COMICS: Fear Itself Hulk vs. Dracula

Hulk the villain and monster, Dracula the good guy,what is going on here? has released news from Wondercon 2011 on the new Fear Itself tie-in Hulk vs. Dracula where Hulk is the genocidal vilain:

"Spinning out of Marvel’s major event, the limited series FEAR ITSELF: HULK VS DRACULA sees ol’ Jade Jaws go fist to teeth with the famous vampire, but Hulk’s certainly not the hero here. Under the direction of writer Victor Gischler and artist Ryan Stegman, the book will force readers to reevaluate their notions of good and evil with The Green Goliath cast in the role of a genocidal danger who might annihilate the entire vampire nation.

“It’s a fun idea that toys with some of our notions of fear, as what’s scarier than a whole nation of vampires,” asks editor Jake Thomas. “And yet here’s Dracula, trying to actually be a good, effective leader of this vampire nation that he’s taken over from his wayward son, and right from the get-go they’ve got one of the biggest, scariest, most dangerous threats to ever hit the Marvel Universe dropped right into their back yard.”

“Imagine that The Hulk is smashing the crap out of your neighborhood and all the heroes in the world are already busy,” adds Gischler. “Then what?”

However, given that most won’t mourn vampire slaughter even by the score, Gischler finds himself challenged with making the readers turn against Hulk and feel some sympathy for the bloodsuckers, perhaps even siding with them.

“Matt Fraction and the whole FEAR ITSELF team teed us up perfectly, [so Hulk] was less tricky,” he alludes. “Vamps in this particular situation are hovering in a gray area. Such powerful creatures walking that line can be a tricky thing. You're not going to see Dracula jump up and yell ‘We've got to save the citizens!’ He's just not built that way.”

The art must therefore further reinforce and highlight the nature of the characters, a task that falls to Stegman.

“I like Hulk to look monstrous and huge,” he explains. “I like him to look like he has giant, heavy bones and carry a lot of water weight. I also like to give him a prominent Cro-Magnon forehead because I think that he represents primal human nature. I use a lot of black because a figure that large is definitely gonna block out any lights that are present.

“As far as vampires go, I like them to be long and thin. It really depends on which vampire, because I think that at times it is necessary to make them seem more monstrous while at other times they should be very composed and human.”

Both Gischler and Stegman have a history with the characters that informs their work, something Thomas points to as a collective strength of the creative team.

“Well, who else are you going to get to write Marvel vampires than Victor Gischler,” he poses. “He rocked DEATH OF DRACULA, absolutely killed it with [Curse of the Mutants], and he’s bringing the mythology to a whole new level in THRONE OF BLOOD, but I think it’s safe to say that all of those incredible projects have been leading up to this. It’s big. Crazy big.

“As for Ryan Stegman, I’m absolutely ecstatic to have him on this book. I think he’s been doing a lot of really great work for Marvel; he’s got one of those wonderful sensibilities that allows him to draw awesome action scenes that still have very real, interesting, funny, quirky, three-dimensional characters in the middle of them. He’s a mad scientist of funny books—you heard it here first!”

Their editor’s enthusiasm has certainly rubbed off on the creators.

“I've seen [Stegman’s] work, and I'm very eager to see what he does with the script and confident it will be some stellar stuff,” Gischler asserts. “The guy is a star.”

“Pretty much everything is exciting about working with Victor on this title!” offers Stegman in reply.

Thomas ends with a promise:

“If you’re reading FEAR ITSELF, you’re definitely going to want to check this out as it’s certainly a big part of that story, but it also stands on its own in a way that if you’re a Hulk fan, a vampire fan, or even just a fan of big, awesome action and smart, clever characters seriously having their mettle tested, you are going to love this book.”
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