Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Belardino Brabo, Paul Mounts, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: June 12, 2019
Abomination throws down (or up), Hulk is a heartless jerk, colossal beast street fights, and all through the mind of one highly deformed Betty Banner all in this week’s THE IMMORTAL HULK #19 by the incredible Al Ewing. Let’s dive into the issue!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Al Ewing opens the issue with Hulk fighting the new Abomination. Readers see that this Rick Jones-Blonsky deformity can spray acid that burns through Hulk tissue leaving him unable to regenerate. Meanwhile, civilians try to escape the area but Shadow Base mercenaries gun them down so they won’t blab about what they saw there. This is when Betty, as the new Red Harpy, comes into the picture with Jackie McGee. Betty kills the mercenaries and finds the Hulk limbless with his eyes burnt out of their sockets after being attacked by the Abomination’s new acid attack. What in the world will happen next?
Ewing continues to impress each and every issue and this one is no exception. This horrifyingly intense narrative draws readers in and may give them nightmares, especially after the ending. Ewing uses the inner dialogue and struggles that Betty has throughout the issue as the driving force behind the entire issue that’s revealing to her almost 57-year relationship with Bruce. This reviewer loved seeing the different phases of Betty throughout the years, as well as her anger and love towards Bruce that they shared. However, this fan also enjoyed Ewing’s take on the intense destruction, heartache, and twisted horror that ultimately is the foundation of everything Bruce and Betty have been through and built together.
Even with the background story influencing the narrative, Ewing still packs a push with some killer action sequences and some diabolical motives from Shadow Base and it’s mercenaries. For example, this reviewer was captivated by the acid that spewed out of the Abomination and how it was strong enough to burn through the Hulk without him regenerating.
In addition, the scenes involving General Fortean were sadistic and insane, which opened up an entirely new side of the character that this reviewer is curious to explore. Readers can see it in his eyes at the end of the issue when he’s staring at Betty eating Hulks heart right out of his chest. Something is seriously wrong with that man! And by far, the ending where Harpy-Betty stands over Hulk and literally eats his heart out was the shock of this issue. The expectation was Betty saving the day and not making it worse. Nice twist!
This reviewer is also becoming a huge fan of Jackie McGee. There is just something about her that draws readers in. Maybe it’s her curiosity? Maybe it’s her naivety? Either way, this fan has no doubt Jackie will get turned into something at some point. Everyone who becomes close to Bruce gets hurt, killed, or worse. It’s going to happen! Plus, I love how it started with Jackie wanting to be like a Hulk. However, once she has seen behind the curtain, Jackie will begin to realize how terrifying it truly would be to become one of these monsters. This reviewer thinks she finally had her “coming to Jesus” moment right at the end of this issue.
Joe Bennett, Ruy José, and the rest of this art team continue to stun and amaze this reviewer with this over the top and horrifically grotesque style that’s sure to keep readers up all night long. The double hand, face-mouth of Abomination with his oversized fingers is just nasty. Plus, seeing the two faces inside the opening as they throw up acid out of their mouths is disgustingly terrifying. In addition, watching Betty step by step and panel by panel dig her claws into Hulks chest to rip out his heart and eat it sent shivers down my spine. This creative team is right up your alley if you’re looking for something hauntingly gruesome and bizarrely enchanting. Even down to the minor details of the Harpy’s glowing eyes, Bennett and José thoroughly leave readers wanting more of these monstrous tales.
Ewing and his team continue to push this story forward by throwing out the most insane, monstrous battles with some of the most vicious and repulsive creatures in the Marvel Universe. Ewing’s ideas and direction are nothing like this reviewer has seen in a Hulk comic before and are honestly refreshing and a great change of pace. This issue is action-packed, exciting, and will leave readers who have never read horror comics (like myself) amazed for more haunting depictions from this diabolically outstanding creative team. Anyone reading this issue will be sucked into the series immediately and will see first hand why IMMORTAL HULK has become one of the top selling comic books each and every month. Pick this issue up and add this series to your pull list.