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"Immortal Hulk #18" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

Immortal Hulk 18 00

Written by Al Ewing
Illustrated by Joe Bennett
Inked by Ruy Jose
Colored by Paul Mounts
Lettered by Cory Petit
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 29th, 2019

Review:

There have been many different versions of the Hulk over the years, some more brutal than others. One of the most sinister of the bunch, Joe Fix-It, has returned. He's an intelligent and conniving Hulk, presenting an interesting aspect of Bruce Banner's personality. Joe is running the show and has taken Banner halfway across the country as he flees from Shadow Base. Of course, he can't stay hidden for long, especially when Shadow Base has a new monster up its sleeve.

There's a great dynamic between Banner and Joe when we first set eyes on him in Immortal Hulk #18. Banner is in a fancy suit in the back of a cab. He looks up to see his reflection in the window only to see the Hulk staring back at him. This is a great visual and just the beginning of artist Joe Bennett's incredible work in this issue.

Banner looks scrawnier than usual here, which provides a nice contrast to the gigantic Hulk when he eventually shows up. Although he's definitely the brains of the operation, Banner is not always in control, particularly with Joe Fix-It involved. The scientist works to reason with the Hulk, which would look crazy to anyone watching it as he's talking to himself in the mirror.

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This direct perspective is just one look we have at Banner. Meanwhile, Gamma Flight is hot on his trail, even more so when they learn about his intentions to “end the world.” I'm very intrigued by this idea, as it could paint Hulk as the literal monster he's always been shown as, but never quite fulfilled. Writer Al Ewing spins such a compelling story that you're pulled in completely. More importantly, Ewing controls the tension in Immortal Hulk #18, slowly building it up before going all out with a big monster battle.

And boy does this issue deliver with a monster battle. We've seen hints at what Shadow Base was cooking up after exhuming the body of Rick Jones and doing something with the Abomination. The result is shown in this issue in all its terrifying glory. Holy crap is this thing scary. It's like a cross between Cthulhu and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It's massive in size with gigantic claws capable of crushing a human head like a melon. The creepiest part is its face. Its jaw is replaced by what looks like two huge hands, which open up from side to side to eat.

Bennett has been using body horror perfectly in Immortal Hulk and this issue is no different. When those face-hands open up we get a good look inside and it is some freaky stuff. It's enough to give the Hulk pause. Letterer Cory Petit puts this chilling scene over the edge with some pained word balloons, showing the torturous existence this monster is going through. It all adds up to an amazing and horrifying experience and I love every second of it.

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Click images to enlarge

The contrast between the Hulk and this Abomination is interesting to watch. Although they're both monstrous beings, there's still a line of good within the green goliath. Sure, he wants to end the world, but we'll forget about that for a moment. Colorist Paul Mounts using a brighter green for him and a more sickly, brownish green for the Abomination. You can tell that one of them is even more of a monster than the other.

The action in Immortal Hulk has always been equal parts eye-catching and disturbing. The fight here definitely captures that feeling. Inker Ruy Jose pays close attention to the line work, bringing out the unsettling texture in both of these creatures. You can see the veins bulging in the Hulk's arms and the shadowy spikes and scales on the Abomination's skin.

The Immortal Hulk freaks me out in the best way. It's terrifically paced and scary through and through. You go through quiet and tense moments where you'll be nervous about turning the page and then you'll get all out monster-on-monster battles that are like smaller versions of Godzilla movies. This is everything I want from a comic and it is consistently one of the best books on the stands today. Damn, is it good.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Immortal Hulk 18 Small
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Overall: Fivestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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