Wrapping up our series of interviews with the creators and stars of "Hulk Vs.," the Marvel Animation double-feature available now on DVD and Blu-Ray, CBR News spoke with writer Chris Yost about the battles fans can expect in "Hulk Vs. Wolverine" and "Hulk Vs. Thor," the contrasting tones of the two movies, and the potential for Hulk to smash more heroes in the future.
Yost, who co-writes Marvel's "X-Force" title with "Hulk Vs." producer Craig Kyle, is well steeped in Marvel lore and had a lot of source material to consider in crafting the movies' screenplays. Asked which stories the animation team drew upon for "Hulk Vs. Wolverine," Yost replied, "Which stories didn't we draw on?"
The writer told CBR News, "This one has a little bit of 'Incredible Hulk' #181, the first full appearance of Wolverine; it's got a bit of 'Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk;' it's got a little bit of Peter David's classic Hulk vs. Wolverine fight; it's got some 'Wolverine Origins;' it's got a big chunk of Barry Windsor-Smith's 'Weapon X.' It's really picking out the best bits of what people know and love and putting them into one kind of kick-ass story."
Yost continued, "I think the Hulk vs. Wolverine matchup is fascinating because they're both heroes, but they're the meanest, roughest heroes in the Marvel Universe. They don't like each other. They occasionally team up, but usually only after they beat the hell out of each other. It's just such a different vibe from when Spider-Man and Hulk team-up, or even Spider-Man and Wolverine, Cap and Iron Man, Thor and Iron Man, all those guys-they're there to look up to. But these are the scary guys. They're the ones that you're just as scared of them as the villain coming down on you."
The story of "Hulk Vs. Wolverine" takes place during Logan's days as an agent of Canada's Department H. "In Canada, a small town has been destroyed. When the military gets there, they figure out that the Hulk has come to Canada," Yost explained. "They don't really know what Hulk is--they heard rumors from the US military and intelligence, but it's come to Canada and it looks like it's heading for a major town. Department H, a division of the government, brings in their go-to guy for situations like this: Wolverine. They know the Hulk is out there: the mission is to find him, stop him; if you can't stop him, kill him."
Things become more complicated, of course, when Logan himself becomes a target of Weapon X.
To satisfy fans whom may be looking for continuity between "Hulk Vs. Wolverine" and the animated series "Wolverine and X-Men," for which Yost also writes, he said there is a connection but it's more in spirit. "They exist in kind of the same universe," Yost said. "One could lead to the other. Hulk and Wolverine have met before, they've fought before. You could theoretically say that this little feature is a prequel to what happens later down the road in 'Wolverine and the X-Men.'"
As to the second part of the "Hulk Vs." double feature, Yost said that "Hulk Vs. Thor" is an entirely different sort of story. "Whereas 'Hulk Vs. Wolverine' is kind of a down and dirty rumble between those two guys in kind of a black ops world, 'Hulk Vs. Thor' is like a big godly epic taking place in the bright shining realm of Asgard, home of the gods," the writer said. "And Loki, every year for eternity, has lost to his brother Thor in his efforts to take over Asgard. But he's come up with a plan. He's found the one creature in all the realms that has ever even come close to taking down Thor, and that's the Hulk. So he brings the Hulk to Asgard and through a combination of his and the Enchantress's magic, unleashes Hulk on all of Asgard. And he completely just beats the crap out of Thor."
How does a rampaging Hulk stack up against the Mighty Thor, wielder of Mjolnir? "He beats Thor to death," Yost offered. "That's where the story takes a turn."
Unlike "Hulk Vs. Wolverine" and its many direct comic book antecedents, "Hulk Vs. Thor" is not based on any specific storyline. Although Thor and Hulk have rumbled a few times, the cartoon is inspired by "more of the feeling" evoked by classic Thor artists Jack Kirby and Walt Simonson. "I think Frank Paur, who directed both features, was a big Kirby fan; for me, it was always Simonson," the Yost added.
"I would love to see these double features continue forever," Yost said, considering further potential title bouts for the Hulk. "There's a reason for him to fight pretty much everyone. And in Marvel, there's so many different worlds you can bring him to. Like right now, we did black ops and the world of the gods, but you could see very easily Hulk Vs. Iron Man, for technology, or Hulk Vs. Dr. Strange and that magic. 'Planet Hulk' is coming up, Hulk on an alien world.
"Hulk is an amazing character and I think you can do a lot with him. Hulk is a gateway, people know the Hulk and you can use him to expand the Marvel Universe."
"Hulk Vs." is on sale now on DVD and Blu-Ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.