Immortal Hulk is a book I’ve heard a tonne about.
Everyone says it’s the best Marvel graphic novel featuring the angry green giant that has been released in recent memory.
However, when expectations are so high, things often disappoint.
Throughout this review, I’m gonna be breaking down the work and giving my opinion on if it deserves all the acclaim it is getting.
There will be some spoilers here so if you don’t want anything ruined then I suggest you skip to the score.
With that out the way let’s get into our review of Immortal Hulk Volume 1!
Banner Is Alive
Bruce Banner is back from the dead…but not for long. Banner can die (and he does several times) but when he falls, something else rises.
The days are his yet the nights belong to the Hulk…and you’ve never seen him like this before.
That’s the synopsis of the work and it sums it up beautifully.
Immortal Hulk instantly takes the creature away from the fun-filled ride that we’ve become accustomed to with The Avengers movies and pits him back purely in the realm of horror.
Stan Lee created hulk as a monster that was meant to terrify and this book perfectly dives back to the character’s roots from the off. It’s filled with gore, horrifying transformations and the Hulk is put back to the level of being a curse that Banner must live with rather than being a hero that helps to save the world.
We watch as Banner is murdered within the first few pages and then resurrected and this is a motif that is laced throughout the work.
Not only does this explain how the character was able to return after his death in Civil War 2 but it also shows how he is forever cursed to live knowing there is a monster inside him.
And live he does…if you can call it that.
Wherever I Lay My Hat
For years now I’ve wanted a Hulk story that had him as a man on the road, moving from town to town, trying to lay low. It’s an aesthetic that made me fall in love with the 70s show and thankfully Immortal Hulk recaptures that mood from the off.
It reimagines him travelling from town to town helping all those that he can and watching him as a smalltown hero that has big problems to deal with definitely makes him endearing.
It’s what made the 70s show so successful and I can see why they decided to go back to this style of storytelling with the character.
There’s even a call back to Jack McGee and the run is laced with callbacks to the on-screen debut.
The artwork itself calls back to the Golden Age of comics at points and the book is clearly steeped in the rich history of the Hulk making for an excellent read.
Sins Of The Father
Early on we watch as Bruce wanders from town to town, no possessions, no real life because of what he is.
He helps others in need but they all have one thing in common, Gamma.
After a couple of clashes, it’s revealed that Bruce’s father has been behind it all and the character unwittingly absorbs his dad into his psyche.
The two obviously hate each other and Bruce has to deal with not only the Hulk living inside him but also his worst enemy.
It’s an inspired take and it really is the perfect plot point to center the storyline around.
This isn’t the only problem that Bruce has to deal with either and after popping his head up, The Avengers come for him too.
This culminates with an amazing Hulkbuster fight that I completely fanboyed over.
Watching the Big Green Giant go head to head with Iron-Man always gets my blood pumping and this time it didn’t disappoint either.
The design is similar to the MCU counterpart and Marvel Maniacs will love just how much the book ramps up in scale from this point onward.
With the biggest UV gun ever put to page they completely obliterate Hulk and dissect him, placing his head and organs in jars.
There’s just one thing, Hulk is still alive.
Watching him scream through one is terrifying and it really puts the book firmly in the macabre making for one of the most memorable moments in the character’s history.
A Truly Horrifying Tale
Immortal Hulk should be applauded for not pulling any punches and it really nails it throughout.
The way Hulk escapes is incredible and it’s actually so genius that I really don’t want to spoil it.
It references a big moment from Infinity War that I don’t want to spoil but it’s clear that the creative team looked at everything that they could and brought it all together in a compelling story that’s friendly for newcomers but still filled with moments that older fans will enjoy.
The book packs panel after panel that will stick in your brain long after you put the work down and by the midpoint of the story it becomes essential reading.
The Green Door
The finale of the book takes it back to where it all began on the field where The Hulk was created.
The creative team revisit certain iconic moments from it but actually reduce Hulk to a shriveled shell of a man. It’s a refreshing revisit and over the ending of the book we go back to some of Hulk’s biggest moments.
It’s an awesome way to end the story and the cliffhanger that it closes on left me wanting more.
Overall I had a hell of a lot of fun with the work and it’s one of the best graphic novels that I’ve read in a long time.
It takes the old, reinvents it, and makes the character more relevant than he’s ever been.
I had a hell of a lot of fun with Immortal Hulk and definitely recommend that you pick it up.