“This whole 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, it’s 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 not the 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 of reality.

“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.

  I had always wondered why my brother was so attracted to the Hulk over, say, Thor or The Thing. What was it about The Hulk that was so engaging to him. 

“I created the Hulk origin story with my younger brother in mind. Originally, I took the step of dedicating the planned Marvel comic to him, and also 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 that it’s 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 of labor to a more personal story from my heart, rather than attempting to give depth to a Jack Kirby concept.