If there’s one thing the Immortal Hulk team has shown readers, it’s that they know how to do plot set-up and transition issues in a completely thrilling and impactful way. They never feel like a necessary speed bump to finish the story. In the wake of the past few issues, there’s a lot of ground for this issue to cover.
Last issue left off with everything at its absolute lowest point. The Hulk was dead at the hands of the U-Foes. Hulk’s allies were on the run. It might be tough to come out of it… or so Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Belardino Brabo, Paul Mounts, and Cory Petit would have you think.
Gamma Flight is ready to take the fight to Gyrich and the Leader, but they’re stumped as to how. Their only hope is the Hulk, but both Fixit and the Big Guy have been killed by the U-Foes. However, both the U-Foes and the Leader forgot one thing: Joe Fixit is the most dangerous Hulk of them all.
I’ve said a few times reviewing this series that Ewing is fantastic at these transitory issues. Honestly, I worried with the first half of this issue that I might have to eat my words. There were plots that needed some advancement and pieces that needed to be moved into place, and they were interesting, but definitely a bit slower than expected and not quite up to what I expected from this series.
However, the back half of the issue, thanks to the entire creative team, quickly set my concerns to rest. The issue’s big reveal is such a triumphant moment and massive surprise. Ewing’s script hits in a big way, which Petit places the dialogue perfectly, including the use of a classic logo. Bennett, Jose and Brabo stretch the moment through multiple broken panels until the big, full page reveal, while Mounts’ color work telegraphs the moment. It’s a great example of how important every member of the creative team is to the storytelling.
This is definitely a good issue, and even without the big reveals of the second half of the story, it feels essential to the run as a whole. Whatever happens from here it promises to be big.
Immortal Hulk #45 is available now from Marvel Comics.
An issue that starts on the forgettable side turns into a fist-pumping thriller. The creative team downs pull any punches, and turns in one of the most exciting issues of the series to date. And it’s all thanks to Joe Fixit.