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Full-Blown Reader Q&A

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We’ll start with some shameless plugging -- “Skaar: Son of Hulk” #1, written by yours truly with pencils by Ron Garney and colors by Paul Mounts, hits comic book stores this week.  Click here to check out a glorious ten page, lettered preview of the book Wizard calls a “fantastic setup for a premise with limitless possibility” -- and tell your local store to hold a copy for you today!

Now, at long last, we’re back with a massive edition of Reader Q&A!  Read on for the latest batch -- and click here to submit your own questions for future columns.

Just a quick word of warning -- SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW for completed stories, including “Planet Hulk” and “X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong.”

J.D. Jones: Amadeus Cho is one of my favorite comic book characters created in the last ten years or so.  Any chances that he will branch out in the Marvel Universe and meet/interact with the Runaways, Young Avengers, Young X-Men, or Layla Miller?  Conversely, is there any chance of him getting his own mini?

Greg Pak:  Thanks, J.D.  I’m pretty fond of the young scamp, myself.  For the moment, “Incredible Hercules” is the best place to find Amadeus.  But I’d love to do a mini eventually, and while there are no immediate plans for the crossovers you mention, you never know where he might pop up in the meantime...

Husnain Mahomed: I have two questions that have been racking my brains for a while and one about the "near" future.

1.) Where was Squirrel Girl during “World of War Hulk”?

GP: Dan Slott tells me she was fighting Galactus.

HM:  2.) Why was Celeste able to act as a host for the Phoenix Force in Phoenix Warsong and Emma unable to in Phoenix Endsong? From what I understood Emma insinuated that it had something to do with herself being cold emotionally. Does that mean the host of the Phoenix Force has to be full of passion and positive emotion?

GP:  In the last issue of “Warsong,” Emma tells Celeste, “I trained you so stupidly -- tried to make you cold and cynical.  Because that’s how I survived.  But you’re stronger than that.  Stronger than me.”  That might mean that Celeste’s psionic potential is actually stronger than Emma’s.  Or it might imply that to host the Phoenix requires a willingness to open oneself up or give oneself away in a way that Emma couldn’t.  I’ll leave it up for readers to draw their own conclusions.

HM:  3.) What do you think of Emma Frost as a character and will we see her shine in the next X-Men related story you write?

GP:  Emma’s a fantastic character -- like many of the characters I’m most drawn to writing, she’s a borderline figure, always dancing close to that line between hero and monster.  But I don’t have another project with her on tap just yet.  The next X-Men related story I’m writing is “Magneto: Testament,” which follows a young Magneto and his family as they struggle to survive in Germany and Poland from 1935 to 1945.

Chris:  I really enjoyed Warbound, but why was Hiroim killed off an issue after revealing his possibly romantic relationship with Korg?

GP:  If a character’s going to die, it’s not a bad dramatic choice to make it happen when we all love him or her the most.  Of all the characters I’ve created, Hiroim and Korg are two of my very favorite.  I’ll just say that Hiroim’s death won’t be forgotten and there is a method to all this madness.

Taimur Dar: Hey Greg, feels like forever since you've been able to do one of these columns. Love everything that you've been doing Hulk-related at Marvel, and so much stuff to ask you at the NYCC'08, but didn't get a chance. So I hope you can answer it here

1) Loved the Warbound mini, especially the ending with Hiroim transferring his powers to Kate Waynesboro. I was wondering, since the ending was opened-ended any plans to bring them back in an upcoming project, preferably relating to Skrulls, or are you done with them for the time being?

GP:  I definitely have plans to continue the stories of the Warbound.  I can’t reveal anything just yet about where and when, but rest assured they’re on my mind as well.

TD:  2) Any thoughts on the Skaar action figure that was shown at the NYCC or the new Incredible Hulk film?

GP:  I LOVE that Skaar action figure.  And I’m pretty jazzed about the Silver Savage action figure they’re making as well.  It’s a pretty huge kick in the pants to see a character I had a hand in creating hit the shelves in three dimensions.

And I’m very excited about the new Hulk movie.  Marvel’s definitely on a roll in the movie department, and the previews look fantastic.

TD:  3) My final question relates to Marvel Studios creative committees where Marvel and comic creators are taking more active role in the projects coming out like Brian K. Vaughan working on the Runaways movie. I was wondering if you were aware that there will be an animated film of "Planet Hulk"? Being a filmmaker yourself, will be involved in it in any way, or have an interest in doing so?

GP:  I’m happy to report that I’ve been pulled on board as a consultant on the “Planet Hulk” animated movie. 

Drake Banner:  I want to congratulate you on your epic adventures before asking a few questions:

1.) I’d like your personal opinion on who is Marvel’s strongest character by strength. From your point of view, do you believe the Hulk or Juggernaut is more powerful (other than cosmic-characters or Gods)?

GP:  On several occasions, the Hulk has more than held his own against gods like Hercules and Thor.  But against cosmic entities like Galactus, even I would be hard pressed to bet on my beloved Green Goliath.  Squirrel Girl, on the other hand...

DB: 2.) Will Skaar's power be anywhere close to Hulk’s?

GP:  Skaar’s powers will be revealed as the series progresses.  I’ll just say that the extent and ramifications of his full potential may be a life-and-death concern for all the characters in the series.

DB:  3.) Will Maestro(Hulk) ever return? I would like him to return because he is really the most powerful version of Hulk.

GP:  The Maestro’s a great character.  I’m sure he’ll be back eventually, although I can’t say where or when.

DB:  4.) What’s you opinion on Maestro vs Juggernaut? Some say Juggernaut will win as if he was fighting Hulk. But I believe Maestro takes it hands down because he has Banner’s mind and the radiation he has absorbed has made him much stronger.

GP:  You know me, I always vote for the Hulk.  Unless we’re talking about that Galactus fight, natch.

Jeremy Lee:  Sir Pak-a-lot,

I trust you're doing well.  I am eagerly awaiting your every foray into comics, and most especially with the Hulk.  Oh, I quite enjoy the ongoing mystery of the Red Hulk, but do miss your guiding hand at the Hulk's emerald wheel.  Any hints as to when you might return to the Jade Giant's helm? 

GP:  Thanks for your kind words.  I have my hands pretty full with “Hercules,” “Skaar,” “Magneto,” and another as-yet-unannounced project right now.  But that’s not to say that a certain big, angry, green dude might not pop up at some point in an upcoming book or two...

JL:  My primary question actually pertains to the past.  I've wondered ever since that last issue of 'Planet Hulk' what your thoughts are on the Hulk's "power-up" with the explosion of the warp core.  I get that it enhanced him.  But to what degree?

Meaning, the Hulk was weakened when he came to Sakaar by the Great Portal.  He had slowly been growing in power since passing through it, but there was never a specific indication about whether he had returned to his full pre-portal might before the warp core exploded... or with it?

And that's my question: Did the warp core explosion simply restore the Hulk to his full might -- and then his rage over the incident catapulted his power to never before seen levels on top of that -- or did the explosion alone (disregarding the anger) make him more powerful than he had been before ever passing through the Great Portal?

Thanks so much.  Keep writing.  I'll keep reading.

GP:  The warp core explosion made the Hulk stronger.  But I’d say it was his rage over the death of Caiera and the million other inhabitants of Crown City that gave him the incalculable strength he possessed during “World War Hulk.”

Daniel:  Reed Richards has mentioned that Amadeus Cho is the seventh smartest person in the world.  Could you please tell us in order who is the smartest to the not-as-smartest?

GP:  I could speculate. But it’s probably more fun for everyone if I keep my mouth shut and let fans debate their own theories.

Daniel:  Also, what are the extent of Iron Man's Extremis (technopath) power? For example, could he control all the technology around the world at same time?

GP:  The current Iron Man writers are the best folks to ask for the definitive answer to that question. But I can say that during “World War Hulk,” Tony was stretching the limits of his powers to reach out and control those satellites.  My impression was that Tony could do incredible things with his Extremis powers, but that the bigger the feat, the greater the physical toll.

Tiffany Namwong: I really enjoyed “Super Power Blues “and voted for it already.  I heard about it on AngryAsianMan.com -- anyways, hope you win and best wishes for continued success in your career.

GP:  Thanks so much for your kind words, Tiffany!  I’m happy to report that because so many of you voted for “Super Power Blues” at thirteen.org, it won the online contest and was broadcast on Saturday on New York public television.  The film’s also viewable online at thirteen.org right now -- feel free to check it out!

Jennifer Burnham:  Having heard about your upcoming story touching on Magneto’s childhood I am very excited. This portion of his life as been, thus far, a blank slate and could prove very illuminating.

Having read some of the interviews that Marvel and Newsrama have put out, there are a few points about this period of his past that we do know that you might not be unaware of:

(Jennifer included a list of Magneto appearances here - ed.)

If you are interested, there is more information about Magneto's background and character at www.magnetowasright.com including a list of all the issues that deal with his background prior to his appearance at Cape Citadel  here.

Magneto fans are a very intelligent, knowledgeable, and after Morrison's heinous treatment of the character in Planet X, pretty touchy bunch when it comes to how the character is handled. There have been some trepidations expressed, but more about the issue of how the Holocaust will be handled respectfully, how to show its full horror in an all-ages comic, then in your approach to the character. We look forward to the miniseries!

GP: Thanks so much for your note and thoughts.  While working on my “Phoenix” miniseries, I made no secret of my great admiration for Morrison’s run.  But the Xorn/Magneto from that story has no impact on “Magneto: Testament.”

Please be assured that editor Warren Simons and I have researched Magneto’s past and are doing our best to stay true to the continuity as much as possible -- and fan sites such as the one you cite have been a great resource for us, so thanks!  Most importantly, we’ve spent a huge amount of time researching the time period, the Third Reich, and the Holocaust.  Doing this story justice has become a mission for both of us.  

Thanks for reading -- we’ll be back soon with another thrilling installment of “Pak Talks Comics.”  Please click here to submit your questions for our Reader Q&A section and see you next time!

© 2008 Greg Pak.  All rights reserved.  For more about Greg Pak’s comics and films, visit www.pakbuzz.com.

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