THE IMMORTAL HULK #5 proves to be yet another seriously stupendous issue in an already stellar run. Al Ewing outdoes himself this issue with the amount of pathos he pushes into the story. Joe Bennett’s art is simply haunting. If you’re a Hulk fan and haven’t read this series yet, fix that immediately!
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Pathos-Fueled Punchfest

In THE IMMORTAL HULK #5, the Hulk fights a crazed version of the Alpha Flight member Sasquatch. He soon learns that there’s a familiar face behind Sasquatch’s possession. Writer Al Ewing continues to make his mark in Hulk history with this absolutely wonderful issue. Each issue of this series is expertly crafted, and issue five is no exception. Ewing makes this issue gut-wrenching by including a semi-forgotten aspect of Bruce Banner’s past. You may actually feel sadness for the Hulk in this issue. On top of the superb writing, THE IMMORTAL HULK #5 is visually stunning thanks to Joe Bennett’s hauntingly beautiful artwork.

Sasquatch Joins the Hunt in THE IMMORTAL HULK #4

Sasquatch Sighting in THE IMMORTAL HULK #5

In the last issue, Walter Langowski, AKA Sasquatch, agreed to help reporter Jaqueline McGee search for the Hulk after a reported sighting. While looking, he was stabbed by a stranger. Bruce Banner showed up at the hospital to speak to McGee while doctors operated on Langowski. In THE IMMORTAL HULK #5, Sasquatch wakes up possessed by a strange entity and slaughters his surgeons. Banner tries to reason with him, but Langowski fatally slashes him, thus bringing out the Hulk. The Hulk fights Langowski for a while and deduces that whoever possessed him took over because Langowski hadn’t powered down from Sasquatch while working in space with Alpha Flight. The possessed Sasquatch confirms Hulk’s suspicions. The only question which remains is who possessed him?

THE IMMORTAL HULK #5 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

When Hulk asks, the being tells him to turn around. In a mirror, Hulk sees his dead father. He loses focus for a moment, just in time for Sasquatch to deliver a nasty blow. Does Hulk defeat his father? Why did his father choose Sasquatch? Read THE IMMORTAL HULK #5 to find out!

Daddy Issues in THE IMMORTAL HULK #5

Ewing dredges up some older Hulk lore with Bruce’s father, Brian Banner. Viewers of Ang Lee’s HULK film may recognize Banner’s dad as an abusive, raging monster who killed his wife. The backstory is basically the same in the comics. In Peter David’s seminal run on THE INCREDIBLE HULK, Bruce eventually killed his father by bashing his head into his mother’s tombstone. He’s come back a few times since then, most recently in Greg Pak’s run during the CHAOS WAR event. In THE IMMORTAL HULK #5, Brian’s return signifies our first peek behind the Hulk’s new personality. In prior issues, he’s been relatively calm and collected, using his strength and words to intimidate villains, rather than his rage. However, when Brian reveals himself, the cruel coldness starts fading away.

Hulk’s first word after the reveal is “daddy?” He goes from macho posturing and smugness while speaking to Sasquatch to childlike fear. Later, he succumbs to his anger and starts speaking a bit like the Savage Hulk, but quickly regains his composure. I love where Ewing’s going with this. He’s showing that some things can even shake the Hulk and that his new demeanor may just be a façade. It also shows the effect Brian has on Bruce/Hulk, even years after his death. Ewing displays his writing chops with just a few pages showing Hulk’s reaction. It’s my favorite moment of the series so far. I could speak about it for days.

Chilling Artwork in THE IMMORTAL HULK #5

Joe Bennett, once again, draws a fantastically creepy issue with THE IMMORTAL HULK #5. The issue is filled with amazing looking moments. I love Bennett’s interpretation of the raging Savage Hulk later on in the issue. My favorite moment, though, is when Walter changes from Sasquatch form to human form during a flashback. The way he visualizes the transformation is a great little piece of body horror. It reminds me of the transformation scenes in the film THE HOWLING. Bennett draws the different phases of the transformation all melded together, making Langowski look like some mutated, fused monster. His expression makes it look like he’s in sheer agony as he changes forms. It works great juxtaposed with Walter’s upbeat, chill personality last issue. He shows visually that Walter’s more of a monster than he’d like to admit.

THE IMMORTAL HULK #5 page 3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Final Thoughts: THE IMMORTAL HULK #5

HULK Essentials: Reading For A Smashing Time!

THE IMMORTAL HULK #5 goes down as yet another immensely memorable issue of Ewing’s incredible run. Ewing adds in some great pathos with Hulk’s reaction to his father. It makes the issue all the more enjoyable. If you haven’t read this series yet, you need to start. It’s fantastic.

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