The Immortal Hulk 1: Or Is He Both?

immortal hulk volume 1 or is he both cover trade paperback tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Better than many Marvel books right now

Anticipation of the series was greater than the collection

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Immortal Hulk/Avengers (Volume 5)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer:  Al Ewing/Mark Waid/Jim Zub

Artist:  Joe Bennett/Paul Hornschemeier/Marguerite Sauvage/Garry Brown

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2018

immortal hulk #3 cover alex ross art

The Immortal Hulk #3

Reprints The Immortal Hulk #1-5 and Avengers (5) #684 (May 2018-November 2018).  Bruce Banner is dead…or is he?  When reports of the Hulk begin popping up around the country, no one will confirm that the Hulk has returned.  Bruce finds himself no long aimlessly rampaging as the Hulk, but instead seeking out information about the gamma rays that have left him immortal.  In addition to a reporter named Jackie McGee, someone seems to be hunting Bruce…and the truth could be more frightening than the Hulk itself.

Written by Al Ewing, The Immortal Hulk Volume 1:  Or Is He Both? is a Marvel Comics collection of the acclaimed series.  With art by Joe Bennett, Paul Hornschemeier, Marguerite Sauvage, and Garry Brown, the issues in this volume were also collected as part of The Immortal Hulk—Volume 1.  The collection also contains the Immortal Hulk’s first appearance in Avengers (5) #684 which featured a story by Al Ewing, Mark Waid, and Jim Zub and art by Bennett.

I collected Avengers:  No Surrender but quickly fell behind reading the issues.  I started hearing a buzz about the The Immortal Hulk pretty quickly, but I had already missed the boat.  With short collections, I thought I’d pick up the first volume and read it.  While I enjoy it, I found my anticipation of the series was a bit higher than what I got (at least in this volume).

The series blends aspects of the Bill Bixby-Lou Ferrigno Incredible Hulk TV series with a more horrific take on the Hulk than most writers take.  The odd thing is that the Hulk isn’t out of control as in most of the “scary Hulk” stories but instead he is in control…which has potential of being worse.  Banner is a slave to the Hulk and the Hulk essentially is leading him around most of the series.

immortal hulk #5 cover sasquatch alex ross art

The Immortal Hulk #5

Like the TV show, Bruce is essentially on the run, but unlike the TV series, he doesn’t really have anything to fear.  He knows the Hulk’s ability, and he knows the Hulk cannot die (at least by any means he’s discovered).  The Hulk just reanimates.  He’s “pursued by an investigative reporter” just like in the series (but with a gender swap making Jack McGee into Jackie McGee) and there are other nods to the TV series like Walter Langkowski’s gamma machine and the Del Frye character is named after a Hulk character in a great two episode story.

What keeps me from loving the series is that I keep expecting it to do something completely different.  Like Wolverine, the idea of the Hulk being immortal isn’t a new thing and writers have played with it before.  I also feel that the retro tone of the series feels a bit like Bruce Jones’ run on the Hulk in the early 2000s which I read an enjoyed (and this made me wishing that it was collected in a few volumes).

Don’t get me wrong, the series isn’t bad and it is one of the better interpretations of the Hulk in recent years.  I simply hope that following this volume that it amps up into something that worthy of the fanfare and praise that the comic book receives.  The Immortal Hulk is better than many Marvel series right now, but there are also series better than The Immortal Hulk being published.  The Immortal Hulk 1:  Or Is He Both? is followed by Immortal Hulk 2:  The Green Door.

Related Links:

The Immortal Hulk 2:  The Green Door

The Immortal Hulk 3:  Hulk in Hell

The Immortal Hulk 4:  Abomination

The Immortal Hulk 5:  Breaker of Worlds

The Immortal Hulk 6:  We Believe in Bruce Banner

The Immortal Hulk 7:  Hulk Is Hulk

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response