NYCC: Pak Packs Punch with "Planet Skaar"

When the Green Goliath crashed back to Earth for "World War Hulk," unbeknownst to him, he left behind a son on "Planet Hulk."

For the past year, Greg Pak - the mastermind behind both top-selling Marvel storylines - has been telling Skaar's adventures on the planet Sakaar in the aptly named, "Skaar: Son of Hulk."

Blessed with powers of both his mother Caiera (who died prior to his birth) and his dear old dad, Hulk Jr. is ready to bring his brooding 'teen angst' to Earth in the storyline, "Planet Skaar."

Announced at New York Comic Con on Sunday, the blockbuster starts with the Pak-penned "Planet Skaar Prologue" one-shot in May. No artist was announced but Alex Garner ("New Exiles") is illustrating the cover.

The story continues in the pages of "Skaar: Son of Hulk," penciled by new regular artist Ron Lim ("Silver Surfer"), starting with #11.

Pak told CBR News, "We may have another surprise or two to announce down the line, but for now, you can find everything you need in the one-shot and in the pages of 'Skaar: Son of Hulk.' And new readers should have no trouble at all jumping on board, the prologue will bring you right up to speed with everything you need to know while tossing you right into the thick of the action."

The fan favorite writer explained Skaar just spent the first year of his life committing and suffering unspeakable atrocities as he struggled for survival against monsters, Wildebots, and barbarians in the war-torn wastelands of savage Sakaar.

"Now he's finally slashing his way straight to the heart of the Marvel Universe, determined to find the father who abandoned him in the first place," revealed Pak. "What will happen when this savage barbaric man-child meets the angriest, strongest man on Planet Earth? I'll keep my mouth shut for fear of spoilers, but I wouldn't be too surprised if we're in for a little something we in the biz like to call 'smashing.'

"But underscoring the mayhem is an ever-deepening emotional story about a father and a son and a clash between radically different world views. I'm particular excited about some major twists coming up for Skaar that create some massive emotional conflicts and rich opportunities for character development."

Pak shared the first big reveal comes in the pages of "Planet Skaar Prologue" and when asked how soon into the story son finds father, he responded, "Sooner than you might think. Dontcha dare miss a single issue."

As for Rulk, from Jeph Loeb's bestselling "Hulk" ongoing, Pak kept pitching and said, "That would be cool, huh? Guess we'll all have to keep on buying and reading every single issue to see if it happens."

Pak said he and Marvel knew from the outset that Skaar would end up coming to Earth.

"His connections to the Hulk are just too strong and too good to keep them apart indefinitely," he explained. "And hey, the Marvel Universe has suffered far too long from its sad lack of a big, green, tattooed, half-alien, half-Hulk barbarian."

Skaar has an entirely different world view from any other character Pak has ever written. And he likes him that way.

"He comes from an utterly lawless, war-torn world in which he's literally had to fight for his life from the instant he was born," he explained. "So his ideas of right and wrong, of justice and morality, are vastly different from those of the average Marvel hero and allow us to shed some new light on the classic Hulk themes of hero versus monster."

Creating, Pak suggests, a super-sized, raging chip off the old block, far more a 'monster' than ever his father was.

"Hulk and Skaar are as different as the clean, suburban streets of Bruce Banner's hometown of Dayton, Ohio, are from the burning, radioactive seas surrounding the blasted ruins of Crown City where Skaar was born on Planet Sakaar. Everyone likes to call the Hulk a monster but Skaar has lived up to the name a thousand times over," said Pak.

"But despite everything, father and son share a predisposition to protecting the weak. As Skaar's self-appointed mentor Old Sam likes to say, Skaar will always threaten the worst, but in the end he almost invariably ends up saving the innocent. We'll see whether that habit makes its way to Earth and survives Skaar's first encounter with dear old Dad."

Pak compared Skaar's upcoming arrival on Earth to that of a mortal god that already lives and breathes amongst the mortals of Earth-616.

"I love the idea of Skaar in the middle of the Marvel Universe for the same reason I love Herc in the Marvel Universe. They're both heroes who simply don't belong in this world and time and as a result can provide for great contrasts and conflicts, which is solid gold for fun and potentially deep storytelling."

Pak co-writes the critically acclaimed "Incredible Hercules" with Fred Van Lente. He said the Greek god and his partner in 'crime' Amadeus Cho may feature in "Planet Skaar," as well, because once Reed Richards - one of the Illuminati responsible for sending Hulk to Sakaar in the first place - finds out the big guy's son is coming to Earth, he quickly pulls together a team of Hulk's best friends and greatest allies to make sure the planet is ready for Skaar's arrival.

"Let's just say that given his previous experiences with Amadeus in the build-up to 'World War Hulk,' Reed's only putting Amadeus on a list if that list is the list of people Reed would never want to have on any list," laughed Pak. "On the other hand, Amadeus has a habit of involving himself in situations involving big, green people whether anyone wants him around or not. So don't count him out yet, sports fans."

Pak is thrilled to have Lim drawing the series and said "he just loves everything Ron is doing."

"When it came time to find a new artist to pick up the reins for our 'Silver Surfer' storyline, Ron immediately came to mind because of his classic work with everyone's favorite herald," said Pak. "So I always knew he'd do amazing things with the Silver Savage in particular. But he's dazzled us with every panel and every page of 'Skaar.'

"In particular, I love the way Ron's a demon for details. He's nailing every different character in this wild, weird world of Sakaar, bringing out both their distinctive looks and the emotional essence of every moment. And man, when the action kicks in, Ron's having himself some big, crazy fun that just makes me grin."

Check out exclusive sketches and CBR's conversation with Ron Lim here.

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