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[personal profile] laughing_tree


That's kind of been what I've been orbiting around for a while in terms of the nature of the Hulk. Hulk as a kind of demonic figure spawned by mankind from the bomb, like something from the Book of Job, walking up and down on the world and judging it. Not a supernatural figure, but a figure that could occupy that space in a scientific world. -- Al Ewing

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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


The destructive beast Hulk feels more like an absence of Banner, like he's left the driving seat and all that power is running amok. I can see how that could be visually interesting - especially what Joe's take on it would be, that gives me ideas - but it's not something I'd want as a long-term status quo, because it's clearly not as interesting to me as the Hulk as a genuine second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) personality. And that's probably my issue with the "Hulkspeak" childlike Hulk as well, he's just too safe, too mapped and explored. Our Hulk feels like new territory, like Banner's generated this new version to cope with his own death and resurrection, and we're kind of mapping and exploring him as we go. -- Al Ewing

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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


It's all this big morass of quite deeply personal stuff, poured into this comic about this walking symbol of atom-bomb anxiety. And luckily the Hulk's old enough, loose enough and weird enough to take the weight of it. Much as I like other super heroes, you couldn't really do this with Spidey. -- Al Ewing

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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


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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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


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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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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[personal profile] laughing_tree


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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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


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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[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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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[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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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


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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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[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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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[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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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[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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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


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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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


You might go into this thinking you know about the Hulk, but new reader or old… there will come a moment when you look into the eyes of this Hulk and you’ll feel that moment of fear. Because you don’t know him at all. -- Al Ewing

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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


In terms of what I want to do with it, the level of ambition... I'm pushing this one very hard, and in a different direction from what I usually do. See... when I made my start in UK comics, I started as a horror writer. Not many people know that. The first few stories I was ever paid to tell were horror stories - very dark and very creepy. But I don't think I've ever really done a long-form horror/suspense book for Marvel.

Not until now.

It's going to be big. And - no false modesty here - it's going to be very, very good. We've got an incredibly talented artist putting their all into it, and we've got me writing a character I've loved since my childhood - and not letting that love stop me.

This is going to be the book of 2018. Don't sleep on it.


-- Al Ewing

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laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree


Essentially, we had the idea of a whole squad of Avengers against the Hulk, and at first that was going to be all the heavy hitters – which would have been exciting, but would also have had the scent of pro-wrestling to it. Like, if we know the Hulk’s going to beat the hell out of everyone – and we do know that, he’s the Strongest One There Is – it’s much more interesting to pit him against the weak and the wounded, back at HQ. It turns it from an exhibition match into a desperate last stand. (And it is going to be the last stand for a couple of Avengers. There are casualties. You’ve been warned.) -- Al Ewing

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.

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:58 pm
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[personal profile] stubbleupdate
One of the series that I'm most eager to read each month when it comes out is Mariko Tamaki's Hulk. The first arc, Deconstructed, was a slow burner, but it was bloody brilliant. The art by Nico Leon allowed some good body and face acting, and it was a book that looked at how people respond to setbacks. I loved it, for reasons that I'm finding hard to articulate just now.

The arc that's just finished, Let Them Eat Cake has struggled a bit. Part of that is because of the artists. Not that they're bad (though they certainly aren't Leon's equal), but there's so many of them
7 - Georges Duarte
8 - Georges Duarte
9 - Julian Lopez (Quite a deep shadowed, Deodato Jr style)
10 - Francesco Gaston/ Julian Lopez (and they are very, very different styles. It's a jarring change that happens halfway through the book)
And coming up
11 - Sebastian Carillo
159 (I know) - Jahnoy Lindsay (As seen in Uncanny Avengers)

IT's tough to establish an identity for a book when half of the creative team is in so much flux. It's a shame, as the title launched with such a strong look under Nico Leon )

The end of #10 does at least promise something interesting for future issues, rather than just the mystery of who will be the artist.
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