In Praise Of… Joe Bennett on Immortal Hulk (Spoilers)

It is true that in recent years, critical appreciation of comic books has often gravitated towards the writer rather than the artist. Marvel and DC PR has pushed the writer experience, especially as a bulwark against Image Comics, formed by artists, and everyone – including Image – then copied that. There have been attempts over the years to turn that around, Marvel's Young Guns here, DC's New Age Of Heroes there, with many writers going overboard to credit the artist for the creative experience, but has reader interest has swung towards plot twists and character journeys, the art is sometimes seen as a filter for what is actually happening. Which considering the power it has to change and twist a story, is unfair. Today that is no more apparent in three books to me – Jorge Fornes' contrast with Mikel Janin on Batman #60, Stephanie Hans world building in Die #1 and Joe Bennett on Immortal Hulk #10.

Because much of the coverage of this book has focused on Al Ewing creating this horror-based take on the Hulk, a creature of the night, and engaging in far more surreal and reality-challenging antics than usual, with comparisons drawn to Alan Moore's Swamp Thing. But that also fails to recognise that so much of the appeal of those stories was from Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch, John Totleben and friends.

Joe Bennett, with inkers Ruy Jose, Le Beau Underwood and Rafael Fonteriz with colourist Paul Mounts have created a deeply disturbing world that is neverless very pallatable to the eye, even when drawing the most distrubing body horror, it retains a cartoony charm, somehow somewhere between Alan Davis and Bernie Wrightson and I never thought those two worlds could meet.

As, basically, the Hulk and what is left of the Absorbing Man beat each other up, drawing energy from the other and destroying each other at their core.

And we are getting an Anatomy Lesson in the process…

Looks like it's going to get even more challenging in issues to come, too…

(W) Al Ewing (A) Joe Bennett (CA) Alex Ross
• Gamma Flight was too late. Shadow Base is infiltrated. Crusher Creel is damned. And the One Below All walks upon Earth.
•  Now, in the place he was born, the Immortal Hulk is the last thing standing between the world of the living…
•  …and the GREEN DOOR.
Rated T+In Shops: Dec 05, 2018
SRP: $3.99



About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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