Immortal Hulk #50 Review

Writer: Al Ewing

Art: Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Belardino Brabo, Paul Mounts, Cory Petit, and Alex Ross

Publisher: Marvel Comics


Release Date: October 13th, 2021

Not many writers get 50 plus issues to tell their story. Nowadays, you’re lucky if you get 24 issues. However, Al Ewing and Joe Bennett get to tell their full story and end exactly how they would like… or did they? Having 50 plus issues of IMMORTAL HULK to play with, one would hope questions get wrapped up. Will we find out who’s been truly behind these “Green Doors”? And, will we discover the true connection to Gamma? Furthermore, why is Gamma supernaturally connected to Hell? And, who is the One Below All? Let’s smash into the IMMORTAL HULK #50 by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett for the last time to see how this dynamic team finally closes this chapter of the HULK.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.


So, after all this time, readers diving into this showdown between the IMMORTAL HULK and the One Below All will be extremely disappointed. Anyone hoping for a fierce battle royal between Sterns and Banner, or any of the HULKS for that matter, will also be sorely mistaken. What readers get as this series wraps is a hardy, almost religious self-discovery encapsulating the psyche of humanity itself. Sounds pretty heavy, doesn’t it? Well, it was.

Ewing opens with a quote from the King James Version of Revelation 1:18, which felt totally out of place as the issue opened. Why you ask? Well, this series continues to take the Gamma Peeps to the “Below Place” or Hell (if you will). And, this Biblical Passage is referencing Jesus explaining to John that He’s alive and that ultimately Christianity is the only religion with a living Savior containing the abilities for resurrection and life. Therefore, why would that be quoted here with the One Below All or have any relation to Hell? At the time, it just didn’t fit. However, the passage does complement the story as this final issue of IMMORTAL HULK continued to unfold.


Readers will also discover another unique aspect of this culminating issue that this reviewer wishes could have been more of a focus throughout these ladder comics. Fans will discover a family dynamic between the Sterns and Banners that dates back to the early 1900s. The family drama runs deep within these two houses. Yet, as awesome as this discovery was I couldn’t help but wonder why Ewing didn’t incorporate hints of this gradually throughout prior issues? The build-up would have made this moment feel more impactful instead of it being thrust on the readers in this final issue. However, this family feud lends itself well to the Biblical nature of Forgiveness and Mercy sprinkled throughout this closing message. Yet, with the page count leading up to IMMORTAL HULK #50, why wasn’t this addressed until now?


Ewing weaves together another strategic element within this culminating issue of IMMORTAL HULK that is actually a fan favorite for this reviewer. You see, I absolutely love when a writer knits together fiction with history. And throughout the story, readers will observe Sterns and Banner discussing Paul Villard who is actually the real-life person responsible for discovering Gamma Rays. It’s amazing how Ewing takes the time to intertwine fiction and reality showcasing the in-depth research he navigated to bring his story to light. It’s creative and makes this aspect of the issue feel real providing merit to the story.


HULK says it the best at the end of this issue… why? And truthfully, we really don’t get the answer to that. Why was HULK hurt so much? Why did the Gamma affect him this way? Why is the HULK so broken inside? Why is the HULK always in pain? Just, why? And what we discover is that the One Below All was actually (Spoilers) the One Above All this entire time. Now, as Joe was saying throughout the issue, we don’t care about who. We wanted to know why. However, all we get is a quick M. Night Shyamalan twist that provides more questions than answers.

Realistically, Ewing delivers an answer to all of this with a simple statement. However, let me dive a bit deeper. I think Ewing was trying to take a deep dive into one of the biggest questions that humanity struggles with, which is “why do bad things happen to all of us?” (Notice I didn’t say “happen to good people”) If God is so loving and kind, then why does he let such bad things devastate the world? Ewing’s answer directly from the One Above All is “because you are my child”. Ummm, that’s not going to fly Al. That’s not a why and ironically Joe even calls him out on that very thing in the comic.

Furthermore, Ewing basically gives us his rendition of the Book of Job. Readers see Joe and the childlike HULK stand in front of God as He basically gives the same speech to them as He did to Job. You see, Job’s family, finances, wealth, and health were all taken from him. Ultimately, Job demanded answers and God put him in his place. What we witness as this story comes to a close is the very same thing. God provides the HULKS with answers and ultimately tells them that they get to choose who they want to be. They could be wrath, destruction, vengeance, and judgment. Or, they could be mercy, peace, and understanding.

Now, as much as this is a very touching revelation, my remark is simple this: when did the IMMORTAL HULK’S premise switch from a mysterious, supernatural, horror, thriller to a philosophical epiphany or Biblical Study in life’s meaning and purpose? This was a Marvel horror comic, right? So, I guess what I’m wondering is if this was the actual direction and premise when the IMMORTAL HULK series began because the comic appeared to take a drastic detour from its early roots a long time ago. Granted, does that hinder the score of this specific issue? No. However, the lack of actual answers repurposed in a “meaning of life” package does hamper the overall score of the series as a whole.


Correct me if I’m wrong BUT, if I’m to read this story correctly, the One Below All was in fact the One Above All this entire time. Therefore, according to the narrative laid out, this implies that the One Above All is responsible for the chaos that is the HULK. Now, if this is true, I have a huge problem with that. The One Above All is supposed to be the equivalent of ‘The God’ in Marvel Comics. And if that’s the case, considering the Biblical parallels from Ewing, God is not nor has ever been responsible for evil, sin, death, or destruction.

Since Ewing can quote scripture, how about I take a stab? James 1:13 says, “God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 1 John 1:5 says, “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Or how about 1 Corinthians 14:33 which says, “God is not the author of confusion”. So, if that is true, He cannot in any way be the author of evil. Some may argue Isaiah 45: 6-7 where it says He “creates calamity”. However, if you read deeper into the passage it’s that God merely allows calamity to happen.

You see, Sin or Evil is neither matter nor spirit. Technically, it was never created. Evil is simply a lack or absence of moral quintessence in a fallen being. And thus, fallen creatures, like the HULK, assume full responsibility for their evil actions. Ewing implies that the One Above All is responsible simply because he wants it to be and that’s just flat out wrong.


Lastly, since Ewing’s direction turned Biblical, why don’t I answer the HULK’S question for him. Why was HULK hurt so much? Why did the Gamma affect him this way? Why is the HULK so broken inside? Why is the HULK always in pain? Here’s why: we suffer because it pleases God. Our suffering glorifies the ‘One Above All’. Our pain drives us closer to our creator. Suffering is part of the process of refining, substantiating, enhancing, and solidifying who you are.  It’s part of your personal, spiritual growth and it’s part of God’s eternal plan.

When things are going your way, how often do you pray? How often do you rely on or even think about the creator? My guess: very little if at all. However, what’s one of the first things you do when you think you’re about to lose a loved one or get that fatal diagnosis? You immediately pray to the One Above All! Our God is a jealous God who wants our undivided attention. That’s why the first four commandments are all directed towards Him. And ultimately, that’s why we all fall short each and every day. Why? Because we can’t love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. We just can’t. So, we suffer to remind us of who’s in charge, to point us back to God, and to glorify his name. If you don’t believe me, read your Bible.


If you came to IMMORTAL HULK looking for definitive answers, you really won’t find any here. Did the One Below All ever actually exist? I really couldn’t tell you. How did Sam Sterns take control of all the Green Doors? We don’t find out. Will the HULKS be able to continue to access these Green Doors in future series? Again, we don’t know. Ultimately, what began as a horror comic has morphed into a story on spiritual growth. Readers, this HULK run ends with a confident Bruce Banner ready to move on past everything that just happened. Really? After everything that transpired in Ewing’s run, I find it rather difficult to merely move on as if nothing happened. IMMORTAL HULK ends as if readers are supposed to forget about the last 50 issues and the impact they had on the character, which really diminishes the weight of the series.

As a single issue goes, IMMORTAL HULK #50 gives an in-depth look into the grieving questions that really get to the heart of the human psyche. Ewing tries to take a stab at the reason we all suffer through the lens of a character that has probably suffered the most at Marvel Comics. He even dives deep into some ancient Hebrew and Biblical roots to hammer home what he deems as his point in perspective. However, I feel he misses the mark, especially Biblically speaking. Overall, we get the same amazing art by Joe Bennett that has made this one of the best-looking horror comics that we’ve had in quite some time with an engaging premise and thought-provoking narrative. Yet, as a whole, I wonder how we got her from IMMORTAL HULK #1 and why more answers about the actual story weren’t ironed out. As someone who’s read every issue of this run multiple times and has reviewed almost every issue of this series, I find myself struggling to piece it all together especially with the hefty price tag and page count that was accessible. Let me know your thoughts, have a great week, and God Bless!


13 thoughts on “Immortal Hulk #50 Review

  1. Respectively speaking, I think you missed the mark with this review. How many comic books can provoke a meaningful discussion regarding the metaphysical question of suffering? Perhaps you disagree with Ewing’s thesis, which is fine, but the team’s aim was so high, that even a failure would be above 90% of what’s out there. There’s a lot to digest in this issue, and I think that comic book fans will be discussing this run and this issue years from now. I think that justifies higher than a 7.5. That said, I still really enjoyed reading your review. All the best.

    1. Thank you for the read AND thank you for respectful responding in a way that’s kind and appropriate. I really do appreciate that. This was a hard review to write and I get what your saying. I really do. However, my biggest concern is the biblical association that’s inferred. If he never once quoted scripture at all and never made any parallels what so ever to the Bible, I could get more behind what your saying. Truly I could. However, Ewing is blending biblical ideas fictionally that are not only stated wrong but could confuse individual’s more so spreading the wrong message. If he decided to navigate the premise of suffering excluding biblical passages/ terminology throughout the entire run, I’d be more on board. Additionally, this didn’t feel like the direction the book was taking. It felt like an abrupt “let’s do something meta to end the series.” If that makes sense. It just didn’t jive with the story overall. The final issue to tie everything together… and I don’t think he did. Again, I really do appreciate the read. Thank you so much for message and I’m always open for conversation!!! Feel free to message me on Twitter whenever. Have a great rest of your day and week:)

  2. Concerning the one above all, I think it’s more complicated than that: TOBA and The One Above ALL are not the same person.
    In a way, just like the Hulk, Marvel’s God has a D.I.D. Except that it is much more complex than for humans.
    There is a part of him that is this shadow, destructive, without identity, an anger without reason. And a part of him that is the creator, unique, reason and love without anger.
    Both are the same individual and neither has control over the other. The difference is that TOBA has no personality of its own and needs a personality to exist. From the moment Stern was extracted from TOBA, The One Above ALL was able to materialize before the Hulk because TOBA had lost its power.

    1. Jojo, thanks for the read and response. I appreciate the comment as well. However, I’m confused on your comment. What’s a D.I.D.? And, the TOBA was functioning before Sterns was there so I don’t think any power loss happened. I could be wrong BUT if you’re right, my score would have to genuinely go down simply because of the lack of explanation from the writer/ creative team. I’m not necessarily saying your wrong BUT I’m saying if you are right, the creative team needed to do a better job of showing us that, which the obviously didn’t. Instantly, the One above all appears and pushes away the TOBA. No explanation or transition. The one above all doesn’t state or explain anything you just said and I feel it’s implied they are one a e the same. If not, I feel like it would have been stated how the one above all got rid of the one below all. Either way, our discussion now proves the ambiguity and reason for my score being so low. From the way immortal hulk began to now, the change from a horror comic to… I don’t know what… in order to make it a deep metaphysical exploration just seems like a stretch instead of answering the dangling questions of the series. Again, I appreciate the comments, the read, and I truly hope you enjoy the comic. If you want to talk more, feel free to email me or message me in twitter!!! Thanks again and have a great week!!

      1. I read this elsewhere, but essentially TOBA was The One Above All’s Hulk, and didn’t manifest until Brian Banner died, which gave him a toehold. BB was later replaced by Sterns.

        DID = disassociation identity disorder, one of the main themes of the series, especially in the second half.

      2. Thanks for the info Jake. And thanks for the read. I appreciate the insight but I can’t buy the first statement you said unless it came from Ewing himself. But even then, if a writer has to explain the comic he wrote after people read the comic, than that simply tells me the writer wasn’t as clear as they should have been. It’s ok to ambiguous if it has a point. But when people have invested 50 plus issues into a story, we should have definitive answers. To see people online wonder if immortal hulk was all just a dream reminds me Dallas where ironically enough Bobby “Ewing” is taking a shower and it was just a dream… really… the fact that people left a 50 issues series wondering how it ended, what happened, and why… that’s the part that hurts the most. On top of trying to make it seem super heavy using biblical terminology. Sure, I get the DID aspect of the character but that has nothing to do with TOBA or THE ONE ABOVE ALL.. that’s totally different. Thanks again for the read, I really appreciate it.

  3. This finale was a let down. All that build up and ultimately Ewing ng had nothing to say. I’m laying this at Ewing’s feet because the art tream, as usual, was top notch. The Banner/Sterns connection was trite, and unnecessary, and contributed nothing, especially since the characters never found out. And it went nowhere. It was an entire comics worth of padding. The Dante-esque meander through Hell provided no answers, the Leader was inconsequential, and the rehash of Job was a bit condescending, I felt. Love the series. #1 – #48 were great. Ewing phoned in 49 and 50.
    4 stars, f.rom me, and that’s for the art. For 9.99, somebody owes me change.

    Great review. Didn’t agree with everything, but it was thoughough and insiteful. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for the read!!! I appreciate it. Again, as someone who has read every issue and reviewed almost everyone, I would argue that the entire series changed. The premise and direction from what it was… which is fine. But it’s identity switched without telling anyone or making it known somehow. It’s almost as if he had this amazing ideas, that were really clever but never took the time to flush them out. We can go deep, that’s fine. But why we’re going deep now. Why the last issue? Why not provide more answers? Plus, the biblical connections and tones were fine but just added a layer to the story that was unnecessary and confusing. On a meta level he tried to do something big. But why the last issue when there is so much more to wrap up? Oh well I suppose. I wish Ewing good luck on the rest of his ventures:)

  4. This is definitely one of those comics I’ll need to re-read several times over. I feel this finale was good but could’ve been a LOT better. I speculated for a long time that The One Below All was the evil half of The One Above All but didn’t know how they came to be or what their relationship exactly was. And now that we’ve seen it, I still feel like we should see how that came to be. That would look epic.

    Other than that, it felt like the story was rushing some resolutions and trying too hard to force a happy ending into a series that hasn’t built the groundwork for one yet. After every terrible, horrible, soul-wrenching thing that happened to him, it’s hard to believe Bruce Banner would just walk away from all of that “happy” and smiling even. Especially after what The Leader and TOBA did to him, and it’s not like TOBA is gone, so something like that or worse can happen again. Plus, it seems that Devil Hulk will be dead for a while, so that sucks.

  5. 👎👎👎👎. This has always been a horror comic and yes it did get biblical and a little to philosophical for me at points. BUT to kind of insult al ewing as a writer/ one of the best runs of the last 5 years possibly one of the best hulk comics ever because you didnt like the direction the writer went with in the last issue?!?! Like for real lmao. That’s like saying the sopranos isnt one of the greatest if not best tv shows of all time because you didnt like the ending. I usually love your reviews but this is not the one bud. Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that children of the atom is soooo groundbreaking and different. We wont get something this good from the BIG 2 for a while. Put some respect on their names dude. At least a 8/10

    1. Andrew, thanks for the read. And just to clarify I would never say that COTA was groundbreaking. That’s certainly a stretch:) As for groundbreaking within the past 5 years… honestly nothing has been including immortal hulk. HOXPOX was good and even three jokers was solid. That’s just off the top of my head. But this is coming from someone who ranked immortal hulk one of his series of the year for almost two straight years running. But we got to call it like it is. This run slid big time. Maybe it’s because Ewing began with his hand in fewer cookie jars than right now? I don’t know. Maybe he’s been preoccupied with a variety of other books? I don’t know. The score stands plus you’re treating the score as if it’s a failing grade. C is average. That’s how scores work. You even just said it got to philosophical for you at some points… because it did. Way too much. Furthermore, I’d argue many other runs better than this. If you don’t stick the landing, it doesn’t matter how solid things were before. The ending matters. It’s your opportunity to wrap things up, tie together loose ends, put a bow on something special. Fact is he didn’t do it, had a chance to with extra page count, and could have set himself up to do just that… but he didn’t. Does it lower the score on every other issue reviewed? Nope. Does it lower the overall series score, you bet. We get a non ending fluffed with philosophical nonsense that frankly was biblical incorrect. And many wouldn’t be the wiser who have never read the Bible. However, he didn’t have to go that route…. He could have kept it philosophical without going Biblical. But he didn’t. That’s a huge part of what brought it down. I’m sorry your not a fan or the review. And I’m flattered that you read all my reviews. I genuinely appreciate it. I suppose we will just have to respectful agree to disagree:) which is totally fine by me. If you liked it, more power to you. I’m glad you liked it. However, the more people talk with me about it… the more I wish I went lower tbh. The more I look into it, the more I don’t like about it. Oh well. Have a great rest of your week and thanks for reading!!!

  6. I haven’t read this final issue, but I am responding to your review: Ewing might make a mistake by leaving certain facts out. Like, the world is not how it was originally created, which was good. It has fallen from its original pure state. So that bit is left out. Also, the empathy of TOAA seems left out (in the Christian religion, embodied in Christ). And there seems to be no future hope of world healing. Apparently things will just go on like this forever.

    So, this leads me to think Ewing might be sort of pantheist, or a monist.

    1. Thanks for the read of the review!! Give the comic a look and let me know what you think. However, I would hate to read into his personal religious beliefs from this series. He could be… I’m not necessarily one to judge

Leave a Reply