Immortal Hulk #30 Review

by Charles Martin on January 29, 2020

Immortal Hulk #30 Review
Writer: Al Ewing
Penciller: Joe Bennett
Inkers: Ruy José, Belardino Brabo & Cam Smith
Colourist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Once again, a giant action scene serves as the knot that draws this title's characters together. The Hulk has been swallowed by a monster and his Shadow Base pals race to help him. Gamma Flight deploys to fight the monsters, while Jackie McGee is directly threatened by them. And the Minotaur gets to watch it all play out on live TV.

Mild spoiler: The Minotaur is the only person who comes out of this ahead.

Getting eaten alive and attacked by parasites has had a significant effect on the Hulk; he's locked into his furious smash-monster personality throughout this issue. Al Ewing writes smash-monster Hulk well (Len Wein would be proud), and the simplicity of this personality leaves a lot of attention available for the other characters. They have some great interactions, and there's a fair deal of humour in them.

This is a big monster fight first and foremost, and thanks to Joe Bennett's horrifically imaginative art, it's an impressive one. The inking team turns in yet another overtime performance to shape heroes and monsters alike with scrupulously detailed hash-shading. 

Colourist Paul Mounts gets into the act as well, using palette tricks to round out the job of bringing the action to life. I'm particularly impressed with the way he adds blues and greys to the Harpy's red to plant her solidly in the nighttime sky.

In terms of plot and theme, the thing to watch in this issue is the media. The Phoenix fight is being broadcast live, and we get to hear exactly how they're messing up the Hulk's narrative. Their errors range from the incidental -- misnaming Titania as "Terrania" -- to the consequential: By the end of the issue, they've firmly laid the blame for the attack at the Hulk's feet.

Which is, of course, exactly what the Minotaur was hoping for. And his plans continue unfolding in his favour; this issue's final twist draws his schemes together and clarifies how he's hoping to defeat the Hulk.

I think it is the furthest thing in the world from accidental that, while the press is turning against the Hulk, his reporter friend Jackie McGee is silenced by mortal danger. (One of Roxxon's monsters is eating her building.) 

One of the running themes in the Hulk's war on Roxxon is public perception. The Hulk made his initial battles very public, rallying popular support and broadcasting his message around the world. Now the pendulum begins to swing the other way, and the same public spotlight he made use of becomes a threat to the Hulk. It's an insightful and realistic portrayal of how fickle the media can be.

Immortal Hulk #30 delivers exactly what this title does best: Visceral action combined with big ideas. Whether you want to see the Hulk and his friends tear apart monsters or you're looking for a thoughtful exploration of the perils of 21st-century media, this comic will satisfy. And when you're in the mood for both smashing and pondering, picking up this title's latest issue is still the best move you could make at the comics shop. 

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Minotaur gives another of his corporate lackeys the ol' head-squash in this issue. How does Roxxon keep staffing those positions?