It’s *possible* that no mainstream superhero comic has ever starred as many Asian American superheroes as TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #15. pic.twitter.com/CJWfeBsn19
— Greg Pak (@gregpak) January 6, 2017
A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted that Totally Awesome Hulk #15 might be the biggest team up of Asian American superheroes in a mainstream superhero comic ever. I’m thrilled to report that the book hits stores today, written by yours truly and drawn by Mahmud Asrar, with colors by Nolan Woodard, letters by Corey Petit, and a cover by Stonehouse!
The book’s already nabbed some rave reviews. At Nerds of Color, Keith Chow writes “I was actually moved to tears.” Jenn of Reappropriate writes, “childhood Jenn is all kinds of loving it!” And AIPT says, “Simply put, there aren’t a lot of comics that are as endearing as this.”
So where did this big team up story come from?
Over the years, I’ve had tons of dinners and karaoke sessions with fellow Asian American friends and colleagues at various comic conventions and film festivals where we get real and real ridiculous and everything in between. And I found myself thinking that the Asian American heroes in the Marvel Universe would probably hang out like that every once in a while, right? So what would they do and say? What kinds of bonding and what kinds of conflict would arise? And then what would happen if the other shoe dropped and they had to go straight from a night out to a massive superhero adventure?
Right now just felt like the perfect time for the book — Marvel’s really expanded the roster of Asian American heroes in recent years with Cindy Moon (Silk), Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel), and Amadeus Cho (The Totally Awesome Hulk) all headlining books. And I’ve been itching to write classic characters like secret agent Jimmy Woo and Shang-Chi, the undisputed Master of Kung Fu. What makes it so much fun is that you’ve got all of this diversity within diversity, really interesting different angles on life within this group of characters, which allows for some nice subtlety and depth when you put ’em all together.
I’m particularly loving the chance to explore the way these different generations of heroes look at the world. In real life, Jimmy Woo’s actually one of the oldest Marvel characters — he starred in a comic way back in 1956, years before the Avengers and the Fantastic Four and almost all the others else hit the scene. In the context of our story, he’s the older dude, a kind of cool uncle who’s been around the block a million times. He’s also a secret agent, with a potentially much more ruthless edge to him than our teen heroes. So… tension! Drama! Adventure! And karaoke! The whole thing’s been a total blast and I hope folks dig it.
After I posted that gorgeous Stonehouse cover to issue #15 on Twitter, I was totally blown away by the overwhelming response. That post has been viewed over 400,000 times. It may be the most liked and retweeted tweet I’ve ever seen for one of my books. The excitement that folks of all different backgrounds seem to have for this funnybook about these Asian American heroes has been hugely inspiring and gratifying. Huge thanks to everyone who’s shared it — please do keep spreading the word and pick up that first issue today!
The story runs through Totally Awesome Hulk #15-18. You can get today’s issue from your local comic shop, findable via findacomicshop.com , or digitally at https://www.comixology.com/The-Totally-Awesome-Hulk-2015/comics-series/59404
Thanks as always, and see you in the funny books!