EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Incredible Hulk Writer Greg Pak!

The critically acclaimed comic book writer of titles like World War Hulk and Hercules talks to me about his extensive work on the Green Goliath as well as his thoughts on Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, his award winning film career, what comic book movies he’d like to see made and a lot more...

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By Josh Wilding - 9/8/2010
This interview has literally been months in the making. Due to Greg’s hectic schedule with deadlines for the various titles he works on for Marvel, it took a while to get these answers from him and he was good enough to put up with my incessant nagging during that time! As I’m sure you’ll see though, it was worth the wait! Read on for some information about Greg and his work and then to hear his thoughts on everything from the Hulk to Hercules and more! Oh, and I would of course like to thank him for making the time to always reply to my queries and to finally get these answers back to me for you guys to enjoy. Heck, the poor guy still hasn’t had chance to watch Iron Man 2 as you can read about below!

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Greg Pak’s feature film, Robot Stories, won 35 film festival awards. It was soon after this that he started writing for Marvel and later signed an exclusive contract with them in July 2005. His work with them includes titles such as Phoenix: Endsong, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. It was with the Earth shattering event World War Hulk that made him the favourite of many a comic book fan and he’s kept up the great work within the Hulk line of comics as well as projects such as Incredible Hercules, Skaar: Son of Hulk, Magneto: Testament and War Machine.




JOSH WILDING: What was it that made you decide to get into writing comic books?

GREG PAK: I'd read and drawn comics all my life. But for whatever crazy reason, it never occurred to me to pursue it professionally. I started making films with a student group while I was at the Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. Then I went to grad school at NYU film, made a ton of shorts, and eventually shot my feature film Robot Stories. While I was on the festival circuit with Robot Stories, my agent found out Marvel was looking for writers. She sent over the Robot Stories screenplay, which must have rung the right bells, 'cause five years later, here I am!

JOSH WILDING: You've been involved with the Hulk for a fair few years now. What is it you like about the character so much?

GREG PAK: The Hulk is so incredibly simple -- he's about the price of anger. That simplicity makes it possible to focus very closely and in an almost paradoxical way end up writing surprisingly complex and deep stories. Anger is also a phenomenal theme for dramatic storytelling. Drama is all about conflict, and what better engine for conflict than wrath?

In our most recent storylines, we're pumping up this theme of anger by pairing it with family. Because no one can save you from anger like your family -- but no one can drive you crazier. Starting with Incredible Hulk #612 and #613 in September, the book's been renamed Incredible Hulks and features the Green Goliath leading a team of friends and family, including Red She-Hulk, Skaar, She-Hulk, A-Bomb, and Korg. It's a massively-overpowered team of volatile smashers, and their first opponent is the Hulk's insane half-alien son Hiro-Kala, who might just be out to destroy the world. A ridiculously unstable and hugely fun scenario for massive smashing and huge emotional repercussions.

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JOSH WILDING: How did it feel to write an event like World War Hulk that pitted him against pretty much the entire Marvel Universe?

GREG PAK: It was a blast. I'd hugely enjoyed writing Planet Hulk, in which the Hulk was exiled on an alien planet -- there's some storytelling freedom you gain when you don't have to worry about coordinating with the rest of the Marvel Universe. But I was hungry to play in the big sandbox and World War Hulk let us really cut loose with just about every big character out there.

JOSH WILDING: Although a lot of characters have been popping up in the Hulk line of books, is there a chance that he'll appearing elsewhere after being absent from events like Civil War, Secret Invasion and Siege?

GREG PAK: The Hulks will play a massive role in the Chaos War event that's exploded out of the Incredible Hercules epic I've been writing with Fred Van Lente. Don't miss Incredible Hulks #618 to #620, pencilled by the brilliant Paul Pelletier, for a mind-blowing superhero horror action story that makes up the critical second front of the Chaos War.

JOSH WILDING: What do you think about Mark Ruffalo being cast as Bruce Banner in The Avengers?

GREG PAK: I'm a huge Mark Ruffalo fan -- absolutely LOVED him in You Can Count on Me -- so I can't wait to see what he does with the role.

JOSH WILDING: Are there any characters in particular you'd like to write that you so far haven't had chance to work with all that much?

GREG PAK: Silver Surfer, Storm, and Strange are three big characters that my imagination continues to drift towards in idle moments. Someday!

JOSH WILDING: After writing War Machine in his own series for a little while, how did it feel to see him come to life on the big screen in Iron Man 2?

GREG PAK: Shocking confession: I still haven't seen the movie! Marvel had a special screening in New York that I missed in order to get ahead with some Hulk comics deadlines. And I still haven't managed to free up an evening to see it. Because I'm writing comics for you, dear fans! All for you!

JOSH WILDING: Are there any other comic book movies in particular that you're looking forward to or would like to see made?

GREG PAK: X-Men: Brood War! And, of course, "World War Hulk" and "Incredible Hercules."

JOSH WILDING: After writing and directing the brilliant Robot Stories, would you ever be tempted to return to the movie world? Perhaps with a comic book character?

GREG PAK: Thanks so much for the kind words. I've actually kept a finger hooked into the movie world over the past few years. Most recently, I directed a short film starring Tim Kang called Mister Green that won Best Short at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival. You can see it at my YouTube channel, http://youtube.com/user/pakbuzz. I'm hoping to shoot another short next year -- knock on wood!

JOSH WILDING: What can your fans expect to see from you next?

GREG PAK: I'm announcing a crazy new creator-owned project at the New York Comic-Con in October. There's a little tease at http://www.gregpak.com/entries/002149.shtml And I recently joined the Twitter, 'cause I hear that's what the kids are all raving about: http://www.twitter.com/gregpak




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Source: Josh Wilding
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20 Comments
Hawksblueyes - 9/8/2010, 12:08 PM
Killer stuff Josh!
DCMarvelFreshman - 9/8/2010, 12:18 PM
Dang, he hasn't even seen IM2 yet. Now that's what I call dedication. Great scoop Josh!
ManhuntersBastardChild - 9/8/2010, 12:25 PM
all this talk makes me want to pickup Incredible Hulk comics to get in on the craziness and also that Robot Stories movie. Never heard about it before, must confess.
RorMachine - 9/8/2010, 12:30 PM
Awesome stuff Josh, great interview. I loved WWH, and he ain't missing too much not seeing IM2!;)
FrankLeeGitnit - 9/8/2010, 12:31 PM
I've been going to the library on my lunch break and reading all the son of hulk graphic novels... Skaar and Hiro-Kala and beasts... It first I picked them up because of WWH but now I'd like to see how they progress on earth and what happens next... It's really really good stuff..
JoshWilding - 9/8/2010, 12:35 PM
Thanks guys! :)

Although I like most of Brian Bendis' work, when Marvel let Mark Millar do Civil War and then followed it with Greg Pak's World War Hulk it was like a breath of fresh air especially as both were two of the best event titles I've ever read! His other work has also been excellent and there's no doubt that he's one of Marvel's best writers. Planet Hulk was an epic and his Hulk stuff in recent years has been the only good thing about that line of titles! (I'm really not a fan of Jeph Loeb's work on the character to be honest)
marvel72 - 9/8/2010, 12:35 PM
@ joshw

great work yet again,you're a lucky man.

i love the hulk,he'd definetly be in my top five favorite marvel charactors.

if you haven't read world war hulk,read it.

its amazing storyline one of the best hulk stories ever,the highlights for me were hulk vs the x-men & hulk vs sentry.

WE NEED ANOTHER INCREDIBLE HULK MOVIE.
BrotherStarkofMABMindz - 9/8/2010, 12:58 PM
World War Hulk would be the SHIT
WolvieCBM - 9/8/2010, 1:00 PM
Great job Josh!

JoshWilding - 9/8/2010, 1:28 PM
Thanks again guys, I appreciate your comments! :)

deadpool: For me, it was the Hulk vs. Iron Man fight. Seeing him beat Stark through the entire tower (a beating he deserved after Civil War, lol) was truly epic.

ANIL: You couldnt ask for a nicer guy to be honest bud! And as usual, I agree with your points about the Hulk books as of late...Pak's work is still awesome but allowing Loeb to take over with the whole Red Hulk storyline and all those new (and mostly ridiculous) Hulks has made the main character less interesting and unique IMO. I think it would be good to see Pak move onto another area of the Marvel Universe now. Chaos War is looking pretty epic regardless!
LEEE777 - 9/8/2010, 1:56 PM
Cool @ JOSH!

Gr8 interview!!!



Still wanna see ED NORTON lol! ; D
marvel72 - 9/8/2010, 2:09 PM
@ leee777

we need another hulk movie,maybe try & fit it in before the avengers.

@joshw

i agree that fight was epic,i love how he owned blackbolt & dr.strange as well.

i think madusa says to the hulk something along the lines of " a whisper from black bolt could level a city."

& the hulk replies"i don't want to hear a whisper,i want to hear him scream."......epic.
AshleyWilliams - 9/8/2010, 2:15 PM
Awesome sauce!

Thumbs up and good work!
JoshWilding - 9/8/2010, 4:07 PM
Cheers guys, glad you enjoyed this...hopefully I have a few more on the way! :)

LEE: Hehe, [frick] Norton! Trust me mate, Ruffalo will do an amazing job!

deadpool: Well remembered! That scene was indeed another great moment. I could probably spend all day listing all the great parts of that series in fact!

tea: LMAO, thanks bud! :D Good to see you back on CBM too - feels like it's been a while!
Talontd - 9/8/2010, 4:20 PM
@Josh

Dude, look at you with all these exclusive interviews!!! Great job bro!!! WWH kicked @ss!!! This dude is awesome, i've never read "Incredible Hercules", but I think i'm gonna have to!

Thanx again man!!!


@Ror

Hey, have you ever seen Robot Stories? Sounds intriguing...
UnfriendlySpidey - 9/8/2010, 4:21 PM
Wow EPIC @Josh! Thats so awesome you got to interview him! I love that he's yet to see Iron Man 2 lmao thats awesome. But in all seriousness, well done good sir & thanks for sharing w/us! Big props dude! :D
JoshWilding - 9/8/2010, 5:11 PM
Talontd/UnfriendlySpidey: Thanks guys! Believe me, when I first joined CBM I never imagined I'd end up interviewing some of my favourite comic book writers and artists! But it's a real pleasure to be able to speak with someone like Greg Pak and then share the results with you lot! :) And if you enjoyed this, check out my other interviews (under "Links" on the left there) if you've not already seen them! Some are better than others but I'm still learning, lol!
AverageCitizen99 - 9/8/2010, 5:50 PM
Congrats on the interview Josh! :D
It's amazing that you actually got him. Must be a sure blessing! And I hope you don't mind if I perform my own interview with you. If it's cool.

1. When you first joined CBM, were you already an editor or an average user like the rest of us and how old were you?

2. How do you balance this with your regular activities? Seems like a big plate to fill.


Congrats on the one-on-one with Greg and can't wait to see what else you can bring man!

@UnfriendlySpidey
Hey man! Long time no see! :)
I don't comb through the sections like I used to with what is going on right now, but if you'd like to catch up and see how I'm doing you can follow me on Twitter.
http://twitter.com/AverageCitzen99
The same with Josh, as featured above. :)
JoshWilding - 9/9/2010, 12:51 PM
AverageCitizen99: Thanks bud, I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) Now, allow me to answer you questions...

1. I was 18 (I'm now 20) when I joined CBM and was just a normal user like the majority of the people on this site. I started contributing news and fan casts from almost as soon as I signed up and became a trusted user late last year (allowing me to post articles straight onto the main page) and then became an editor probably about six months ago.

2. It's surprisingly easy. As I live in the UK, the time difference means it's not usually until about 4pm for me when sites in the US start reporting news so even when I go to university next month I'll still be able to dedicate time to CBM. Plus, the money I make from ads is equivelant to a part time job - last month I made enough to buy myself a new laptop!
AverageCitizen99 - 9/9/2010, 8:25 PM
@JoshW
Thanks for taking the time to do the interview. I was always curious as to how you and possibly some of the other editors on this site came to be where you all are. And I'm astonished as to how long it took until you became an official member of the CBM team. I didn't even know that you were an editor for that long. Feels much longer to me. I was told by my brother when he found out that I was writing on the site (he checked my e-mail and saw one of the notices for my articles). He did some detective work and came across my Taylor Momsen/Gwen Stacy article and he and his then-girlfriend (now my sister) were surprised at my writing. He suggested to me that I should try and study journalism. Same suggestion I got from another user on this site, JJMeylar I believe. They have definately got me into thinking about it seriously. The wages sound great too! And good luck at the university you'll be attending. :)

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