Mark Waid Talks ‘Indestructible Hulk’

Waid and Leinil Yu reveal some of their plans for the Green Goliath.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Indestructible Hulk

As they've been doing all wee, is sporting Q&As with the new creative teams they announced last week, and today's interview features Mark Waid and Leinil Yu, the new duo taking on The Indestructible Hulk. Ol' Jade Jaws certainly hasn't been "incredible" lately at the hands of Jason Aaron and what was supposed to be Marc Silvestri. Bruce Banner became a psychotic idiot who gave himself brain tumors, and the Hulk had to reject repeated advances from a gamma-fetishist named Amanda Von Doom No Relation before humping his ex-wife in the middle of the street. The fact that this haphazard nuttiness hasn't ruined him for good lends some weight to the notion of 'indestructibility.'

How will the Eisner-winning Daredevil scribe Waid help the Green Goliath bounce back from all that mess? Well, here are some excerpts from the interview with both Waid and Yu that may give us a clue.

WAID: Other than an occasional cameo, this is my first time writing Hulk—and it's intimidating. When it was first offered, I said I'd do it only if I could find some way to thematically replicate some of the positive energy that's been so well-received with DAREDEVIL, but that was a stumper. I mean, the characters couldn't be more different. One's witty, one's brutish. One's upbeat, one's tortured. How do you find the heart and the warmth and the occasional humor with a behemoth who's laid waste to entire cities? That gave me fits, but I finally realized it was because I was focusing on the wrong aspect of the character. My work didn't need to be with Hulk. It needed to be with Banner. Once I came to that conclusion, everything clicked.

YU: Visually, one of the most interesting [things] to draw is devastation. The very simple act of Hulk running around the city would be no different from bombs going off at the base of the buildings. This could be as large a scale as “Akira.” I doubt we will go that far since The Hulk is a hero and we wouldn't want him being responsible for so much carnage. I'd also love to see him fight huge mechs and robots as it is right up my alley. I love drawing sci-fi/concept art stuff and I think they are the only things that are more visually imposing than The Hulk.



WAID: I didn't suggest the adjective [Indestructible], but I wish I had, 'cause it fits in ways that won't become apparent until after you read the first issue. It's more than just an adjective change; it also heralds a whole new worldview and mindset on the part of Bruce Banner.



WAID: No one's seen Hulk or Banner for a few weeks, which has the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. really nervous. S.H.I.E.L.D., in particular, has gone to great lengths in recent years to make absolutely certain that it's impossible for Banner to stay off the grid for any length of time—and yet, he's vanished. And this literally affects the entire planet. Every country is on the equivalent of orange alert. Airport security is a nightmare.  World leaders are ready to bunker down at a moment's notice. Surveillance cameras are selling faster than they can be manufactured. Everyone's tense. Maria Hill, in particular, has taken “Finding Banner” as her own personal mission, and when our story opens, she's finally taking her first break in weeks. And as it happens, her timing sucks.



WAID: We don't want to give away too much, but our Bruce Banner is…evolved. Enlightened. He's had an epiphany about his condition, and it affects everything. All I can say is that once upon a time, The Hulk was unique in comics because he viewed his condition as a curse, not a blessing; but now, 50 years later, a lot of super heroes feel that way. When I was most recently at DC that was the whole philosophy handed down editorially: that heroes should carry a great burden. Now, personally, I feel like if you can fly, then I don't want to hear you whine about your problems, but I get it—that's the “New Mindset.” So with Marvel's permission, we're taking The Hulk down a road that's as unique for him as his persecution complex was in 1962.



WAID: Banner's a changed man. No more stooping under the weight of "woe is me," no longer bespectacled, no longer a fashion victim in purple. I want to see him have a little bit of fun with the fact that those around him treat him, understandably, like a soap bubble. If he's working with S.H.I.E.L.D., he's not above pretending to stub his toe just to watch people clutch at their chests and mutter a quick prayer. For decades, Banner's felt like he's no more than the Hulk's helpless puppet. Now Banner's using Hulk to his own mysterious ends.



WAID: In fact, while my Hulk pitch was made before I saw the movie, it helped move it along into series that I'd inadvertently hit some of the same character beats. But, yes, positively—I've always said that if I write a first issue that can't be read and enjoyed and understood by every prospective reader, then I've failed. Trust me, it's all there.



YU: I would like him to smash Wolverine and win for a change. I doubt it.

So, this seems intriguing, especially when he was asked about working with Jeff Parker and his soon-to-be-launched Red She-Hulk title. "Oh, Jeff and I have already been swapping scripts and hatching schemes," he replied. "Stay tuned. There may also be a crossover at some point with a certain Man Without Fear. And if you dug the Avengers movie, you'll love the Iron Man/Hulk interplay in issue #2."

It sounds quite a bit like Waid will be echoing the movie developments – which is a Hulk we all can agree on – especially the part where Banner seems to be pretty well in control most of the time. More to the point, that echoes the status quo at the end of Greg Pak's epic run with Green Genes, and the fact that he's separating himself from Aaron's run with a clean 'nobody's seen him in weeks' take will make Jade Giant fans breathe a little easier.

Personally, I can't wait to be excited to read the Hulk again.


Indestructible Hulk