The mysterious incursion phenomenon laying waste to myriad alternate Marvel Universe realities comes to a close this spring as the world is refashioned into a single patchwork planet, Battleworld, where the upcoming “Secret Wars” event will be fought. The pieces used to assemble Battleworld are the remnants of the various realities that made up the Marvel multiverse, leading to a world as dangerous as it is diverse. It’s also a place where different incarnations of familiar Marvel characters can exist side by side and — luckily for readers — come into conflict.
This May, writer Sam Humphries and artist Marc Laming introduce readers to several of these familiar yet different faces in “Planet Hulk” a “Secret Wars” series falling under the “Warzones!” banner that sends a gladiator named Steve Rogers and his faithful companion Devil Dinosaur into one of the most dangerous of the Battleworld dominions, a forbidden zone full of rampaging Hulks.
CBR News reached out to Humphries to discuss “Planet Hulk,” and while the writer was unavailable to speak with us, we had a very interesting chat with his “assistant” about the nature of the dominions the writer is exploring, the goals of his protagonists, and the dangers they’ll find in the Hulk-infested wilds.
CBR News: Sam, let’s kick off our discussion of “Planet Hulk” by talking about the origin of the project. What made you want to tackle an assignment that both pays homage to Greg Pak’s epic “Planet Hulk” storyline and tells an original tale? As a writer and reader, what elements of Pak’s story did you find most enjoyable?
Sam Humphries: AUTOMATIC E-MAIL REPLY: Sam Humphries is out of the office, vacationing in New Attilan. Your request has been forwarded to his personal assistant, Devil Dinosaur.
Devil Dinosaur: RAAAAAAUGH!! The scent of blood burns my nostrils. The Captain and I are far, far from the colosseum. The colosseum of battle, and death. The colosseum where we are warbound. “May he who dies, die well.” But death follows us to Greenland. This is a place where we HUNT. We hunt the RED KING!
What can you tell you tell us about the Battleworld dominions “Planet Hulk” takes place in? What’s everyday life there like, and what kind of technology can readers expect?
GRRRRRRR–Greenland is a BROKEN REALM. A perversion. Sharper than the bones beneath my feet. Beyond the cries of a broken god. No moon, no stars. Only HULK. Everywhere, we find HULK. In the desert. In the jungle. Red, grey, and greenskin. With claws, and tentacle, and wing. Hulks think they rule Greenland. HULKS ARE WRONG! MY THIRST WILL BE SLAKED WITH THE BLOOD OF A THOUSAND HULKS!!
Navigating these areas are your two protagonists: Steve Rogers, who appears to be a Gladiator, and his faithful companion, Devil Dinosaur. What should readers know about their backgrounds and motivations?
ROOOOOAWL! The Captain and I are WARBOUND. We fight in the coliseum. Every day, the Captain’s mighty axe, bathed in blood. From different lands, yet we are brothers. Brothers in battle. I will kill all who fight the Captain! I will smash their skulls in my TEETH. I will rend their flesh in my CLAWS! They will know THE FURY OF DEVIL DINOSAUR!!
Are the Hulks the only antagonists of “Planet Hulk?” What can you tell us about any other supporting players in “Planet Hulk?”
RAAAAAUGH There is one who rides with us. He is HULK and yet he is different. Not from Planet Hulk. I do not trust his smell. And then there is one other — our other warbound. The Captain and I search for our friend. Taken from us, long ago. We weep for him. We cry for him. We must race to rescue him from the Red King. We must save — Bucky.
Artist Marc Laming is bringing “Planet Hulk” to life, and over the past year or so he’s done a wide variety of imaginative tales starring everyone from the Doc Green Hulk, Flash Gordon and the other pulp-inspired King Features Syndicate characters, the Fantastic Four and even the Invaders. In other words, it seems like Marc is a perfect fit for this story. What’s it like collaborating with him on “Planet Hulk” and designing its world and characters?
Duuuuuude, Marc’s art is so sick. I have a commission he did of Moon Boy as Doctor Who. It is hanging on the wall of my T. Rex den.
HAAAAAURGH! Pathetic mammal! You ask Devil Dinosaur QUESTIONS?? I am a giant red Tyrannosaurus Rex! The Captain rides at my side! Sleep not, for we will hunt you. Planet Hulk will crumble. Planet Hulk will DIE. We will CRUSH Planet Hulk! ALL HULK FALL UNDER OUR RAGE!!!
If you have any follow up questions, I will be happy to address.
Many thanks and have a great day.
“Planet Hulk” begins this May from Marvel Comics.