While tonight we’ll be premiering the tale of how the Incredible Hulk came to have a planet of his own, and eventually bore two sons out of the deal, right now we want to focus on the “Son of Hulk who isn’t Skaar.” This one doesn’t have huge muscles or even green skin. He isn’t a sometimes or misunderstood hero, he’s just kind of… himself.
Well, Hiro-Kala is getting the next chapter of his own story, and taking center stage in the new mini-series tied to the ongoing Marvel Cosmic event, Realm of Kings, written by Scott Reed and drawn by Miguel Munera. It also sees a return of the Microverse, with familiar faces, and some not-so familiar faces. For more on Hiro-Kala’s new adventure, we talked with writer Scott Reed, and got our hands on a whole bunch of hints (and exclusive art) on how this Son of Hulk will rise up.Click through the gallery on the right for an exclusive look at #1, and the pages scattered throughout for hints on what's to come in #2.
Newsarama: Tell us of your tale of Hiro-Kala, the Son of Hulk who isn't Skaar.Son of Hulk #2 page 5 Scott Reed: It’s funny you should put it like that, actually. This is the story where we see him fully emerge from his father and brother’s shadow, as a serious threat. It’s a 4-issue mini-series that hurtles him into the Microverse, where he discovers a secret chapter in his father’s life, and unlocks a new, incredibly dangerous and weird aspect of his own powers. He’ll also have the Microverse heroes to contend with, Commander Arcturus Rann and Princess Marionette. No one has seen these two in a long time, and we find them in the midst of a life and death personal crisis that ties in closely to Hiro-Kala’s plans. Oh, and a bunch of aliens which we only saw a glimpse of way back in the 1970’s Hulk comics, the Psyklop. Commander Rann and Hiro are each faced with an incredible temptation, and each must make a decision that could destroy everything they love.
Nrama: What's Hiro-Kala's sitch? Brother took down Galactus, though it left him a bit Two-Faced.. And he might have a few family issues...
Reed: Hiro does have issues. This energy, the Old Power, destroyed his mother and his world, and he sees it as an evil, poisonous thing and has sworn vengeance upon it, even if it means obliterating hundreds or thousands of inhabited worlds that contain it. So he’s on this mad quest to rid the universe of this energy, which is just an artificial, unstable version of the Power Cosmic. And he’s not like The Hulk or Skaar, who are so physically dynamic and super-heroic. Hiro-Kala is creepy. He has a darkness about him, and a cold intellect that I’ve explored further.
Son of Hulk #2 page 6It also struck me that this guy is a true underdog. It’s okay to be a little cynical about this Son of Hulk, because he’s the ‘other’ son, you know. If you have older siblings, you know what that feels like, right? And he has humble beginnings. He was a slave, and he still wears those shackles as symbols of his origins. He’s this skinny, super-powered adolescent. Hiro-Kala is in the background through a few issues of Skaar, and no one would guess that he was being primed to become an enormous threat. But if you re-read those issues, you can see all the signs. After I realized this, that he was under-estimated, I felt like I had found a starting point, a foundation to build upon.
Nrama: How are things on Jarella's world this time of year? And what does Hiro make of learning of this part of his family's history?
Reed: Cloudy with chance of alien invasion. Hiro finds himself in the middle of a violent purging of the populace, at the hands of the alien Psyklop. As for Hiro’s ‘family history’ on K’ai, he’s sort of annoyed, it’s like having a famous dad, and he can’t get away from the comparison. He uses that to his advantage though. Hiro has an uncanny way of quickly turning the situation around. He’s been zapped to this alien planet, Jarella’s world, in an unknown universe, which is the Microverse, and within moments has a master plan to exploit it in a truly horrific way.
Son of Hulk #2 page 10Nrama: And in the Realm of Kings, how will Hiro-Kala's action ripple unto the rest of this cosmic conflict of cosmicness?
Reed: It does tie-in with the larger tapestry of Realm of Kings and will have a lasting impact. Cosmically, that is.
Nrama: So how's a nice Overman-writing guy like you wind up at the ol' House of Ideas, and what does this mean to you personally?
Reed: Personally, it’s the best way to start the New Year. I wound up at Marvel thanks to The Overman, and Mark Paniccia. I knew Mark from my Malibu Comics days, where we both worked on-staff. He was an editor and I was an inker, so we had worked together on various things in that capacity, but had lost touch over the years. I ran into him at Chicago con last summer, and we hung out for a bit, catching up. I think he had a vague awareness that I was out there somewhere making comics. I had been writing and drawing in small press, Indy press, webcomics, private commissions--really whatever work I could get for whoever, for a lot of years. Everything was so far under the radar. But I just kept at it, because I love the comics medium and I’m a glutton for punishment. And then The Overman happened with Image, and I told Mark about that. A couple weeks later, I mailed him a copy of the trade, and fortunately for me, he happened to love it. Things just start rolling along after that.
Nrama: What'd you think of the original Jarella stories by Harlan Ellison and Roy Thomas?
Son of Hulk #2 page 20Reed: There’s pathos to it, and I’ve tried to channel that vibe into this story a little. Like the Hulk and Jarella, Hiro and his love interest, Lihla have a destiny that they can’t avoid. My hope was to build some momentum with that, an impending catastrophe. And there’s lots of symbolism that speaks to this throughout the mini-series.
Nrama: It looks like Psyklop is rearing his...um, eye in this story. What's he up to, and do the Dark Gods he serves play a role?
Reed: Well, this time it’s not just one Psyklop, it’s thousands. We get to see how they’ve changed over the years. And it’s literally insane.
Nrama: What's it like working with Miguel Munera, and how cool is it to have Alex Garner and Michael Golden rockin' the covers?
Reed: Miguel brings a graceful subtlety and humanity to the characters, and there’s a nice vastness to the landscapes, and the space scenes. You can see him delving deeper into Hiro’s psyche with each panel, I think. I’m just now looking at the finished art from issue 2, and Hiro is starting to look positively disturbing. It kind of freaks me out. And I’m blown away by Alex Garner’s covers. I just saw the Michael Golden cover today (Newsarama Note: You can see it today, too, by clicking right here!) and it’s great, of course. And it’s amazing to finally have smart editorial guidance. Mark has challenged me as a writer, which is something I’ve lacked in the past. Working for so long on my own, you seldom get that kind of close objective scrutiny, you just have to juggle it all and hope for the best.
Nrama: What's next for you?
Reed: I have a couple of projects on the horizon, but it’s a little too early to talk about them yet. I also have a graphic novel I’ve been writing and drawing periodically since 2004, which began as a webcomic but has mutated into something larger. It’s one of those pet projects that keeps getting bumped to the back burner whenever paying gigs come along.
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