Monday, 14 June 2021

The Immortal Hulk #46 - Marvel Comics

IMMORTAL HULK No. 46, July 2021
Absolutely packed with the titular character engaging in some bouts of pulse-pounding pugilism, whether it be Bruce Banner’s alter-ego battering Ironclad or standing toe-to-toe against the might of a certain Thunder God, Al Ewing’s script for Issue Forty Six of “Immortal Hulk” certainly seems to deliver on its ‘promise’ that “the gamma monsters are [all] coming back” to this title’s main narrative. Indeed, despite being somewhat side-lined for the vast majority of this twenty-page periodical, the British author still manages to give the likes of Doc Sasquatch, Jackie McGee, Rick Jones, Del Frye and Betty Ross-Banner some memorable ‘screen-time’; especially Harpy, whose surprise appearance at this comic’s very end must have had many a bibliophile desperately desiring to know when the book’s next instalment would hit the local spinner racks.

However, it is probably the sheer conscious viciousness of Joe Fixit’s incarnation of the green Goliath which is this publication’s most notable asset. Red eyed, and claret-veined, the Hulk facing off against the U-Foes is a marked contrast from the emaciated beast Henry Gyrich’s villainous cronies beat to death just a short while earlier, and creates one of this ongoing series’ most eye-wincing moments when he literally attempts to slowly stab into Michael Steel’s brain with his fingers; “See, that makes me curious. Are ya metal all the way through? Or is it squishy organs in a smooth, shiny shell. Let’s find out…”

Equally as enjoyable, though far less sadistic, is the Hulk’s confrontation with Thor Odinson at the wonderfully named Wein’s public bar in Manhattan. The Asgardian’s cowardly assault upon an unsuspecting jade behemoth suggests just how desperate the Thunder God is to “break” his opponent “like the beast you are” before the gamma-irradiated power-house is able to summon his full formidable strength, and similarly shows just how anxious the rest of the Avengers are to avoid a cataclysmic catastrophe such as the one they deliberately caused in Iowa.

Helping this fight-fest bound along at an enjoyable pace, are the well-detailed panels of regular contributor Joe Bennett, whose prodigious pencilling would strongly suggest just how much fun the illustrator was having sketching both the sound defeat of the U-Foes, and the nervous apprehension of Captain America and his colourfully-costumed team-mates. In fact, one of the highlights of “You And Me Against The World” is the Brazilian’s ability to provide a satisfying ‘thud’ behind every one of the Hulk’s punches whenever he trades blows with either Ironclad or a teeth-clenched Thor.

The regular cover art of "IMMORTAL HULK" #46 by Alex Ross

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