By Jim Beard
Looking ahead to when the smoke clears from World War Hulks, Marvel proudly announces the next chapter in the ongoing Hulks saga: "Dark Son." Beginning this September, INCREDIBLE HULKS-note the plural-ships bi-weekly for seven issues and introduces the deadliest Hulk of all.
The World War Hulks survivors' story kicks off in INCREDIBLE HULKS #611 as the remaining gamma-powered titans come together and head out to take care of a bit of family business, though beaten and weary they may be.
Suffice to say, this newest wrinkle in the life of the Hulk centers around his son-his other son, that is. Pak explains exactly why this particular kid's the baddest seed of them all.
"Hiro-Kala is the twin brother of Skaar who was left behind when Skaar was exiled to Earth and Galactus destroyed Sakaar," he says. "We first met Hiro-Kala in the SKAAR: SON OF HULK series as an innocent slave boy who, in contrast to his brother, seemed to possess the greatness of spirit of the legendary savior of the planet. But through his horrific experiences, he developed an undying hatred of the Old Power and believes it will ultimately destroy the universe if left unchecked. Of course, Skaar is the Marvel Universe's best known wielder of the Old Power at the moment. So Hiro-Kala's literally heading for a collision course with his brother.
"Now imagine for a moment that your name is Bruce Banner and you're learning that you have not one but two ridiculously powerful, borderline-insane sons whom you unknowingly abandoned on a savage, broken planet to suffer horrific tragedies. That's enough right there to break the average hero's soul. But Banner's about to discover that this battle won't end until at least one of these sons has been destroyed. He's going to have to make a choice here that may haunt him forever."
Pak notes that World War Hulks' conclusion serves up an "entirely new status quo" for Banner and his extended gamma "family," providing this new tale a solid platform from which to launch. In fact, Pak, who'll share
"With 'Dark Son,' the real crazy starts as we delve into the repercussions of that enormous emotional upheaval," he points out. "These are relations and themes I've been hungry to tackle for years now. The big premise for The Hulk will always be the price of anger, right? Now we're combining that with the theme of family. That makes for incredibly high stakes stories, because no one can save you like your family, but no one can drive you crazier than your family. And we're talking about a hero who's spent the majority of his existence insisting he just wants to be left alone and now finds himself in a book with an 's' at the end of the title. There's some heart-stopping potential for genuine redemption here or terrible tragedy."
Some painful portion of the tragedy may come as the Hulks search for a way to work together against the common threat, which may come at a high price considering their divergent personalities.
"The real wild card among the Hulks is Red
"But [when it comes to] emotional strength, I'd have to say Bruce Banner/The Hulk [has the most]. Although which of his incarnations is so strong remains to be revealed. It's also worth noting that Steve Rogers and the Secret
To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com
Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now!
Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution", "Wolverine and the X-Men", "Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes", and "The Super Hero Squad Show" now on iTunes!
Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!