THE IMMORTAL HULK #2 BY AL EWING, JOE BENNETT, RUY JOSÉ, AND PAUL MOUNTS
Story
Art
Characterization
Summary
THE IMMORTAL HULK #2 feels just like a classic Hulk story. Ewing totally understands the Hulk, and it shows. Bennett adds some fabulous artwork to the mix. It makes this one of the best Hulk books in recent memory.
95 %
A Smashing Success

Bruce Banner tracks down the cause of some mysterious deaths in a small town in THE IMMORTAL HULK #2. This issue feels much more like a traditional Hulk story than the first. Al Ewing nails the feeling of Bruce Banner as a lonely soul, travelling from place to place with only the clothes on his back. Much like the ‘70s TV show, he faces something plaguing in this town and, seemingly, moves on to his next adventure. What’s different is Banner’s newfound state of mild calmness. Unlike other Hulk stories where he’s constantly on the run from the police and military, Banner’s chased down by no one. This change may not last too long, but I like this new status quo. It’s refreshing to see a comic that doesn’t have a huge multi-arc story arc every six issues.

Ewing brings back the feeling of a classic ‘70s comic book to great effect. Joe Bennett adds some really fantastic looking art in this not-so-action-packed issue.

Man, Monster or Both in THE IMMORTAL HULK #1

Trouble comes to Turango in THE IMMORTAL HULK #2

In THE IMMORTAL HULK #2, Banner arrives in a town called Turango and heads straight for a diner. He explains in an inner monologue that the only thing that gives him joy in his newfound life are the simple pleasures, including food. He thoroughly enjoys an order of eggs and bacon. After, he begins to leave town when he notices a mysterious newspaper headline. It says that no one should worry about a bunch of suspicious deaths in the community. Banner decides to stay and help investigate the deaths. It leads him to the grave of a doctor’s son. Apparently, the doctor gave his son an experimental radiation treatment, which killed him. Banner arrives at the grave and notices a strange, yet familiar, green glow emanating from within. Find out what happens next in THE IMMORTAL HULK #2.

IMMORTAL HULK #2
THE IMMORTAL HULK #2 page 6. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The issue’s opening adds a very interesting facet to Hulk’s origin. After Banner’s hit by the gamma radiation, he sits in a room with a Geiger counter ticking wildly. His internal monologue says that he kept anticipating death, knowing that he was in the “walking ghost phase.”

This is when you’re hit with a lethal dose of radiation and there’s a small window when you feel fine before you succumb to the sickness. This scene is truly fascinating to me. Ewing added one little thing to the origin: Banner’s somewhat resigned fear. I hope he explores this some more in later issues. How did he feel the first time he reverted from Hulk back to Banner? It adds some realism to an otherwise outrageous story.

The Classic ‘70s Feel in THE IMMORTAL HULK #2

Ewing said many times in interviews that he planned on making this series a tribute to classic Hulk books. It’s quite apparent in this issue that he’s serious about that. THE IMMORTAL HULK #2 feels like a ‘70s Hulk story, without the addition of the military gunning for Banner. It’s adding something new to a classic feeling. Ewing nails the basic story structure of those old issues, as well as the general atmosphere of them, too. Banner rolls into a southwestern town, hoping to lay low. Soon enough, Banner and his other half are pulled into some sinister plot. Some books don’t benefit from the “monster-of-the-week” format, but it makes a load of sense with the Hulk. It gets boring seeing the Hulk fight General Ross or the Leader issue after issue.

Ewing has, so far, created some interesting characters for Hulk to terrorize. I hope it stays that way.

Bennett’s Beautiful Art in THE IMMORTAL HULK #2

Joe Bennett draws some gorgeous Hulk scenes at the end of this issue, but I don’t want to spoil them. Instead, I’ll focus on a specific page from the beginning of the issue. When Banner thinks back on his time locked in the room with the Geiger counter, he goes through many emotions. Bennett captures them perfectly. First, you see his abject fear, which turns into a slightly more dulled fear as he seems to start getting resigned to his fate. Then, the anger sets in. Even without text, those six panels could tell a story on their own.

IMMORTAL HULK
THE IMMORTAL HUK #2 page 2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

It’s pretty much the perfect Bruce Banner page. Even without context, it would make sense. He’s always afraid of the unknown. In most cases, it’s wondering what the Hulk will do when he’s let out. Then, that fear almost always becomes anger, and anger leads to something worse than hate. It leads to the Hulk. Bennett’s one of those artists who can capture an emotion (and the transition of emotions) in such a way that no text is needed to decipher what the character’s feeling. That’s the mark of a great comic book artist.

Final Thoughts: THE IMMORTAL HULK #2

HULK Essentials: Reading For A Smashing Time!

THE IMMORTAL HULK #2 is more of a straightforward Hulk book than the first issue. This issue is much tamer. It’s far less violent and grotesque. If you’re a Hulk fan, you must pick up this book. It proves that Ewing was born to write a Hulk book. If you’ve been following him on Twitter, you should know the amount of research he’s done on this Marvel classic.

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