Immortal Hulk #25 Review

by Charles Martin on October 23, 2019

Immortal Hulk #25 Review
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Germán García
Colourist: Chris O'Halloran
Letterer: Cory Petit

Final Scene Art
Penciller: Joe Bennett
Inker: Ruy José
Colourist: Paul Mounts

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Immortal Hulk #24 ended with a gut-wrenching twist when it gave us a peek at what the Hulk would be up to at the end of all things. It was horrifying, it was startling, it was thought-provoking.

Now #25 takes that idea and runs its bloody legs off. It's the same shocking end-of-the-universe show, with ample refinements and expansions to fill up the issue's doubled page count.

There is a breakthrough motivational revelation for the Hulk, and it has profound ramifications for the series as a whole. There is a silver thread linking this billions-of-years gone future back to the present.

But most of all, there is an incredibly alien viewpoint.

This story belongs to Par%l, the last survivor of the last species to fall to the Breaker of Worlds. Ze is a creature of colour and crystal, surfing the dead cosmos in a farsail, seeking any hope in the senseless war of annihilation waged against all existence by an unstoppable green force.

Hir homeworld is O%los, hir species is tri-gendered, hir last surviving lover has a desperate, blasphemous plan to warn the past about the Breaker of Worlds.

This comic is weird with a beard and no mistake!

Before I talk about the art, an IMPORTANT WARNING: If you buy this comic digitally, make sure your device is set up to show double-page spreads properly. 

I initially tried to read my review copy in a page-by-page view, and that significantly impeded the impact of the art. Missing the double spreads would be the surest way to mistakenly conclude this comic was less than great.

Germán García and Chris O'Halloran rely on the two-page canvas to do a lot of their best world-building and storytelling. (And, of course, world-breaking!) The magnificent desolation Par%l sails through at the start, the wonders of O%los, and the World-Breaker's attacks, both physical and psychic: All make the fullest possible use of the widescreen two-page format.

World-building is really the order of the day, and Al Ewing's script contributes just as much as the eye-popping art and wide-ranging colours. He massages the script with countless tricks, big and small, to make Par%l's world profoundly alien and yet profoundly relatable. 

It is possible, with a toxic amount of crassness, to dismiss this issue's alien viewpoint as "weird for the sake of weird" window-dressing. The mighty fortress that stands against that crass dismissal is the simply astonishing amount of effort poured into breathing life into Par%l's world. 

From the non-binary pronouns fitted to hir multi-gendered species to the exquisite design of hir crystalline farsail to the volumes that go unspoken in hir conversation with hir ex-lover, everything about Par%l's experience is crafted to fascinate and exercise the reader's empathic muscles.

It's a beautiful, mysterious world, full of promise and questions unanswered and details that beg to be explored. It is an exceptionally intriguing world.

And then the Hulk breaks it. 

Because the world-building has been done so well, in words and art, the breaking hurts.

After mastering incredible feats of alien biology -- how does a crystal-bearing amoeboid alien express shame via body language? Germán García knows! -- the art team turns to Ol' Big Green. The Hulk's great revelations are accompanied by some magnificent body horror that surely does Joe Bennett proud. (It's another place where those double spreads boost the impact of the go-for-broke art and colours.)

Immortal Hulk #25 is, simultaneously, a critical step in the Hulk's ongoing story and a unique digression into an incredibly alien world. The creators' efforts toward both goals are wildly successful. The alien viewpoint is challenging, but it offers rewards of its own as well as dramatic revelations regarding the Hulk.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
How do I know the creators have done a good job crafting their alien protagonist? 'Cause they got me fully sniffly-eyed when hir membrane ruptures in the final act.