|IMMORTAL HULK No. 45, June 2021|
For starters, having been completely ‘crispified’ by the U-Foes, Joe Fixit and the Hulk’s emaciated psyche once again face the Leader in the bedrock of Hell. However, having apparently had the One Below All enter his flesh so as to ‘complete their circuit’ a horribly mutated Sam Sterns has suddenly been transformed into a mass of writhing, tentacled mouths which fully intend to tear his opponents to pieces; “You will be a true hulk -- A wandering carcass, wreaking destruction. Making me ever stronger. I will be your leader -- And you will follow. As my good and faithful servant.”
This head-scratching situation is made all the more bemusing, as the action unrelentingly leaps to Jackie McGee’s ‘ghostbusting’ on the plains of New Mexico, Doc Sasquatch’s discovery that his body is missing from the vaults of Shadow Base Site G, Walter Samson’s bizarre surprise appearance as a hitchhiker, and X-Ray’s continuous assault upon the Hulk’s frazzled corpse with Cosmic Radiation, before finally bringing some sort of resolution to Fixit’s precarious predicament by having the Grey Hulk’s former alias fortuitously utilise the U-Foes attack to contrivingly reenergise his physical body.
Disappointingly, even Joe Bennett’s usually first-class pencilling seems to be slightly off-key for Issue Forty-Five of “Immortal Hulk”. Indeed, it is hard not to shake the impression that some of this comic’s set-pieces featured on “the bottom layer of reality” were specifically penned by Ewing simply to provide the Brazilian artist with an excuse to go mad sketching a multitude of disconcerting mouths biting limbs asunder, rather than progressing the actual overall storyline.
|The regular cover art of "IMMORTAL HULK" #45 by Alex Ross|