Hulk Smash: Avengers: Jim McCann

Hulk Smash: Avengers: Jim McCann

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.

Hulk Smash Avengers #4 preview art by Agustin Padilla

HULK SMASH AVENGERS includes various Avengers squads facing off against The Hulk in his multiple incarnations of the years, but the fourth issue, written by Jim McCann with art by Agustin Padilla, might have one of the more unusual pairings. This installment sees the crafty Hulk known as Mr. Fixit do his own brand of smashing against a new branch of the Avengers located on the West Coast.

“I was asked if I wanted to do something during the West Coast Avengers era,” McCann shares. “They had me there! I looked into where the issues of the early line-up were with INCREDIBLE HULK [and] it overlapped with Peter David’s early Fixit appearances.” 

McCann, who has written multiple projects featuring Hawkeye and his allies over the past couple years, admits to starting out a bit concerned about the Hulk side of things.

“I was weary of writing the Hulk side because I’ve never been a Hulk guy,” McCann confesses. “I wasn’t sure I could do him justice. After this, I would write a Fixit book for years if possible. Hulk plus suit plus Vegas plus Tommy guns?! Make Mine Fixit!”

Like most of the other HULK SMASH AVENGERS issues, McCann placed his story specifically between two existing stories in WEST COAST AVENGERS:

Hulk Smash Avengers #4 preview art by Agustin Padilla

“This takes place between issues #4 and #5, so it’s still the originals, who are the best line-up for me: Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Tigra and Iron Man—Tony Stark, just after taking back the mantle. It shows what I love best about that team: they are dysfunctional, but when the Fix hits the fan, they know how to pull it together!”
Unlike the other stories, though, this one comes as a bit of surprise for the Avengers, as this new mob-tied version of ol' Jade Jaws—or Gray Jaws, more accurately—had been an unknown entity.

“This is during a time when the world thought Hulk was dead, so the Whackos have no clue they’re about to face the Hulk,” McCann says. “They hear word of a mob boss’s enforcer running the show and go to check it out. Plus, Hawkeye really wants to play blackjack.”
The writer noted that this fight will almost differ from the others, not just because it's a new group of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but because this Hulk operates like none other.

“There is no Banner, but The Hulk is smart, and ruthless, but still has a bit of a moral code at his core,” McCann says. “Throw in a pin-stripe suit that you can’t even get at your local Big ‘n Tall, and I’m there.” 

Like all versions of the Hulk, though, Mr. Fixit shares one key element with his brethren that continues a strained but unique relationship with his former teammates.

“He just wants to be left alone and do his thing,” McCann explains. “But because Hulk can be just as destructive as he is helpful, the Avengers are weary of that. Pair him as Fixit against a team of Avengers nobody really believed in at the time, and you have the single most exciting and fun issue I think I ever wrote while at Marvel!”

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