Since his 1962 debut, the Incredible Hulk has been one of the most recognizable and popular characters of the Marvel Universe, and to celebrate his 60th anniversary, Marvel Comics has enlisted cartoonist Jim Rugg to tackle Hulk: Grand Design, the latest in the publisher's series of retellings of classic characters' lives through a modern lens.
As with cartoonist Ed Piskor's X-Men: Grand Design, and its follow up Fantastic Four: Grand Design from writer/artist Tom Scioli, Hulk: Grand Design goes all the way back to the Hulk's origin, revisiting the entirety of the events of the original Incredible Hulk comic title from 1962 till its conclusion in 1999 as a single, concise narrative.
"Hulk was the first comics character I liked," writer/artist Jim Rugg tells The Beat, who broke the news of Hulk: Grand Design.
"When I was 6, I had a Hulk bowl and cup set. It featured the Hulk busting through a wall on one side (John Romita art?) and his origin on the other side. I stared at that and read his origin over and over…the most powerful creature to ever walk the Earth… Hulk is one of the all-time great and most recognizable comic book characters."
Rugg's inspiration for his take on Hulk's life story is right on his cover for the first issue: 'Monster!'.
Rugg states that his take on the first 300 issues of Hulk's story, told in the first volume of Hulk: Grand Design, due out in March, is the classic dichotomy between Hulk as a hero and as a creature of horror.
"Hulk’s the best! He’s a monster. He looks great. He’s not really a 'superhero.' What’s better than monster comics?" Rugg exudes.
Rugg has drawn the main cover for Hulk: Grand Design - Monster #1, with variants by Ed Piskor, Peach Momoko, and Marcos Martin. Check them out here:
A second volume, titled 'Madness,' will arrive in April, covering the second half of Hulk's original ongoing title through an exploration of his many personalities.
Hulk: Grand Design - Monster #1 goes on sale on March 16.
In his 60 years, the Hulk has had some weird and wonderful adventures. Here are the best Hulk stories ever.