Comic Book Review: Immortal Hulk #9
If you read my last article about the Immortal Hulk, then you know I mean what I say when I say that this is one of the best series that Marvel is putting out at this time. The Hulk has gone through many changes over the years, but this is the first time in a while where a writer has truly embraced the dynamic that these two can have in a horror setting.
Since I was never that big of a Hulk fan back then, it was never a thing to me that Absorbing Man and Hulk were enemies. It makes sense considering what both are capable of, and the strength they possess, but it was never something I noticed. That’s why I found it surprising that this issue would split focus between these two characters. For Absorbing Man, of course you were left questioning why him. Is this going to be just a random encounter between the two? Or are there other forces at play that would send these two on a collision course again? The answer to that was great considering the events of the previous issue. You don’t simply walk away from what Hulk and Banner got themselves into. With that said, the writing for Absorbing Man was both fun and chilling. He’s the kind of guy who gets caught up with the wrong people, the kind of guy who can’t shake bad habits. Pride was a central them for him here and the story played into this very well. That influenced every one of his actions till the horrific consequence that came when that was one choice too many because of it.
There was a bit of Banner, but for the most part this was all Hulk. While I spoke of an excellent dynamic between Banner and Hulk, it is actually the writing for the Hulk himself that stands out most. I was very impressed by the way that we have returned to this Hulk who is genuinely capable of thinking and acting of his own freewill. He has control of his anger, control of his power, and control of how he wants to manage his time until its time to change back to Banner. This fight with what got inside them was more terrifying from the perspective of the Hulk since it really does take a lot to scare the big guy. He’s been flustered and forced to question what is helping him save himself and Banner from this thing.
The fight between Hulk and this new Absorbing Man was intense and thrilling. I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten to see a fight between the two play out, so this was a treat. The way that the art team approached this was creative for the way that every action flowed into the next for Absorbing Man. That connection to his ball and chain had a strong focus to it that you couldn’t overlook for the way it was used against the Hulk, and for the way it also served as a cut-off for each action drawn.
For this issue we actually had two different artists involved instead of one. In fact we had a lot more hands on deck that shared duties for the interior art between Absorbing Man’s story, and Hulk’s story. It wasn’t distracting either which was all I cared about. Quality work from both sides that properly captured the atmosphere from the direction each character was heading in. The one thing that of course popped out most was the strong use of greens and reds to highlight to two forms of gamma radiation present in both of them. I didn’t think I would see red again, so that was a choice made wisely. The highlight of this issue was the way they tapped into that element of horror when it came to giving this thing infecting everyone form. The mangled body, the demonic theatrics played by this thing inside of its host, all of it was exactly what we needed to see in order to further rock the world of this monster. You think the most terrifying force is the Hulk, and this thing goes and changes everything through the fiery and gruesome entrance it decided to make.
Immortal Hulk #9 is another winner this month. Its a crazy world to live in where the Hulk is not your biggest worry, or the people who are after him.