Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Joe Bennett and Alex Ross
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 10th, 2021
The U-Foes are back and they’re working for the weekend… or at least the government. You see, they are on the hunt for the IMMORTAL HULK and happen to have the one thing that can kill the HULK for good. What in the world could that be? Meanwhile, the new Sasquatch must come face to face with something even more bizarre than he is. And if that all wasn’t enough, something strange appears to be happening to Jackie McGee. Dare I say, things are getting rather “incredible” as we smash into IMMORTAL HULK #44 by Al Ewing. Let’s see what strange new developments are happening while Gyrich watches above it all.
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IMMORTAL HULK #44 is a fast and explosive read that simply kicks the big green string bean into the ground and burns him to a crisp. The issue is a heavy dose of U-Foes with a heaping side of Joe Bennett’s horrifyingly grotesque gamma illustrations. Ultimately, this is just one fight after another with the IMMORTAL HULK issue had very little action, too much setup, and a bombardment of plot, dialogue, and narrative. Ideally, I’d like to see a much better balance. That said, looking back at this series as a whole, that appears to be the style for this creative team. Set up, narrative dialogue, and plot development with little action followed by a heavy eruption of pure insanity with little regard for story or character development. Maybe with six issues left, Ewing and Bennett can find a better balance?
I think by this point I’ve said it a couple of dozen times now BUT Joe Bennett’s art is the steady force that’s had this comic so successful for so long. His designs and illustrations are vibrant, graphic, volatile, raw, and pack so much power and emotion. Instead of stating the same old terrifyingly twisted comments above his amazing artistic chops, I’ll drive readers to some of the highlights throughout this issue of IMMORTAL HULK.
As you scan through the comic, look specifically at how he extenuated the size of characters like Sasquatch and Ironclad. Ironclad is gargantuan compared to even the HULK. Furthermore, watch specifically as the flesh is ripped off the HULK’s body by the U-Foes. Or, focus on the fight between “Rick” and Sasquatch and take notice as to how relentless this new Doc Samson/ Sasquatch is. Furthermore, take heed of the layout of the panels and how Bennett zigzags the reader through the emotional elements of the issue. My point: Bennett continues to provide the energy, the action, the power, and the presence that has dominated this series since issue one. I’m excited to see what comics are in his future and I absolutely can’t wait to pick them up.
Overall, IMMORTAL HULK #44 was tons of fun. It’s exciting, action-packed, gruesome, and gory. It had all the bells and whistles that have driven fans to the series since the beginning. However, the balance feels entirely off. Each issue feels like a seesaw from story and plot to action and excitement. There is never a sturdy compromise. Clever twists and turns are also missing from this issue and have been absent from the series for quite some time. At first, I was extremely disappointed to hear that IMMORTAL HULK was coming to an end. Nevertheless, I find myself wondering if Ewing is beginning to run out of ideas. Altogether, this issue wasn’t bad mainly due to Bennett continuing to champion these issues forward. However, I find myself wondering if it’s about time to wrap this bad boy up. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God bless!