A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.

Johnny Blaze

RULK PREVIEW : VENOM Issue # 13.1 “Circle of Four” Part Two!

 


RULK PREVIEW : “Circle Of Four” VENOM Issue # 13


RULK REPORT : Writer Jeff Parker discusses upcoming “Circle of Four” and HULK!

February 2012′s VENOM Issue # 13 will be the first chapter of the “Circle of Four” event, a special 6 part story arc featuring the Red Hulk, Johnny Blaze, Venom, Ghost Rider and X-23 as they struggle to save Las Vegas and the Earth from Mephisto and Blackheart.  It begins in VENOM # 13 and runs through issues 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4 and concludes in issue #14.  Newsarama had an opportunity to speak with Jeff Parker and discuss this event and what he has in store for HULK and beyond.

Here are the highlights:

Newsarama: Jeff, let’s start things out with clarifying how the division of labor works between you and the other writers in “Circle of Four.” From what I understand, you’re writing Venom #13.3, but it’s really a collaborative effort throughout between you, Rob Williams and Rick Remender, correct?

Jeff Parker: Since it falls under Venom, Rick is the ringleader. And one of his mandates is that Rob and I wear jumpsuits and bright boots while we work on this. I don’t quite follow his reasoning, but I feel Rick wouldn’t request that kind of thing lightly, so I just go with it.  And yes, it felt like we chipped in pretty evenly in this story! A lot of phone conferencing, a lot of give and take and no egos in the way.

Nrama: On that same note, what was it like working with Rick and Rob on “Circle of Four”? In what ways do you think your individual styles complement each other well in a story like this?

Parker: We all moved towards a common tone where our writing voices synched up, and that was the key, I think. I was a little surprised how well it all comes together; it doesn’t feel like multiple writers when you read it.

Nrama: You’re coming into “Circle of Four” as the writer of Hulk, so what can you tell us about the role Red Hulk plays in the story? It looks like he’s sort of the catalyst of the whole thing, with the story picking up with Captain America sending Red Hulk to hunt down Venom.

Parker: Yes, and on some level this is all about an AWOL soldier to him, which particularly sets him off.

Nrama: How do you characterize Red Hulk’s dynamic with the rest of the three main characters? They’re all characters we haven’t really seen him interact with yet, and the group isn’t exactly starting out as friends (and very possibly not leaving that way, either).

Parker: They’re maybe the last people in the world he would choose to be part of a team with. And he thinks he knows better — in some cases, he certainly does, but what makes a team is how they can work together. In this case it’s more what they bring out in each other — the worst of themselves.

Nrama: Obviously you’re deeply familiar with writing Red Hulk, but how did you like writing the other main characters of the story — X-23, Ghost Rider and Venom? Did you take a particular liking to any of the three?

Parker: Yes, they’re all interesting to voice. I credit the other writers though with that, everyone had nice solid character development to work from.

Nrama: The artist on your issue is Julian Totino Tedesco, who’s done a lot of covers for Marvels as of late. What’s he bringing to the issue, visually?

Parker: That guy is incredible. He brings very solid storytelling with one of those styles that make you want to sit down and draw, it looks so fun. He’s a real natural; I lucked out on this.

Nrama: Let’s take a quick look in the near future of Hulk proper. Looks like coming up we’ve got an appearance from Red She-Hulk and then — the Eternals. How big of an impact will the father/daughter reunion have on the series? And what brings the Eternals to Red Hulk’s world?

Parker: It’s been a while now since the Ross family have gotten together, and as you might expect, it happens with explosive results. But this core of family have been at the heart of the Hulk books for forty years, and you’ll see why.  As for the Eternals, it looks like they’re tired of watching the world almost end every year. For millennia they’ve felt they know what’s best for the world and have watched these “modern gods” start to multiply. They’ve tolerated that, but now that more Hulks are showing up, they’ve become a lot more concerned.

 
 

-A.J. 
A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.  
Follow the RED HULK BLOG on Twitter @ RedHulkBlog

 

RULK PREVIEW : A Closer Look at the Upcoming CIRCLE OF FOUR

This upcoming February 2012’s VENOM Issue # 13 will be the first chapter of the “Circle of Four” event, written by Rick Remender, Ron Williams and Jeff Parker!  It will be a special 6 part story arc featuring the Red Hulk, Johnny Blaze, Venom, Ghost Rider and X-23 as they struggle to save Las Vegas and the Earth from Mephisto and Blackheart.  It begins in VENOM # 13 and runs through issues 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4 and concludes in issue #14.  The story was inspired by Walt Simonson and Art Adams’ “Fantastic Four” brief teaming of Spider-Man, The Hulk, Wolverine and Ghost Rider.

Dave Richards from Comic Book Resources was able to sit down with Remender to discuss the upcoming event.  Here are some highlights:

“This thing has gone through so many changes. Originally it was going to be Jason Aaron and me doing this. Then Jason took on another project and couldn’t, so we got lucky that Rob Williams [“Ghost Rider”] and Jeff Parker [“Hulk”] had time to become involved. The three of us got on the phone with editor Jeanine Schaefer and developed the plot into like a 130-page story. It’s a big, epic tale,” Remender said. “Everybody agreed that pinning it on the ‘Venom’ series proper was the right way to do it because it feeds out of so many things that are being built up in ‘Venom;’ his road trip to Las Vegas, why Crime Master sent him there, what he finds when he’s there, and Rulk chasing him. The big reveal that he uncovers is that Vegas is the site of a power struggle taking place between Mephisto and Blackheart for control of Earth. I just love that, in the midst of all these threats, Flash can actually handle what he unearths [and it’s] that, ‘Oh the Devil and his son are trying to take over the planet.’

“During the course of this Ghost Rider is tricked into opening a centrifuge for Blackheart, which causes Hell to explode out of Hell and to start creeping across the Earth. So Las Vegas is transformed into Hell on Earth and it starts spreading. Johnny Blaze uses a relic to hold it back, but no one can get in or out of this sphere of Hell. So it’s up to the people that are inside and that’s Ghost Rider, Blaze, X-23, Red Hulk and Venom,” Remender continued. “So while our story does pay visual homage to what Walt Simonson and Art Adams did — and we got a Walt Simonson cover, which is pretty crazy — it really needed to develop into something that felt like its own special thing.”

“We hashed out the beats together and I’m writing issue #13, which we wanted to make special. So it’s 30 pages and all Tony Moore pencils and inks. Then the next two issues are Rob Williams writing. The third issue is Jeff Parker, and it’s insane what he’s done. Then I’m writing #13.4 and #14 is me and Tony again,” Remender said. “So by the end I will have written 70 pages of this and those guys will have done 60, so a nice even split. It’s been terrific collaborating with those guys. We get on the phone quite a bit and we get really excited talking about this stuff.”

To read the full interview, click on the following link :  http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=35762

-A.J. 
A general falls. A red monster rises. Stay tuned.  
Follow the RED HULK BLOG on Twitter @ RedHulkBlog