Hulk Smash Avengers: Fred Van Lente

Hulk Smash Avengers: Fred Van Lente

By TJ Dietsch

The Hulk and the Avengers have a complicated relationship.

Hulk helped found the team in 1963’s AVENGERS #1, but abruptly departed by the second issue following a misunderstanding with his would-be allies. Ever since, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the Green Goliath have clashed more than they’ve teamed, and weekly this May, HULK SMASH AVENGERS, a five-issue limited series with a quintet of creative teams and standalone stories set in different eras, will explore the dynamic between the two sides through the years.

To wrap up the wild ride of HULK SMASH AVENGERS, Fred Van Lente pits a different Hulk against a new team of Avengers.

Hulk Smash Avengers #5 preview art by Michael Avon Oeming

Issue #5 takes place just after Civil War and World War Hulk and stars the Red Hulk taking on Iron Man's Mighty Avengers. This will be nowhere near a one-sided fight, as the Avengers boast a line-up that includes Wonder Man, Sentry, Ares, Ms. Marvel and Black Widow to give this new Hulk a run for his money.

“This story is set back when Red Hulk first appeared, and he's attacking and raiding various S.H.I.E.L.D. facilities around the country for his mysterious benefactors,” Van Lente says. “The Avengers catch him red handed and try to vanquish him while Iron Man goes to a desert prison to learn how to defeat this menace from the world's foremost Hulkologist: Bruce Banner himself.”

To say there's bad blood between Banner and Stark would be an understatement. Remember that not only did Iron Man agree to and assist in sending Hulk to another planet that resulted in his wife dying, but the pair also ran into each other during World War Hulk.

“This takes place after Tony shot Bruce into space in Planet Hulk and he used satellites to defeat him in World War Hulk,” Van Lente reminds.So I'd say the vibe is 'tense.'" 

While Tony talks to Bruce, the Mighty Avengers do their best to hold their own against an unpredictable enemy with a much more strategic side to him. This fresh dynamic will completely change how the heroes approach the fight.

“The green Hulk—Bruce Banner—was one of the founding Avengers, so the original team maybe held back when battling him because they see him as former friend,” Van Lente notes. “The Red Hulk is an unknown, hostile entity who's not holding back from destroying them, so the Avengers won't either.”

Stay tuned to for more HULK SMASH AVENGERS

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