Hey, look! I finished another five trades! Now, I know these reviews seem to come out somewhat…randomly, but that isn’t entirely true. Yes, there are a number of books that sit in my unread pile for months if not years before I get to them, but there are others I read almost as soon as I get them.
One of those would be The Immortal Hulk. And look, I got through the 9th volumte, subtitled The Weakest One There Is.
The previous volume ended with the various personas that make up the Hulk somewhat scattered. The Immortal “Devil” Hulk is lost, Bruce Banner is being held by the Leader/One Below All in Gamma Hell, and that means the body is currently being shared by Joe Fixit and the Savage Hulk. Normally, that might be enough, but Joe only has control of the human-Banner body while the Savage Hulk, though still strong, is an emaciated shell of his usual self. The two did survive the fall from orbit to Coney Island and found themselves coming face to face with Ben Grimm, the Thing. Apparently, Ben won a fight with the Hulk during his honeymoon, but here, well, it doesn’t seem to be much of a contest until Ben realizes a bit more of what’s really happening.
For what it is worth, I’ve always felt that Hulk/Thing conflicts are often at their best when the two characters sit down and just talk to each other. Seeing the pair sit down, talk, and come to an accord where Ben lets the Hulk go was a nice touch, particularly when Joe Fixit asks Ben what his own personal afterlife was like.
As for the rest of the volume, it does continue what has been a rather grand Hulk saga from writer Al Ewing. The Leader may have bitten off more than he can chew, Betty Ross/Banner is still out there on her own, and though Gamma Flight opts to quit when Henry Peter Gyrich takes over, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other familiar Hulk foes that can be brought in as replacements. Plus, Ewing has been clearly mapping all the past Hulk material into his story, and this volume did get back to another recent development: sometimes Hulks come in red.
Really, I just all around dig this series. It’s fun, horrifying, and insightful to the Hulk in all his personas. If Ewing manages to bring back Professor Hulk at some point, I’ll be even more pleased, but can Marvel stop ending these books on cliffhangers? I’ve been coming along for nine volumes now. You don’t need to sell me that hard to get the 10th.
9 out of 10 poorly-timed moments to intervene against police brutality.