Back in June, Marvel Comics announced that they will be rebooting all of their beloved comic book characters with an initiative known as All-New, All-Different Marvel, which will start after the Secret Wars comics series wraps up. Marvel has already announced some of these new changes, with Jane Foster taking over as the new Thor, Hawkeye becoming an old man, and Captain Marvel joining The Avengers. With somewhere between 55 and 60 new titles launching, there is still much left to be revealed about this new initiative, and today we have word on who will become the new Hulk. Entertainment Weekly revealed today that the new Hulk will be none other than popular Asian-American character Amadeus Cho, along with our first look at the character.
Amadeus Cho debuts as the Green Goliath in Totally Awesome Hulk #1, arriving sometime this December. Amadeus Cho has been a fixture in Hulk comic book stories for the past decade, and shares a lot of similarities with Bruce Banner. Both characters are incredibly smart yet prone to making impulsive decisions. The new Hulk will also break new ground for Marvel, with Cho becoming the first Korean-American lead character who will be crafted by a Korean-American creative team, Greg Pak and Frank Cho. Here's what Marvel's editor-in-chief Axel Alonso had to say about why they went with Amadeus Cho as the new Hulk.
"What happened is, we were at an editorial retreat, and we were talking about revitalizing individual titles and the types of things we could do to do that. As a former Hulk editor, I just felt like... we've seen Banner's story for so long, and the burden that he carries, with the weight of the Hulk on his shoulders. 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."
Greg Pak actually created the Amadeus Cho character nearly a decade ago, with his first appearance coming in Amazing Fantasy Vol 2 #15, which debuted in January 2006. The character has also been featured in animated TV shows such as Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher. When asked about what kinds of stories they will tell with this new Hulk, Greg Pak had this to say.
"The story is working on three levels: we've got the big crazy action level - the big monster hunt - that's what our big story arc is. Which is also up Frank Cho's alley, because if you know Frank Cho, you know he draws monsters like nobody's business, and he's going nuts with this. So, we've got the monster hunt, we've got the mystery of what happened to Banner and what's going on with Banner, and then there's an emotional story, of course. My favorite kinds of stories are the ones that have these big crazy genre hijinks and then a real honest, meaty, emotional story where we're watching a character grapple with some real things. And we're going to see if Amadeus' dream of being the greatest Hulk ever and his total confidence of that is really warranted. And we've got some great supporting characters that are going to be challenging him in some interesting ways."
It isn't known how this change, and others in the All-New, All-Different Marvel lineup will affect the Marvel movie universe quite yet. Mark Ruffalo currently plays Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but, he, like most of the original Avengers, are coming to the end of their contracts with the studio. Avengers: Infinity War - Part II, the last major Phase Three movie, doesn't hit theaters until 2019, so if that movie does mark the end of Bruce Banner, the studio will have four years of Amadeus Cho comics to base their new stories on, if that is in fact the route Marvel plans on taking. While we wait for more details about Amadeus Cho, and how he could affect the MCU, check out the first images of this Korean-American Hulk.