SPOILER WARNING: This article may contain spoilers for "World War Hulk" #5.
In yesterday's "World War Hulk" #5, the Hulk's crusade against the heroes of the Marvel Universe came to an end when he chose to sacrifice himself to save the Earth. Whether Bruce Banner is dead or just catatonic is presently uncertain, but in either case the defiant spirit of his green alter ego will live on in three new Marvel Comics titles: December's "The Incredible Herc" by writers Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente with art by Koi Pham; the previously announced, new adjectiveless "The Hulk" series starring a red hued Hulk by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, which hits stores in January; and the 12-issue "Skaar: Son of Hulk" maxiseries by writer Greg Pak and an artist to be announced later, which launches in 2008. CBR News spoke with editor Mark Paniccia about "Skaar" and "The Hulk"
"Skaar" and "The Hulk" are ideas that went into development during the early planning stages of "World War Hulk." "They have indeed taken on lives of there own but they were natural and organic elements of the story from the get go," Mark Paniccia told CBR News.
Given his emergence from a pool of green goo on the planet Sakaar on the last page of "World War Hulk" #5, some might wonder if Skaar is the Hulk's son in the traditional sense of the word. "Skaar is indeed the son of Hulk and Caiera the Oldstrong," Paniccia confirmed. "He is half Gamma-mutated human and half Shadow Person and 100% kick @$$!"
Though his father may not have been there to raise him, Skaar is a chip off the old Gamma- irradiated block. "He is very much indeed his father's son as you'll see-in many ways, but hey, if you grew up in a radioactive puddle on a world as savage and brutal as Sakaar (and no comic shops in site, to boot), you probably wouldn't be smiling either," Paniccia said.
Skaar's defiant demeanor will lead to grim and grand adventures on the post-apocalyptic planet Sakaar. "This will be a fast paced, visceral series with all the goodness of a Greg Pak epic," Paniccia said. "If you're a fan of barbarian comics, you're going to love this book. If you liked 'Planet Hulk,' you're gonna love this book. If you liked 'WWH,' you're going to...well, you get the idea. Greg's got some really cool ideas brewing so you'll get a healthy dose of all things that made his recent work so great. I knew we hadn't seen the last of Sakaar and it's great to be back. Even though a big part of it's been wiped off the face of the map, it's such a rich environment that the possibilities are endless."
Sakaar may have seemed like a harsh world in "Planet Hulk" but the shape of the planet than is a paradise compared to how it appears in "Skaar: Son of Hulk." "Crown City has been decimated and where it once stood is a deadly radioactive zone," Paniccia explained. "There is still the Fillian Empire and scattered tribes, but the destruction that has taken place will probably put a great deal of the inhabitants in danger."
While the exact details of the Red Hulk's adventures are being kept under wraps, one thing is for certain: the escapades of the new Crimson Crusher will be full of excitement and enigmas. "There is indeed a mystery beyond the question of who is the Red Hulk but
I'd be spoiling if I went into details," Paniccia said. "Just know that Jeph's planning on giving fans a conspiracy they can sink their teeth into."
When readers look at the star of the new "Hulk" series they are literally seeing red and would be right to expect the new series to feature an even angrier Hulk and a darker tone. "It's a darker Hulk, yeah, but it's a real roller coaster ride filled with heart-pounding action and thrill-a-minute coolness on pretty much every page," Paniccia said. "You're going to need an oxygen mask for this one."