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‘Hulk Smash Avengers’ Announced At Marvel’s Incredible Hulk Panel [NYCC 2011]

Marvel’s Incredible Hulk panel gave fans a look into the Jade Giant and his extended family’s smashing schedule for the coming year yesterday at New York Comic Con. In addition to the Hulk’s upcoming battle against Banner, Red Hulk’s Arabian adventures and Red She-Hulk’s team up with The Defenders, the panel announced a new title called Hulk Smash Avengers, a weekly five-issue series running through the month of February. Senior Vice President of Creative and Creator Development CB Cebulski, Editor Bill Roseman, Editor Jacob Thomas, Director of Communications Arune Singh and new Incredible Hulk writer Jason Aaron gave fans the lowdown on what’s in store for the strongest heroes there are while select fans were brought on stage to preview Incredible Hulk #1. Absent was Senior Editor Marc Paniccia, as he and his wife spent the weekend welcoming their new child to the world, but he made time to text Cebulski, “Tell everyone thanks for the support and keep on Hulking.” Hit the jump for the full rundown of the panel.The panel began with Singh praising Aaron and artist Marc Silvestri’s upcoming run on Incredible Hulk for essentially converting him from a fair-weather Hulk fan into a true believer. “I have a hard time believing anyone half skeptical will come to this issue and leave unhappy. It’s awesome stuff. It’s an amazing book,” said Singh.

Aaron acknowledged that this wasn’t the first time the Hulk and Banner had split, but it was certainly the first time fans will see them come to blows in the way he has planned. “With Hulk I just wanted to focus in on that Hulk/Banner dynamic and do a twist on that,” said Aaron. “In some ways what I wanted to do was flip the idea that Banner was this sweet little super smart scientist that has this burden he must bear,” said Aaron, “The way he sees it, Banner is his burden, Banner is the guy who’s kept him back.” Though the Hulk has finally found peace, it’s Banner that pulls him into a conflict, said Aaron adding, “Plus there are weird monsters and things to punch in the face.”

The roughly half a dozen fans selected to read the first issue of Incredible Hulk on stage next to Aaron told the crowd that they enjoyed reading the first issue and characterized it as a good jumping-on point for new readers.

Perhaps the biggest announcement of the panel was the Hulk Smash Avengers title. The five-issue weekly miniseries will run every week through February, with each issue by a separate creative team focusing on a specific era of Hulk/Avengers history (although the modern Marvel Universe is still loosely only about 12 years old). All five covers will be illustrated by Lee Weeks.

Issue #1 will take place in the “Stan [Lee] and Jack [Kirby]” era of the ’60s with writer Tom Defalco, artist Ron Frenz and inker Sal Buscema pitting the Hulk against Captain America and the rest of the early team in a story that fits between The Avengers vol. 1 issues #7 and #14.

Writer Joe Casey and artist Max Fiumara will team for the second issue will take place in Marvel’s ’70s era, right before the events of The Avengers vol. 1 #84-97.

Hulk will face one of the Avengers’ ’80s lineups, including Captain Marvel Monica Rambeau in issue #3 by writer Roger Stern and artist Carl Moline.

Jim McCann and an as-yet-unannounced artist will match Hulk against the West Coast Avengers in a ’90s-style story set before the events of WCA #5 in HSA #4.

Lastly, Red Hulk will fight the Mighty Avengers in a story set in relatively recent times in a story by Fred Van Lente with art by Powers‘ Michael Avon Oeming.

Singh emphasized that Marvel’s many hulks would have a strong presence on team books in the coming months, with Red She-Hulk on The Defenders by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson starting in December. The panel also characterized the team’s foe as something of a “Black Hulk” character, although the name isn’t official. A version of the original Hulk will also star alongside the rest of the Avengers movie team lineup Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s upcoming Avengers Assemble title, though it’s unclear whether or not this Hulk will still be separated from Banner.

Check out art from several upcoming Hulk Books below:

Hulk Smash Avengers #1

Hulk Smash Avengers #2

Hulk Smash Avengers #3 (Inks)

Hulk #47

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