Marvel Comics has released four gorgeous preview pages from “Incredible Hulk” #112, which hits comic book stores on December 19. Written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente with pencils by Khoi Pham, this is the beginning of the “Incredible Hercules” storyline, in which the Greek god takes on S.H.I.E.L.D. with the help of incorrigible teen genius Amadeus Cho. Click here to read the press release and view the pages.
Newsarama has posted an extensive interview with writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente and penciller Khoi Pham about the “Incredible Hercules” storyline that begins with issue #112 of “Incredible Hulk.” The article also features several never-before seen preview pages from the book. An excerpt:
NRAMA: As for Herc, heâ€™s always been a fun-loving guy, and his minis in the day were pretty funny. On the other hand, there was also a Hercules-as-alcoholic storyline a few years back as well. What’s the tone here, and how much do you feel you need to balance those aspects?
Pak: As S.H.I.E.L.D. commander Gabe Jones says in the first issue of Incredible Herc, Hercules always goes with his gut. Alas, Gabe goes on to point out, â€œhis gut is really, really dumb.â€ Thatâ€™s part of the enormous charm of the character — heâ€™s a creature of emotion and instinct who always does what he thinks is right but ends up in enormous amounts of trouble as a result. Combine that with Amadeus Cho, whoâ€™s exponentially smarter than Herc on one level but maybe even dumber when it comes to making all the wrong decisions, and youâ€™ve got a great recipe for ongoing disaster. Which is solid gold for us a storytellers — it allows us to tell stories with tons of action, plenty of humor, and some surprisingly deep explorations of emotion and friendship and morality.
Tone-wise, Iâ€™m shooting for the action adventure feel of some of my favorite movies. Jaws and Aliens are first and foremost tremendous action pictures, but theyâ€™re beautifully built character pieces and packed with laughs at the same time. Youâ€™ll laugh, youâ€™ll scream, and you might even eventually nod with sad understanding of the tragedy that is life. And Herc will smash. Whatâ€™s not to love?
Van Lente: When youâ€™re talking about Hercules, you canâ€™t not talk about this rich mythological tradition he comes from, which is filled with intense battles with giant scary monsters (something else the Hulk comic has in common with him) but also a lot of human fallibility and tragedy.
I think whatâ€™s been missing from some past interpretations of Herc is that people tend to a focus a little too much on fallibility without enough enormous Ray Harryhausen-type spectacle. (Nigel Green in Jason and the Argonauts: Greatest. Movie. Herc. Ever.) Greg and I are having massive battles in both the modern-day post-World War Hulk time period and in ancient Greece, but whatâ€™s fun is we never lose sight of the real emotion thatâ€™s driving them. Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s made Incredible Herc tons of fun to write â€“ and, we hope, read.
Hercules once again gets some really great screentime. …this arc has once again shown us why Hercules is such a great character. He’s complex, and honor-driven, and he’s a pleasure to read about, especially under Pak’s pen.
Writer of over 500 comic books, including PLANET HULK, MECH CADET YU, FIREFLY, and DARTH VADER