This week it’s a rematch long in the making as Immortal Hulk #47 brings the jade giant face-to-face once again with The Avengers! And this time, they’re brawling in the symbolic heart of the Marvel Universe: downtown Manhattan. Who will walk away the winner? Will anyone?
We’ve got a review of Immortal Hulk #47, plus a Rapid Rundown of other noteworthy new Marvel titles, all ahead in this week’s installment of The Marvel Rundown!
Immortal Hulk #47
Writer: Al Ewing
Penciller: Joe Bennett
Inkers: Ruy José and Belardino Brabo
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Reviewed by Zoe Tunnell
The end is near for Immortal Hulk, and that’s a good thing. Not because I’m excited to see the series end, it’s still incredible, but because the build to the series’ climax with Immortal Hulk #50 is picking up pace and delivering on promises and ideas introduced throughout the series. Immortal Hulk #47 balances big smashy fights, intimate character work and truly upsetting imagery and horror in a way only this book can. It’s a hell of an issue, and a hell of stop on the road to the finale.
Before anything else, I’ve got to address the Joe Bennett situation. In the past few months Bennett has been accused of antisemitism, within the pages of Immortal Hulk no less, and endorsing transphobic jokes on social media. I believe the former and have personally seen the latter. Bennett’s artwork is, undeniably, a feat of technical skill but I cannot consciously praise his art given his behavior as a person. More than one person is involved in the creation of a comic book and I feel creatives like Al Ewing, Paul Mounts and Cory Petit suffering because of Bennett’s actions isn’t necessarily fair. However, I can’t really blame anyone if you decide supporting Bennett’s art is a line you cannot cross.
Okay, with that out of the way: Hey this fight with the Avengers rules. Echoing back to Hulk’s first clash with the team back in Immortal Hulk’s early days, the brawl manages to avoid feeling like a rehash two ways. The first, after a few initial blows, including a HILARIOUS removal of Blade from the situation by Hulk, the bruiser is quickly backed up by Gamma Flight. The motley collection of gamma weirdos and scientists have spent so much of their pagetime in Immortal Hulk struggling against overwhelming odds or being sidelined that seeing them go toe-to-toe with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and hold their own is a delight. A particular highlight for me is Charlene McGowan, a normal human woman, managing to take CAPTAIN MARVEL out of the equation entirely via her big science brain. Love that lady.
The second trick the issue uses is making Jen Walters its focal point. Picking back up on the threads from 2020’s Immortal She-Hulk one-shot, Jen is torn between her two worlds. She’s an Avenger, a hero. One who has managed to largely sidestep the body horror fueled madness of Immortal Hulk until she died in Empyre and found her way to The Green Door. But she’s also a Hulk. A being of Gamma and Pain. Having the issue, the clashing of these two corners of the Marvel Universe, seen through her eyes does wonders for providing it with fresh insights and angles. By the time her final choice comes around, Jen feels like she’s been a part of Immortal Hulk all along. And why wouldn’t she? She’s a Hulk.
At this point, recommending an individual issue of Immortal Hulk feels a little pointless. It’s been routinely killing it both critically and on the sales charts since it launched 3 years ago and it’s ending in just a few months. At this point you likely either know it’s deal or you don’t. That being said, Immortal Hulk #47 is an especially great issue that highlights almost every individual aspect of what makes this series such an iconic take on a beloved character.
Final Verdict: BUY.
- Amazing Spider-Man #67
- This issue kicks off the latest arc of the series, The Chameleon Conspiracy, which I’m pretty sure was set up about twenty or so issues ago. Nick Spencer has a knack for plotting these big arcs that come out of the smallest of breadcrumbs that he has dropped throughout his run. This was one of the more serviceable issues of the run, where is more about what the story is going to be about down the line, as well as what’s happened so far so readers aren’t lost. I’d feel a lot better about this issue if it frankly didn’t have substandard artwork that I’m quite shocked was actually published in what is ostensibly Marvel’s flagship book, though; Marcelo Ferreira’s work on this series hasn’t always looked great but here his work is not very well-put together. Simply, it looks like a mediocre early-2000s comic. I’m looking forward to where the story goes since it hints at bigger things, but a part of me hesitates since these last two issues have back-ups that are already teasing the next big story of the series, Sinister War. —HW
- Hellions #12
- Marauders #21
- X-Force #20
- The long-awaited, much-promoted, many-varianted Hellfire Gala is here at last, running through the X-titles for the full month of June. The storyline is less of a crossover than it is a shared setting for each book’s regular characters to continue their storylines, a refreshing change from the X of Swords storyline that brought series’ ongoing stories to a halt and occasionally ran a book’s characters out of their own title to make room for the tournament. The structure is also interesting in that some characters, whether it’s prominent players like Emma Frost or background guests like the Avengers, drift through the different titles, giving readers of all of the books a chance to compile a complete picture of what their evening at the Gala looks like without detracting from the single-issue experience. Even with just three of the fourteen parts of the event in-hand it’s already a fascinating experiment. The issue checklist at the end of each book also highlights what appear to be the important titles each week for the overall story and direction of the X-line, which is very helpful if you just want to get the major beats of the Gala. As for the quality of the three issues this week, they’re all very enjoyable whether you’ve been reading the series regularly (for me, Hellions and Marauders) or you’re just dipping in for the Gala (X-Force). Marauders is the big book this week, offering some reaction to the big news of the Gala without revealing exactly what it is, an interesting tease for what presumably will be fully unveiled in the Planet Size X-Men one-shot in a few weeks. Color me intrigued by the whole thing. —JG
Next week, the Hellfire Gala continues, and W.E.B. of Spider-Man debuts!