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"The Immortal Hulk #11" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

Immortal Hulk 11 00

Written by Al Ewing
Illustrated by Joe Bennett
Inked by Ruy Jose
Colored by Paul Mounts
Lettered by Cory Petit
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 2nd, 2019

Review:

Immortal Hulk has put a horror spin on the Green Goliath, so what better way to continue this trend than with a visit to Hell itself? That's where the Hulk finds himself, along with just about everyone else as a result of a recent battle. Jackie McGee is walking with him through this dystopian wasteland and the two have quite a bit to talk about.

Jackie's home was destroyed by the Hulk years ago and now she's standing next to this monster and wants to know how she can be like him. That might sound strange until she digs into the why of it all. Writer Al Ewing goes on to present one of the most compelling takes on the inherent differences between how men and women are treated. Jackie points out that the Hulk is celebrated when he rages out. If he destroys a town one day, he could be on the Avengers the next. As a woman, Jackie doesn't have that option. Her anger is criticized while the Hulk's is embraced.

This is an incredible way to open the issue and it's just the tip of the iceberg. While they don't reach a real conclusion to this conversation or come up with an answer that will fix it all, it makes you think. You're suddenly reconsidering how you look at this character that's been around for decades and that's no easy task.

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Just in case you had any doubts that The Immortal Hulk is a horror book, artist Joe Bennett has you covered. This issue literally takes place in Hell, with a barren wasteland spreading out for as far as the eye can see. Adding to this are the demons from the Hulk's past that come to haunt him, first in the form of Rick Jones, albeit in a zombie form, and then in his own father-in-law, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, aka the Red Hulk.

The body horror we've seen in previous issues continues here in a spectacular fashion as we see Ross transform from his gruff military persona to the Red Hulk. Bennett captures this twisted middle spot in the change where there are two faces present and an extra arm, like Ross is being consumed by the Hulk. It's a twisted and frightening mess and it's awesome.

Inker Ruy Jose captures every little detail of this, highlighting the veins that bulge out of his skin and the wrinkles of flesh stretched in strange and disturbing ways. He uses this shading technique that adds a nice amount of shadow to the characters and accentuates their form.

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These visions of past failures are unsettling enough on their own, however letterer Cory Petit adds some subtle details to their speech to distinguish them further. They speak in this lilting style, almost like a creepy child from a horror movie. Of course, this is all in my head, based upon how Petit presents their word balloons, but that's the feeling that comes across.

Hulk is not the towering monster we know right now either. He's in a weakened state after his battle with the Absorbing Man. His body is shriveled and awkward. His very existence looks painful. It's like his muscle has been stripped away, leaving this massive skeleton without the power to move it through the world.

Since this is in Hell, we're not getting a bright blue sky or sunshine. Colorist Paul Mounts paints a dreary landscape with lots of reds and oranges. Although you don't see the fires of Hell, you can feel them through the colors.

The Immortal Hulk sets a high bar for horror in super hero comics. It shows how expertly the genre can be weaved into the world of capes and tights. This is simultaneously adding to a long-established character and scaring the crap out of me.

Grades:

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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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