The Immortal Hulk #4
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Joe Bennett
Inks by Ruy Jose
Colors by Paul Mounts
Letters by Cory Petit
It’s always been an interesting aspect of the Hulk mythology that all of the experiments to recreate him have been hit or miss. It’s leads one to question what makes Bruce so unique in how he became the Hulk without it murdering him. The issue is a little side step into the history of Bruce Banner, specifically from the point of view of his college roommate Walter Langkowski aka Sasquatch from Alpha Flight.
Reporter Jacqueline McGee is getting closer to finding the Hulk, but she is sidetracked by meeting with Langkowski. When a report of another Hulk sighting emerges, the pair go to investigate and along the way, Walt tells his story of going to school with Bruce, his personality and eventually, the Canadian governments proposition to him to recreate the experiment that created the Hulk as a deterrent in case Bruce ever wandered north. This is as much Walt’s story as Bruce’s and we get a sense of where McGee’s obsession with finding the Hulk stems from. It’s a good flashback that pays off later when McGee comes face to face with Banner.
After following Banner’s trail to another bar, a bar fight ensues causing an injury that lands the pair in the local hospital and an ominous Banner recounting the similarities between his gamma signature and Walt’s just before telling McGee that the hospital needs to be evacuated.
This whole issue was a slow build to what looks like a huge fight in the next issue. Why that slow build works is because Al Ewing has done a really good job of grounding the story and the dialogue. There are relatively low stakes in this issue until close to the end and that works because the characters are given time to grow. I liked knowing there was a personal stake in McGee’s quest to find Banner. I liked knowing that there was a rivalry between Bruce and Walt in college and the mystery of the green door is starting to take shape and make sense for this story.
Bennett’s art is great in this issue. There are some great facial experessions from both Jacqueline and Walt and Bennett does an awesome job of framing and composing panels to convey the emotion of the character.