Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett and Alex Ross
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: December 16th, 2020
Well, HULK fans, it’s the rematch Al Ewing thought everyone was clamoring for, however, not quite like this! The Hulk is messed up, broken down, emaciated, alone, and still being hunted. Why? That’s easy! The Leader managed to kill the Devil Hulk Personality and steal the Bruce Banner Persona right from his body taking him to Gamma Hell. And to pile on the gravy, the Leader took control of Hulk’s body and blew up Iowa killing thousands. So, needless to say, everybody wants Jade Jaws and Ben Grimm is looking for Round 2. Let’s smash into IMMORTAL HULK #41 by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett to see who wins this not-so-epic rematch.
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Banner versus Grimm. Hulk versus the Thing. The showstopper readers have been waiting for… again. Well, not really. I know there’s history between these two but I think Ewing is trying to make this… a “Thing” when it doesn’t fit into his story very well. Now, if the FANTASTIC FOUR were going to permanently get involved in the remaining 9 issues of the run, then this story makes perfect sense to reaffirm them within the narrative. Nevertheless, I don’t think that’s the case.
Additionally, the purpose of the issue solely to catch fans up as to what’s been going on with the HULK. Granted, by the time this issue is done, the FANTASTIC FOUR know what’s been going on as well. So, maybe this is a way to clue something of the good guys in on what’s been going to with Banner and the Hulk. But otherwise, the fight wasn’t a fight and the issue became more Ben Grimm focused, which isn’t exactly why I put IMMORTAL HULK on my pull list.
Lastly, Ewing goes Biblical by having Grimm tell the story of Job from the Bible, which didn’t flow well at all in the issue, nor to the purpose Jove very well with what’s been going on with the Hulk. Frankly, I think Ewing should have done a bit more research on Job before sliding it into the narrative incorrectly. Plus, Ewing even has Joe Fixit say “Where you goin’ with this?”. Followed by Ben saying “Hoo boy. Good Question”. My point: not only does Ewing not understand the purpose of the Book of Job but either did his character explaining it in the issue.
Here is the simplest explanation of the Book of Job broken down into two sentences. Ready? God allowed Satan to take EVERYTHING from Job… or so Satan thought. The kicker was that God was EVERYTHING to Job and Satan couldn’t take that from him nor can he take that from anyone or us. So, what does that have to do with this story? Well, on the veneer, Job is lost, alone, and gets to a spot where he even curses God, which I assume is what Ewing is trying to connect to readers here. However, that’s merely scratching the surface and power of what is probably the oldest Book of the Bible. And, whether it was Bennett or Ewing’s idea to have God come down glowing with a cape… just wasn’t very tasteful.
As an IMMORTAL HULK fan, I was a bit disappointed with this issue. We don’t get the Hulk we’ve grown to love in these past 40 issues nor do we evolve the story much at all. Marvel (or the creative team) promote the end of issue 40 as a rematch and they technically couldn’t be farther from the truth. This issue turned into Ben Grimm Sunday School Time real fast without a purpose or point to the overall narrative other than to catch new readers up and clue in some good guys on what’s been going down. I’m buying it… but only because I’ve collected every issue related to IMMORTAL HULK since it began. However, if I wasn’t collecting it, I wouldn’t buy it this week. Ewing has done much better in this series alone… multiple times. This issue just seemed out of character for this run
If you’re interested in IMMORTAL HULK #41, click HERE to get a copy! If you’ve been really digging Ewing’s IMMORTAL HULK, click HERE to get your hands on related trades, volumes, and issues. Lastly, if HULK is your all-time favorite hero, click HERE to snag some of the very best issues and trades from the jolly jade giant. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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