Immortal Hulk is a series you could hand to nearly anyone with even the slightest interest in comic books and they will be transfixed. That goes for those who would find it exhilarating, disgusting or both. Clearly the best ongoing horror series in comics today, the series has reached its eighth volume and Al Ewing and Joe Bennett are moving along the subplot involving the Leader. This instant classic continues to trend as a work of pure horror genius and this eighth volume adds all sorts of self-doubt for the green goliath.
Collected here is Immortal Hulk #36-40, opening with Hulk totally freaking out about his good friend Rick Jones pulling a T-1000 with an elongated and disturbingly stretched out body. As it closes with Hulk seriously emaciated and exhausted, one could surmise this book is about Hulk losing his advantage of super healing and super superiority. But how could that be? Al Ewing continues to explore the powers of the Green Door and most importantly allows the Leader to enact his plan.
Thanks to the focus on the Leader, this volume feels extremely important to the Hulk mythos. The character is arguably Hulk’s ultimate nemesis and in this book, he’s reached new levels of horror and plotting. Meanwhile, a subplot with Doc Samson continues to explore how this clean-cut hero can be tainted by the gamma hells probed in previous volumes.
This book also does well to capture the advantage Hulk has with his multiple personalities. Bruce is long gone when this book opens, which is likely why Leader can take advantage at this time, but that doesn’t mean Hulk is missing a few personalities to get him through this rough patch. Ewing and Bennett also continue to explore Bruce’s youth and the trauma he suffered. Like any good horror, this book never forgets its very human and relatable protagonist’s past.
That’s particularly important when Bennett and color artists Matt Milla and Paul Mounts go full throttle on the body horror. At this point, this book may go down in history for the greatest body horror comic ever. Outside of the disturbing visage of Rick Jones to start this book, we get Hulk being blasted in the brain, a truly disgusting Leader with a mouth that opens across his face, and a lizard man whose head is pulled out of his body spine. Superhero comics typically have their bread and butter in action, but in Immortal Hulk, the real meat of the entertainment comes from these haunting and disturbing images.
Immortal Hulk Vol. 8 offers good story progression on top of the already excellent horror and disturbing nature of the story. Add it to the pile of proof that Immortal Hulk is going down as a classic.
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