Peter David on What if ...General Ross Had Become the Hulk?
Wednesday, January 5, 2005

The following was originally posted on

"Out of curiosity, while it obviously was crucial to the story to make Ross-Hulk mute, did you have an in-story justification for it in the back of your mind somewhere?"

Ah, that was part of my brilliantly clever sub-text...which, as is usually the case with my BCS-T, no one got.

In terms of "in story," my feeling was that it was perfectly justifiable because we've seen gamma radiation affect people in different ways. Hell, we've even seen it affect the Hulk himself in different ways. So there was really no reason NOT to have him mute since it was a perfectly valid way to go based upon character history.

Plus by doing it that way, it enabled me to make itthe classic case of "Be careful what you wish for." I don't have the dialogue in front of me, but basically early on in the story, Ross is dismissive of the notion of communication, of statesmen, of diplomacy, saying that the only thing that matters is power. If you are able to smash your opponents into the ground,nothing else matters.

So what happens? Ross becomes the living incarnation of what is his expressed ideal state. He has limitless power. He can crush his enemies. But because of lack of communication, everything goes straight down the tubes. And by the end of the story, Banner and Ross have traveled in two different arcs, each embracing the philosophy the other espoused. Ross now sees the true path of destruction and realizes the importance of words and moderation, whereas Banner no longer gives a crap and walks the path of violence.

And if you think it's a political commentary on Bush saying we shouldn't nation build and then taking us into unnecessary war, and Kerry and his repudiation of armed might in the 1970s which was then contradicted by his supporting the war in Iraq...well, yeah, you're right.


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