Immortal Hulk semi-spoiler time! It must have been handy for Al Ewing, writing Empyre with Dan Slott, and able to pick up on where Fantastic Four was heading, able to slot it right in to his penultimate issue of Immortal Hulk with Joe Bennett. But in Immortal Hulk #49. he also adds it to a thread of storylines going back to Bill Mantlo in the eighties and Peter David in the nineties. The series has seen the return of Brian Banner, Bruce Banner's father, possessed by The One Below All and possessing others on his behalf and now The Leader as well. And so we revisit the original death of Brian Banner.
Bill Mantlo, Mike Mignola, and Gerry Talaoc first told the story of Bruce Banner and Brian Banner, the day before the Gamma Bomb that would change everything, visiting his mother's grave.
A scene that would be revisited and retold in Hulk #-1 ten years later by Peter David and Andy Kubert.
What happens next in the original…
With the plastic star being dropped on his mother's grave, is what is referenced in Immortal Hulk #49…
But went down differently than in the second telling in Hulk #-1, and it is that reality which is reflected in today's Immortal Hulk #49, tying both together in one caption.
As for The Fantastic Four? Well, in the most recent FF, Doom's Amagedron turned the Human Torch's power up so that he is permanently flaming on, and in contact pain. A reality now reflected in The Immortal Hulk…
While Dan Slott's other big change to the Fantastic Four, the opening of the Forever Gate…
Might just help The Hulk out this time. Mister Fantastic was one of the principal architects in the Planet Hulk storyline, exiling the Hulk to a different planet and making a mistake in his calculations.
Is this a time of atonement? From one monster to another? The Immortal Hulk #49 by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett is published today by Marvel Comics. The final issue will be published in October, with a look ahead at the relaunch from Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley in a week-and-a-half for Free Comic Book Day, territory dependent.
IMMORTAL HULK #49
(W) Al Ewing (A) Joe Bennett (CA) Alex Ross
• This is the gate into the city of suffering. To the hurt that never ends. This gate is for the lost.
• The gate is a thing of divine power – a thing of forever. But even for the strongest one there is, it bears the warning:
• ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE.
Rated T+In Shops: Aug 04, 2021 SRP: $3.99