Comic Book REVIEW: Marvel's IMMORTAL HULK
I have been a fan of the Hulk's ever since I first started reading Marvel Comics. I was intrigued by the notion that a monster could also be a hero. For instance, at a young age, I was fascinated by the Wolf Man and the Frankenstein's Monster, who were both uniquely different than Dracula. Both were monsters who struggled with their dark sides, much in the same way that Bruce Banner struggled with his. Years later when the TV show - with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno - was launched on CBS, I watched every episode as Dr. Banner wandered the world looking for a cure for his green alter-ego while (of course) getting into adventures along the way.
Over the years, The Hulk has undoubtedly gone through changes. Some of these changes were great -like those during Peter David's time, while others have been underwhelming (those during Bruce Jones' run come to mind). However, now that Al Ewing has taken over as writer, the Hulk is about to go through some changes once again; only this time, they are set deeply in his roots.
In The Immortal Hulk, we find that Bruce Banner has returned from the dead after having been shot in the eye by Hulk's fellow Avenger, Hawkeye, using a special arrow. Picking up where Jason Aaron and Mark Waid started a few years ago, Ewing is continuing with the idea that Hulk and Banner cannot rid themselves of the other; however, there is a twist - one that is both new and old. Hulk, just as he did when the comic book first debuted in the early sixties, can only come out at night. Also this is not the typical 'Hulk Smash' character we know. Long-time fans of the Hulk comics will recognize that he (once again) talks like he did when Peter David wrote the Gray Hulk story arch (during the early part of his run in the 1990's).
Another new/old change is the story point of having Bruce/The Hulk being pursued by an investigative reporter named McGee - this time in the form of Jackie McGee, a young female reporter out to blow open the government cover-up regarding The Hulk's return.
Ewing has a style that reminds me of Stephen King. Each story has a beginning, middle and end. There is an edge to the Hulk, a calculating intellect that seems more Mr. Hyde than Wolf-Man. Banner is often written as if he's not sure if he is real, or just a carrier for the Hulk. He just knows that he is not above using the threat of the Hulk to get his way.
As mentioned before, The Hulk is a different kind of hero. It's fun once again to read Marvel's number-one green hero even if he doesn't always seem heroic. There are a lot of great titles out there, but I recommend making room for The Immortal Hulk!
Overall rating: A+
Josh Pritchett is a movie and graphic novel reviewer for Movers & Shakers. He is also the creator of the Robot Repair Girl stories for the Brave New Girls anthology series.