December 2, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: The Immortal Hulk Volume 2

The Hulk won't stay dead, and now the military is after him again...for what looks like very different reasons.

In the current Marvel Comics incarnation, Bruce Banner can die, but as soon as the sun sets, the Hulk will live, changing back into Banner as soon as the sun rises.  The first volume laid out the rules and established a status quo.

Volume 2, subtitled The Green Door, digs deeper into what’s really after the Hulk this time.

It turns out there are two forces looking for the Hulk.  The first, predictably, is the United States military.  General Thunderbolt Ross is somewhere behind the scenes–he never appears in these issues–but there’s still Shadow Base, where experiments are being conducted on Hulks.  What do they want?  From the looks of things, they want to make their own Hulks, but first they need to figure out what makes the Hulk tick.

And then there’s the….whatever it is that on the other side of the “green door”.  Banner can see the Hulk in the mirror, but the Hulk sees something else, something that may or may not be Banner’s dead father.  There seems to be some sort of demonic force involved with the Green Door.

Now, obviously, the two forces aren’t working together, but that doesn’t mean Shadow Base doesn’t somehow get mixed up with the Green Door.  The Hulk wandering around causing trouble is bound to bring in all sorts of attention, and that means we see the Hulk take on the current incarnation of the Avengers as well as a gamma-charged Absorbing Man.

This is a very different Hulk than anything we’ve seen before.  Writer Al Ewing put the horror back into the monster, and there’s one very memorable moment here involving how a captured Hulk manages to escape from Shadow Base.  There are some interesting insights.  The Hulk distinctly says there other Hulks would do things differently, and he seems to be more protective of Banner than antagonistic.  Furthermore, Banner outright admits this Hulk is actually smarter than he is.  He may not be wrong.  This is a Hulk who defeats numerous Avengers by using psychology instead of just hitting them very hard.  I know I’ll be back for more as soon as the third trade shows up.  9.5 out of 10 gamma mice.