Greg Pak returns to Planet Hulk, but this time the Totally Awesome Hulk Amadeus Cho joins him for the ride. As Marvel Legacy gets underway, Greg Land comes on to bring the world of Sakaar to life in the ‘Return to Planet Hulk’ arc kicking off with THE INCREDIBLE HULK #708.
Marvel.com: What has it been like to return to Sakaar with a Hulk other than Bruce Banner?
Greg Pak: It’s a blast. I’ve been thinking about Sakaar a ton this year after having written the PLANET HULK prose novel that comes out in October, so getting the chance to go back in comics is tremendous. And going back with Amadeus opens up some new opportunities in the storytelling that’s a huge amount of fun. This is a big, big story for Amadeus — he’s on an emotional precipice as the story begins and he will come out of the story a different person. Big, big stakes!
Marvel.com: Will we see different sides of Sakaar than what we were exposed to in Planet Hulk?
Greg Pak: We’ll literally see a different side of the planet! During the original PLANET HULK story, folks frequently mentioned the Red King’s war on the neighboring nation of Fillia. In RETURN TO PLANET HULK, Amadeus will land on that other continent — which is now a desolate wasteland devastated by the Red King’s bombing campaigns. So it’ll be familiar and fun for PLANET HULK fans, but it’s a distinct situation and culture that explores another part of Sakaar and the legend of the Worldbreaker.
Marvel.com: What has the design process been like for these new parts of the planet? How have you been able to put your own spin on the original look and feel of the world?
Greg Land: Hulk first encounters a group of the planet’s desert people that utilize vehicles that are cobbled together from old engines, metal scrapes and their planet’s version of automobiles. The tricky thing here is to make the rides look unique and functional, being dynamic looking as well. Big wheels and tires are a must for the desert-like conditions. As far as the inhabitants, their overall look is similar to the original Planet Hulk, with more of an emphasis on ragged clothing and hand welded/hammered armor.
Marvel.com: How much can you tell us about how Sakaar has changed since Banner’s time there?
Greg Pak: We start this story from the POV of folks in Fillia who suffered for years from the catastrophic bombing campaigns of the Red King. Their cities and farms were destroyed and the survivors ended up roaming the wasteland in packs, fighting for survival. Now a specific clan is about to be destroyed by their enemy. But the members of this clan heard strange, thrilling stories of the Green Scar, the Worldbreaker, a huge green alien who fell through the Great Portal and smashed the Red King. And they start to wonder if they could bring that champion back to fight for them…
And I’ll say no more! Read the books — they’re gonna be great!
Marvel.com: Beyond the planet itself, how have the characters we know from Planet Hulk changed, in demeanor or appearance?
Greg Pak: You’ll see familiar Sakaarian species like the insectivorid Hivers, the gray Shadow, and the red Imperials, but we’re introducing a brand new set of supporting characters and villains here. And since they inhabit a different part of the world and have been through different experiences, the look and feel is more barbarian post-disaster than the ancient Rome sci-fi of the original. It’s a tremendous amount of fun — new worldbuilding based on the incredibly fun worldbuilding we did during the original story.
Greg Land: As the series moves forward, I hope to be able to get more details in specific characters if they continue. I will tweak costuming as I become more comfortable with who the individuals are in terms of attitude, importance, etc. I’ve not been involved in the direction/formation of the series and have only worked on the first issue. So I have no idea what is going to be happening but will jump into the designs as I get the scripts. Hopefully, some new monstrous characters will be involved.
Marvel.com: Amadeus had a little involvement with the original Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines, how will that color his experience on this excursion? How will his differences from Banner affect that?
Greg Pak: TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #23 and the GENERATIONS: HULK one-shot set up this story in a big way by drawing some key differences between Banner and Amadeus and laying out the huge challenge Amadeus faces at this point in his life. So I won’t say too much for fear of spoilers, but that’s a good place to start peeking for some possible hints about this.
Marvel.com: Hulk’s armor from the original story has become iconic. Will Amadeus change up his look in this arc?
Greg Pak: Yeah, Amadeus will have a different look from the original — partly because this is a part of the world less influenced by the Imperial culture of the Red King’s people that played off of those ancient Roman motifs. In Fillia, everything’s in chaotic free-for-all, so everyone’s armor and weaponry and vehicles end up being drawn from many different sources. I love what Greg Land’s doing with the look and feel here — he’s clearly having a total blast with all of this in his designs for all the characters and gear.
And keep your eyes open for a key armoring-up scene in an early issue that gives more emotional context about where Amadeus’s armor comes from in this world.
Greg Land: The editors supplied me with a finished piece of Amadeaus’ new armor/look for the adventure, so I am using this as a guideline.
Marvel.com: The first Planet Hulk led right into World War Hulk. Should readers expect similar implications to this storyline?
Greg Pak: Anything’s possible. Keep on reading!