The upcoming writing and art team of the new Marvel Now title “Indestructible Hulk” talked about taking the green goliath on “the most imaginative take around the Marvel Universe.”
When asked about what his aims were for the Hulk in this new title, “Daredevil” writer Mark Waid said he wanted to weave the character into the greater universe in a grand adventure, and that involved the unorthodox move of making Banner/Hulk an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. This move was born, in part, from the recently-wrapped “Avengers vs. X-Men,” a thread in a broader tapestry of big changes for the comic line coming out of the event.
Waid says that typically, the brainy Bruce Banner is the guy in the lab trying not to make himself the Hulk anymore, but post “AvX”, the scientist reaches an epiphany that this is a chronic condition–one that he should stop trying to get rid of. Working from the philosophy “Banner build, hulk destroys,” it’s about Banner trying to create and be useful to the world where his alter ego wreaks destruction.
Waid says that the key relationship in the series will be between Banner and Maria Hill–one that may be contentious, in part based on some of the shady, backroom arrangements that go into getting the troubled doctor in the spy organization. His next two years on the book will be about showing how Hulk/Banner works in the context of this organization. What leash has something to do with the floating robot head on the cover, but Waid wouldn’t go into further detail on that front. Waid says that S.H.I.E.L.D. believes they have a tight leash on the Hulk, but the thrust of the series is how Hill and Banner view what the Hulk is and what he’s capable of.
Waid said this as also a chance to see the Hulk punch villains he’s never punched before, including old Namor villain Attuma along with a secret villain behind the villains.
Responding to a reporter’s question, Waid says that there are parallels between this and his critically acclaimed work in “Daredevil”, with both characters reaching points in their lives where they realize that they can no longer continue making the same mistakes over and over again. Over in that book, Matt Murdock attempted to pull himself out of the fatalistic, doomed lifestyle which has defined the character since the Frank Miller era. Waid promises that we can look forward to a meet up between Banner and Murdock at some point in the future. Waid told me that Hulk and Banner are similar in that both men underestimate what it takes to commit to a seismic change in their lives. In Banner’s case, he might be subconsciously trying to control the Hulk, and “No one controls the Hulk,” Waid tells us.
Working with Waid on this book, “Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine” artist Lenil Yu says that it’s like working with a writer who can read his mind, being given dynamic action to draw. Waid says that part of his vision for the Hulk is to get away from the slow lumbering version that many of us associate with him–Waid compliments Yu with coming up with a muscular but sleek version of the Hulk that can sometimes be a green, destructive blur throughout the course of the book. Waid thanks Yu for doing all of the heavy lifting on the book, complimenting the artist who he rarely gets to talk with.
When I asked Yu about communicating size and strength with a trimmed-down Hulk, he says that the muscles get that across, citing Marc Silvestri’s version of the character as a point of inspiration. He said there were some other rough passes at the character involving mohawks and armor, but the final version is a balance between the extreme and the human while “bringing the sexy back” (Yu famously had the Ultimate version of the Hulk sexing up a Harem in “Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine”).
You can check out a preview below along with a variant cover by Walt Simonson. “Indestructible Hulk” #1 goes on sale November 21st.