thing was born out of my attempt to give a credible origin to The Incredible
Hulk. I wanted to give Jack Kirby’s character a bit
of intellectual and emotional weight. Why is it that when Bruce Banner
gets angry he turns into a monster and starts smashing things? Sure,
a Jack Kirby character, that’s why. But I was offering a metaphor
that Jack could’ve never considered for uncountable reasons.
Why wasn’t Captain America a US diplomat? Why didn’t he
have an attaché case full of calm and peace-seeking proposals
instead of that killer shield? Because he’s a Kirby character,
and all of Kirby’s
pantheon solved problems and conflicts with violence. Don’t get
me wrong here, I’m not slandering Jack’s motives or perceptions,
it’s just that he came from such a comparatively simplistic,
white hat, black hat, way of life; Jack was a complex man but he was
least intellectual in the specific sense of the word.
For all of his glorious
drawings of acrobatic, streamlined heroes battling various enemies
of the freedom of thought, the bottom line is that Kirby’s gods
and heroes settled philosophical disputes with outsized fists, line
art explosions and absolutely no coherent responsibility to the subtleties
“So, in some
small way I wanted to give some gravity to the Hulk. A quintessential
Kirby character whom my younger brother -- a Downs Syndrome child
-- had a particular affection for.
had always wondered why my brother was so
attracted to the Hulk over, say, Thor or The Thing. What was
The Hulk that was so engaging to him.
the Hulk origin story with my younger brother in mind. Originally,
I took the step of dedicating the planned Marvel comic to him, and
to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby on the second dedication line. Unfortunately,
my brother has since died and he’ll never see the book. Jack, too,
is gone. It started out as a twenty-two page story and Marvel wouldn’t
publish it. To make a long story short, to put this much work into a
project this immense, I wish it had a purer beginning. I’d rather
a monster wasn’t part of the story. The problem with The Monster is
a very faulted book largely because of the span of time it’s taken
to make it. It does have integrity, I believe, and it is written in the STORYTELLER style.
So there’s not a hint of anything being explained
to you like you’re a dimwit. If you don’t get something at
first, you can go back and read it again free of charge. I am respecting
my audience. I’ve got an audience that seems to respect me, so
I offer the same in kind. But I would rather have given all these years
labor to a more personal story from my heart, rather than attempting
to give depth to a Jack Kirby concept.