NYCC, Day 1: Paniccia talks "World War Hulk"

Fri, February 23rd, 2007 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Dave Richards, Staff Writer

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The heroes of the Marvel Universe should know by now that they shouldn't make Bruce Banner angry, but that's what they did when Marvel's secret Illuminati of heroes shot Banner and his alter ego the Hulk into space. They made him very angry. They thought by shooting the Hulk into space they would be keeping people safe. But they were wrong because the Hulk is coming back and he's so mad that he's going to WAR! The conflict erupts this June in the pages of "World War Hulk," a five issue mini-series by writer Greg Pak and artist John Romita Jr. (with inks by Klaus Janson and colors by Christina Strain.). CBR News begins its multi part look at "World War Hulk" by chatting with Editor Mark Paniccia.

"World War Hulk" is the culmination of a story that's been planned for some time. "The general idea of Hulk vs. the Marvel Heroes goes back to pre-'Civil War' planning, something brought up at one of the creative summits," Paniccia told CBR News. The event as a whole took on a life of its own and grew organically from the machinations of the Illuminati to the fates of Hulk/Banner that will be revealed at the end of the series."

"Planet Hulk," the epic story of the Hulk's battle for survival and freedom on an alien world, was the first storyline that resulted from the Illuminati's machinations and it will soon reach its conclusion. Readers don't need to have read "Planet Hulk" to understand "World War Hulk." "It'll enhance the experience in the sense that you'll be more intimate with Hulk's motivations if you have been following 'Planet Hulk,'" Paniccia said. "But if you're new to this I can say with all certainty that the event is very accessible."

The "World War Hulk" event begins with a prologue written by Peter David that hits stores on May 9th with "World War Hulk" #1 hitting stores a month later on June 13th. "'World War Hulk' is a 5-issue mini series that is scheduled for release from June to September 2007, but 'Incredible Hulk' will continue with #106 taking place just before he arrives and #107, #108 and #109 reflecting events and telling a story featuring characters more sympathetic to Hulk's position," Paniccia stated. "Oh, and there will be a big revelation in #109."

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As readers might have guessed, "World War Hulk" is an event storyline that various Marvel titles will tie into. "We did not work this event in a way that you have to read anything else, but the tie-ins will give you insight as to the stories that there's not enough room for in the mini," Paniccia explained.

For those looking to experience the larger tapestry of "World War Hulk" there will be certain titles that play larger roles in the story. Marvel unveiled the checklist today at a panel at the New York Comic Con.

The exact title of this event is "World War Hulk" so readers should expect mayhem on a planetary scale. "Without spoiling anything, somebody off-world is going to feel the pain," Paniccia said. "However, most of the story takes place in Manhattan, but the threat is global, felt not just in miles but in leagues as well."

When the Gamma Powered Goliath returns to Earth he shouldn't expect a warm welcome home from the Marvel U's hero community. "The response is overwhelmingly negative, but there are some heroes and even civilians who understand and sympathize with Hulk, those who feel Hulk deserves to be listened to," Paniccia explained.

The heroes that stand in the Hulk's way shouldn't expect much in the way of help from other organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D. or the armed forces of the world. "I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that this isn't something anyone has had time to respond to," Paniccia said.

The Marvel Universe is slowly adjusting to its new post "Civil War" status quo. Readers can expect the outcome of "World War Hulk" to have a similar effect and rock the Marvel U to its very core. "It will have a huge impact, "Paniccia stated. "' WWH' is, in a sense, the final act of the story that started with 'Civil War.'"

Look for CBR News to get embedded and continue its coverage of "World War Hulk" in the days and weeks ahead by chatting with the creators involved with the event including writer Greg Pak.

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