The team of writer Mark Waid and artist Leinil Yu are reuniting with the November-debuting Indestructible Hulk — taking on the 50-year-old Marvel icon who was the breakout character from this summer's Avengers film — and we've got the exclusive first look at a two-page black-and-white spread from the issue.
"Along with the fact that he is flat out one of the best comic book artists in the industry, Leinil knows how to draw 'heavy,'" Indestructible Hulk series editor Mark Paniccia told Newsarama. "And when you pick up a Hulk book it’s important to me that you feel the weight of the character… that you can imagine the presence such a creature as Hulk would have. Leinil sells Hulk’s impact to our senses."
As seen in the Joe Quesada-illustrated promotional image released last month, Hulk, like many major characters in the Marvel NOW! era, will have a tweaked look in the post-Avengers vs. X-Men era, one that includes as-yet unexplained armor.
"With Marvel NOW! a lot of us said, 'let's not hold anything back,'" Paniccia said. "Let's see if we can do something that hasn't been done before. Last time we saw Hulk with armor was during 'Planet Hulk.' But that was on a world where he could be fatally injured by gladiators with rivaling super strength. This time we said why not try something that's built with a more deliberate purpose in mind? And what could the story be behind it? I did a very quick sketch and sent off to Leinil to elaborate and he came back with all these cool options. Writer Mark Waid has an incredible plan for rolling out the armor."
November's Indestructible Hulk #1 marks the second Hulk relaunch in a little more than a year, as Marvel debuted a new Incredible Hulk #1 last October, a 15-issue run helmed by Jason Aaron (who's now writing Thor: God of Thunder, also debuting in November) that saw the Hulk and Bruce Banner physically split in two. Indestructible Hulk replaces that series, ending this coming October, as the new main Hulk title.
"Jason had this amazing, grand adventure/mystery/thriller he wanted to tell, something that grew out of a much smaller pitch," Paniccia said. "I look at this run and I think it's brilliant. It took readers down a very dark and wild road, zig-zagging the entire way and giving us a really incredible battle between Banner and Hulk. The kind we haven't experienced in a while."
Waid's approach to Indestructible Hulk has been compared to his current run on Daredevil, one of Marvel's most critically acclaimed series and a three-time Eisner winner last month at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
"I don't think Jason left easy shoes to fill, but Mark Waid takes Hulk and Bruce Banner on a new action-packed journey that is a bit more optimistic," Paniccia said. "Don't get me wrong, it's got some great mysteries and has a few very dark holes to explore but we evolve the Banner/Hulk relationship to a new status quo and I think that new and faithful Hulk fans are gonna love it!"
This series is one of eight Marvel NOW! ongoing series launching in November, part of the publisher's line-wide revamp aimed at new and lapsed readers as well as existing Marvel fans. Starting with Uncanny Avengers in October, new and relaunched titles are set to launch under the Marvel NOW! umbrella through February.
Indestructible Hulk repositions Hulk as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and pairs him with the organization's former director, Maria Hill. Waid and Yu previously worked together on DC's 2003-2004 12-issue maxiseries Superman: Birthright.
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