Immortal Hulk #36 Review

by Charles Martin on August 12, 2020

Immortal Hulk #36 Review
Writer: Al Ewing
Penciller: Joe Bennett
Inker: Ruy José
Colourist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I hope everybody enjoyed that little hope spot in #35 where folks treated the Savage Hulk like a hero. Because, hoo boy, does the Gamma hit the fan in #36.

Immortal Hulk #36 chronicles the immediate aftermath of the Hulk getting turned into a living Gamma-bomb by the Leader-in-Rick-Jones. Both of them survive. A lot of the admiring folks do not.

It's a perfect catastrophe that Gamma Flight uses as a pretext to try and capture the Hulk, and things do not go well for them. Jack McGee is the sideline Cassandra fruitlessly pointing out they're attacking at the one time the Hulk is open to reason -- but that window slams closed fast enough.

That little plot precis covers almost the entire issue. It also shows Doc Samson running into Yet Another Problem back at Shadow Base, extending the issue's flawless air of doom and futility throughout the whole cast.

Between the fast pace, splashy art, and sound but laconic dialogue, it's slightly tempting to downrate this issue's script. While Al Ewing's writing here is definitely good, this is not the first issue you'd turn to prove his greatness.

But that's OK. Not every issue needs to be a philosophical, political, or intellectual tour-de-force. This is the Immortal Hulk. Sometimes it's about big ideas.

And sometimes it's about horrific Gamma monsters causing death, dismemberment, and more property damage than a kaiju attack.

This is one of those issues.

Just in time for Joe Bennett to resume the pencilling duties! And he has not gotten rusty during his brief break from this title. His human characters and his Savage Hulk remain perfectly satisfying. But good Lord, he also has some terrifying novelties to throw at us. New mutations, new hardware, new bits of body horror perfectly suited to stirring up some nightmares.

Matt Milla's colours sell the sudden smoke-cloud darkness of the setting without surrendering any brightness. They lend depth to the characters, and Mr. Milla does especially well with a smoky brown-green mix to portray Crusher Creel's latest evolution.

I may even need to upgrade that "good but not great" opinion of the script. A big part of the simplicity of the prose stems from the Savage Hulk being center-stage at almost all times. His vocabulary ain't the biggest, but that doesn't mean his words aren't powerful. Poor Savage Hulk! The trauma from #35 and this issue's developments throw him hard into a classic Len Wein-era "Leave Hulk alone!" mode.

Poor guy. His odds of being left alone are not looking good.

Immortal Hulk #36 tables most of the title's intellectual profundity, devoting itself instead to body horror and thrilling action. The pace is pretty fast, but the quality of the horror and action -- thanks mainly to the expert art talents of Joe Bennett -- is absolutely top of the line.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
The dialogue provided for "Rick Jones" was ever-so-slightly disappointing.