Media Release: Green, Indestructible, yup, that Marvel NOW! teaser was in fact the Hulk written by Mark Waid and drawn by Leinil Yu. Interestingly though, the Indestructible Hulk is the actual title, with the first issue hitting November 2012 as part of the Marvel NOW! relaunch at Marvel Comics.
In a first interview with CBR, Waid and Yu talked about their plans for the green goliath and his alter ego Bruce Banner, saying it started with Waid “fantasizing about what it would be like to take the core concept a little more “back to center” like we did with Daredevil.” That means more superheroics for the strongest there is, but it’s also more of a philisophical shift for Bruce Banner, as he takes “a whole new, less “woe is me” view of his condition,” continued Waid.
In an interview with Marvel.com, Waid expanded on Banner’s new outlook. “Again, we don’t want to give away too much, but our Bruce Banner is…evolved. Enlightened. He’s had an epiphany about his condition, and it affects everything. All I can say is that once upon a time, The Hulk was unique in comics because he viewed his condition as a curse, not a blessing; but now, 50 years later, a lot of super heroes feel that way.”
The duo plans to focus specifically on Bruce and Hulk to start off, leaving the other gamma-irradatiated characters to the side for the time being. Jeff Parker’s Red She-Hulk may crossover in the future, however, when Waid eventually explores Bruce coming “to grips with what he’s wrought” by introducing the idea of gamma powered rage giants into the Marvel Universe.
For now? Hulk will actually be staying outside of his normal boundaries. The main supporting character alongside Bruce Banner is Maria Hill, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., who will be joined by a new cast of scientists as Bruce heads back to science.
“Maria Hill and Bruce Banner are the main players in the series, and their Byzantine relationship is both funny and dark and they’re a blast to write as a quasi-partnership,” Waid told CBR. “And Banner will be in a lab again and will have a band of assistants who all have two things in common: they’re all brilliant in their fields, and they have nothing to lose should they suddenly find they’re sharing close quarters with an angry jade behemoth.”
Just like Waid has done in the first year of his Daredevil relaunch and re-direction, he plans to stay away from Hulk’s standard villains, instead planting the character deeper into the Marvel Universe by having him face some outside-the-box baddies like “Frost Giants, Psycho-Man, Kang the Conqueror, Attuma. All those and more are on tap.”
Leinil Yu is excited to work with Waid again (the two teamed on the seminal Superman: Birthright which reestablished Superman’s origin for a new generation), and has had fun with the Hulk’s designs.
“Superman: Birthright and working with Mark is one of the highlights of my career and I’m about to get a chance to make another mark in the industry with Indestructible Hulk. I’m almost certain that this will be at the top of my resume, like Birthright is,” the artist said. And the armor? “They asked me to hand in designs for the armor, which I thought was refreshing and could open up new story lines and possibilities. An armor to me implies an inherent vulnerability and that in itself is interesting, especially with the title Indestructible Hulk.”
Waid promises, too, that the armor seen primarily in that big Marvel NOW! initial reveal poster by Joe Quesada has story reasons for even existing. “I mean, it’s not like anyone looked at Hulk, the strongest and toughest character on Earth, and said, “Y’know what he needs? He needs armor. Maybe a Nehru collar.” Trust me, we’re smarter than that.”
While CBR didn’t ask about the floating robot head seen in the teaser and the cover to the first issue, they did find out a bit about the story, and how it ties to the end of Jason Aaron’s current run.
“Jason wraps things up, elegantly and brilliantly. (I’m forever jealous of the ideas he based his whole run around.) Indestructible Hulk #1 picks up a few weeks after the events of Avengers vs. X-Men,” Waid teased. “No one’s seen Banner or the Hulk for a while, and that makes the whole world very nervous.”
Indestructible Hulk #1, from Mark Waid and Leinil Yu, ships November, 2012.