So far in the “Dark Reign” of Norman Osborn over the Marvel Universe, he and the Hulk have kept out of each others’ respective space.
That’s about to change.
In the upcoming Dark Reign: the List – Hulk, Greg Pak and artist Ben Oliver will be putting the two together as Osborn realizes that it’s long past time to take care of the Hulk.
We spoke with Pak for more on the confrontation that’s coming.
Newsarama: Greg, you've got your fingers on many of the various pulses around the Hulk's universe. Aside from his use in Mighty Avengers, he's been pretty much left out of Dark Reign. Why is that?
Greg Pak: There are basically three Hulks running around at the moment, and each has had a pretty full dance card up 'til now. But now that Skaar's hit Planet Earth and we're about to get two ongoing Hulk books -- Jeph Loeb's Hulk and my own Incredible Hulk -- it's time for the gamma boys to interact more directly with the Marvel Universe proper. There's some stuff around the place that could do with some smashing, dontcha think?
NRAMA: Sounds like it is. So what happens in The List – Hulk to change that?
Norman messes with a friend of the Hulk. Banner picks a fight. And then all hell breaks loose.
NRAMA: In your view, how does Norman see the Hulk? Norman's so confident – but does he have anything that could stop the Hulk if the Hulk got it in his mind to hunt Norman down and kill him?
GP: Norman has a key line in the first few pages of this story that directly addresses this point. I won't say too much for fear of spoilers, but Norman has a good grasp of the inclinations of the different incarnations of the Hulk and pitches his strategy accordingly.
NRAMA: You've got a lot going on with the Hulk in the Planet Skaar storyline - so where does this one shot fall in relation to what you're doing there?
GP: The story fits right into the chronology between Incredible Hulk #601 and Incredible Hulk #602. It's a key story that will absolutely have ramifications on the Incredible Hulk book later down the line. And it's also a pretty good jumping on point for anyone interested in seeing just what the heck's going on with the new "Incredible Hulk" book.
NRAMA: Probably should've been asked earlier, but what Hulk will we be seeing in this one shot?
GP: You'll see a lot of green. And you'll see the smartest of all of Banner's incarnations.
NRAMA: You’ve had some chances to toy with Norman along the way, so what's your take on him? He's evil, sure...but yet...are you finding a method to his madness? It seems that Bendis and others that are writing him are almost making him...charming in a way.
GP: Right - I've actually had some pretty sweet opportunities to write Norman in my War Machine series -- he's about to play a massive role in War Machine #9 and #10, which hit stores in August and September. Norman also played a huge role in the Planet Skaar Prologue.
Norman's a blast to write because he's both smart and crazy, which means he'll say or do just about anything, has a ton of fun no matter what he's doing, and usually ends up stealing every scene he's in. I think his sheer enjoyment of both the heroic and villainous aspects of his job is one of the things that gives him his charm. I'm always grinning when I'm writing his dialogue.
NRAMA: Where does the Hulk fit in in Norman's world?
GP: The Hulk has no place in Norman's world, which is exactly why this particular story takes place.
NRAMA: Well then, the flipside - where does the Hulk want to fit in Norman's world?
GP: The majority of the Hulk's incarnations probably just don't give a damn about Norman Osborn. Unfortunately for Norman, he's tangling with one very important incarnation whose idea of fitting into Norman's world might just involve destroying Norman's world.