Sam Humphries has something of a temper – at least, if Planet Hulk is to be believed. As part of Secret Wars, Humphries is crafting a savage continent known as Greenland, where everything – even the plants and animals – is gamma-charged.
In Greenland a veritable army of Hulks roams the land, with their rage and power boiling over. One man – a version of Steve Rogers hardened by constant battle in Doom’s Killuseum – stands against the Hulks alongside his companion, Devil Dinosaur.
Newsarama recently spoke with Humphries about the story that Dan Slott called “The best Marvel Comics idea I’ve ever heard that should be airbrushed on the side of a van.”
Newsarama: Planet Hulk takes place in the aptly named Battleworld territory of Greenland. What can you tell us about Greenland and its environment?
Sam Humphries: Greenland is a place of mud, and blood, and battle. No one likes to go there. It is a vast wasteland where all is corrupted by gamma -- the land, the plants, the animals! None are exempt. All is Hulk.
Nrama: Is Rogers the only non-Hulk we’ll see?
Humphries: You forgot about Devil Dinosaur, his brother and war bound! If you were to take one friend with you to Greenland, a giant, blood red T. Rex would be a good choice.
Nrama: Tell us about some of the Hulks that we’ll see Rogers running into.
Humphries: Hulks of land, of sea, of air. And Doc Green -- or, a version of the Doc Green that we know.
Nrama: Planet Hulk seems to be kind of a classic “man vs. monster” story. What are some of the influences you’re drawing on for it?
Humphries: I see it more of a man vs. nature story. Cap and Devil are trapped in a world of rage and violence, and the only way out of it is to chop and chomp your way through it...and confront the possibility that the only way to survive Planet Hulk is to become Planet Hulk. Cormac McCarthy is my biggest influence.
Nrama: What’s it like working with artist Marc Laming?
Humphries: He's fantastic, he has really thrown himself into the book and it shows. Every page is a stunner, the way he really puts himself into Greenland and brings its horrors alive. He's going hard on this book.
Nrama: Obviously, this isn’t the Steve Rogers we all know and love. How willing is the Planet Hulk version to get down and dirty in fighting the Hulks?
Humphries: This is Cap who has been fighting for his life in Doom's Killuseum for years. You don't play clean in the Killuseum -- you fight dirty, because your life is on the line every time!
But in Greenland -- they are on a mission to save their war bound brother, Bucky. They will do whatever it takes to rescue him.
Nrama: Tell us about the genesis of Planet Hulk. Did you bring the idea to Marvel, or did they come to you?
Humphries: They wanted a Planet Hulk book for Secret Wars. Instead of trying to revamp or retell the original epic -- which is one of my favorite Marvel sagas of all time -- I took a sharp left turn and decided on a new concept. I pitched it to the room at a Marvel retreat and Dan Slott said, "That is the best Marvel Comics idea I've ever heard that should be airbrushed on the side of a van."
Nrama: Bottom line, what’s the number one reason readers should pick up Planet Hulk?
Humphries: It features a battle-hardened Steve Rogers riding a huge dinosaur hacking and slashing his way across a world of Hulk...heck yeah. If that sounds at all good to you, then you are gonna love Planet Hulk.