Greg Pak updates us on the new Green Goliath, as well as what happened to Bruce Banner and more!
After months of speculation, the star of TOTALLY AWESOME HULK stands revealed. Amadeus Cho, a longtime Hulk and Hercules supporting character introduced in 2006’s AMAZING FANTASY #15, will take center stage as the Green Goliath in the new ongoing series written by his co-creator, Greg Pak, with artwork Frank Cho!
One of the eight smartest people on the planet, Cho brings a new enthusiasm to a character that traditionally spends a good deal of his time wanting to be left alone. Instead of treating the Hulk side of him like a burden, Cho revels in the newfound power and abilities.
When last we talked with Pak about the book, the new Hulk’s identity had yet to be unveiled, but now he’s finally able to talk about everything from keeping the reveal quiet to the whereabouts of another genius scientist with strong connections to the Hulk.
Marvel.com: How does it feel writing the first Marvel series with a Korean-American character as the title character?
Greg Pak: I love it! But it’s worth noting that it’s not quite the first; Fred Van Lente and I co-wrote the PRINCE OF POWER limited series a few years back that starred—you guessed it—Amadeus Cho! But yes, when I co-created Amadeus with Takeshi Miyazawa 10 years ago, this is absolutely the kind of thing I dreamed about. At the time, there were a pretty good number of Asian characters from Asia in American super hero comics, but surprisingly few specifically Asian-American characters. I thought there was a niche there, particularly for a young Asian American male character that had no martial arts connection. Not that I mind martial arts, but I’m all for variety, you know? So it’s been an absolute thrill that readers have embraced Amadeus over the years enough to get us to this point.
Marvel.com: How early in the process did the title TOTALLY AWESOME HULK come about? It sounds like a perfect fit.
Greg Pak: It actually came down a bit late in the game, after I’d written the first couple of scripts and after Frank had drawn most of the first issue. I was a touch dubious at first, but I’ve come to embrace it. Amadeus loves being the Hulk; there’s a whole new vibe to his adventures, so a big, fun title like this feels right. I also like the way so many headlines about the book have said something like “There’s a New Hulk—and he’s Totally Awesome!,” which sounds like a pretty good review, so we got that going for us!
Marvel.com: Was it difficult keeping Amadeus’ new identity a secret while doing the first round of press?
Greg Pak: [Laughs] Yes! I wanted to scream it out loud from the get-go. But part of the fun of comics is the tease and the cliffhanger. Giving fans room to talk and debate was totally the right move.
Marvel.com: How has it been for you seeing Amadeus go from this character you created in AMAZING FANTASY #15 to a major part of the Marvel Universe and now The Hulk?
Greg Pak: It’s been a trip. It’s incredibly hard to create new characters that stick in these big shared comics universes. So I’m hugely grateful to editors like Mark Paniccia, Nate Cosby, and Jordan White who fell in love with Amadeus from the beginning and supported his appearances over the years. And high five to writers like Dan Slott, Jonathan Hickman, and Frank Cho who used him in their books, and the biggest high five to Fred Van Lente, with whom I co-wrote Amadeus’s adventures in Hercules books for over four years. And a huge thank you to [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Axel Alonso, who immediately got how much fun it would be to have Amadeus as The Hulk and has been absolutely instrumental every step of the way.
And of course, the biggest tip of the hat goes to all the readers who bought Amadeus’ books over the years. You guys made this happen. Seriously.
Marvel.com: As you mentioned, Amadeus loves being The Hulk. Does that shift in how he approaches the tasks put in front of him change how you approach these stories?
Greg Pak: Oh, yeah, it changes everything. He’s not a classic reluctant hero initially refusing the call to adventure; he’s a ridiculously pro-active hero throwing himself into danger at every opportunity. It makes for a hugely fun, fast-paced kind of storytelling where our hero gets into massive trouble and the fun comes from seeing how he and everyone else deals with it. Amadeus might be absolutely right with his huge confidence—or he might be totally in over his head and heading for disaster. That’s a hugely fun kind of story to write.
Marvel.com: Speaking of which, what kind of threats will this Hulk find himself facing off against as the book kicks off?
Greg Pak: Well, we’ve already teased some incredible Frank Cho art that shows Hulk fighting a giant, two-headed, fire-breathing sea turtle. So we’ve got massive monsters, which Frank Cho’s drawing like nobody else’s business. We’re also going to meet a tremendous new villainess very soon.
Marvel.com: How do Bruce Banner’s friends, allies, and enemies react to Amadeus being the new Hulk?
Greg Pak: That’s a big part of the story—and I can’t spoil it yet! Let’s just say that we’ll see She-Hulk and Spidey and a brand-new female supporting character in this first arc, and all their different actions and reactions are going to be a ton of fun and will fuel Amadeus’ big character arc through the story.
Marvel.com: Can you tell us any more about what’s up with Bruce?
Greg Pak: That’s the biggest mystery of this first story. How did Amadeus become The Hulk and what happened to Banner? Buy the books and find out!
TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #1, starring Amadeus Cho, smashes its way into shops this December from Greg Pak and Frank Cho—keep checking back on Marvel.com and our social channel for All-New, All-Different Marvel news!