Matt Adler: Amadeus Cho seems to be a rare character, in that very few new characters have caught on and taken hold in readers’ minds the way he has. Why do you think that is?
Fred Van Lente: I think partly it’s because his creator, Greg Pak, never gave up on him, and found opportunities use him in big events like World War Hulk, where he could get maximum exposure — and WWH led directly to Incredible Hercules, of course.
Greg Pak: Editors Mark Paniccia and Nate Cosby deserve huge credit here. They loved the character from the start and were as eager as I was to engineer his next appearance. And Marvel’s David Gabriel gets a gold star for suggesting the Hercules/Amadeus team up book in the first place.
In terms of the character himself, you can never predict just what readers will pick up on. But Amadeus seemed to fill a certain niche in the Marvel Universe at the time, and by providing such a contrast, he made a great foil for established Marvel characters like Hulk and Herc. We were also incredibly lucky to have the amazing Takeshi Miyazawa do the original character design and have fantastic artists like Gary Frank, Carlo Pagulayan, Leonard Kirk, and all of the Incredible Hercules artists put their spin on him. Reilly’s new design for Amadeus in Prince Of Power is the icing on the cake, growing the kid up a bit while maintaining that irreverence that makes him so fun.
“Heroic Age: Prince of Power” #1, starring Amadeus Cho, written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, and pencilled by Reilly Brown, hit comic book stores last Wednesday and immediately garnered rave reviews. Here are some excerpts: Comics Alliance:
It’s a great issue, and it’s striking to see how much Cho has grown into a full-fledged hero in his short time as part of the Marvel Universe. In an industry often criticized for only reusing the same characters over and over again, Amadeus Cho is the prime example of how to introduce and develop a brand new character in the right way, and how exciting that can be when it’s done so well.
For fans and new readers alike, this is a fantastic first issue that hits the ground running and never stops. It’s funny, flippant, and runs circles around 95% of the books this week just on sheer character alone.
Seriously. Go get it. It’s far and away my pick of the week.
… itâ€™s a fast, breezy read with enough backplot to hook new readers without boring the old hands. It doesnâ€™t require encyclopedic knowledge of the Marvel Universeâ€™s current status quo. The writing is fresh and funny, and the artâ€™s appealing. Iâ€™ll be pretty happy if other creators take Pak and van Lenteâ€™s cue and make their Heroic Age titles as accessible to those of us who arenâ€™t omniscient.
All the usual brilliant characterization, dialogue, humor, and action weâ€™ve come to expect from Greg Pak and Fren van Lente. The battle against the Griffin is entirely excellent, but there are also some wonderful scenes that are very low-key and quiet â€” Amadeusâ€™ monologue with the incarcerated and generally displeased Delphyne Gorgon, his snake-haired ex-girlfriend, is nice, and the scene with townspeople from Broxton, Oklahoma running a food drive for the recently wrecked Asgard (the entire realm had taken up residence over Oklahoma until the end of the â€œSiegeâ€ crossover) is both awesome and funny.
“Heroic Age: Prince of Power” writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente and artist Reilly Brown will sign the first issue of the Amadeus Cho miniseries from 1 to 3 pm on May 12 at Comics and More Plymouth in King of Prussia, PA, 500 Germantown Pike #2015, Plymouth Meeting, PA.
The first 100 customers in the store will receive free copies of “Prince of Power” #1! RSVP for the event on Facebook.
Comics writer Greg Pak will sign books at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles on Free Comic Book Day, Saturday, May 1, from 2-4 pm.
Pak is currently writing “Incredible Hulk,” which is about to plunge into the “World War Hulks” storyline, and co-writing “Heroic Age: Prince of Power” with Fred Van Lente.
Golden Apple Comics is located at 7018 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Click here for more information.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jeff Yang has interviewed comic book writer Greg Pak about Amadeus Cho, Hercules, and the “Heroic Age: Prince of Power” miniseries that begins in May. Here’s an excerpt:
Cho’s Korean identity is essential to his reality; when he meets his dead parents in a journey to the afterlife, the first thing his mother does is remark how skinny he is and offers him food. “Umma made mandoo and miyukguk,” says his mother. “Sweet! They have a Korean grocery down here?” asks Cho. “That’s why they call it Heaven,” says his dad. But at the same time, he’s more than just his race, or his funny name, or his big brain.
“He’s totally a Korean American kid; that’s who he is,” says Pak. “At the same time, he happens to be spending a lot of time with Greek gods, so his ethnicity isn’t necessarily the first thing on his mind all the time. There’s a whole wealth of stories we have set up — a whole lot he has left to learn and deal with.”
With any luck (and a little reader support!) Pak will be able to tell those tales. And if he is, maybe Marvel’s new owner, the Hercules of childhood known as Disney, will realize what it has on its hands and bring young Amadeus to a much bigger audience.
After all, in the saga of Amadeus Cho, Pak has created the rich, funny, deeply engrossing tale of an ordinary, yet extraordinary boy who stumbles into a destiny of limitless power, and must learn step by step how to wield it — while dealing with loss and love, encountering friendship and rivalry, and going through the entire painful, wonderful process of growing up.
Alex Fitch of Panel Borders has interviewed filmmaker and comic book writer Greg Pak about his new short film “Mister Green,” which just won the Sci Fi London Best Short Film award, and his work on “Incredible Hulk,” “Incredible Hercules,” and Amadeus Cho. Click here to listen to the podcast.