The Return Of Betty Ross In Immortal Hulk #14
by Josh Davison
[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is dead…again. This is the third funeral the man has had, and his daughter, Betty Ross, mourns as much as she can at this point. She is, quite understandably, angry about all of it, and she doesn’t trust the masks and capes that put him in so much danger and killed her ex-husband Bruce Banner–even if it didn’t take. Now, Bruce Banner has come back into her life, and things are complicating again. General Fortean and Shadow Base are also after Bruce, and Betty will almost certainly be caught in the line of fire.
Immortal Hulk #14 starts the next chapter of this Hulk series. Betty Ross comes back into the picture, and she’s cynical, angry, and far from the powerless innocent she once was considered to be.
This issue is almost entirely told from the perspective of Betty as she reflects on her life and her relationship with her father and Bruce. She holds a lot of resentment for them both, even if she did love them.
We do get a confrontation between Betty and Bruce in this issue, but, as you might expect, it’s rudely interrupted by outside forces.
It’s a beautifully-written and emotional issue. Betty and Bruce is one of the oldest Marvel romances, and it’s accrued a lot of baggage in the years since. That baggage is mostly left unspoken, but it undeniably weighs heavily in every scene with the two of them.
Of course, there is still some Hulk-ing out, and I appreciate how Al Ewing takes a lot of Hulk history into account here–including the Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk sagas (for which I have a soft spot).
Kyle Hotz joins up as the artist for this issue, and he brings a distinct grit and gloom that amplifies the sad and weighty tone of the narrative to a great degree. Hotz uses shadows amply and effectively, and the comic benefits greatly because of it. Paul Mounts’ color work benefits the comic a lot too with his use of darker shades offset by glows of green and red.
Immortal Hulk #14 is another impactful and overall wonderful installment in Ewing’s Hulk saga. This series has yet to leave me even slightly disappointed, and I can’t wait to see where this new arc takes us. This one gets a strong recommendation. Give it a read.
Immortal Hulk #14 comes to us from writer Al Ewing, artist Kyle Hotz, color artist Paul Mounts, letter VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Alex Ross, and variant cover artist Chris Stevens with Morry Hollowell.