PAINKILLER JANE Directors Take a Shift on Marvel's NIGHT NURSE

"Secret Wars Journal #5" preview
Credit: Alec Morgan (Marvel Comics)
Credit: Marvel Comics

Marvel's Night Nurse is best known for saving lives, but for Secret Wars she's making some house calls to end them.

In September 2's Secret Wars Journal #5, the original Night Nurse, Linda Carter, returns in a short story by horror directors Jen and Sylvia Soska, along with artist Alec Morgan.

Linda Carter was one of Marvel's 1970s heroines, even starring in her own series, as a helping hand and healer to costumed crimefighters such as Daredevil, Luke Cage, Elektra and Doctor Strange. She recently became associated with Strange more in the miniseries Doctor Strange: The Oath, where the two began a romantic relationship.

The Soska sisters are known in horror movie circles as the writer/directors of films like American Mary and Vendetta. They're currently working on a live-action reboot of the comic book-turned film Painkiller Jane, and are also on-screen guests for the GSN horror game show Hellevator.

In Secret Wars War Journal #5, the Soska sisters put a spin on Night Nurse by putting her in the midst of a demonic plague that she's tasked to stop. Newsarama talked with the directing duo about their story, future plans and aspirations at Marvel, as well as their rating of Marvel's scariest villains.

Newsarama: Jen, Sylvia, what can you tell us about your story in Secret Wars Journal #5?

Sylvia Soska: It's pretty badass. This was the first time we told a story through the medium of a graphic novel, so it was wonderful working with editor Jake Thomas because he really knew how to introduce us to the process of that world. We got a lot of creative freedom with this story which doesn't always happen when you work in entertainment and we are so proud of this story. It's a kiss in the dark, it's a short story, but I feel like you really fall in love with Linda Carter, the original Night Nurse.

Credit: Alec Morgan (Marvel Comics)

Jen Soska: [laughs] Everything Sylv said. I don't want to spoil it for any readers, but I will say it's very much in the vein of one of our films. We really had so much creative freedom and it was a dream come true to get to tell a story in the Marvel Universe.

Nrama: The Night Nurse is an intriging character, in comic books and also TV with Claire Temple's Night Nurse in Daredevil. What was your inspiration for the story?

Sylvia Soska: I love the Daredevil Netflix series. The next season is Punisher, one of my favorites, versus Daredevil, Jen's favorite, and you have a spot of Elektra too? It's an unbelievably loyal to the source material, fan respectful adaptation that isn't afraid to think outside the box with their portrayals - as is seen with Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin. I think Rosario Dawson's Claire Temple version of Night Nurse is amazing and encompasses the heart of the original character. For me, I wanted people to get to know the first Night Nurse. Know her romantic history that shaped her life and who she would become. How cool it was how she moonlighted as this combat medic for vigilante's at night.

Jen Soska: The new Daredevil Netflix series is amazing! I have forced so many people to watch it, you have no idea.[laughs]

I loved Linda Carter's relationship with Doctor Strange so there's an element of that in there, too. In fact, there's inspiration from the original Night Nurse comic books and the Daredevil series. We just caught ourselves up on everything Night Nurse before diving in.
Nrama: So how did the previous Linda Carter, Night Nurse comic books influence your work on this story in Secret Wars Journal #5?

Sylvia Soska: One of the cool things about Marvel is I got the issues of everything I needed, so I knew her inside and out. She has a very interesting origins story and her perseverance through all that chaos of what she would eventually become is fascinating. If you aren't familiar with Night Nurse, then you will get everything you need to know and if this is your first Night Nurse comic, then you get to know who this character is and what lead up to this point.

Jen Soska: Same! We went Night Nurse hunting together. I really love the character. She's been through so many different incarnations and evolutions, it's really cool to be a part of that now.

Credit: Alec Morgan (Marvel Comics)

Nrama: So who else is in your story besides Linda Carter?

Sylvia Soska: We have some pretty metal demons. They are Limbo demons infected with a techno-organic virus which is rad. It's really neat to read these comics for all these years growing up and get an opportunity to play in that world. Doctor Strange has hooked Night Nurse with some demon fighting artillery.

Jen Soska: I love that we got to put him in there. He's my favorite, I just love him. I really love seeing Night Nurse with especially, even more so after watching the Daredevil Netflix series.

Nrama: In other interviews, you two have expressed a love for Marvel comics, particularly Deadpool and the X-Men. Any chance you could do more writing at Marvel, and if so, what would you like to do?

Sylvia Soska:  That would be one of the happiest days of my life to get to do this again. I love me some Deadpool, Spider-Man, and Frank Castle. I've read the most Spidey in my life, my favorite runs were Peter Parker, Spider-Man and Tangled Web of Spider-Man, and I would love to tell a story for the character that I've loved for so many years. I'll be honest, I sleep with Spidey sheets, my bedroom is like 40% Spider-Man. I would also love a crack at an Arcade storyline as Jen and I have a unique perspective on the character given our new job on GSN, Blumhouse, and Matador's Hellevator.

Jen Soska: I would happily keep writing for Marvel until the day I die. I grew up reading Marvel Comics. As a result, I love so many of their characters. It would be such a fangirl dream come true to write for Deadpool. We wanna do a Deadpool story and call it "Dead Hero In A Trunk." I'd love to do a Venom story. I have loved the journey of that character. Maybe tell a story from the point of view of the or a symbiote. Oh, and obviously I'd love to do a Daredevil storyline.

Credit: Alec Morgan (Marvel Comics)

Nrama: Given your background in horror, who would you say is the scariest, or has the potential for being, the scariest villain at Marvel?

Sylvia Soska: Doctor Victor von Doom. Through his genius, his political standing, and his magical prowess, he can attack anyone on a level that's really hard to match. This isn't a guy who will just walk over and attack someone. He is brilliant sadist with all the power in the universe to literally destroy you. It would be cool to see like a "World War Doom" storyline with Hydra and all the different groups that would pop up.

Jen Soska: I'd like to see Quentin Quire. He has the potential to be a real badass. I first really started to dig him when I read New X-Men. He had this total disregard for authority. His abilities are just meant for a super villain. He's just got way too much power.

Nrama: And getting back to your home turf of movies, could you see yourselves doing work for Marvel Studios at some point, be it, films, television, or those short films they've done in the past?

Sylvia Soska: It would be my dream project to direct a Marvel film adaptation. These guys are taste makers, creating a Marvel universe with a mighty impressive track record of beautiful filmmaking. Captain America: Winter Soldier was unbelievable. I love what they are doing on television, particularly on the Netflix series. I would love to direct on any of those shows. If Punisher got his own spinoff, I would love an opportunity to pitch for it.

Jen Soska: We would absolutely love that and it really is an ultimate goal for the both of us. Marvel is making some truly amazing and beautiful films right now. It would be amazing to come on even for a guest director one-off episode on Daredevil.

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