Comic Book Review: Immortal Hulk #7
When is the Hulk ever truly left alone? Banner getting kicked back to square one meant that in every way he is dealing with the same struggles of being who he is, minus the overbearing fear of himself of course. The confrontation he found himself in last month was inevitable and worth the wait. Banner’s actions were not going to go ignored for too long, and some of the people he engaged with in that moment were a long time coming since his death.
The clash between the Hulk and the Avengers was not at all how I pictured it going. I mean obviously this was going to be a one-sided fight for the Avengers, but the atmosphere of this clash was very much different from most encounters. It has been some time since they have taken on the Hulk in the kind of mindset he is in currently. We don’t know what version we are dealing with to be specific, but he surely is not the normal babbling buffoon. He’s aware of the damage he is doing, and that is as dangerous as it gets. Even the banter with each Avengers gives you a chill because he was not taking them seriously. If this was the Hulk talking, then I was quite impressed, if this was Banner’s father talking through the Hulk, then that is something to terrify you for the awareness he has of what goes on around him.
What made the biggest difference here was that the Hulk was playing for keeps. This was not a simple game of smash like we are used to. Its not as if he ever pull his punches either, but this was not one of those times where he actually cared about possibly ripping someone in half without empathy. That was the best way to push the envelope with this run of Hulk leaning towards more horror than anything else.
I would say the highlight of this issue for me was what happened when it came down to Hulk versus Hulk. I would say She-Hulk, but the state she jumped into the fray in, the line was blurred. This here was inevitable, and worth the wait more than anything else. What caught me off guard was that this wasn’t a fight where the victor would come from who could hit harder. It was a test of who was truly embracing who they were. When Jennifer goes full Hulk, she loses so much of herself along the way. However, this Hulk is his own person and to the point where the anger does not influence the way the wheels turn in his head. A big shocker how he pretty much had her beat from the minute she uttered the words “HULK SMASH”.
I was only a bit baffled by the way that this fight was executed. In ever definition of the word this was thrilling, but that didn’t change the fact that the location was chosen poorly. It seemed like a fairly remote location at first, but to see that there were people who were at risk of getting caught up in the chaos I struggled to make sense of.
The artwork for this issue was brilliant. I was expecting a lot of over-the-top action and chaos, but this was approached with structure and a focus on capturing the horror elements of this story. Being Joe Bennett as the penciler, there was no doubts that he could really pull off the scale of this fight. Never sacrificed quality for quantity in each scene and only brought out the best in the fury that the Hulk had to unleash. What stood out to me most was the work that went into balancing the look of a monster, while also showing that the monster had a mind of its own. It also goes without saying that he draws a hulked out Jennifer very well too. It makes a big difference seeing how she really transforms to that point where the only difference between her and Hulk is very few distinctive features. The color work was very strong as well. Being a scene at night there was no expectation for anything to truly pop out, so the consistency of dark tones was handled perfectly. He only took key moments to make the colors explode, and that told you when things were getting serious.
Some will say that World War Hulk is the best there is, but honestly right now I would argue that the Immortal Hulk gives that version a run for his money. The terror, the cunning, and the lack of restriction makes this Hulk your worst nightmare. While you ultimately knew this could only end two ways for the Avengers, the fun was in how they each found out that they got more than they bargained for. For just the action alone this was both an awesome and memorable issue. The end? That leaves some questions that should hopefully hold us till the next issue.