The Green Family Tree - The 'Hulk Family' Creative Team
by Benjamin Ong Pang Kean
Date: 24 August 2008 Time: 10:32 AM ET
Talking to the hulk Family Team
Betty Ross, General Thunderbolt Ross, Emil Blonsky and Samuel Sterns – these are just a few individuals that moviegoers were introduced to in this summer’s blockbuster film adaptation of the Incredible Hulk by director Louis Leterrier.However, in the comics, everyone’s favorite giant, green-skinned monster has an even more colorful cast of supporting characters. The Hulk has seen his own title retitled Incredible Hercules and now stars the mythological demigod Hercules and teenaged genius Amadeus Cho. In its place, a new, red Hulk (or Rulk) now stars in the new monthly series simply titled Hulk. His cousin, Jennifer Walters, has her own She-Hulk monthly series. Heck, even his son, Skaar, now headlines his own series and we were recently introduced to his daughter. With such an incredible list of characters, Marvel Comics announced a new Hulk Family one-shot at this weekend’s Fan Expo in Toronto, Canada. It will include four incredible stories, four tales of Gamma-fueled destruction featuring the Sensational She-Hulk; Skaar, Son of Hulk; the daughter of Hulk and Thundra; and the Spectacular Scorpion by Greg Pak, Paul Tobin, Fred Van Lente and another writer TBD.
Newsarama.com reached out to the Hulk’s extended family of editors (Mark Paniccia and Jordan White) and writers for a chat about the special project. Newsarama: Hi, Mark and Jordan. Thank you for taking the time to chat. To start with -- first, Skaar and now, another daughter added to his ever-growing family tree. Let's not forget about the Hulk Gang in "Old Man Logan". Hulk sure has been busy growing his family, hasn't he? With Betty Ross now dead and we all know what’s happened to Caiera, is the Hulk looking for a new love interest? If he is, who actually longs for that loving touch? Is it Bruce or Hulk himself? Mark Paniccia: It’s both. What man/monster doesn’t want love? Jordan White: Well, I’d say Bruce is usually a lot more reluctant. He knows he’s dangerous, so he’s not usually hitting the club scene looking for ladies. But somehow, love always seems to find him, anyway. I guess women like a brooding, mysterious man who tell them he’s no good for them. Hulk, on the other hand… well, he does hit the clubs, just… with his fist. NRAMA: There's the Red Hulk, who could very well be Doc Samson (or maybe not) starring in the "Adjectiveless" Hulk series with Rick Jones turning into an Abomination-like monster known as A-Bomb now. Hercules is the main star in ol' Green Goliath's previous book. Is the Bruce Banner Hulk getting his own series again anytime soon? MP: Unfortunately, I can’t answer that right now. You’re just going to have to wait and see. JW: Man, and he doesn’t even get to be the star of the book about his “Family”! So much for ‘father knows best.’ NRAMA: Bigger picture – we just had the new summer blockbuster and the attention is now focused on the upcoming Hulk Vs animated film and the planned The Avengers movie but where do you see the franchise heading in the next couple years, especially in the comics? MP: It seems like there’s never been a better time to be a Hulk fan than now. We gained a lot of new readers with the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines, Incredible Hercules and Skaar are getting a ton of great buzz and selling strong numbers and the main Hulk title is selling out and going to second printings (which are selling out, too). So, we’ve got a decent number of books in the Hulk family. Our focus right now is to keep the art and stories of these books at the highest level of quality we can. NRAMA: And how will the Hulk Family one-shot fit into Marvel's publishing plans for the Hulk? Will it introduce new plot points for the ongoing series (as in the cases of Skaar and She-Hulk/Hulk) or do they serve as springboards to new mini-series/specials, etc (e.g. Scorpion)? MP: We’re looking at this as not just a way to give readers cool stories with characters they’re familiar with (like Hulk and She-Hulk) but to introduce fans to other corners of the Hulk mythos. Hopefully we’ll see these characters pop up more here and there down the road. We try to do around four Hulk-related one-shots a year so keep your eyes peeled for news on the next one coming out in early 2009. We’ve got a few surprises in store. And I might as well take the opportunity to plug the Hulk Monster-Size Special coming out in October with stories by Jeff Parker, Steve Niles and Paul Tobin. Hulk goes head to head with Frankenstein and Werewolf By Night. Two sensational battles not to be missed! Art by Gabriel Hardman, Lucio Parrillo and Dave Williams. JW: I keep pulling for a “Hulk-Size Hulk” special, but so far, I’ve been stymied… NRAMA: What's in store for fans of all things green in the coming months? JW: Oh, man… Skaar fans are going to have a few surprises lined up. Issue #3 is out next week, where Skaar throws down with the lovely lady with the robo-sword-arms, Princess Omaka. Then in September, we’ve got the Skarr: Son Of Hulk Presents - Savage World Of Sakaar special, which both continues the story forward and gives us some insight into the backgrounds of some of Skaar’s supporting cast. After that, it’s right back into the series proper where Skaar is going to keep on smashing his papa’s former planet. Skaar: NRAMA: Greg, you'd previously hinted at the possibility of a family reunion for Skaar and his father. Is this the tale that you're telling in your portion of the Hulk Family one-shot? Otherwise, what kind of story can we look forward to? Greg Pak: No father/son reunion just yet -- Skaar still has some growing up to do on Sakaar before he'll be ready to face his pops. And the story we're telling here recounts a key moment in his early growth. We'll pick up directly from one of the stories in the Skarr: Son Of Hulk Presents - Savage World Of Sakaar special (coming in September -- tell your local store to hold your copy today!) -- and show the first meeting between the mysterious stranger known as Old Sam and the savage Son of Hulk. We'll also get a glimpse of our young hero's artistic talents. And somebody might eat somebody. I'll say no more. NRAMA: So it’s set on Planet Sakaar then? GP: Earth can't handle the savagery that is Skaar! So it's Sakaar all the way for now. NRAMA: Will it also feature your other creation, Amadeus Cho? GP: Nope, but a little bird tells me that the Choster makes an appearance somewhere else in this book... NRAMA: How will this tale impact the ongoing Skaar series and also Incredible Hercules, if any? GP: It's a key story from Skaar's early days and sheds some light on just what Old Sam might have up his sleeve. Dontcha dare miss it, Skaar fans! Hulk & Thundra's Daughter NRAMA: Paul, Thundra returned in June's Hulk: Raging Thunder one-shot and readers were introduced to her and Hulk's green-skinned daughter. For those who didn't read the story written by Jeff Parker, what can you tell us about this new addition to the seemingly growing Hulk family? Paul Tobin: She's in a future Earth where the battle between the sexes is just that... all out battle, a full schism. Thundra is the leader of the female army, but she knows she won't live forever, and wanted a worthy heir. So, a quick jump back in time to acquire some of the Hulk's genetic code and then... kaboozle!... Thundra is the first pregnant women in decades. Our story takes place after Hulk's daughter is all grown up, and at the full height of her powers. So, she's the daughter of Thundra and Hulk, and she lives in a planet consumed by war. Guess what she's really good at! (Hint... War) NRAMA: Has she been given a name already? PT: Yes. Sort of. Maybe. Absolutely. I've got it written down here somewhere. NRAMA: What else can we learn about her in your tale? PT: More about her world, and how it works, and what being the daughter of two people like the Hulk and Thundra can really mean... what kind of heritage she's been given, and whether it's given her freedom, or has become a crushing weight. Also, we learn if she's good at war. (Hint... Yes) Scorpion NRAMA: Fred, you introduced Carmilla Black in Amazing Fantasy Vol. 2 #7 and she was last seen in World War Hulk, right? What sort of situation has she gotten into this time around? Fred Van Lente: This is an "Untold Tale" that picks immediately after World War Hulk ends -- And Scorpion is looking to intercept the caravan that is bringing Bruce Banner to his new "home," such as it is, in the Mojave Desert. It seems that everyone's favorite genius rapscallion, Amadeus Cho, has discovered some information in his prodigious hacking about the Hulk that he's chosen to share with Carmilla, and she's desperately trying to verify it. Information that would make her inclusion in a book entitled Hulk Family extremely... literal... NRAMA: In your opinion, how has she grown as a character? And potentially, how big of a role could she possibly play in the ongoing Marvel Universe? FVL: It's been fun to see Scorp appearing sporadically all over the Marvel Universe. She's become a fun little side player, kind of dropping in out of nowhere, doing her thing, and disappearing into the shadows -- just as she was always intended to be. A freelance espionage agent that no one is entirely sure which side she's on -- Not even her! NRAMA: In saying that, where can we expect her to show up next? FVL: Sooner rather than later, in a not-yet-announced project not unlike this one.