If you’ve been reading any of my previous reviews of Immortal Hulk, you know what I think about that book. That view hasn’t changed, and it likely never will. This is a really, really good series, and is consistently one of Marvel’s best. The characters are well written, the mythology that Ewing creates is fascinating and terrifying in equal measures, the action sequences are spectacular, and like every one of the books that Al Ewing has written at Marvel over the years, he masterfully uses the parts of the shared universe that he is playing in. Immortal Hulk is very good, and issue #40 is no exception to that.
But, honestly, you know that. Every issue of Immortal Hulk is good, and these reviews get very boring when I just write positive platitudes about the story. So I want to talk about the art.
Immortal Hulk #40 is penciled by Joe Bennet, inked by Ruy Jose and Belardino Brabo, and colored by Phil Mounts and Matt Milla. And all five are doing their jobs just spectacularly, creating this wonderful artistic story.
Some major points have to go to the colorists, Mounts and Milla. They do a really good job in distinguishing the relatively muted colors of the “real” world, with the bright, almost neon green colors of the Hulk’s gamma, and of Banner’s interiority. Take, for instance, the scene where the Savage Hulk shifts into Joe Fixit. Within the mindscape, Fixit opens his eyes and they’re that neon green color, a deep and striking contrast with the whole world around it. That same green appears as the Savage Hulk’s body shifts and splits open, letting Fixit emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon.
The inking team similarly does a really, really good job. The dark shadows in the crevasses are really interesting in how much definition they give to the figures – I’m thinking specifically about Doc Sasquatch, and the way that those shadows create the illusion of hidden muscle (and disguise that he’s not wearing clothes).
I have some nitpicks, of course, and I won’t say the book is perfect. Gyrich is a strange character to bring in when we already have a pretty deep back-bench of characters that the book is using. I don’t think that the art team does a good job with Samson/Sasquatch’s fur. I don’t personally like abandoning the Shadow Base part of the narrative so thoroughly in this issue.
But don’t let those complaints distract you. Immortal Hulk continues to be one of the best books each month.
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