Last week we revealed the mysterious image from Marvel Comics that paired Mark Waid with Walter Simonson and the Internet blew up in speculation of what could this mean? The swirling rumors can finally be put to rest as today, at the behest of Marvel, we can confirm that the modern master, Walter Simonson will be joining Mark Waid on Indestructible Hulk, beginning in April with issue #6 which ships on April 3, 2013 (which also happens to be James Viscardi, Marvel’s Associate Manager, Sales & Communications, birthday).
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #6
Story by MARK WAID
Art & Cover by WALTER SIMONSON
• Walt Simonson draws the Hulk AND Thor!
• Banner takes his lab team to Jotunheim!
• Hulk vs. Frost Giants!
In stores April 3, 2013
We caught up with Waid and Simonson to get some insight into what fans can expect from this upcoming arc as well as how these industry titans approach Bruce Banner, also known as The Hulk!
iFanboy: Mark, now that Indestructible Hulk has launched, how as the reception been and how are you feeling about your new take on Banner and the Hulk?
Mark Waid: I’m very happy with the reception! Fans really seem to be digging what we’re doing and on our take, and I know the High Overlords at Marvel seem happy. I’m just lucky to be standing on the shoulders of everyone great who’s written this book in the past!
iF: This seems to be a more focused Banner than we’ve seen in the past. How has this approach to the Hulk, with his affiliation to SHIELD changed your view on Banner and the Hulk?
MW: It hasn’t changed my view on Hulk at all–Hulk Still Smash. But it has sharpened my point of view on Banner. The challenge, as I saw it, was to write him as a Marvel Universe Genius who was scientifically different than Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Hank Pym, etc. And that led me to his motivations–his goal in trying to karmically balance his accomplishments against the things Hulk has done. Hulk Smashes, Banner Builds.
iF: The teaser image we saw last week features the Hulk trying to lift Mjolnir and some threatening folks behind him. With the Hulk now working for SHIELD, how does he find himself in Thor territory? Will we see Thor as a guest star in this arc?
MW: Why on Earth would you have the amazing Walt Simonson aboard and NOT ask him to draw Thor? The teasing question is–which Thor will we be seeing? Banner and his team of assistants build a portal to Jotunheim, land of the Frost Giants, in order to obtain a rare metal there–but in doing so, they may have accomplished something totally unforeseen!
iF: Walter, recently we’ve seen you posting some unfinished art on Twitter and Facebook, is it safe to assume these are for this arc? Are you enjoying sharing your work in progress with fans via social media?
Walter Simonson: I’d hate to think that anything I post is ‘safe’. (laughs) But the Official Walter Simonson page on Facebook is essentially a website I maintain for friends and fans. There are a number of Galleries of art there that go back to (I think) 3rd grade. However, anything I post in the Some Pencils…Some Inks Gallery is generally something I’m currently working on. And I have posted a handful of pencil drawings from my present work with Mark on The Indestructible Hulk. I’ve also posted a few of my construction drawings (the underdrawing for a piece) in the Structure Drawings Gallery. I try not to give too much away so you don’t have to worry about spoiler alerts exactly, but I do like to post pictures sometimes that are tantalizing. (laughs) And anything I post in one of the Galleries I generally post on Twitter as well.
I’ve enjoyed posting on Facebook and Twitter. And hopefully, fans will enjoy getting a sneak peak at the work in its developmental stages.
iF: You’re known for your legendary work on Thor, how it is revisiting the world of Thor and Asgard with this story? How does drawing the Hulk differ from drawing Thor?
WS: It’s been interesting drawing Thor and not writing him. (laughs) I like what Mark’s been asking me to draw a lot, and he has kindly allowed me to kibitz a little. My earliest work on Thor was done pretty much the same way when I did layouts for Len Wein to write on the Thor title in the 70s. I also got to draw Thor in some of the Brian Bendis Avengers recently. I’ve found it’s been a lot of fun for me to go back and revisit the old boy again.
Regarding the drawing the Hulk and Thor, there’s an essential difference in their natures I try to reflect in the figure work.
I’ve approached drawing the Hulk with a certain ‘wildness’, since he is essentially a ‘monster’ who is the unfettered version of a mortal. The shapes that make up his figure as well as the actual lines used to define those shapes can be far less restrained that they might otherwise be for a more ordinary character. In other words, the drawing technique itself is meant to suggest the limitless quality of the Hulk’s fury and power. And because of his ‘monstrous’ nature, the Hulk’s figure and face don’t require the kind of symmetry that a character like Thor needs in order to be handsome within the context of the comic. I’m also inspired by the earliest versions of the Hulk by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko where there seems to me to have been a nod to the Karloff Frankenstein monster of the early Universal horror films. All of which means I can pack a lot into my drawings to try to capture some reflection of the Hulk’s wild nature.