11:32am PT by Graeme McMillan
'Hulk vs. Thanos' Comic Pits Big Name Marvel Characters Against Each Other
Two of Marvel Studios' heavy-hitters come face to face — and, likely, fist to fist — in the newly announced comic book miniseries Hulk vs. Thanos, written and drawn by Jim Starlin, the man responsible for bringing Thanos to life in the first place.
Starlin highlights the entry level nature of the series by telling Marvel.com that "a reader only has to know who the Hulk and Thanos are" to enjoy the book, adding that "just about anyone who knows the name Marvel these days" fits that description. "The story is self-contained," he explained, although it does rely on lesser-known characters Pip the Troll (from Starlin's 1970s Warlock series) and Annihilus (a long-lived Marvel villain who originally appeared in The Fantastic Four in the 1960s) in addition to appearances by the slightly more famous Iron Man.
Oddly enough, the four-issue series was originally intended to be part of the anthology series Savage Hulk, having been specifically mentioned by the publisher during that title's announcement back in March. Given the low sales for that title — estimated North American sales for the third issue last month were just under 25,000, which is nearing the traditional 20,000 benchmark for a Marvel title in danger of cancellation — it's likely that Marvel simply chose to promote the material with a new, mainstream-friendly title to achieve maximum reach.
Hulk vs. Thanos marks Starlin's third project for Marvel since the two mended fences following a potential legal battle over the company's use of Starlin's creation in its movie projects. The title will launch "later this year," according to the publisher.