The Immortal Hulk #14
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Kyle Hotz
Colors by Paul Mounts
Letters by Cory Petit
Betty Ross has had enough.
Enough of her father.
Enough of her husband.
Enough of this life.
When she is forced to attend the third funeral for her father Thunderbolt Ross, she is already over it. The stilted and awkward eulogy from Tony Stark doesn’t help. The absence of Steve Rogers doesn’t help. The threatening speech from her father’s protegé Reginald Fortean doesn’t help either. Betty is over all of it and all of them.
When she flies back to her home and finds her formerly dead husband Bruce sitting on the porch waiting for him, she runs into his arms and tells him that they are being watched. From her last conversation with Fortean, she knows she is being watched and Bruce coming to her would be something they would expect.
After ushering him into the house, she proceeds to listen to his excuses about why he let her think he was dead. She listens to him go on about his fears and how he didn’t want to hurt her. She listens with a different frame of mind than she used to. She’s angry with him. All the things he’s done as Bruce and Hulk that she’s sat on the sidelines and allowed to happen are coming to the surface for her. When she finally gets her moment to tell him the truth, an assassin’s bullet rips through the house.
The aftermath is going to leave a path of destruction in its wake and even the intervention of a friend might not be enough to stop what’s coming.
This entire issue was building to something both tragic and revelatory. Al Ewing goes for the gut by removing the emotional safety net that readers have come to expect from Betty Ross. He takes things to a dark and brutally honest place with her going over the darkest parts of her life with Bruce, her father and the world that they dragged her into and cast her aside in. Ewing brings up some really dark parts of Hulk’s canon that usually get glossed over and thankfully allows the reader to feel more for Betty because she hasn’t glossed over them. There is some gripping emotional dialogue in this issue and the best part is Betty dissecting Bruce’s measured excuses in her mind.
Kyle Hotz’s style is perfect for this issue. It’s stark, dramatic and filled with details and shadows. It fits the tone of this story perfectly.