Bruce Banner is still on the run; Shadow Base has been in hot pursuit of the physicist since his destructive activities in Las Vegas. The previous issue saw Banner’s Joe Fixit persona takeover his body, and Banner must keep up this hustler image less someone connects him with the Hulk. But an unwelcome visitor arrives just as he checks into his hotel, one whom could wreck Hulk and his ultimate goal of destroying human society.
Al Ewing shows an ability to seamlessly transition between the different personalities within Banner. Now in control of his body, readers see an all-too human reaction to his predicament. It’s easy for one to see its similarities to a blackout from an all-night drinking session and waking up to an unfamiliar situation.
In addition to these plot points focusing on Fixit, Ewing dives into the absolutely tragic storylines of two monsters Banner knows quite well. The first is met by reporter Jackie McGee at the Banner’s place of residence and the second, a new version of the Abomination, crashes into Fixit’s hotel. These creatures’ pain and suffering is enough to make the toughest of readers quake in their boots.
Ewing’s ambitious goal of bringing themes of horror back into the Hulk’s story is going along swimmingly, to say the least. This story continues to upend our expectations
THE IMMORTAL HULK #18 features gloriously gruesome works fitting of any high-quality horror comic. Joe Bennett’s penciling and Ruy José’s inking captures the essence of the Hulk and other monsters’ horrific natures by crafting highly detailed veins, claws, teeth, and even extra appendages. And Paul Mounts’ fully-realized range of colors complement these illustrations beautifully.
In addition, VC Cory Petit’s lettering successfully shifts font styles between the monsters and humans to reflect both their distinctions and mental states.
Alex Ross’ main cover features a close-up view of the Hulk’s angry face, representing the monster inside of not only Banner but the other characters as well. Jong-ju Kim’s variant edition, on the other hand, changes direction completely with a depiction of the Hulk Buster armor, which may serve to represent the Hulk’s enemies’ desire to destroy him.
THE IMMORTAL HULK #18 brings with it a whole new level of horror that shocks even those familiar with Ewing’s current storyline. His narrative successfully employs the Joe Fixit focus to reinvigorate the Shadow Base plot that’s been behind every event of the run so far.
What did you think of the shocking details revealed in this issue? Let us know in the comments below!