Across all the issues of the series, Waid said that another primary concert of “Indestructible Hulk” has been expanding the cast beyond the standard supporting players. Riding shotgun (though sometimes remotely) on Hulk’s S.H.I.E.L.D. missions are a gathering of scientific minds that help balance out the series. “What’s good about having other people to play against Banner is that it’s more people to play against Hulk,” the writer explained. “On a storytelling level, that helps me enormously, because once Banner Hulk’s out, there is no internal monologue. There is no witty banter between Hulk and the villains. So you need somebody for the Hulk to bounce off of.
“Beyond that, I chose each of those characters because at least three or four of them,Â like Banner himself, have a secret self — a secret that only Banner knows that they don’t necessarily know he knows about. A good part of Banner’s healing process, as we’ll see in the next few issues, is turning on each of those people and helping them deal with the demons raging inside them.”
This summer, the Hulk world tour will pick up another passenger in the form of guest artist Walt Simonson. As Waid explained, the teaser recently released in January by Marvel highlighting the appearance of Thor as drawn by the legendary artist came as a result of a more open collaboration on the series. “We actually had a Frost Giants story, and we brought Walt in just praying he’d want to play,” the writer said. “And it was Walt who said, ‘Can we put Thor in the story? And can it be this Thor? And can it be two issues instead of one? Actually, can it be three issues instead of two?’ And my answer to Walt is always yes. It’s been an incredibly delightful process working with Walt because I’ve never been able to work with him on that writer-artist relationship before. We know each other, and we’ve worked together when I’ve been on Editorial for stuff, but I’ve never done anything for him as a writer. He’s putting his own stamp on these issues as well, and he’s yet to go off in a direction that makes no sense. He’s a great storyteller in his own right. So with Walt, if he wants to put Thor in the story you better let him put Thor in the story. Then it’s just fun! It’s Walt Simonson’s Thor! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that creatively.”
One thing the writer focused on for that upcoming arc is embracing a plot-first writing style that allowed Simonson to flex his muscles as a cartoonist. “I’ve given him plots that are maybe even less detailed than the plots I normally give. Walt does thumbnails on them and sends them to me with notes. We go back and forth on them before Walt puts them to pencils and suggests some dialogue. He tweaks things and changes things but never to the detriment of the story. And that’s fine. It’s great to work that way. It’s really like a tennis match going back and forth constantly.”
“Indestructible Hulk” #5 ships March 20 from Marvel Comics.