The Hulk's all about transformation, right? That aspect of everyone's favorite green behemoth's about to get dialed up to 11 when INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK concludes and a new HULK #1 makes its weighty presence known in April.
HULK writer Mark Waid's excited about the upcoming change, but assures us that all the Hulk action and pathos you love will always be a hallmark of the ongoing adventures of Bruce Banner and his monstrous counterpart. We asked him about segueing from one smashing era to the next.
Mark Waid: The most satisfying aspect was being given the opportunity to reconstruct Bruce Banner and let him move on with his life by accepting that the Hulk truly is "indestructible" in that nothing science can accomplish right now, at this moment, can get rid of him, so let S.H.I.E.L.D. use him as a targeted weapon rather than a spontaneous bomb. It really felt good to give Banner that sense of "I'm dealing realistically with my condition" that I find heroic.
Marvel.com: What will be the connective tissue if any between INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK and HULK, beyond our main characters?
Mark Waid: There's a big change in tone. Not necessarily in story or delivery, but by the end of INDESTRUCTIBLE, something happens to Bruce that forces him to face a very dark secret--that his motives for being a crusading scientist might not be as simple and pure and altruistic as he wants to believe. Banner's dealt a massive setback that sets the stage for HULK #1.
Marvel.com: How would you describe the long road of Bruce Banner since his creation? Where is he at in body and mind when HULK #1 kicks off?
Marvel.com: Ouch. What can you say about his assailant? Does Banner know who it is?
Mark Waid: Banner does not. But that does not mean that the identity is unknown altogether. And while I know that sounds confusing, I can't say more without tipping my hand.
Marvel.com: What would you like to bring into the dynamic between Hulk and Banner in the new series?
Mark Waid: More friction between the two. More of Hulk as his own man, if you will, or at least man-monster. More to Hulk than mindless grunting. All that and more.
Marvel.com: What about the book's supporting cast; what sorts of characters do you feel work best in the orbit of Banner and Hulk?
Mark Waid: People who aren't afraid of being hit. People who are clearly comfortable standing next to an atomic bomb or in the path of a hurricane. Maria Hill will still factor in heavily, but we're discussing an old friend stopping by for a long period of time.
Marvel.com: Speaking of which, will you revive any old opponents? If so, who and why?
Mark Waid: When you think of classic Hulk villains, when you list the ones who are clearly made to take on the Hulk, there's only one name that comes to mind: Boomerang.
Kidding. I'm kidding. All I can say is that there's a reason I've been reading up on Leader and Abomination and Counter-Earth.
Mark Waid: The power in the man's drawing! The subtlety of the acting combined with the blockbuster action that Bagley brings. The man's a consummate storyteller, and it's been our goal to work together for years!
HULK #1 by Mark Waid and Mark Bagley smashes down this April