Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Belardino Brabo, Paul Mounts, Matt Milla, VC’s Cory Petit, and Alex Ross
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: February 3rd, 2021
Currently, the IMMORTAL HULK is the immoral Joe Fixit. The Leader figured out how to sever Banner’s mind/ persona out of his body AND killed the Devil Hulk. All that appears to be left is Joe and the child hulk whose practically an oversized green bean. So, it’s up to Joe to stay under the radar and to survive before the U-FOES and Gyrich find him. Let’s smash into IMMORTAL HULK #43 by Al Ewing to see if Joe Fixit can hide out just long enough to figure out his next course of action.
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If you’re excited to see some HULK action, this week’s installment isn’t for you. If you’re searching for more story development with the Leader and the Green Door, you won’t find that here. Heck, even if you’re interested in catching up with the U-FOES (which the cover leads you to believe), this issue still isn’t really for you. This week, readers get a heavy dose of Joe Fixit while Ewing channels his inner con man to hideout from Gyrich’s wrath.
Now, the story picks up more towards the end with the Big Mean Green Bean making a guest appearance. However, Ewing’s motivation for provoking the onset of the transformation just didn’t jive with the characteristics he set up earlier in this issue with Joe Fixit. After spending a majority of this installment building up the Fixit persona, Ewing rips it all down with a silly confrontation that ultimately destroys what he constructed in this very same issue of IMMORTAL HULK.
How can you go against facets of a character you just created at the beginning of the same issue to merely progress the story and unleash the HULK? Needless to say, it was very counterproductive making this issue feel wasteful and inefficient. Additionally, at least half the issue was centered around Joe Fixit, which handcuffs what Joe Bennett can do as an artist. Bennett needs to be unleashed. When he has space and story to flourish, the issue thrives every time. And readers, that simply wasn’t the case this week.
Readers will find this Joe Fixit centered issue of IMMORTAL HULK rather trivial before it concludes simply because we ultimately ended exactly where we should have started the issue… with a U-FOES showdown. Now, I understand that a HULK comic can’t always be about monstrous fights. There must be character growth, story progression, and narrative development. And truthfully, that’s the direction Ewing went this week to elevate Joe Fixit. However, this reviewer found that character growth an utter waste as all it took was one single page for Ewing to deconstruct all new facets of Fixit. By having him react to a situation completely out of character, Ewing undermined everything he just developed and wasted almost an entire issue. Moreover, fans could skip this installment of IMMORTAL HULK and not miss a beat. I’d pass this week unless you’re collecting them all like myself. Have a great week, stay safe, and God bless!