Newsarama: Interview with Indestructible Hulk Writer Mark Waid

Newsarama did an interview with Mark Waid and discussed the current Agent of T.I.M.E. storyline and the potential of another Hulk movie.

“In the current arc of Indestructible Hulk, Marvel’s Green Goliath has fought everything from cowboys to dinosaurs, dragons, gorillas, space marines, samurai and even medieval knights. But in October’s Indestructible Hulk #14 he faces something he’s never had to face before: his origin.

Since he became the Hulk’s scribe in 2012, Mark Waid has crafted the Marvel NOW! title Indestructible Hulk into being one of the most accessible Hulk titles in decades – but that doesn’t mean he’s pulling any punches. In the thirteen issues and counting, he’s put Bruce Banner and his alter ego through the paces – and in this current arc “Hulk, Agent of T.I.M.E.” through time. Although Marvel Comics is no stranger to cross-time capers, this arc had Hulk cut a swath through time – figuratively and then literally at one point in the last issue. When asked how this arc came about, Waid said it was all about timing, aptly enough.

“[“Hulk, Agent of T.I.M.E.”] came up during the last writers’ retreat, “Waid tells Newsarama. “Brian Michael Bendis was explaining how time was broken in the aftermath of Age of Ultron, and someone at the table started joking that Marvel needed a “time policeman” to control the chaos and protect the timestream. As a joke, I volunteered Hulk–the least likely candidate for precision missions–but we all liked it!”

In case you were wondering, T.I.M.E. stands for Temporal Irregularity Management and Eradication, a splinter branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. created to deal with timestream-related events. After the events of Age of Ultron #10 where a temporal shockwave echoed through the Marvel multiverse, creating cracks between realities; cracks that brought forth Angela, but also a group of time-traveling opportunists who call themselves the Chronarchists.

After he and his team chased them to and from seemingly every corner of the Marvel timeline, in the cliffhanger finale of last month’s Indestructible Hulk #13 we saw Hulk being brought back to square one – literally as he stands at ground zero just before the Gamma Bomb blast that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk. As far as reader expectations go, Waid says it’s the classic origin – but in a new way.

“The origin of the Hulk–but not the way you remember it. Or, frankly, the way Bruce Banner remembers it!” says Waid.

Readers have had hints and some misdirection in Indestructible Hulk as to who these Chronarchists actually are, but when pressed for more information Waid was reticent to say anything just yet.

“They’re not what they appear to be,” the writer says, ”let’s leave it at that.”

Speaking of appearances, since Indestructible Hulk launched last fall, Waid has been privy to quite the list of A-List artists and up-and-comers, with everyone from Leinil Yu to Matteo Scalera and coming up the interior debut of cover artist Mukesh in November’s issue #15. Given the ground this series cover with this series in space and time, Waid says the collaborators he’s had to work with are invaluable.

“It’s incredibly refreshing. It keeps me on my toes, writing to each artists’ strengths, but it’s a blast,” reveals Waid. “Yu and Scalera were great storytellers with a sense of power to their work, and Mukesh is someone I’ve had an eye on for a while–his figure work and his subtleties are really impressive.”

And before we let Mark Waid off the hook, being that he’s been such a revelatory addition to the Hulk franchise Newsarama couldn’t help but pick his brain about the possibility of Marvel Studios’ doing a new Hulk movie given the success of Marvel’ The Avengers and Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of the Green Goliath. For Waid, it’s a no brainer.

“Oh, please, yes! He’s tailor made for a film adventure,” Waid gushes. “Wasn’t he the breakaway star of Avengers? He was in my theater, I’ll tell you that!”

Although Bruce Banner and the Hulk have been played famously by three other actors in live-action outings, Waid says that Ruffalo brings something new to the classic behemoth.

“[Ruffalo is] spot-on. I love how he’s more driven than tormented,” Waid points out,” and the Bruce Banner/Tony Stark bromance is positively inspirational.”

Waid says that there’s “many great runs” that a new Hulk film could pull from, but admits that the original Tales To Astonish would be his best bet. But given the previous Hulk movies and the classic television series, some might say it would be hard to fight people’s preconceived notion of a new movie. When Newsarama asked Waid about this, he channeled a little bit of his Indestructible Hulk star for his answer.

“Hulk smash puny preconceptions.” ”

First Look Disney Marvel Incredible Hulk Vinylmation Figure

When Disney bought Marvel, everyone was just waiting for some kind of Disney-Marvel mash-up. There was the Phineas and Ferb meets Marvel cartoon but now is the first action figure. Disney has had a line of vinyl figures for awhile called vinylmation where they basically take a blank vinyl figure in the shape of Mickey Mouse and paint it like other characters. Disney is now releasing a line of Marvel figures including Iron Man, Captain America, and of course the Incredible Hulk. The characters will be released in October at merchandise locations at Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. In case you aren’t going to the park, you can also get the figures at the Disney store online at http://www.disneyparks.com/store

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Marvel Universe Grey Incredible Hulk Action Figure

When the Marvel Universe Hasbro line first started, they released a Hulk figure along with a grey variant that was really hard to find. I ended up having a friend in Australia find the grey version and send it to me since I could never find it.. Of course they ended up re-releasing it a few waves later but what can you do. There have been a few Hulks since that first one was released and the figures have gotten better and better as the series continued. The last Hulk they released had a great sculpt and design. They used the design on a Red Hulk figure in a 3 pack set (which I haven’t gotten yet) but they just released it as a grey Hulk variant in this last and final wave of the Marvel Universe figure line before it changes over to the Avengers Assemble branding. I included a shot of the first grey Hulk vs this new one and you can see the big difference in them for sure.

Marvel Universe Abomination Action Figure

The Marvel Universe action figure toy line is coming to an end (and coming back as a movie-themed line called Avengers Assemble) and the Hulk finally gets one of his villains made. I have to say that while I do miss the size and detail of the Marvel Legends line, the Marvel Universe line did get very good at making the smaller scale figures and the Abomination is a good example. The figure has some good detailing. I do think they made the hump in his back a little too pronounced but otherwise I am pretty happy with this figure. When this figure was first sneak peaked awhile back, they said that the Rick Jones A-Bomb would be a variant figure that would be released, he is even on the packaging artwork, but I am not sure with the line ending that we will see the A-bomb unfortunately. Not that I am a really big fan of the A-bomb character in the comic book but it would be cool to have a figure of him in my collection.

Latest Marvel NYCC Teaser: Global Hulk Related?

Marvel has been releasing teasers about upcoming books that they will be announcing at NYCC on October 11 at 4 pm. The book will have writers Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer along with artist Stefano Caselli. Nothing is really known yet but it is assumed it will be Avenger related but the fact that they are using the color green might be hinting that this might be Hulk related. On previous Marvel teasers that have used green, they have usually been related to the Hulk so this may be the case for this one also. We can always use another Hulk themed book!
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Marvel Announces New She-Hulk Series……..Again

You know what they say, sixth time is the charm! Marvel just announced via USA Today that they will be starting a new She-Hulk comic book series. The new ongoing series will launch in February 2014 by writer Charles Soule (Thunderbolts, Swamp Thing) and Javier Pulido (Hawkeye). Hopefully this time the series can get a good fan base and stay for awhile. She-Hulk has been around since 1979 in the Marvel Universe and a cousin to Bruce Banner so it would be nice to see her get a good fan base and stay around awhile this time.

Here is the article from USA Today:
“The Hulk is a large, muscular and larger-than-life icon in comic books, and if the creative team of a new She-Hulk solo series has their way, his cousin will be, also.

She-Hulk has had a variety of Marvel Comics books since her first appearance in 1980, when a transfusion of Bruce Banner’s gamma-radiated blood turned Jennifer Walters into a green clothes-busting, supervillain-punching goddess. And she garners a new one beginning in February as part of the “All-New Marvel Now” initiative that will be as innovative as it is action-packed, according to series writer Charles Soule (Thunderbolts, Swamp Thing).

“She-Hulk has always been a title where weird, cool things can happen,” he says. “She is a strong — very strong — female character, and comics absolutely cannot have too many of those.

“There’s no reason Jennifer Walters can’t be iconic, and we’re going to do what we can to make that happen.”

Paired with artist Javier Pulido (Incredible Hulk, Human Target), Soule has seen the She-Hulk series dare to be different, from the heroine breaking the fourth wall in John Bryne’s late-1980s Sensational She-Hulk to the finely tuned screwball comedy of Dan Slott’s 2000s-era book.

“That hypothetically means I get to do interesting things myself,” Soule figures. “Plus, she’s brainy, which always appeals to me, but she doesn’t always make the best decisions — and that’s a combination that’s ripe for drama.”

The writer has at least one thing in common with She-Hulk — they’re both lawyers, and the female Avenger’s day job as an attorney will be a main feature of his series.

“One of the things I want to explore is the fact that she wants to be exceptional at everything she does, but that’s not always possible. You can spread yourself too thin,” Soule says. “She’ll be out on her own, without much of a support group at first, a total underdog trying to make good. I love stories like that — Jen’s going to be very easy to root for.”

The legal connection doesn’t hurt, but She-Hulk editor Jeanine Schaefer says that Soule has a great handle on what makes her complex and intriguing without being grim and gritty or overly wacky. “He has a real ability to get into the heads of his characters, understand what makes them tick and what kinds of decisions they’ll make when they’re up against it — and then has the chops to deliver the ‘it’ to put them up against.”

The story arcs will be on the short side, one to three issues each, according to Soule, and will be very much tuned into her surrounding superhero world. There’s a “huge” guest star planned for the first issue, another A-lister playing an important role in the first story line, and an over-arching narrative with several elements of the larger Marvel Universe.

It’d be a crazy place to live, Soule adds, “and we’re going to see some of what that would actually be like, through the eyes of Jennifer Walters.”

Amid all this, she has a day job that might actually be a little more stressful than saving the world, according to Schaefer, plus she doesn’t try to conform with what a superheroine is supposed to look like and she knows what she wants — most of the time — and goes for the brass ring.

“She’s a friend, a combatant, a confidant, and yet she’s still the hero of her own story,” Schaefer explains. “All the drama in this book comes from decisions Jennifer — and She Hulk — make, and as an Avenger, that’s going to mean real consequences not just for her but for all corners of the Marvel U.

“She combats all the crap that gets thrown at her with something more akin to positivity, but that doesn’t make her flighty — she chooses to deal with her inner turmoil in a different way, something more like I imagine Captain America does.”

Soule and Pulido are also aiming for a strong element of fun with their series.

“It’s not at all out of character for Jennifer Walters to go out partying all night, or spend a day hanging out at the beach,” Soule says. “It’s hard to imagine a story where, say, the Punisher does that.

“At the same time, one of the things I want to work hard to do in this new series is treat her as a real person. She absolutely has problems, just like most of the heroes of the Marvel U, but she chooses to approach them with optimism and good spirit rather than surrendering to the grim and gritty. It takes a lot to bring She-Hulk down, although we’ll throw a lot at her.”

Like everyone else, she might have issues, Pulido adds, “but she’s not a tragic figure in the way that her cousin is, or a dark character.”

The artist is currently developing She-Hulk’s look for the series, and wants to keep some of the “savageness from her beginnings” and add a wild and dangerous look to set her apart from the rest of the Marvel women, he says.

“Yes, she’s Hulk’s cousin, but she’s also gorgeous. That’s a very important part of the character, and I plan to keep it. When she comes into a room, her presence calls for the attention of everyone there, not just for her skin’s color. She has that kind of magnetism around her.”

Soule enjoys the lived-in nooks and crannies of the Marvel Universe, and he wants to explore some of those uncharted corners with Jennifer’s law practice, allowed him to use his own experience to find adventurous cases for her.

“For example, the Chameleon might come to her and want to sue someone for identity theft — sort of ridiculous, but you can say some interesting things in a story like that,” Soule says.

He also promises “amazing” action. “It’s She-Hulk. She’s gotta punch stuff. It’s why she’s punching stuff that will make this series good.”

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Incredible Hulk Kotobukiya ARTFX Statue Now Up For Pre-Order

The upcoming Kotobukiya ARTFX 1/10 Incredible Hulk statue looks awesome and it is already up for pre-order at Big Bad Toy Store for $59.99. Not too bad of a price for a statue with some great detail.

Preview of Indestructible Hulk Annual #1

The Indestructible Hulk series is getting it’s first annual and it is part of an annual trilogy featuring the return of Doc Octopus. But the series also features the return of the Abomination, who died a few years back, so let’s see how he makes it back to the land of the living. Comicbookresources has a few unlettered pages preview, take a look.

Incredible Hulk Sketchbook Christmas Ornament from Disney Store

It is about time there was another official Incredible Hulk Christmas ornament being released! Thanks to the eagle eye watching of Jeff K, here is info on the upcoming Incredible Hulk Sketchbook Ornament. Not sure why they use the phrase sketchbook in the name of the ornament. It is available at a Disney store or online at the Disney store website. Go out and buy a couple dozen for your Christmas tree!