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It's hopefully deeply horrific for readers and will stay with them once they've put it down, but it's also a nostalgic look back at ‘70s horror tropes—not to mention it's nostalgic for me, as I got my start with short twist-ending horror stories in the UK. So at the heart of it all is a fun celebration of the genre. -- Al Ewing

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WARNING: Hulk and Hawkeye will not be sharing a friendly laugh about recent events. AT ALL. -- Al Ewing

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In 11-13, we're in Hell. Not even Marvel Universe Hell, which is quite cuddly at this point — a more literal, theological interpretation. -- Al Ewing

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Since the movies, the Hulk's been very much an Avenger in a way he never has before. From the outside - the average citizen of the Marvel Universe - that probably looks like forgiveness. World War Hulk happens, and a little while later, he's assembling in Stark Tower. "Why isn't he in the Hague?" wonders some sweet old lady who lost their entire block. Maybe they take a look back over the history of Bruce Banner - and find out that he became the Hulk through saving a life... and then became the Hulk AGAIN because he got jealous of Doc Samson. It's muddy with him, is the point, especially when you live in that universe. -- Al Ewing

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It was nice writing Galactus again, too. I like where Jason’s gone with him, but there was that moment I had to sort of let him go and bid him farewell, because my time with him is over, so it was slightly bittersweet too, in a nice way. I think I gave him a decent goodbye in the end. -- Al Ewing

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Back in those first couple of issues, he was pretty intelligent, although later he fell into a kind of Cartesian dualism where Banner was all brain and the Hulk was all body. Personally I like smart Hulks better than dumb ones, especially for horror — for the simple reason that a dumb Hulk can be controlled. When a monster like the Hulk isn't just a bellowing beast — when he has his own agenda, and you don't know what it is, and he might be two steps ahead of you, that's inherently more frightening. -- Al Ewing

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That splash page in Avengers #2 where they’re trying to have a meeting to discuss minutes and orders of business and the Hulk is just standing there in his underpants and Thor begs him to put some clothes on and they all just openly hate him -- that’s probably the birth of the Defenders in some ways. The idea that some super-people just don’t fit. So this ended up as a story of four totally different people essentially colliding with each other in a way that briefly looks like a team, if you squint, but it’s not. -- Al Ewing

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I'm very conscious that I'm looking through the lens of all this internal stuff, this fear of death and the apocalypse, and this internal struggle between my conscious atheism and a more deep-down subconscious faith that's harder to grasp and work out, and emotional issues, particularly my anger and the things I get angry about... but I know without all that stuff, the book wouldn't be what it is, and I wouldn't be as invested in it, and people would smell that lack of investment coming off it.

If I was just coming at it completely dispassionately, like some executive in a writer's room going "so what do the kids want from the Hulk? How about he rides a skateboard? How about he makes YouTubes?" - there just wouldn't be anything there.


-- Al Ewing

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Sometimes a title isn’t a promise as much as it is a dumb pun, and “Ragnarmorok Wars” falls into that category. -- Al Ewing

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


I think it's a continuation of a trend that's been going for a long time, that you can fit Fraction/Aja's Hawkeye into, and King/Walta's Vision into, and Ahmed/Ward on Black Bolt... this use of these very archetypal super-characters to say something quite personal and introspective. -- Al Ewing

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


We've got our big battle with the Avengers coming up in a few short issues' time - I just wrote that one - and that was probably the trickiest in terms of keeping it as a horror book, finding a way to do that, to show something that's been shown over and over since the sixties, and take an angle on it that felt fresh, new and different. It's the big test of the lens we've built - can we look at a team everyone knows, and show them through that horror lens, and make them seem unsettling? And it turns out, we can. -- Al Ewing

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I was very keen to avoid a lot of the things I'd done in the past that readers hadn't cottoned to. I used to be a big fan of crossovers and tie-ins, for instance, though not any more. I've tried to make this absolutely crossover-proof, so you can sail right through buying just the one comic for the rest of your life and feel like you've missed nothing, even if I'm also writing Hulk in the Defenders one-shots and places like that. -- Al Ewing

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


If you're picking apart scripts written over a year ago, before I even pitched IMMORTAL HULK, to work out where that book's going or what my attitude to the Hulk is - you're on a fool's errand. Trying to predict the flight path of a butterfly from a long-shed cocoon.

But if you're after some insight - why not pick up PANEL X PANEL, where you're guaranteed to find all my latest thoughts on the book, as well as the rest of the team's, and some all-around great comics criticism? I hear it's out tomorrow!


-- Al Ewing

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


You wanted ol’ Jade‐Jaws not to be dead? Surprise. He’s never going to be dead. You’re stuck with him, and he’s not a big cuddly green guy any more, he’s not fun, he’s terrifying, and he’s coming for you. -- Al Ewing

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[personal profile] laughing_tree


Oh, and there's a guest appearance by a certain hairy Canadian with claws—not that one—who'll become very important to this book... -- Al Ewing

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All these changes are in service of one thing -- making this Hulk frightening. This is not a loud rage-bomb to drop on people, or the return of the cool character you wanted. This is the monkey's paw wish. -- Al Ewing

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