Immortal Hulk #33 marks the 750th issue of the Hulk series and with it comes the conclusion to Xemnu’s takeover working with Minotaur. In this anniversary issue, Al Ewing and Joe Bennett, with Nick Pitarra join in on the fun and bring the horrors, the deep thought-provoking probing of character, and a whole lot of smashing. Running extra-long, this is a satisfying wrap-up and a hook for what is next for Hulk to smash.
This issue opens with Bruce talking at the reader a bit unhinged. He’s walking closer to the reader, raising scary vibes only to cut to a double-page splash of a monstrous Hulk killing all sorts of heroes. It’s a good way to ramp up the implications of where Bruce is mentally and that plays a big part in this issue. Very early on we come to realize the man, and the monsters within, aren’t thinking straight, putting Hulk into a weak state. The only way to stop the unstoppable Hulk, it seems, is through his mind and the mind of the monsters within. This creates a good conflict for him to overcome by the end of the issue.
Once again, the body horror is unparalleled, especially for a superhero comic. Bennett continues to draw imaginative ways to make the grotesque give you a bad taste in your mouth — in a good way. The book is smart at depicting these gross monster images at varying sizes and yet always in vivid detail. Pitarra draws the internal war going on in Hulk’s head and it does a good job establishing the various Hulks inside the character. The vivid and atmospheric horrors by Bennett mix well with the stylized and cartoonish look of PItarra’s pencils.
The big reveal and conclusion to this book do heavily involve deus ex machina. The combination of reveal and solution to the final battle does make it feel less sudden and convenient, but it does reveal Hulk may be more easily defeated than we ever expected.
Hulk has been in good hands with Ewing and Bennett at the helm and they’ve done a great job celebrating the 750th milestone issue. As an extra-sized book, Marvel has successfully given readers more while dipping into character and big reveals. Hulk and the horrors that come with it continue to be grotesquely delicious.
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