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Immortal Hulk #23

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Cable
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Immortal Hulk #23

Post by Cable » 05 Sep 2019, 17:00

The climactic battle is finally here!

Full Spoilers:
Spoiler: show
We open to a flashback of Jackie McGee as a little girl at home with her father during a rampage by the Hulk. She remembers looking in the Hulk's eyes and seeing the rage and pain and trauma of a child. But now as an adult she has met the Hulk and looked in his eyes and sees a rage that is directed and knows the Hulk is aware of exactly what he is doing. This scares her that he has a plan and that she plays a part in it. She rides on the back of Harpy while Betty sniffs out a certain gamma scent. Rick Jones comes along with them while Hulk provides a distraction. That distraction is of course smashing everything. Titania and Absorbing Man are helping out and Fortean the Abomination takes on Creel himself. Special units with equipment that produce a solar flare attack Hulk and he is beginning to revert to Banner. Soldiers move in to execute Bruce but Doc Samson jumps in the way and gets himself killed instead. Puck then springs into action and kills the solar-equipped units. In the control room Dr. McGowan and her terrified scientists are watching when Rick Jones burns through the wall. McGowan pleads for him to let the others go but McGee says nobody will get hurt; Jones doesn't know if they should promise that and gestures to a gamma-irradiated being in a tube. This is the Frye kid Banner discovered before and McGowan says his mind is totally gone and she was trying to ease his suffering. This seems to satisfy Rick. Meanwhile in the battle soldiers are using oscillating energy to keep Creel from holding one form and also manage to zap Titania and Puck into unconsciousness. Fortean then defeats Hulk by vomiting acid all over his head. Except Hulk then just rips off his own face and gargles out a Hulk Smash!
This is the action-packed issue but if you thought that meant there wouldn't be much horror you would be severely mistaken. From that scene with Puck and the brain stem to that final page, Bennett sure does draw some gnarly stuff. (In the letters pages one writer saying they are a fan is 11 years old. Sure hope that kid's parents don't foolishly assume all comics are for kids and are aware of the content!) But it isn't just a gore book because Ewing's narration through McGee is also so well done. This title continues to deliver 20+ issues in. Nonetheless, as this final battle is happening, I wonder if this would best be one of those series with a finite timeline. Can this tone continue on indefinitely? I am not certain. Though I must say when in the letters page they tease an appearance by the Leader I got pretty excited. Would love to see what Ewing does with him in the context of this run.
Best X-Comic last week: House of X #6
Best non X-Comic last week: Punisher #16

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