Review: ‘Immortal Hulk’ #39 Faces Literal Inner Demons

by Tony Thornley


The Leader gets really freaky.


The Leader has proven himself to be the Hulk’s greatest foe his entire existence. However, that takes on a completely different dimension in Immortal Hulk #39.

Cover by Alex Ross

Banner and his alters have found themselves in tough spots before. However, this issue is perhaps one of the worst fans have ever seen. It’s a completely new take on the classic arch-rivalry by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Belardino Brabo, Paul Mounts, and Cory Petit.

The Leader has control of the Green Door. He has taken Gamma Base. He’s even in control of one of the Hulk’s most powerful alters. Can Bruce Banner and hulk allies make it out of this one alive?

After nearly three years of horrifying stories, this issue is perhaps the most horrifying and disturbing yet. The Leader has evolved into something beyond horrible and grotesque, which is perfectly captured in both Ewing’s story and the entire art team. This is a mixture of comic pseudo-science and mysticism that has made this title not only Marvel’s best month after month, but also a run that will redefine the character for generations. Even better here is that Ewing twists the knife halfway through to show readers that this story has tons of potential, even this far into the run.

Bennett, Jose and Brabo’s linework is at its horrifying best. Their design for the Leader’s final form is a twisted take on multiple phobias. The action flows really well as the layouts get more frantic and distorted leading up to the end of the issue. They also continue their mastery of the final page twist with pacing that offers a perfect gut punch. Mounts’ colors continue to set an eerie tone for the story, this time using blue-tinged hues to make the feel of defeat and despair even more palpable.

The Hulk is going through hell again, and this arc teases the terror that’s to come as he does.

Immortal Hulk #39 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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