Hulk may just want to be left alone, but with the plurality at the heart of even the names for Marvel Comics' back-to-back gamma-inspired events "Fall of the Hulks" and the upcoming "World War Hulks," it remains pretty apparent that there will be a few big, angry anti-heroes smashing though the Marvel U all year long. From Bruce Banner's wayward son Skaar to the mysterious Red She-Hulk allying herself with the Intelligencia, the world around the Green Goliath is now truly supported by a Hulk Family, and in making those Hulks fall, writers Jeph Loeb, Greg Pak and Jeff Parker have got their work cut out for them.
This week, in the latest installment of CBR's ongoing feature THE GREEN ZONE, the trio return to discuss the various spin-off series that help cover the back stories and motivations of the expanded Hulk cast, and Jeff Parker takes a moment in the spotlight to talk about his work on this week's "Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk" #2, the follow up issues of that four-part miniseries and the upcoming "Fall of the Hulks: Savage She-Hulks" book he's prepping with artist Salva Espin for a March 3 start. Below, Parker reveals which new Hulks will be playing buddy-buddy, what character is set to explode by story's end and what the youngest lady Hulk has to gain by playing the part of bad girl.
CBR News: One important question involving Mr. Parker is how we've been seeing Red Hulk's personality and plans built up over in "Hulk" during the course of the past few years, so where does that leave the story of our four-part "Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk" series?
Jeff Parker: It goes back and fills in some stuff you were just teased at before. We go through and answer some questions that suddenly give you more of the tapestry. For people who think, "Ah, he's just out to beat everybody up and be #1," you start to really see that he has had a very complete plan on his own and that as loath as it can be to admit it – there may be a good side to this character. He's not completely all out for himself maybe. Maybe.You get to see some more of his agenda and more of the secret partnership [between Red Hulk and Banner].
But as the one-shots go on, you definitely see Red Hulk and A-Bomb in one of the most unlikely buddy movies since The Leader and M.O.D.O.K. We're getting a lot of mileage out of characters who just do not want to be paired together. But surprisingly, they worked really well together.
Greg Pak: Do you know why? It's because they drive each other craaaaaaaazy.
Parker: And they solve crimes! And you got a little peek behind M.O.D.O.K.'s sick world, which is pretty disturbing. But there you found out the real truth behind Cosmic Hulk. He's not just a Hulk robot. There's a lot more to it than that, and there's a reason everybody is sort of wetting their pants over this character and the fact that the Intellegencia have it.
Issue #3 is the all A-Bomb issue. You've only got little glimpses of what A-Bomb's story is. You know that he's Rick. You know that the Intellegencia altered him to make him more like the Abomination, but now you're going to find out how that all went down. And we're going to get back to something that the Red Hulk alluded to when he said, "You're a time bomb." What's he talking about there? Red Hulk only gives you a little bit before he goes about his way, and that definitely intrigued Bruce and Rick. They need to know what he means by the idea that Rick is a time bomb.
In part four, we get back to the villains in a big way and see how they're all interacting now. It's kind of an interesting book end to "Alpha" and when they were wasting their time trying to be pals with Dr. Doom.
Jeph Loeb: One of the things that we've really strived for from the very beginning is that, while they've been portrayed as villains who want to take over the world for their own nefarious needs, these really are brilliant men who've seen that there's something wrong in the world. It just isn't running properly. And in a world complicated by Norman Osborn, and the death of Captain America, and the Civil War and all of the things that have been going on over the last seven years – it hadn't just affected the heroes, but it's also affected the villains and the world they live in. We talked about this last time, but a really good villain does not see himself as a maniacal evil-doer. He really does think there's a better way to run the show.
Pak: They're going to save the world because the world needs saving. They're the only ones who are stepping up. Maybe that happy ending we're talking about is there. We're all just going to be living in the Leader's world.
Loeb: It would seem an interesting thing, Greg, if you could actually see what would happen if the villains won. And not in the way that is a Norman Osborn world. You look at guys like the Leader and M.O.D.O.K., and they're pretty capable of fixing the ozone layer and making crime drop to nothing. If you messed with this group, they could change your brain around to make you more compliant. That would be an interesting place.
Pak: Ya know, Jeph, I'd absolutely love to see that.
At the same time, we're about to start up on "Fall of the Hulks: Savage She-Hulks," which Jeff is taking on. While the "Red Hulk" mini helps fill in gaps for him, who does this series focus on? All the women characters in the family?
Loeb: While each of those "Red Hulk" specials will focus on a character and their relationship with the Red Hulk, the "Savage She-Hulks" story certainly will clarify what Lyra's doing, how she got to be where she is and what her plan is going to be by throwing in with the Intellegencia.
Parker: You're going to see what Lyra's story is without having to focus on her whole "She's from the future" thing. She's Thundra and Hulk's daughter, and she's got an agenda, and that will become clear as she runs into the other two girl Hulks. If you like looking at strong women, you're going to be very happy because Salva Espin does that tremendously.
And remember, Thundra came in and really helped Red Hulk when he was down and out. Samson and everybody had him on the ropes, and then she just came in to kick all grades of ass
Loeb: It will answer the question posed at the end of "Hulk" #9 – that Frank Cho issue where Red Hulk made her an offer. We'll find out how that came together.
Parker: What he offered her was all the Mountain Dew Code Red she can drink! [Laughter]
Tune back in next week as The Green Zone rolls on with a check in with some of the other talents rocking the Hulk's world in the march to "World War Hulks"!