Immortal Hulk: Great Power #1 begins with Bruce Banner regaining consciousness on the streets of Tribeca in New York City. He has no clue how he got there, and even stranger, Spider-Man is with him. Writer Tom Taylor and artist Jorge Molina bring two of the biggest comic book characters on the planet together in the same book. The Hulk is gone, no longer present in Banner’s body. It has found a new host, he’s taking up residence in Peter Parker’s body. How he got there is any one’s guess.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable one-shot story. While it’s been a while, this isn’t the first time Hulk and Spider-Man have merged together — it occurred back in 1990 in Web of Spider-Man #70 but Tom Taylor’s version has a lot of differences. In the original book, Spider-Man was zapped by a machine that transferred bioenergy from the Hulk which in turn transforms him into a giant homicidal rage monster. In Great Power, the Hulk is extracted from Bruce Banner and accidentally placed into Peter Parker aka Spider-Man.
The story doesn’t take long to get started, as the action kicks in almost immediately, and it’s filled with the witty and funny moments you’d come to expect from both Hulk and Spider-Man. More importantly, as the story progresses it makes you realize how much Bruce Banner and Peter Parker have in common. Here you have two guys who’ve been given extraordinary abilities they never wanted and ultimately has made their lives miserable.
But despite their setbacks, they’ve never stopped trying. They’ve used their pain, loss, and roadblocks to make a difference in the world. Bruce Banner basically can never have a family. Spider-Man can never sit still for too long, either. It’s a curse bestowed upon good people. They understand each other and the writing highlights the point of dealing with the responsibility of power so well.
Some of the best moments come from the dialogue shared between Bruce and Peter, and that’s part of why we love these iconic characters so much. I think that’s what this story is exploring. The story drives home a good point of not having to deal with issues in life alone. That you can depend on friends in what may seem like your darkest hour or when you generally just don’t know what to do.
Aside from that, there are some very memorable moments and surprise guest stars including the Fantastic Four. Ultimately the whole thing is a delightful tale that gives you the nostalgic feeling of older comics from back in the ’90s and early 2000s. And let’s be honest — a chance to see Hulk, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man in the same book? I think most people would be down for that.
The artwork will blow your mind from the first punch thrown. The detailed pencil work and motion lines that went into the issue is beyond insane. It always surprises me how well illustrators like Molina can make things that are smashed and destroyed look so poetic. Some of my favorite pages from this book are during Peter and Bruce’s conversations by the fire. I cannot leave out David Curiel, who adds some amazing color work.
All in all, Great Power #1 is an absolute treasure that pays great homage to the original 1990s. If you’re looking for a comic that feels like the old school days of Marvel Comics with a zesty splash of today’s era, then this book is what you’re looking for. Tom Taylor, Jorge Molina and everyone else involved did a fantastic job and hopefully, we see them do more one-shot series in the future. In the meantime, check out this book. You won’t regret it.