The approach taken with The Immortal Hulk has been an exciting one. Al Ewing, paired with the body horror genius of Joe Bennett, have been delivering one of the most twisted and freakish takes on the character in some time. It has also been a tale that plays with identity in what feels like new and exciting ways. Long story short, this is the most fun I’ve had with a Hulk comic since reading my first story with the character.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Bruce Banner is dead. His corpse has been dissected, his organs catalogued, and his inner workings are being studied by the scientists of Shadow Base. Bruce Banner is no longer a threat. That just leaves the IMMORTAL HULK…
Why does this matter?
The cover of this issue reveals Hulk has been placed into many jars. How gross is that, especially when you consider he can’t die? It’s one of the most visually scary comics I’ve read from Marvel ever, and it also reveals a new superhero team.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This series has been one of the hardest to put down and that continues with issue #8. Al Ewing is a giving writer, never drawing things out or decompressing a story simply to fill pages. The events in this issue change things like our knowledge of the villains, Carol Danvers’ new team, and gives a bit more info on what the Hulk is capable of. By issue’s end a new direction is taken for the character and a hell of a lot of body horror–that will stick with you–is deliciously revealed.
This issue is also very good at surprising the reader. I did not see any of the reveals coming and that’s thanks to well paced and plotted storytelling. It opens with Hulk trapped as an experiment even though he’s still alive and in pieces. By the end that all changes and it does so in a grotesque way.
Bennett has been putting on a show with every issue he’s drawn and this issue may be his best yet. There is a double page spread that may actually make you hurl, which is followed by a near double page spread (a double page layout to be more precise) that makes things even grosser. The Hulk is always considered to be a hard muscle machine, but here we see him transform from goopy entrails into massive amounts of muscle. Even when Hulk transforms into Bruce Banner it’s a sight to be seen.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue displays one of the most impressive healings by a hero ever and it’s done in seconds. It’s so fast purists who keep track of these sorts of things may cry foul. Comics seem to be always bending the rules or even breaking them so it didn’t bother me, but I could see it being slightly obnoxious to some.
Is it good?
Possibly the greatest body-horror superhero comic ever. This is what horror comics should be like when cast in a superhero comic book. Hulk is beyond intriguing and the possibilities seem limitless.
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