The latest volume of Hulk's ongoing title is reaching a turning point in April's Hulk #14, which concludes the current 'Hulk Planet' arc from writer/artist Ryan Ottley, who took over as series writer when previous scribe Donny Cates unexpectedly departed several months ago. Cates and Ottley launched the current volume of Hulk together, leaving Ottley with a plan and outline for the story based on Cates' intended direction.
Now, in Hulk #14, the story of 'Starship Hulk,' in which Banner uses super-science to pilot Hulk's body as something of a vehicle for his own unaltered consciousness, will come to its conclusion in the finale of 'Hulk Planet,' which has brought Hulk to a world totally mutated by Gamma radiation.
According to Marvel's announcement of Hulk #14, this will bring the return of Titan, a newly evolved, Kaiju-sized form of the Hulk that has been nicknamed "the Hulk's Hulk," as well as some "surprise revelations and shocking twists that will smash open the way to what’s next for the character."
"It's been so much fun to finally tackle working on the Hulk. And being able to write the last four issues of this arc and bring some story elements to fruition was such a challenge but I've enjoyed it the whole way," Ottley states in Marvel's announcement.
"Drawing comics is what I'm used to, writing is a whole different animal, but doing both jobs was great and makes me want to do it more often! Feels sad to wrap up the arc and move on, but it's definitely one of my favorite comic experiences" he continues. "Hulk will always be one of my favorite Marvel heroes. And now with Titan added to the rogues' gallery, hopefully we’ll see him again someday in all his fury and glory!"
As established at the start of the current volume of Hulk, Bruce Banner has managed to splinter and separate his own consciousness and personality from that of the Hulk, with both Banner and Hulk co-existing inside Hulk's body.
Using an unrevealed combination of magic, science, and psychic abilities - including surgically implanted cybernetic components - Banner has turned Hulk's body into a mere vessel which he literally pilots from a psychically constructed cockpit that exists in Banner and Hulk's combined psyche, and which allows Bruce Banner's mind to be in control over the power contained in Hulk's body - kinda Pacific Rim mech-suit style, but with the good old fashioned green Hulk body in place of a mech.
But as of Hulk #14, it seems Banner and Hulk will have to fully reintegrate again, leading to a new status quo for Hulk in the wake of the current arc. It's not clear whether the current Hulk volume will keep its numbering with a new creative team, or if it will relaunch entirely, but Ottley has already stated he's moving on, so a new creative team is on the way one way or another.
Hulk #14 goes on sale April 26 with a cover from Ottley, seen here.
Will 'Hulk Planet' go down as one of the best Hulk stories ever?