The Immortal Hulk #9
Written by Al Ewing
Art by Martin Simmonds and Joe Bennett
Inks by Ruy Jose
Colors by Paul Mounts
Letters by Cory Petit
Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Crusher Creel aka The Absorbing Man has had a one-sided rivalry with the Hulk his entire career and his pride has landed him in prison. That same pride has prevented him from taking opportunities that would alter the course of his life and that pride is going to put into a position where he takes an offer from Shadow Base.
Hulk emerges in the desert and decides to head back to the place where he was created; Los Diablos. The question Hulk has to ask himself is if he chose to go there or if the entity inside him hiding behind the face of his abusive father led him there.
Crusher is given an opportunity at the base to finally take down the Hulk through some enhancements to his powers. The General plays into his pride to convince him. When Hulk escapes from the base, Creel is activated to bring him in.
An unsuspecting Hulk is dealing with the visions in his head as he tries to regain control. When Absorbing Man catches up to him and attacks, the augments to his powers have a devastating effect on the Hulk, but Hulk gets stronger the angrier he gets and his anger is going to have an even bigger effect on Creel. When the Absorbing Man finally realizes, too late, the cost of his pride, we finally get to see who has been after Hulk and the Green Goliath himself is shocked with the aftermath of what happened.
I love the direction this story is going. There are so many strange twists and turns that are taking the Hulk somewhere dark. I really want to know what this entity has to do with Hulk and whether the new dynamic between Hulk and Banner is connected. Al Ewing has injected a lot of character history and mystery into this issue and I continue to be intrigued about where this journey will lead.
The art by Simmonds and Bennett is great. The contrasting styles between Creel’s perspective and Hulk’s is well executed.