Review: ‘Immortal Hulk’ #42 Sets Up The Terrors To Come
by Tony Thornley
The Hulk is still in a tough spot but Immortal Hulk #42 shows there are pieces that need to move into place to get him out. However, getting those pieces in place might make things worse, for everyone involved.
The Leader has torn the Hulk’s life apart. After last issue, Joe Fixit and the Big Guy are on the run. But this is not their story, at least not yet. It’s a house of cards, that will all come crashing down as told by Al Ewing, Rachel Stott, Alex Lins, Adam Gorham, Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Paul Mounts, Chris O’Halloran, and Cory Petit.
The Hulk’s enemies and allies are spread across the world. Gamma Flight and Doc Samson face Alpha Flight’s new director, Henry Gyrich. Jackie McGee learns a terrifying truth about herself as her life unravels. And the Leader realizes making a deal with the devil may have horrible consequences.
I’ve said often that transition issues are the hardest to pull off successfully. Making an issue about moving characters and concepts into place worth reading is hard enough, and Ewing does it here while barely using the title character. The issue is scary and tense, while focusing on the supporting cast in a way that’s still emotionally resonant. It is a bit frustrating to see little plot momentum, especially since it’s been a couple months now since the Leader’s big moves, but we do get some great set-up for things to come.
Artist jam issues are often no fun, but editorial found four art teams that mesh extremely well in style and feel. It is slightly jarring to shift from one to another, but they are so closely in sync that it works for the issue. All four teams are strong, but Gorham and Stott’s pages stood out to me.
Gorham starts his Gamma Flight pages feeling like standard superhero talking heads, but builds to a tense and terrifying moment with Samson. Stott’s pages are even more mundane, until the story takes a sudden turn into surreal terror. With O’Halloran’s colors, which subtly shift to convey that building terror, it’s a fun read.
The series seems to be setting up its endgame, and this issue makes it clear it’s a roller coaster that will keep readers on the edge of their seats all through it.
Immortal Hulk #42 is available now from Marvel Comics.
A batch of character vignettes set up the future of the title, but has little plot momentum.