Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Belardino Brabo, Paul Mounts, Matt Milla, VC’s Cory Petit, and Alex Ross
Release Date: September 4, 2019
The war has come home and Shadow Base is the battleground in this week’s all-new IMMORTAL HULK #23 by the incredible Al Ewing. The stage is set for the final confrontation between the new Abomination and the one and only Immortal Hulk. Let’s smash into this issue and see what shakes out!
This week’s issue by Al Ewing was a straightforward, full throttle, melee between Shadow Base and Hulk (with a little help from Gamma Flight). This reviewer noticed nothing fancy, nothing too deep, and no grand twists that would throw any fan for a loop. However, the rightful standout star of this issue goes to Joe Bennett and his outstanding art team.
Bennett’s grotesquely thrilling style elevated this issue to an entirely different category of horror comic. From page three on, Joe Bennett and his crew grab readers’ attention with their knack for detail, terrifying facial expressions, and dynamically gruesome fight scenes. Paul Mounts and Matt Milla’s brightly vibrant greens enamored this reviewer guiding my eyes across each page with ease. For a grisly, dark comic, this artistic team figured out how to ironically bring every page to life. Fans shouldn’t read this issue at night, especially the last concluding pages, for fear of night terrors!
Now, as bone-chillingly exciting as Bennett and his art team made the issue, Ewing helped contribute a unique backstory for Jackie that genuinely made this reviewer feel for the character. Additionally, Ewing began introducing aspects of Rick Jones’ character through Jackie’s narration that were very interesting and showed a more vulnerable side to his personality. This reviewer left fascinated by more of the side characters than the Hulk himself, even though this is his comic.
That said, this reviewer feels like the story hasn’t progressed much within the past couple of issues. Furthermore, this fan is frustrated that Ewing hasn’t focused on the Hell/Evil Hulk as much lately. There was a time where readers were getting glimpses into the dark side of the Hulk. There were moments when this reviewer was overly speculating through every religious aspect of the story (absolutely loved that). These facets of the narrative were truly captivating. However, Ewing has steered clear of those elements of the story and went towards the General, Gamma Flight, and a backstory on side characters that may not be needed at this time. This reviewer simply hopes the pacing and big cliffhangers amp up soon before the comic begins to drag. Let’s hope Ewing picks up the story for the next issue.
Ewing takes the opportunity to elevate some of the lesser-known characters in his narrative while unleashing a monstrous battle between some of the biggest Gamma giants in comics today. While the issue doesn’t progress the series any further, the comic was still a fun read that showcased this extremely talented art team led by the outstanding Joe Bennett. If you’ve been following along to this point, this reviewer would tell you to continue to pick this issue up. However, the series has felt like it has slowed down a bit too much as of late. Here’s to hoping readers get an epic reveal next issue before the series begins to stall out.