Immortal Hulk #3
Writer: Al Ewing
Artists: Joe Bennett, Leonardo Romero, Paul Hornschemeier, Marguerite Sauvage, Garry Brown
The search for the Immortal Hulk continues.
Jacqueline McGee, the reporter who we met in the first issue, is interviewing four different people. The question is – what happened in the church on Mercer Avenue? A teen poisoned with gamma radiation came to the church and took everyone hostage, but the details are murky.
The book splits into 4 different sequences as each of the four witnesses – The Cop, The Bartender, The Old Lady and The Priest – recount their stories. To make it more interesting, different artists tackle different stories, complimenting the different narrative styles of the characters. This results in probably one of the best single issues of the year.
Why it’s great
The way the artists amplify each story is incredible. The Cop tells a bombastic superhero story masterfully drawn by Leonardo Romero. It’s reminiscent of the silver-age books and pays homage to corny police stories.
Next up is The Bartender. Paul Hornschemeier perfectly encapsulates his dull and monotonous style. This story feels a bit out of place, but the punchline at the end of it ends up being one of the better parts of the book.
Following The Bartender is The Old Lady, who’s romanticising of the event is handled in a fittingly glamorous and lavish style by Marguerite Sauvage. It features the James Dean-esque teen delivering melodramatic lines about love, in some overly dramatic poses.
Finally, The Priest’s dark and fearful recount of the event is highlighted by Garry Brown’s fittingly moody and atmospheric art. It is essentially a horror story, something that Ewing’s been trying to do with the book in general, and something he already tackled with Joe Bennett in the previous two issues.
The fact that Ewing manages to easily offer four different stories, by four different (and unreliable) narrators, while switching between FOUR DIFFERENT writing styles is a remarkable feat. It forms a puzzle and challenges the reader to try and solve it using tidbits from conflicting stories. It’s also a statement on just how important narrative is, and how it makes the “truth” extremely fluid.
The flow of the book is also worthy of praise. Despite all of these different art and narrative styles, the book is still fluid and it gets you really immersed from start to finish.
Go buy it
The Immortal Hulk is probably the best book to come out of Marvel’s Fresh Start relaunch, and possibly one of the best books this year. Ewing has written three very different issues that feel like one-shots, yet neatly tie into a bigger narrative. Hopefully the team hasn’t peaked yet and they continue surprising us with great issues. I’m looking forward to the next issue, August can’t come soon enough
The Immortal Hulk #3
The Immortal Hulk is probably the best book to come out of Marvel’s Fresh Start relaunch, and possibly one of the best books this year.