IMMORTAL HULK #2 written by Al Ewing, pencils by Joe Bennett, inks by Ruy Jose, colors by Paul Mounts, letters by Cory Petit & Travis Lanham arrives this week as Ewing mesmerizes the reader with another radioactively weird tale that gives our green behemoth a sense of direction.
Ewing has found a way to take elements from all aspects of the Incredible Hulks character throughout the years and morph them into his own version of the character in such a masterful way. He’s taken a destructive character known for smashing and made him so much more emotional and human. I’ve never felt sorrier for the HULK than I do now BUT I’ve also never felt more terror, sheer strength, and purpose. Let’s take a look!
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
IMMORTAL HULK #2 SPOILERS TOO!
Ewing throws the reader into the story by showing us the struggles that Banner continues to deal with daily to fight off the HULK. Banner takes solace in the little things that he can control, which are mainly only his five simple senses. A simple meal or comfort of a bed is all he has to look forward to anymore. Otherwise, he’s fighting off the urge of releasing the HULK. But, everywhere he looks, he sees the Green Goliath. Everywhere he turns he feels the itch.
Ewing shows the reader that as much as Banner tries to hide, he can’t. The pull from the HULK is too strong. Starting in the last issue and continuing throughout this one, the reader is given the impression that Banner is trying his best to control the beast within BUT he helps keep him at bay by using him just enough for Justice.
Above, Ewing shows the reader Banner solving the mystery that’s been plaguing this town: radiation sickness. Every person who visits the grave of this boy eventually gets sick with radiation poisoning. Banner tries to call it in, but no one will listen until he gives his real name to get their attention.
Will there be any repercussions of this? Meaning, the world now knows he’s alive! So, who’s coming for him next?
Ewing sets the foundation of his run in this issue. We get the book’s direction and purpose for the HULK. It’s like taking your dog for a walk around the block or letting it loose in your yard for a bit. It’s still an animal, and it has urges. Your dog needs time to be an animal. It needs time to feel free. We see Banner deal with his inner beast the very same way.
Ewing is letting the reader know that Banner can keep the HULK at bay for only so long by stimulating his senses and staying calm. But what helps, is allowing HULK to come out to play. Banner’s logic is to channel the behemoth in the direction of Justice. If HULK is going to destroy something, why not be something evil or villainous? In the picture above, the “itch” from the HULK draws Banner to the source of this radiation sickness.
As I’ve pointed out so far, Ewing’s writing has been “incredible.” But what makes a genuinely fantastic issue is a combination of writing and art. The story is remarkable as well as the art. Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, and Paul Mounts are what set this book apart. Just look at the page above.
Bennett draws so much detail in his HULK making him appear more like a monster than a human. He looks more feared, more relentless, more destructive, and more uncontrollable than ever. Also, look at the fear in the Doctor’s face. When this page began, the radioactive Doctor felt like he was in control. But as the panels progress, Bennett shows the horrifying transformation into the green beast.
The colors above by Jose are perfect. The style is meant to be dark and terrifying yet the greens of the HULK pop off the page against the vibrant nuclear look of the Doctor. Jose’s detail of shadows in the cave should also not go unnoticed and should be commended. This page, down to the lettering by Cory Petit & Travis Lanham, helps paint a picture of fear, anger, and uncontrollable rage. Well done team!
Is HULK the curse?
The story continues with us finding out that the Doctor used Banner’s research to try to find a cure for cancer. He injected himself with the radioactive serum and noticed enhanced abilities. So, he gave it to his son who instantly died in a horrific way with radioactive blood oozing from his eyes. The Doctor laid his son to rest and the radioactivity surrounding his corpse continued to poison those who visited and offered up a slow death, like a walking ghost.
The story ends with HULK filling his urge for Justice, tearing off the Doctors arms, and burying him alive in the mountain where he was hiding. Meanwhile, the police took Banners advice a dug up the body of his son who was also glowing with bright green radiation and looked ALIVE.
Not only can Banner never die or never escape the beast within, but his research will continue to haunt him and the world until the end of time. He views HULK has a curse. But, I left this issue wondering if Banner is the real curse.
Should you pick up this issue?
100 times YES! Al Ewing is pulling off one shots that are interesting, thought provoking, insightful, and truly depict the HULK in as realistic a way as he could be. The art team is also drawing out of this world and taking this book up to another level.
Should you add this series to your pull?
1000 times YES! We are getting a true monster tale about a character we all love. As the reader, we feel compassion for Bruce but also see what feels like an addiction to the HULK. It’s a creative telling of this character that I feel we’ve all been waiting for. Add this book to your pull list and I have no doubt you’ll love it.
Well, what did you guys think of IMMORTAL HULK #2? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @dispatchdcu