Classic Hulk villain has been given quite the lease of life in the second half of Al Ewing and Joe Bennett's Immortal Hulk. And as last week's Immortal Hulk #0, Immortal Hulk #35 and Immortal She-Hulk #0 are all published in the UK today, there is a triple serving.
Previously, we've seen that The Leader has been dying and returning to life from The Down Below via the Green Door for longer than most, giving him powers to manipulate other Gamma-irradiated beings who find themselves joining him when they die, and possessing them to do their bidding, such as one Rick Jones.
He has also has been in receipt from a message from the future.
Not just any old future, but from the very end of the universe, with a husk of a Hulk destroying what life still remains.
As 'The One Below All', a malevolent entity that resides in the Below-Place – the deepest layer of Hell.
A future that The Leader is aware of – and may be trying to actively bring into being.
In Immortal Hulk #0, that includes encountering Bruce Banner's abusive Brian Banner in The Below Place – and possessing him too.
And revisiting an earlier scene in Immortal Hulk.
By showing what happened next.
Before he even met Bruce Banner down there.
It has been The Leader all along?
Immortal Hulk #35 saw The Leader's plans play out, just as he had foreseen. Playing with the dead Leonard Samson and demonstrating his increasing abilities.
That close the Green Doors that gamma mnutates use to return to life from Below.
Clever chap, getting his pawns in all the right place to enable him to do what he always wanted, with each thinking it was all their own idea.
And eventually, it seemed, possess the Scar identity of Hulk, returning to his body. The Leader in the body of The Hulk? Is that what may lead to the end of the universe?
And in Immortal She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters also has a shared history, and appears to have dodged the bullet. For now. In previous Immortal Hulks we had seen that She-Hulk had died in Civil War II, rather than the coma that the story told back then.
In Immortal She-Hulk, he get Walters' lifestory, as well as her own journeys Down Below after dying, especially the recent Empyre event.
And meeting Brian Banner… whoever he may have been back then. And a certain other guest.
Who explains more what he is doing with the Green Doors.
As well a) letting her go but b) instigating a warning.
Is it one she'll heed?
IMMORTAL SHE-HULK #1
(W) Al Ewing (A) Jon Davis-Hunt (CA) Joe Bennett
N THE WAKE OF EMPYRE, JEN WALTERS GOES IMMORTAL!
The Cotati invasion has changed everything for Jennifer Walters. Now she seems to have a new lease on life…but things are never that simple for the gamma-powered. Al Ewing gives She-Hulk the "IMMORTAL" treatment with a horrifying stand-alone tale!
Rated T+In Shops: Sep 23, 2020
IMMORTAL HULK #0
(W) Bill Mantlo, Peter David, Al Ewing (A) Mike Mignola, Adam Kubert (A/CA) Mattia De Iulis
THE REAL STORY OF BRIAN BANNER – WITH A NEW TALE BY AL EWING!
Al Ewing and Joe Bennett's Immortal Hulk series has illuminated the Hulk's history like none before it. This special issue reprints INCREDIBLE HULK #312 and INCREDIBLE HULK #-1, two of the pivotal stories that inspired the Immortal take on Brian Banner, Bruce's father and the terrifying conduit to the One Below All. Plus: A brand-new story reveals yet more secrets behind this mastermind of cruelty. A can't-miss issue for any Immortal Hulk fanatic!
Rated T+In Shops: Sep 16, 2020
IMMORTAL HULK #37
(W) Al Ewing (A) Joe Bennett (CA) Alex Ross
• When Bruce Banner first came to Shadow Base, he was cut up into pieces and stored in jars. Now Shadow Base is under his control.
• But Bruce Banner was only the second test subject.
• Now… THE FIRST is free.Rated T+In Shops: Sep 16, 2020 SRP: $3.99