By Marc Strom
With the departure of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, writer Jeff Parker and artist Gabriel Hardman-the creative team behind ATLAS-will step in to continue chronicling Thunderbolt Ross' adventures as the Red Hulk with HULK #25 this September.
Parker, who's written a number of chapters in the recent Fall of the Hulks and World War Hulks sagas, has had a hand in guiding Red's adventures for some time now.
"We've been talking about it for a while," the writer confirms of his new gig. "Jeph of course wanted to end on a nice big bang, and then we started talking about what over the top mayhem could follow that."
That "bang" will come with HULK #24, the conclusion to World War Hulks and an issue that promises to shake things up for our anti-hero and his world.
|HULK #26 cover by Ed McGuinness|
As for the Red Hulk himself, Parker sees him in a very specific and real-world light.
"Well General Ross is in a position that many military lifers find themselves in," he elaborates. "They've come to the end of a long career in the service, a world that has very definite rules, structure and hierarchy. And now it's a clean slate-you can't go back to that, but you can do something else with your life. Add to that 'you are strong as a Hulk' and all kinds of interesting options present themselves. Ross knows he went too far, but he's still Thunderbolt Ross. War is really all he understands well."
Parker and Hardman have developed a pronounced partnership over the last few years, working together most recently on ATLAS, and in that time the two have learned a lot about each other creatively speaking.
"We've really gotten our working habits figured out," remarks Parker. "I can describe something in an odd shorthand that most people wouldn't be able to decipher, but Gabe knows exactly [what I mean]. Often in references to old movies or illustrators. And of course, he's almost always
|General Ross sketch by Gabriel Hardman|
Also joining Parker and Hardman will be colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser, who, in Parker's words, "is going to come in and do masterful things in color with that art so the book doesn't feel like anything else on the stands. I'm so happy we could bring this team over [from ATLAS] because I wouldn't want to jump on a big book like this with an untested team and hope for the best. We all respect each other and have a great working relationship. It's going to look incredible."
Parker will bring a number of Marvel's other heroes into the series as the Red Hulk embarks on the next stage in his ongoing saga.
"Yes, you will see others facing off with Big Red," assures the writer. "He didn't make a lot of friends upon arrival to the show, and frankly, there's a lot of payback coming his way. Another hero who has a hammer to pick with him is Thor. And Namor, he totally missed out on the chance to meet this Hulk! It's a lot of humongous egos with matching power being thrown together. I say it will be smashing."
|Red Hulk by Gabriel Hardman|
"Watch the stories carefully because even when you think you're just seeing, say, a massive battle, we're also setting up things for the future. You know, Red has just been nabbing other people's enemies, and it's time he got some of his own. So watch for the beginnings of that."
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