Immortal Hulk #12
Throughout the years, there has been many interpretations of Banner and his alter ego; Hulk. During, the “No Surrender” event, Avengers #684 issue by writers; Jim Zub, Mark Waid and Al Ewing explored the Hulk’s background of multiple deaths and the roadmap to The Immortal Hulk! – Now, Ewing articulates the best fan favorite features by taking a fierce lead to an outstanding new dark, horrific, and psychodynamic arc that keeps the reader on the edge at all times!
We learned that Hulk/Banner can “presumably” be killed; however, the night is for the monster. Hulk has some sort of regenerative and absorbing abilities, but to what extent? Bruce Banner is taunted by the original trauma and his father’s strong grip. Although, Banner continues to have self-inflictions by his inner monster, Hulk executes the work that his other half is incapable to accomplish.
Last issue, Al Ewing and his creative team continue to carry that torch of their predecessors and take fans back to the gothic horror inspirations for Hulk. Ewing engages a frightful tale that explores the dark and morbid nature of humans with religious views, Shakespeare references and influential theories on psychodynamics to articulate this awesome diegesis.
Hulk and reporter, Jackie McGee, have walked through the Green Door and has entered Thaumiel (shadow side of the Tree of Life). The storyline continues its gruesomeness through exploring the Qliphoth realm. The souls or “shells” are the evil or impure representation of the spiritual force. So, you did not pick up Immortal Hulk#11? GO GET IT NOW!
The paragon of Immortal Hulk #12 polishes character buildup focusing on Bruce’s father, who was revealed issues ago to be manipulating Hulk from beyond the grave on behalf of a mysterious, dark entity. Brian Banner takes his son on a memory lane; telling a story that explains much in the Banner/Hulk relationship. In previous reviews, I mention that Bruce Banner is still dealing with the traumatic experience. Did you think I was referring to the Gamma Bomb? No, I had a feeling this story began much earlier than that.
Dissociative Identity Disorders, “DID, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder”, is characterized by the presence of more than one distinct identity or personality, each of which takes control of the person’s behavior at different times. There is a striking inability to recall important personal information. Each personality state can have a distinct name, past, identity, age, and even various abilities and disabilities. People may associate DID with adults, however, DID has been noted in children since the disorder usually starts early due to severe neglect, abuse, or trauma.
Young children faced with severe physical abuse or neglect, have no effective way of fighting or avoiding the offender. To escape the painful reality, the only tool available during the abusive incident(s) is that of dissociation. Separating mind from physical experience provides a sense of protection. In addition, dissociation interferes with the process of memory encoding, so that sometimes there is little or no memory of the traumatic event.
Frequent dissociation of memories, emotions, and thoughts interferes with normal functioning and often results in socialization problems. Children with DID are much more likely to develop multiple imaginary friends at a younger age. These friends seem very real to the child with a great deal of reality confusion and persistent impersonation. The imaginary friend does not always “act” in the best interest of the child. And, the child may be truly unable to remember misbehaviors, blaming it on the imaginary friend.
Al Ewing masterfully weaves DID in his dark tale of an evil entity manipulating Hulk, Bruce and his father. Ewing uses a scripture; “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.” – King James version, John 8:44. However, reporter McGee draws out the savage being. Hulk Smash! Hulk Kill! Why does Hulk hurt so much? We see Hulk cry, but take particularly note to his face before and after.
Ewing is making some magnificent alterations. Whether these retcons truly stand the test of years to come in unknown at the moment, but Ewing is doing his best to make sure we will be talking about them for the foreseeable future. Immortal Hulk #12 adds Zoroastrianism, Christian theodicy, and Theosophical mysticism to last issue’s references to Kabbalah. This arc is turning into a graduate course in religious philosophy.
As with Hell in the last issue, the plot of this issue pauses periodically for a definition of the Devil: In Zoroastrian lore, he is called Angra Mainyu, the opposite to good, who has the ability to do good but chooses to do evil. In the Old Testament Book of Job, Satan is the accuser, testing Job. In the philosophy of Anna Kingsford, Satan is the keeper of the door to Hell. I hesitate to speculate too much on these black and white snapshots which continue the philosophy. I suspect we will learning together.
Each issue, Ewing leaves a suspenseful cliffhanger at the end and this issue is no different. Climbing the mountain, Puck and the Absorbing Man see the “One Below All”, a giant monster with a large mouth, as Jackie and the Hulk see it too. Jackie calls it the end; Hulk replies; “He’s not the end of the world…because that’s who I am.”
Bennett, once again proves his skills are right for this book, but he is also joined by another talented penciler/inker. Nguyen’s pencils and inks work wonders with the dark subject matter and ads very welcome creepiness to Bruce Banner’s father’s memories. Jose~, who inks the rest of the book as well as Mounts on colors, works magic that elevates this title into my favorite current Marvel title.
Immortal Hulk #12 is quite insightful in DID awareness, poor parenting, and social behaviors. A must have to comic book collection!
Immortal Hulk #12: All on That Day
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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