In 1974's Incredible Hulk #181, Len Wein and Herb Trimpe created one of Marvel Comics most enduring rivalries by pitting the titular Jade Giant against Wolverine, who also made his first appearance in that landmark issue. In the decades that followed Wolverine and the Hulk have squared off in a number of brutal battles, but in 2017 the rogue scientists of the Weapon X program created a being that could potentially cause more devastation than both characters. That being is Clayton Cortez, a former soldier who was given the fantastic abilities of both the Hulk and Wolverine. Fortunately, Clay was rather strong-willed broke free from the sinister scientists that transformed him into a “Hulkverine.”
The current Weapon H series by Clay's co-creator, writer Greg Pak, has chronicled the title character's quest to reunite with his family and deal with the diabolical machinations of the Roxxon Corporation. That series concludes in January's Weapon H #12, and when it wraps, Clay will move on to the toughest battle he's ever faced.That's because, when Weapon H was created, both Wolverine and Bruce Banner were dead, but now they're back and looking to confront the man with both of their abilities. The duo call on Clay in February's Hulkverines #1, the kick off to a three-issue miniseries by Pak and artists Ario Anindito and Guiu Villanova. But will they come as friend or foe? And how will the nasty, new, immortal incarnation of the Hulk view both Clay and Wolverine? For the answers to those questions and more, CBR spoke with Pak about the miniseries.
CBR: Greg, Wolverine and the Hulk have a long history of brutal battles, so what's it like bringing Weapon H, a character with both of their abilities, into that mix?
Greg Pak: It's a blast. From the beginning of the series, we knew we wanted to have Weapon H meet Wolverine and Hulk. But Logan and Banner were pretty famously dead for most of the Weapon H run. Now, they're back on the table and we're finally getting to cut loose with 'em. I love this story because of the potential for ridiculous, bombastic action, but mostly for the emotional electricity we get here. Our hero, Clay Cortez, is a soldier who's been given the powers of both Hulk and Wolverine. Like Banner and Logan, Clay has his own dark past. So, there's a very interesting chance to see how Clay and Logan and Banner react to each other, to play with how they might help or hurt each other given how similar they are in so many ways. But at the same time, Clay's very different from Banner and Logan in a number of crucial ways, and that'll all play a huge role in the story's big emotional surprises and twists.
What can you tell us about the focus and perspectives of Hulkverines? Will all three characters get spotlight moments?
In the first issue, we'll focus on Weapon H and Banner. In the second issue, we'll bring Wolverine into the mix. In the third issue, all hell breaks loose in every way conceivable with all three characters -- and our big villains. As with everything we've ever done with this series, we're taking everything way too far, so get ready for some wild action and massive character moments.
Hulkverines marks the first time you're writing the Immortal incarnation of the Hulk. What's it like writing this version of the character?
It's been a blast! Al Ewing is doing something special with the Immortal Hulk book and it's fun to be able to play in his sandbox here. He wrote up a great document with some notes about what makes this version of Banner/Hulk distinct, and that's been great. He also read the first outline for Hulkverines and tossed in a few thoughts, which were very helpful.
Charles Soule is still unpacking the mystery surrounding Logan in his Return of Wolverine miniseries. So, what can you tell us about your take on Logan in this series?
We're not going to spoil any mysteries Charles is building, but our story definitely fits into his continuity.
My take on Logan is pretty much the same as my take on Logan always is. He's a badass with a heart of gold who does what has to be done regardless of the cost to his own body and soul. In this story, we have the added bonus of his relationship with Banner. I always love seeing Logan and Banner together. They're very similar in some ways, struggling with a monster within. But they're so different in personality that they're a blast to write together. And now we get to play with both them and Clay -- and Clay's family -- which sets up some tremendous character beats that I can't wait for folks to see.