Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Paul Mounts, and VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: May 29th, 2019
Doc Samson, Gamma Flight, a battle between our new Hulk whose pulling all the strings, AND the new Abomination all in this week’s IMMORTAL HULK #18 as Al Ewing dives deeper into the Hulk’s personas and connects this incredible behemoths mythos for new and old readers alike. Let’s smash into this monstrous tale!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Al Ewing opens the issue fast and loose by showing readers that Doc Samson is alive, Gamma Flight is still together, and Joe Fixit has been using Banner’s body to set up shop in Reno. Meanwhile, Jackie McGee is still trying to investigate the Hulk as well as Betty’s death/disappearance while Abomination is lurking in the shadows tracking down Banner. However, after checking out the crime scene at Betty’s house, Jackie runs into what appears to be the red, transformed, Harpy version of Betty.
Next, Ewing jumps back to Bruce arriving at the motel. After getting dropped off, we see the new Abomination take the taxi driver and basically eat him while Gamma Flight talks to Doc Samson and figures out that Banner is interested in ending the world just as much as the Hulk. Ewing ends the issue with Abomination fighting Hulk only to show readers that the Hulk now knows that Rick is actually inside the Abomination and it’s not just Blonsky! Holy Cow! Where is Big Al going from here? I’m already jazzed for the next issue already!
Can we just start by getting to the best part of this issue? Did you see Banner start to say, Maestro? Holy $&@&!! Are we getting the creation of the Future Imperfect Hulk? If so, this is a smashing idea that I never saw coming. Ewing has laid out these different personas and even formulates a helpful scene to show readers as to all the forms, transformations, and what to call them. This helped any fan confusion to be ironed out. This reader loved these parts and realized how beneficial this was for new readers to organize who’s in charge and when. This was so incredibly helpful to the story moving forward.
THE PUZZLE IS COMING TOGETHER
This reviewer loves the idea that Banner has been holding back the Hulk this entire time so he doesn’t end the world BUT somehow, Banner is now on board. Somehow, the Maestro is also controlling Bruce, as well as ever other persona, and is ready to destroy humanity. When did the switch flip for Banner and why? Hopefully, Ewing will give readers that exact moment when Banner realized the world wasn’t worth being saved from the Hulk anymore. But, can you blame him? The Hulk has been hunted his entire life. Heck, take a look at simply this series by Ewing. The Hulk has been shot at, decapitated, torn apart, had family and friends killed, and now a friend dug up and turned into Abomination. Humanity hates and fears what it can’t control or understand.
Ewing has laid out a masterful story since day one that connects the puzzle pieces together that, in this reviewers opinion, shows fans the end game of everything Hulk has been through. If we take a step back, pan out, and look at the 18 issues as a whole, the puzzle appears to be a summary of the trials of Banner, the Hulk, his life story told through multiple lenses, and the Future Imperfect beginnings coming to the forefront. This reviewer is so excited to see the direction Ewing is heading and cannot wait for the destination.
This series isn’t entirely about the story. From issue one through now, the art team of Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Paul Mounts, and Cory Petit have not taken their foot off the gas for one single issue. Their art is so incredibly dynamic and could easily explain each panel without any dialogue. It’s so clear, crisp, and grabs the readers attention as the deep greens, vibrant color contrasts, and dark designs amplify each panel making every page with Hulk and the Abomination so horrifyingly frightening. This issue is so bright and intense that after reading issue 18, the art team will leave fans feeling radiated by pure gamma energy!
This reviewer can totally see why sales of this book appear to be on the rise. It’s dark, violent, fun, action-packed, grotesque, thought-provoking, and incorporates so much of the Hulk’s history in such a creative way. It’s fast-paced and easy to follow. However, Ewing doesn’t hold the reader’s hand throughout the story either. He works so well with his creative team to tell a story that is truly a work of art. Ewing’s imagination for the Hulk, Banner, and his different personas cleverly connects multiple storylines and years of the character in a way that brings in new readers while pulling at the elements of the big green goliath that drive the old fans to truly see how “immortal” Hulk really is. Ewing has done his research and it showed throughout this issue. If you aren’t reading IMMORTAL HULK, you’re missing out. Pick it up and put it on your pull list immediately. You won’t be disappointed.