When the new line-up was first revealed, the cover for The Totally Awesome Hulk had a blacked out face, implying that someone would be taking up the mantle from Bruce Banner. So who is it?
None other than kid genius Amadeus Cho, who’s been a supporting character (especially for Hulk) going on 10 years now.
Entertainment Weekly interviewed Hulk writer Greg Pak and Marvel’s editor-in-chief Axel Alonso about the new Hulk, asking first and foremost, why Cho, to which Alonso explained:
“We’ve seen Banner’s story for so long, and the burden that he carries. Perhaps the most interesting thing is to see how someone else shoulders that burden, and immediately, Amadeus came to mind for a lot of different reasons. One of them is that physically, he’s like Banner: he’s the 98-pound weakling who’s had everything but the physical aspect to make him seem super cool. And secondarily is that he’s so different from Banner. He shares the monstrous intellect but he’s so different — he’s a teenage kid, who’s hasn’t lived much yet. When Banner inherited the burden of being the Hulk, he was an adult. And I think that it showed in the way that he responded to it. Amadeus is a plucky kid. He’s got a chip on his shoulder, he’s the fifth or sixth smartest guy in the world according to the official rankings, and I think he’s just going to carry himself very differently with that power.”
Alonso also clarifies that Cho is the one and only Hulk now, similar to Thor: “He will be the Hulk, the green Hulk, that will be him. Just like there’s one Thor in the Marvel Universe and she’s a she, there is one Hulk and it is Amadeus Cho.”
So just who is Cho? Pak, one of his original creators, says, “He basically started out as Hulk’s number one fan because he’s a crazy teenager with as little impulse control as the Hulk, so he kind of identified with him.”
But don’t think this means Banner’s story is over. Alonso really wants you to know there’s only love for Banner over at Marvel:
“We love Banner. And in fact, that was one of the things that Greg and Mark and I discussed, how fascinating Banner’s life will become now that he no longer has this weight on his shoulders. What is his story? It’s far from finished. People shouldn’t think that we’re jettisoning Banner — he has a place in the Marvel Universe, and I think it’s going to become more fascinating what that place is in the coming months.”
I gotta say I can definitely get behind what Alonso is saying. It’s a fascinating side of Bruce Banner we haven’t really had the chance to explore yet and as a fan, it’s always exciting seeing your favorite characters in new ways.
Pak and Alonso both explain the new story will explore Cho getting used to his new powers (and there’s a reason it’s called Totally Awesome Hulk – he’s gonna have fun with it) as well as flashbacks showing how he inherited the powers from Banner.
Supporting characters like She-Hulk will also have a role in the series.
You can tell they both have a lot of pride and excitement for this new arc, and it’s infectious.
As Alonso says: “Come December, arguably the strongest character in the Marvel Universe is going to be Asian-American. And I think that the only person who can dispute that is the female Thor, which I think says a lot about our line.”
Are you excited to see Amadeus Cho take on the Hulk? What do you hope Bruce Banner gets up to now? Share your thoughts in the comments!