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"King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

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Written by Al Ewing
Illustrated by Aaron Kuder
Colored by Frank Martin & Erick Arciniega
Lettered by Cory Petit
2020, 34 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on December 16th, 2020

Review:

It's Christmas time in the Marvel Universe, but you wouldn't know it with all the darkness and monsters that have descended upon Earth. Knull has invaded with his symbiote forces, enveloping the planet in a gooey mess. Meanwhile, the Hulk is going through problems of his own, reduced to just two personalities vying for control: the child-like Savage Hulk and the powerless Joe Fix-It. Will that be enough to fight off some symbiote creatures and survive?

King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1 is a silent issue. This is no easy task in comics, yet it's pulled off without a hitch here. Writer Al Ewing has created an intriguing story that manages to pull together aspects of the King in Black event and the latest in the Immortal Hulk series in a seamless fashion. This is how you do an event tie-in the right way. Neither comic feels sidetracked or shoehorned in.

Letterer Cory Petit doesn't have much to do in this issue, however there is a header at the beginning and end which serves as a bookend to the piece. This sets the mood for the comic and serves as a nice framing device.

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Artist Aaron Kuder does the heavy lifting in this comic and it's spectacular. His characters are emotive and say so much without having to actually speak. The innocence of Savage Hulk makes you want to protect him, not to mention give him a great big hug, especially when he sees some toys and presents. Kuder captures that excited feeling of Christmas that you only get as a child.

This contrasts well with the monstrous quality of the symbiote creatures. Where Savage Hulk is full of life and wonder, these beings are devoid of emotion. They exist only to ensnare and consume their prey.

The body horror we know and love from Immortal Hulk comes into play here too, first with the transformation from Savage Hulk to Joe Fix-It. This is shown in a single, disturbing panel as the former seems to explode in a burst of green flesh, muscle, and bone. Although this is only one image, it perfectly conveys the entire change. It's also super gross. Later on, when the symbiotes make some additional moves, we get more body horror, as two humans are merged into one monstrous creature.

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Colorists Frank Martin and Erick Arciniega move back and forth between outright horrors and holiday cheer. Although it's a cold night, there's a warmth to some of these images, particularly those with the Savage Hulk. This goes right out the window when the symbiotes show up. They seem to swallow up any light and hope with their very existence.

Sometimes event tie-ins can feel forced or thrown together. King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1 is anything but that. It tells a wonderful story on its own that hits with the horror both King in Black and Immortal Hulk have defined themselves, then adds a whole lot of heart. This is a Christmas horror comic, but not the way you'd think. It's beautiful and terrifying all in one.

Grades:

Story: fivestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.
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Tfaw Buy Button
Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
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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