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On Friday afternoon, Joe Quesada presided over Marvel Comics' first panel at the second annual New York Comic Con. With "Civil War" finally over, the EIC of the House of Ideas and the assembled panelists were anxious to talk about the company's next big event, "World War Hulk." Greg Pak, the man behind not only "Planet Hulk" but also the green goliath's pending return to Earth, was in attendance. Also on the panel were writers Frank Tieri and Christos Gage, editors Bill Rosemann and Mark Paniccia, and Jim McCann. They were joined later by latecomer Dan Slott.
Quesada began the panel with a tantalizing secret about "World War Hulk": "There's no fighting, he just eats Earth. One big bite." All joking aside, Quesada launched into the slide show. The "World War Hulk" mini-series proper will be penned by "Incredible Hulk" scribe Greg Pak, and illustrated by legendary artist John Romita Jr. Before "Civil War" broke out, the "puny humans" known as the Illuminati recognized that the Hulk would be a liability, and they exiled him from Earth. "'World War Hulk' is the story of the Hulk returning to Earth where those puny humans live," Pak said. "Much smashing will ensue." Pak also promised that it will be "one of the most emotional stories for the Hulk in recent memory."
"World War Hulk" kicks off in May with the prologue, with writer Peter David, and artists Al Rio, Sean Phillips and Lee Weeks. "The prologue shows readers why the Illuminati did what they did and what the Hulk's feelings are towards those characters," Paniccia said. But Slott assured those assembled that, "It's not just a recap something important happens. So you must buy it."
Greg Pak will be continuing to write "The Incredible Hulk." And while everyone knows who the Hulk's enemies are going to be in the coming conflict, the "Incredible Hulk" tie-ins will focus on his allies. Issues 106 through 109 feature the return of Mastermind Excello (a new character from the recent "Amazing Fantasy" #15) and Amadeus Cho. Hercules and Angel were also pictured on a cover image. In addition, issues 106 and 107 deal with the repercussions of the Hulk's return on his longtime ally Namor, and Bruce's cousin Jen Walters, aka She-Hulk. In Slott's run on "She-Hulk," Jen Walters has become the "surrogate Hulk," doing her best to deal with the Hulk's rogue's gallery of villains who have been running amok in Bruce's absence. Slott urged readers to pick up "She-Hulk" 18, as her appearance in "Incredible Hulk" 106 picks up 10 seconds after the end of the former.
Professor X was a member of the now-disbanded Illuminati, and he was not present when the decision was made to send the Hulk into space. In "World War Hulk: X-Men," writer Christos Gage and artist Andrea DiVito ("Annihilation") show what happens when the Hulk comes calling on the 198. "Hulk has some pointed questions for Professor X," Gage said. The cover of the first issue of the 3-issue mini pictures the Hulk's fist closed around Charles' throat. When asked which of the 198 would be appearing, Gage said, "All of them. As many as they'll let me use."