Immortal Hulk #22 Review

by Charles Martin on August 07, 2019

Immortal Hulk #22 Review
Writer: Al Ewing
Penciller: Joe Bennett
Inkers: Ruy José with Belardino Brabo
Colourist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Remember how the meme-sphere exploded with crazy stupid ideas about invading Area 51 last month?

Hulk and company must have got the memo, because this month, all roads lead to Groom Lake, the newly-revealed location of Shadow Base.

Oh, everybody's gonna have them some fun in the next issue!

This issue is the set-up for the big smashy dance, but it has no problems captivating on its own. There are outstanding conversations spread out across the entire cast:
  • Puck takes command of Gamma Flight, laying out plans that suit Titania and Creel's hunger for action.
  • General Fortean refuses to acknowledge the damage that staring into the abyss is doing to him.
  • Betty refuses to talk to Bruce in a very meaningful way.
  • Joe Fixit and Jackie McGee talk about pissing off puny humans.
Put it all together with a drumbeat plot that sticks everybody into a room together at the end and you have one hell of a stage-setting.

While the script is light on action, that doesn't mean that the art team has been snoozing. It's no surprise that it takes two inkers to keep up with Joe Bennett in this issue; he goes all out on expressive faces and nuanced anatomy. 

Ruy José and Belardino Brabo make sure every one of the issue's zillion shading hashes looks great. Paul Mounts balances moody "secret lair" colours for Shadow Base and the Alpha Flight station against a sunnier palette for Team Hulk's more prosaic motel hideout.

I'm tempted to say that this is a "beer and popcorn" Hulk comic in contrast to some of the volume's past "brandy and philosophy" issues. While #22 is a straightforward read, I wouldn't want to suggest that it's simplistic. 

General Fortean's "chaos and order" theme carries over from #21. All the heart-to-heart conversations deliver a lot of complex characterization. There's plenty of ambiguity and more than a few fascinating questions still to be answered - I'm thinking particularly of Betty here, of course.

Plus, there are some purely fun moments that it would be tragic to miss. Joe Fixit trying on the new personality of "Sunshine Joe" is terrific. (Credit to Mr. Mounts for ensuring that Sunshine Joe's Hawaiian shirt is exactly as obnoxious as it should be.) And in the category of darker humour, Gamma Flight's attack on Shadow Base sets up one of the world's greatest "Gilligan Cut" gags.

Immortal Hulk #22 demonstrates a key point in the title's runaway success: It's not just about brain-mangling horror and dualistic theology. It's a story about people, like all good stories, and this issue's peek at the personalities in all the different factions is deeply engaging.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
The memorial signage gag is alive and well: Team Hulk's hideout of choice is the Sinnott Motel.