Thursday morning Marvel revealed that the new Hulk book in this fall's "All-New All-Different Marvel" would be Totally Awesome Hulk by Greg Pak and Frank Cho. From the original announcement of this line-wide initiative, Marvel had placed a mystery on the identity of this new Hulk, with Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso stating it would be someone who's never been a Hulk before.
Pak and Cho said the mystery will be solved in the outset of Totally Awesome Hulk's debut issue. While that's months away, we suspect the rumors are likely right this time and to paraphrase former Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green (somewhat appropriately) the Hulk will be who we think he is.
While the obscured teaser image released with the Totally Awesome Hulk announcement gave more questions than answers, several of the comments made by Pak, a long-time writer of the Hulk in the past, gave us some clues that point to one former supporting star of the book as the next jade giant.
Created by Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa, who just recently returned to the character in a Planet Hulk #1 back-up.
Here's how our theory plays out:
Greg Pak's already had a long run on the Incredible Hulk title and on with the World War Hulk miniseries after that. Although he had some stories left to tell, Pak said himself he wasn't "pining" to return. So what brought him back? Three words from editor Mark Paniccia apparently.
Presumably, one of those words would be "Hulk" but what would the other two words be?
"Amadeus is Hulk"? Perhaps something like that. Continue reading...
"The new Hulk absolutely loves being the Hulk," says Pak. Doesn't narrow it down much in itself more than the already stated fact of it not being a previous Hulk such as Bruce Banner. But which characters associated with the Hulk seemed to like the idea of being green and not consider it the burden that Banner does?
Amadeus Cho was certainly one of them in Pak's original Incredible Hulk run.
Big Mouth Strikes Again
While the original Hulk isn't known to be much of a talker, Pak says that this new Hulk has "a pretty big mouth on him." Several of Hulk's former sidekicks like Rick Jones and Amadeus Cho have been chatty to counter-balance the monosyllabic tendencies of Banner's Hulk.
While the drought on Hulk movies is well-talked about, Marvel has made it a point to refer to Amadeus Cho on several occasions in its movies. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Claudia Kim portrayed a geneticist named Helen Cho - coincidentally, the same name as Amadeus Cho's mother. Both characters are from South Korea, with the Helen Cho of comic books later moving with her husband to Arizona.
And in the novelization of 2008's The Incredible Hulk movie, Peter David names Martin Starr's unnamed "computer nerd" character Amadeus Cho despite Starr not being Korean.
Marvel also included Cho in the recent animated film Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & The Punisher.
Pak says that the "key supporting character" of Totally Awesome Hulk is a "very important character" who had been "mentioned" previously but never actually appeared. If you consider Pak's previous Marvel stories, arguably the most notable of that would be Madame Curie Cho, "Maddy" Cho. She's the sister to Amadeus Cho, originally thought murdered with her family but later discovered to be abducted by the Excello group in Incredible Hercules. Cho briefly had plans to track her down, but the storyline got lost in the cracks and never resolved.
In a 2011 MTV Geek interview, Pak and Incredible Hercules co-writer Fred Van Lente called the dangling storyline of Maddy Cho something they hope to resolve someday, with Pak stating "Absolutely!"
While it's just a coincidence that Amadeus Cho shares the same last name as series artist Frank Cho, that artist has used Amadeus previously in his arc on Savage Wolverine. And interestingly, that arc written and drawn by Cho features Amadeus with his hair styled to point up very similiar to the obscured head in the Totally Awesome Hulk promo image.
Pak describes Totally Awesome Hulk as "packed with hyperbole and hubris, which is pretty darn appropriate when you find out who this new Hulk actually is." You know who else Pak as described as having hubris? Amadeus Cho, whom Greg Pak co-created and later paired with Bruce Banner's Hulk as a sidekick.
In a 2010 interview promoting Cho's Heroic Age: Prince of Power, Pak described Cho as having "a huge amount of confidence and hubris".
Pak's recently returned to writing Amadeus Cho and Hulk-centric stories in a back-up story to Planet Hulk #1. The story provided an origin to the Hulk-infested planet at the center of the series, with the hook being that Amadeus Cho had something to do with its creation.
But what do you think, readers? Is Marvel's "totally awesome" Hulk "totally" Amadeus Cho? Tell us in the comments.