think that [coming up with his own character and promo as a wrestler]'s gonna come out more when I get to write a whole lot of dialogue, and it really will depend on the character and stuff like that. So yeah, I think it definitely helped me try and get into a different person's skin, to see the world from their point of view and talk how they would talk and articulate the things that they would articulate. I think that would definitely help me.
For folks who haven't spent days of their lives in a comics store on Wednesday afternoons, a story in an "Annual" (an extra-sized once-a-year edition of a monthly title that may or may not come out every year or have anything to do with what's going on in a character's monthly adventures) isn't exactly a full-time job. But a chance to write one of the flagship characters for a Worldwide entertainment company isn't where most comic writers start out, either.
And congrats on living the dream, Mr. Brooks. It's time to move on, whether wrestling fans join you or not.