Ottawa·Q&A

Ottawa comic creator building on Marvel's mythology

Unless you're a keen comic book fan, you may not have heard of Marvel superhero Cable. That could soon change, thanks in large part to Ottawa writer and filmmaker Lonnie Nadler.

Lonnie Nadler co-wrote Cable superhero series for comic book giant

Ottawa writer Lonnie Nadler said he couldn't believe it when Marvel offered he and his writing partner Zac Thompson the opportunity to pen the latest issues of Cable. (Marvel)

Unless you're a keen comic book fan, you may not have heard of Marvel superhero Cable.

That's all right with Lonnie Nadler, the 29-year-old Ottawa native who recently co-wrote Cable's new story line, which is now out on comic shop and bookstore shelves everywhere.

Now actor Josh Brolin is set to play Cable opposite Ryan Reynolds in the sequel to Deadpool​, due out this summer.

"My dad didn't know who Cable was, but he does know who Josh Brolin is," said Nadler, who has lived in Vancouver since graduating from the Vancouver Film School five years ago.

Nadler spoke to CBC recently to talk about what it was like to create stories for Marvel, and what lies ahead for the writer and filmmaker.

How does it feel to take on this challenge of writing for Marvel?

Lonnie Nadler was born and raised in Ottawa, but currently calls Vancouver home. (Supplied)
When you're working for a place like Marvel it's sort of a trade-off, because you're getting to be part of something that's much bigger than anything else that I could have worked on on my own. And it's a really unique and rewarding experience in its own right, where you have people who have loved the X-Men all their lives coming to look at this and saying, 'I love what you've done with the character.' So the idea of getting to contribute to that is almost unfathomable for me.... I love telling my own stories, and that's where my passion lies, in creating my own world and my own characters and exploring themes that resonate with me. But Marvel or DC, they're so interesting to me because they're almost the closest thing we have to mythology in modern day, where you have this pantheon of characters who are close to gods. And there's such a deep history with them.... I grew up watching X-Men cartoons when I was young. The idea that I'm contributing to that world now is pretty amazing.

Will this opportunity help open doors?

Their exposure is something that I could never get on my own, in that my work is being brought to so many readers who never would have checked it out otherwise. It`s pretty instrumental in building my career at this point. I have a couple other books right now that are either coming out or are in the works, and there`s already been some interest in adaptations.
Ottawa native Lonnie Nadler co-wrote the latest issues of Cable, a superhero from Marvel Comics. Cable will be portrayed by Josh Brolin in the upcoming film sequel to Deadpool. (Marvel)

You write for TV, film and comic books. How do you keep those media straight?

When I'm telling stories, for me, it's about understanding that each story deserves to be told in a different medium, and each medium has its strengths and weaknesses. If I'm writing something to be in a comic book I want to use the medium to its fullest advantages, and so I like to think of how I can tell that story in a comic book only or what makes this story work in comic book form, and make it something you couldn't experience if you're going to the movies or reading a novel.

Movies are such a huge part of the Marvel universe. What are your favourites?

I remember going to see that first X-Men movie. I was pretty young at the time but I was blown away by it. As an experience I'll never forget it because I was so in love with the characters and the cartoons and the comic books.... Picking a favourite is actually really tough. I really liked the first two Sam Raimi Spiderman movies. It felt new. It was something I had never seen before.

What's your dream project?

In terms of comics, there are a couple of characters I'd like to write. I'm a big fan of Swamp Thing and Animal Man over at DC. So hopefully at some point I'd love to get the opportunity to write those characters. And in terms of film work, I have a couple feature-length screenplays that I've written, and I hope to within the next few years be able to direct one of them myself.

This interview has been edited down for clarity and length.

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