The Immortal Hulk #22
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!
Over the last twenty issues, 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-selves are incapable to accomplish.
Last issue dug deep into Reginald James Fortean’s psyche to show us what makes him tick. “…in all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder is a secret order…” – Carl Jung. We learned crucial moments that shaped General Fortean into this 42 year old driven military man. Like his mentor, Fortean has become what he has been fighting against and now there is another life lesson about to be learned! One shocker to this issue, Fortean attacked the Gama Flight team and shot Walter, aka Susquatch, multiple times with one in the head.
Is this hero truly dead or will he rise like his gamma-infected brothers and sisters?
The Immortal Hulk #22 is a well-balanced meal for those who crave the dark, horrific, and psychodynamics. There is much to unpack in this issue, but it is laid out gracefully throughout the book. Immediately, we are hooked into the story as we see Walter, aka Susquatch of the Alpha Flight, lying naked and shot dead on an exam table. As a fan of Alpha Flight, I am greatly disturbed on the possibility that Susquatch may be down permanently. However, this seems to be a tease to what will follow in upcoming issues.
Meanwhile, we have some great character moments in this issue. The hypocrisy of General fortean to bring order to chaos and taking down monsters, he has falling into the same path as his predecessor, General Ross. He has become what he claims to be fighting against. It is interesting how quickly Fortean “adjusts” to waring the Abomination skin, almost like a symbiotic attachment. It doesn’t seem Fortean’s intention to remain as the Abomination, but he is willing to take down Hulk and the other gamma monsters at any cost necessary. And, what would happen if the skin rejects Fortean as a host? There are some signs that this may be already happening.
Team Hulk is still emotional with highs and lows. Honestly, I had mixed feelings about Betty being Harpy, but there the independence of the Red She-Hulk remains intact. The love-hate on-off reactions to Bruce and the “others” are quite the human responses and make it entertaining. Oh, and I must say that I absolutely love Joe! Currently, I am more intrigued by Rick Jones. There are so many open questions that leave our imaginations running wild and hold the excitement for the next issue.
I feel like I am repeating myself on how much Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Belardino Brabo, and Paul Mounts artwork contribute to the success of Al Ewing’s story telling. Between the horrific visuals and the down-to-earth human emotional moments, they bring magic to this book. It’s not a one man show and this team delivers one hell of a story with visuals to match!
Immortal Hulk #22 has little action, but still holds the exciting psychodynamics and horrific tone. Who’s ready for the next issue? I am!
The Immortal Hulk #22: Who’s there?
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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