Many comic book tie-in stories are fun, but can run the risk of feeling kind of pointless. Then you have today’s Immortal Hulk, which is inherently important to the Hulk and to the Absolute Carnage event. The tie-in is one that has the editor saying bold things like this:
You have no idea. One of my favorite issues from the whole event.
— Devin Lewis (@EDevinLewis) September 27, 2019
Sure he’s biased, but after reading it…he may not be wrong.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
If you like psychological stories that probe the inner mind you’ll love this. Bruce Banner has a conversation with a few of the folks inside his own head which is an enlightening reveal by Immortal Hulk writer Al Ewing.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This book has a melodic and calming tone while also dealing with mass graves and monsters who can tear your head off. It’s a nice juxtaposition of the steady Bruce Banner and the threat of Carnage that is at hand. The fascinating element of this book is how it draws your interest in about Bruce Banner’s story and his struggle with multiple personalities and living among monsters while also drawing your interest into the horror of Carnage. There’s an easy cadence to the narrative that is alarmingly disturbed especially when characters suggest graphically awful things with ease.
On top of all that there’s great moments with Spider-Man, some detectives who aren’t prepared for S.H.I.E.L.D. level threats, and the now monstrous Betty. Ewing also quite aptly dubs Carnage a “Cosmic Satan,” which I loved.
The art by Filipe Andrade, colors by Chris O’Halloran, and letters by Travis Lanham really stokes the fire that is inside Bruce Banner. The look of the monsters in this–and yes I lump Hulk in there with the monsters–has a realistic look and feel that’s gritty and dark in tone. Bruce has moments of thought here and is visualized in a way that makes you want to probe him. The lines by Andrade are very fluid, especially with the cut of Banner’s clothes in one scene as he walks by a window of horrors, and it makes the vibe of the book feel calm. That suits the opening pages as Bruce speaks seemingly directly at us in a black boxy room.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The book takes a bit to get going and I imagine anyone who hasn’t been reading Immortal Hulk will feel a bit confused by where it picks up. Betty is in a monster form with a recently reanimated corpse of Rick Jones in the bathroom while Bruce Banner seems to daydream his way into explaining what is going on. It works as far as catching you up to speed, but it does so in a slow and melodic way that will require some patience.
Is it good?
If you like your monsters mixed with psychological horror and terrifying fantasy, this book will expertly creep you out.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!