In round one of our TALE OF THE TAPE feature, CBR News had "World War: Hulk" writer Greg Pak playing fight doctor on the match up between the Hulk and Illuminati member Black Bolt. Now in round two we're pitting the Green King against the man with the biggest brain and the longest reach in the Marvel Universe, Reed Richards AKA Mr. Fantastic. Let's Get Ready to Rumble!(™)
When the Hulk saw Reed Richards' face in the video recording left for him by the Illuminati, he was enraged by the treachery of a colleague and friend. "Reed Richards and Bruce Banner have long shared a bond as two of the most brilliant scientists in the Marvel Universe," Pak told CBR News. "They've collaborated multiple times over the years on various projects and Reed was typically one of the people that Bruce could count on to do his best to help him in times of crisis. Indeed, during the trial of the Incredible Hulk back in issue #153, it's implied that Reed Richards actually helped the Hulk free himself to escape an apparently certain conviction. If you can believe the recording that Reed left in the shuttle that exiled the Hulk from Earth, Reed considers himself a true friend of Bruce Banner -- his plan was to give Banner and the Hulk what he always said he wanted -- to be left alone. Given the way things have panned out, the Hulk clearly has reason to doubt Reed's sincerity.
"Clearly, a huge proportion of the Hulk's fury will be focused on Reed, who told him he hoped the Hulk would finally find peace -- just moments before the Hulk was attacked and enslaved on the savage planet of Sakaar."
It's unclear yet whether Reed feels any remorse over his decision to exile the Hulk into space. "Maybe as he's confronted by the Hulk's side of the story he'll have reason to question his own behavior," Pak remarked.
When the Hulk confronts Richards, he's likely to give the stretchy scientist his side of the story in the form of a savage throttling, but readers can bet that Mr. Fantastic will have a few contingency plans for dealing with the Hulk. "As possibly the smartest person on the planet, Reed will no doubt have some insane new technological marvel to unleash upon the Hulk," Pak explained. "But as always, his ace in the hole is his family -- his wife Sue, his brother in law Johnny, and his best friend Ben Grimm. But these same family members were deeply disturbed by Reed's actions during the 'Civil War' -- it remains to be seen how they will react when they learn about what Reed has done to the Hulk."
When the world's angriest man finally goes toe-to-toe with the world's smartest man there's one big factor that may decide the outcome. "For all his brains and stretchiness, Reed remains a puny human," Pak said. "Hulk, on the other hand, is the Hulk. You make the call."
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