Prepare for a return trip to planet Sakaar in “Return to Planet Hulk,” the first Hulk storyline of the Marvel Legacy era beginning in The Incredible Hulk #708.
Original “Planet Hulk” writer Greg Pak re-teams with Greg Land (Weapon X) for a story that will send Amadeus Cho, the totally awesome Hulk, to the same planet that Bruce Banner found himself on years ago.
The story brings together several of the additions Pak has made to Marvel’s Hulk mythology in a way that is surprising even to him.
“Since this is comics, it makes sense that eventually we’d revisit the ‘Planet Hulk’ storyline in some way or another, right?” Pak tells ComicBook.com. “But no, I never dreamed it would happen quite in this way, and I’m loving it! This has been a kind of banner year for me in terms of ‘Planet Hulk’ — I also had the chance to write the prose novel of ‘Planet Hulk’ that comes out in October, so I’ve had this world back in my head and heart for months now. ‘Planet Hulk’ remains one of the most fun things I’ve ever worked on in comics, so I’m thrilled with every chance to return.
“I’m having a particular blast digging into the world in this unexpected way. Amadeus was actually one of the few Marvel heroes besides Banner and the Illuminati who had any involvement in the original ‘Planet Hulk’ storyline at all — he fought Reed Richards to find out what had happened to the Hulk and eventually sided with the Hulk during World War Hulk. So it makes sense that Amadeus should be the one to return to Sakaar for an adventure of his own. He’s a cocky kid who’s always so certain of his own take on things and he had such strong opinions about what happened to Banner during ‘Planet Hulk;’ now that he’s about to experience something similar, we’ve got a great chance to see how he’ll react differently and what he’ll learn.”
Amadeus will get to see the other side of the war that has ravaged Sakaar, landing outside of the territory of the Red King.
“SPOILER ALERT: Throughout the original ‘Planet Hulk’ storyline, we referred periodically to Fillia, the distant nation that Sakaar’s Red King always seemed to be at war with,” Pak reminds us. “In ‘Return to Planet Hulk,’ Amadeus finds himself in the middle of Fillia, which is now a bleak wasteland, bombed into barbarism by the Red King’s war. A group of desperate survivors who know about the legend of the Green Scar have reached out across the universe seeking the Hulk — and they find Amadeus. I don’t want to spoil the story too much, but he finds a desperate people under impossible attack from an implacable enemy, and we’ll see if he’s got the right kind of monster inside to help them.
“I think ‘Return to Planet Hulk’ feels like the right title since we’re returning to the same planet, but we’re exploring a different part of it with a different Hulk,’ Pak continues. “It’s definitely real and fits into the continuity and adds to the mythos and is indeed a kind of a sequel, but it’s laying new groundwork with some new characters rather than serving as a direct sequel with the same cast as the original.”
As mentioned, Amadeus Cho is a very different Hulk with very different character traits and flaws, and so he’ll be undergoing a very different character arc during his time on Sakaar.
“To answer this properly, we’re gonna need a big SPOILER ALERT!” Pak says. “During the original ‘Planet Hulk,’ the Hulk found himself for the first time on a world so brutal and oppressed that his strength and righteous rage were seen as virtues. It was the story of a monster becoming a hero. In a subtle way, it was also the story of the Hulk and Banner finally coming to peace with each other. Banner, as a creature of human civilization on Planet Earth, always feared and hated the monster inside of him. But under radically different circumstances on Planet Sakaar, I think maybe for the first time Banner was able to accept himself as the Hulk, which was huge and revelatory and transformative and allowed him to accept the friendship of the warriors and people around him.
“Amadeus, on the other hand, has been a different kind of Hulk,” he continues. “He didn’t think of being the Hulk as a curse or a monster within; he was a cocky kid who thought he was gonna save the world as the best Hulk ever. So we’ll see if that’s still his same state of mind as he enters this story — and we’ll see if that kind of happy warrior Hulk even has what it takes to save the world on Planet Sakaar. Again, I don’t want to spoil too much, but I will say that this storyline raises the stakes enormously and brings a bunch of the big themes we’ve been working on with Amadeus’s story to a head. The story absolutely takes Amadeus’s story to the next level in a huge, fun, and possibly shocking way. DO NOT MISS THIS, Hulk and Amadeus fans!”
The original “Planet Hulk” story proved to be the inciting incident for the Marvel Comics event World War Hulk. Could a World War Hulk II be on the horizon?
“Interesting question!” Pak teases. “We’ll all have to buy and read every dang issue to find out, won’t we?”
INCREDIBLE HULK #708
Written by GREG PAK
Penciled by GREG LAND
Cover by GREG LAND
RETURN TO PLANET HULK!
Continuing directly out of the pages of MARVEL LEGACY #1 and the transformative events of GENERATIONS!
When Amadeus Cho picks up a distress signal from a distant planet he’s shocked to find out it’s from SAKAAR. As the Totally Awesome Hulk, he’s been trying to avert the curse of anger that haunted Bruce Banner. But SAKAAR is a place for warriors and gladiators…a place where the Hulk fought brutally in the Imperial Arena…who is calling Cho for help?