Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Belardino Brabo, Cam Smith, Paul Mounts, VC’s Cory Petit, and Alex Ross
Release Date: January 29th, 2020
As the last issue of IMMORTAL HULK ended, gigantic kaiju monsters were unleashed on Phoenix Arizona by Dario Agger with no superheroes left to stop them. With the Avengers in space and the X-Men creating their own nation, no one seemed to be available to help stop this threat. So, the Hulk and his new Shadowbase took action and literally jumped into the heart of the situation, or should I say the mouth of it! Now, after IMMORTAL HULK #29’s build-up to this epic monstrous melee, let’s dive into this week’s installment of IMMORTAL HULK #30 by Al Ewing to see if we finally get the battle royale we’ve been waiting for!
Well, if you love monstrously horrific melees between gamma infused juggernauts as well as Kaiju Beasts that vomit lava and contain festering wounds of parasitic insects the size of Ford Trucks, this is the issue you’ve been waiting for! Al Ewing and Joe Bennett create a story centered around the sheer terror of a gigantically deadly event that often times creators skim over. A prime example of this effect would be the past WAR OF THE REALMS. With an invasion that large, there is very little discussion of the death and destruction that would have had to surround that event. How did families recover from that astronomical event? Well, who knows?! It’s simply pushed to the side and forgotten for the next big event. Well, how about ABSOLUTE CARNAGE and the death toll there? My point: writers and creative teams oftentimes brush over the impact a war or battle must have had with the people involved… but not Ewing and Bennett and not this time.
Ewing and Bennett place the people in the front and center of this monumental issue and show the fear, terror, destruction, and death that these kaiju monsters unleashed within the city and its would-be inhabitants. The feelings and emotions are real and genuine. More importantly; it’s frightening and readers will be able to feel that throughout the comic. The panic and worry exude off each page. Plus, the set up from the last issue (even though it was a bit boring) lent itself well to this issue being as boisterous as it could be.
Now, as far as the story itself goes, no progression occurred. The status quo remains the same as it has, however, we are introduced to a new villain who has not been seen in comics for a long time! This shouldn’t be a big surprise considering this new villain is front and center on the cover of this issue. For those of you unaware, the new villain is none other than Xemnu the Hulk! A quick synopsis of Xemnu: he has telekinesis, superior intellect, and super strength. As of recent years, it is to my knowledge that he has been on Monster Isle. However, we may find out something different. Nonetheless, other than the cover spoiling reveal of Xemnu, nothing really happens this issue in terms of furthering the plot, except for one minor detail that seemed rather confusing to this reader. The Hulk seemed a bit more rampage-y (if that’s a word). I thought the recent Hulk, if not throughout Ewing’s run to date, seemed to be a bit more in control, communicated well, and appeared to garner some sort of intellect. This Hulk didn’t seem to have his act together. So, is there something I’m missing? Was this somehow explained prior and I missed it? But, the character’s voice seemed off.
Nevertheless, Ewing and Bennett smash together a relentlessly vivid and horrifying issue that would rival any horror comic. The fear and terror that the civilians are experiencing can be felt through the pages, specifically by Jackie and her boss. Bennett’s dramatic illustrations capture the true mood of the issue, which again makes Joe Bennett just as important, if not more, to the success of this comic than Al Ewing. As for the story, Ewing piled on a straight forward cage match between gargantuan beasts and gamma behemoths that involved zero thought from the reader but was still incredibly entertaining. I think we would all agree that sometimes we just want to let loose and have some fun now and again. Well, that’s this issue in a terrifying nutshell!
If you’ve been following IMMORTAL HULK to date, you will love this issue. If you’re interested in hopping into the series, this is a great issue to see what Joe Bennett is truly capable of and thus I would highly recommend snagging it, especially if you’ve been on the fence. However, this isn’t the best issue to explain anything that’s happening within the story, where we’ve been, or where we’re going. That said, I think it’s still a fantastic issue for long time Hulk fans, IMMORTAL HULK fans, and anyone interested in the series to simply dip their toe or get a taste of what this series is like.