INTERVIEW: Pak Plans a Totally Awesome Return to Planet Hulk

When teenaged super genius Amadeus Cho became the title character of the new Totally Awesome Hulk series he did so with the belief that he would be able to do a better job of managing the Jade Giant's rage and power than his predecessor, Bruce Banner. He's discovering though that being the mightiest mortal in the Marvel Universe is no easy feat. In this month's Generations: Banner Hulk & the Totally Awesome Hulk one-shot by writer Greg Pak and artist Matteo Buffagni, Amadeus will learn more revelations about himself and the gamma-fueled legacy he inherited as time travel brings the two Hulks face to face.

Then, this fall, Amadeus will once again face down the long shadow his forerunner casts as he's transported to a place where the Banner Hulk experienced some of his greatest triumphs and tragedies: the planet Sakaar. That happens in October, when Pak artist Greg Land bring Cho into the Marvel Legacy era by changing the title of his series back the original and classic Incredible Hulk, and picking up the series original numeration with issue #709, the kickoff to a new arc titled “Return to Planet Hulk.”

RELATED: Why Marvel’s Planet Hulk Is A Modern Comic Book Classic

CBR spoke with Pak about bringing the Cho and Banner Hulks face to face; the importance of his Generations one-shot to his ongoing Hulk saga; returning to Sakaar, a planet he introduced to the world in the original “Planet Hulk” storyline; and the new continents, concepts, and characters Amadeus will encounter in his initial exploits there.

CBR: Greg, the current “Weapons of Mutant Destruction” arc of Totally Awesome Hulk is proving to be an emotional one, full of difficult choices for Amadeus Cho. So what kind of state will he be when you pick up with him in your Generations: Banner Hulk & the Totally Awesome Hulk one-shot? How big a chapter is this story in the saga of the Totally Awesome Hulk?

Greg Pak: From the minute Amadeus became the Hulk, he loved it. He's a cocky teenaged super-genius, convinced he'd be the best Hulk ever. Specifically, he thought he was unburdened by the anger that Banner carried around; he thought he could channel the Hulk's massive power without losing himself. But as time has gone on, Amadeus has begun to learn more about himself -- and more about the monster he's been hiding in the trunk of his proverbial car. We're entering the huge, high stakes climax of this big emotional arc -- and there will be massive consequences. So read on and hang on!

Your Generations one-shot pairs Amadeus with the Bruce Banner incarnation of the Hulk, a character you wrote for many years. What's it like returning to the Banner Hulk? And as we know from your run on the character and many others the Banner incarnation of the Hulk has been many different things over the years. What can you tell us about the Banner Hulk that Amadeus encounters in this issue?

I love Bruce Banner and I am always happy to have the chance to write him again. I'm also excited about this specific story because it gave me a chance to write Banner at a different stage in his life than any other time I've written Banner. I'll say no more for fear of spoilers, but General Ross is in the story, commanding military forces in the desert, so that might be a big hint right there. I'll also say that Banner and Amadeus coming together in this particular way is particularly important in terms of what Amadeus is going to take away from the story.

RELATED: Marvel Legacy: Planet Hulk Details, Incredible Hulk #709 Cover Unveiled

What can you tell us about the adventure Amadeus and Banner will have in this story?

Amadeus and Banner are shocked to see each other, for reasons I can't fully explain for fear of spoilers, but readers can probably guess at least some of them. As the preview pages indicate, they come under almost immediate attack by General Ross, who's probably thrilled to have two Hulks to hunt. But they'll eventually have to deal with an even bigger threat -- and, of course, each other. It's a big, fun story with massive action -- but also digs deep into the differences (and possibly the disturbing similarities) between these two Hulks.

You're collaborating with artist Matteo Buffagni on your Generations one-shot, an artist who can and has drawn all types of stories, but one of the things I love about his work is how much it adds to the overall tone of the story. What do you enjoy most about working with Matteo?

He clearly loves both of these Hulks and has had a ton of fun with all of the action. When you tell a Hulk story, you need some smashing, right? And when you tell a story with two Hulks...

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