‘Hulk’ #1 by Mark Bagley

In late December of 2012, Mark Waid launched a brand new Hulk series as part of the Marvel NOW event titled ‘Indestructible Hulk’. This book managed (coincidentally) to take a page from Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of the character in ‘The Avengers’ and changed Dr. Bruce Banner from a mopey sad sack to a proactive scientist determined to do some good in the world. Armed with a team of S.H.I.E.L.D.-financed colleagues and the new motto of “Hulk destroys. Banner builds.”, the Jade Giant leaped into action to save the day as a hero once again. Since its first issue, fans and critics alike have praised the series for a number of different reasons. However, with All-New Marvel NOW unrolling over the next few months, it appears that the Gamma Radiated Grappler will be getting the relaunch treatment as well.

According to an interview with Comic Book Resources, Waid revealed that ‘Indestructible Hulk’ would be coming to a close after issue number twenty in March and relaunch as ‘Hulk’ #1 in April. The writer, who will stay on to pen the new volume of the title, will be joined by Mark Bagley to handle the artistic duties. The team begins the discussion of the new book by first talking about where the old one will leave off. Waid starts by describing where ‘Inhumanity’ takes the good doctor and his angry alter ego:

“They bring Banner to a very important realization — that perhaps his motives for re-engaging his scientific mind weren’t the purest. How much of his rededication has to do with genuinely wanting to help the world — and how much has to do with his own ego? There’s a real comeuppance for Bruce in issue #20 and it sets the stage for the new launch.”

When asked to elaborate on more of the plot details in the upcoming Hulk book, the writer said that there’s not much he can say without spoiling anything. However, he does give us a little tease, as Mark Waid has been known to do:

“I can say without tipping my hand, but let’s say that Banner’s in a VERY bad way physically as the series opens up a few hours after the end of the previous one — and you’ll be surprised in whose hands his life rests! For the time being, Banner and Hulk will be divided in a way we’ve never seen before on a long-term basis, and those who are eager to see the Hulk once more be his “own” character will be very pleased, I think.”

Then, Bagley, who has had the opportunity to work with the Hulk before in ‘Avengers Assemble’, weighs in about how he will be depicting the hero in this new series:

“Yeah, there’s the dumb, savage Hulk. There’s the articulate Hulk. There’s the Joe Fixit type, and this is a real specific iteration face-wise. From the way I’m reading things he’s sort of leashed to a certain degree, but he’s enough aware of what’s going on that he’s very close to getting out of control. Basically he’s a huge guy on steroids in the room and you don’t know when something’s explosive going to happen.”

Finally, Waid was asked about the structure of the book since classic Hulk stories tended to find the Avenger wandering or on the run as a fugitive, whereas ‘Indestructible Hulk’ stories tended to be more mission based. After sharing that it starts as a bit of an amalgam of both but then evolves into a mystery of Hulk’s (not Banner’s) secret agenda, he says that we will be getting a good amount of action in these stories:

“More action. More reason for Hulk to carry more of the issue. But an overarching mystery that goes back to issue #2 or thereabouts, as new hints are revealed. Banner’s been up to something — and sharp-eyed readers have been collecting clues.”

As we prepare to see a new side to Bruce Banner and see a Hulk that we’ve never seen before, are you disappointed to hear about the end of ‘Indestructible Hulk’? Does this new series ‘Hulk’ sound as appealing as it’s predecessor? Do you at least find solace in the fact that Mark Waid is sticking around to write the story? Let us know all your thoughts on this upcoming All-New Marvel NOW book.

‘Hulk’ #1 by Jerome Opeña & Dean White