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"Immortal Hulk #23" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

Immortal Hulk 23 Large

Written by Al Ewing
Illustrated by Joe Bennett
Inked by Ruy Jose with Belardino Brabo
Colored by Paul Mounts with Matt Milla
Lettered by Cory Petit
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 4th, 2019

Review:

An epic battle has broken out with the Hulk and his allies on one side and Fortean and Shadow Base on the other. If you thought you've seen crazy action before, you ain't seen nothing yet. Immortal Hulk #23 is an all-out, gamma-infused brawl with the same levels of gruesome body horror we've come to expect weaved in.

Artist Joe Bennett steals the show in this issue. His artwork is larger than life, fitting for the battle between Hulk and the new, more monstrous Abomination. There are many full-page spreads that show the size and scope of this fight. The cramped quarters add to its epic nature, making the characters look even larger as they beat the ever-loving crap out of each other.

There are some elements that have become standard in Immortal Hulk and I absolutely love them. Banner's transformation into the Hulk and vice-versa is a disturbing, twisting pile of flesh. Since the Hulk only comes out at night, Fortean hits him with a solar emitter to send him back. The way this looks, it's like Banner is being pulled out of the Hulk's body in the most painful way possible.

Immortal Hulk 23 01
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That's just a pinch of the body horror on display in Immortal Hulk #23. The real highlight comes on the last page, which I won't spoil here. I will say I let out an audible “Augh!” noise, which freaked out my wife who was sitting next to me. Bennett has outdone himself here. Inkers Ruy Jose and Belardino Brabo capture every grisly detail of these images. It's saying something when you can see each individual string of flesh or sinew spiraling out of a person's body.

Rick Jones is back in this issue, or rather the reanimated corpse of Rick Jones. He hovers around the base like a dark specter. Colorist Paul Mounts, aided by Matt Milla, highlight the gaunt nature of Rick's body, made even more unsettling by his glowing green eyes. That light shines through the darkness not out of hope, but as an ominous feeling of dread.

Jones is probably the creepiest person in Immortal Hulk #23 and that's saying something considering this book is chock full of monsters. What makes him even scarier is how he still has some of his old, upbeat personality despite his undead appearance. Writer Al Ewing adds just the right touch here to leave you on edge while reading these scenes. Jones becomes the wild card in this fight.

Immortal Hulk 23 02Immortal Hulk 23 03
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There's a moment where that positivity breaks and letterer Cory Petit captures it perfectly. He realizes what he's become in this really tender, albeit brief moment. His voice gets lower as he reflects on it. This is shown in a smaller font that comes across as a whisper, but speaks volumes as to the pain and anguish he's been through.

Immortal Hulk is horror at an epic scale. It's like the Universal monsters mixed with Godzilla fighting it out in radiation-fueled madness. It has all the awesome action of a blockbuster movie coupled with some of the most unsettling imagery on comic stands today. This book delivers on multiple fronts and never, ever disappoints.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Immortal Hulk 23 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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