WAR PARTY: Pak Talks "World War Hulk: Warbound"

It seems like there is no more fitting name for the Hulk's companions than the Warbound. As detailed in Marvel Comics' "Planet Hulk" storyline, the ragtag alien group of ex-gladiators originally banded together to fight for their own freedom and later for the freedom of all the oppressed races on planet Sakaar. When tragedy befell their home planet, the Warbound accompanied their leader, the Hulk, back to Earth on a mission of revenge. Their battle for retribution is currently unfolding in the "World War Hulk" miniseries and readers can expect the Warbound's life of turmoil to continue when "WWH" ends. The group plays a role in the November one-shot "World War Hulk: Aftersmash," but the next chapter in their life begins in December in "World War Hulk: Warbound," a five-issue miniseries by writer Greg Pak and artist Leonard Kirk. CBR News spoke with Pak about the miniseries.

Pak credits the positive word of mouth surrounding "Planet Hulk" and "World War Hulk" as the driving force behind the "Warbound" miniseries. "Editor Mark Paniccia and I fell in love with each and every one of the Hulk's Warbound companions during the 'Planet Hulk' run," Pak told CBR News. "I think Mark's favorite has always been Korg the Kronan, the stone man with a heart of gold. I love all my children equally, but at the moment, I'm particularly intrigued by No-Name of the Brood, the one-time deadly X-Men foe who wept as Sakaar fell, and Hiroim the Oldstrong, who'll have a huge moment in the upcoming 'World War Hulk' #4.

"We've been laying the groundwork for this book from the early planning stages of 'World War Hulk,' but the big numbers for 'World War Hulk' and its 'Incredible Hulk' tie-in issues cinched the deal. So, many thanks to all the fans, retailers, bloggers, and reviewers who've kept the buzz a-buzzing!"

"Warbound" begins immediately after "Aftersmash" and finds the close-knit group of warriors in rough shape. "It just doesn't let up for these guys." Pak said. "At least one member of the Hulk's Warbound companions won't make it to this series and another member may not quite be all in one piece."

The bonds between the group members will be similarly strained. "In the gladiatorial pits of Sakaar, the Warbound swore to stand by each other, in life and death, no matter what," Pak stated. "But some shocking developments are in store for the Warbound that may affect the dynamics of their relationships."

If the Warbound survive long enough, they just might become useful to their human enemies. "The average puny human sees the Warbound as savage monsters," Pak said. "But when a threat even more terrifying than the Warbound arises, those in the crosshairs might just realize that a savage monster might be a pretty handy thing to have around."

Pak could not comment on whether or not the Hulk would play a role in "Warbound," but could reveal that two other familiar faces would appear in the book. "One of the Hulk's oldest and deadliest opponents and one of Bruce Banner's closest former allies will play huge roles in the series," Pak explained."

Previous stories featuring Warbound have had action-packed and morally murky tones, and "World War Hulk: Warbound" will have a similar feel. "Like 'Planet Hulk' and 'World War Hulk,' the series will explore that dangerous territory between hero and monster," Pak stated.

Helping Pak explore the dangerous territory in "Warbound" is his artistic collaborator from "Incredible Hulk" #108. "The brilliant Leonard Kirk is pencilling the book," Pak said. "His work on the 'What If: Planet Hulk" one shot (coming in October) features the Warbound and is absolutely awesome -- he's taking his art into new territory with these books -- there's a fresh, blazing energy to these pages that I think is going to blow everyone away."

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