Writer For Marvel Comics’ The Immortal Hulk Discusses The Question Of Man Or Monster?

It had been a while since we had seen the Hulk in comics. No I am not talking about that terrible replacement Amadeus Cho, but the real Hulk Bruce Banner. He had been “dead” since he was was shot in the brain with a gamma-irradiated vibrainum arrow by Clint Barton aka Hawkeye in the disappointing 2016 Marvel Comics event Civil War II written by Brian Michael Bendis with artwork by David Marquez.

In June of this year Bruce Banner and the Hulk returned to comic books in a book titled The Immortal Hulk, written by Al Ewing with art by Joe Bennett and cover done by Alex Ross. Ewing has taken this this iconic Marvel character back to his roots in the horror genre, something that he had been pushing since it was known that the character was going to come back.

During this year’s New York Comic Con, The Comic Source’s Jace had the opportunity to speak with Ewing about the book and the big question, is he a man or monster?

“It’s up to the individual reader to answer that question about the Hulk, about all the other characters in the book, about themselves”, said Ewing. In the first issue of the book, we find Banner alone and cut off from everyone else and on the run. Once the sun sets, the Hulk takes over even if, as we see in the first few pages of the issue, Banner has been shot in the head and is laying dead in a morgue. So are the Hulk and Banner even the same person?

When Banner looks at his reflection, he does not see a mirror image of himself, instead he sees the Hulk staring right back at him. At one point we even see Banner questioning if in fact he is a bad person? Something that he cannot answer with a grinning Hulk staring right at him. Ewing talks about this as one of the themes in the book saying that, “we all have our kind of hulks, we all have the parts of ourselves that we can’t admit to, that we can’t look in the eye”.

Is Banner just denying part of himself that comes to light as the Hulk? Is this just part of him that he needs to accept? It would seem like this is a question that we might be able to answer at the end of Ewing’s run as we follow Banner’s journey to try an answer the question himself. But Ewing does give us clue in the opening of the first issue with a quote from psychologist Carl Gustav Jung that states, “man is one the whole less good than he imagines himself or wants to be”.

To accompany this great theme of man or monster The Immortal Hulk‘s artist, Joe Bennett, is doing a fantastic job at creating a visually stunning Hulk that fits the horror vibe that the book is going for. The facial expressions he gives the characters especially in the eyes gives readers a very good idea of the fear and panic some of the characters are feeling. Not to mention the close up shots of the Hulk really allowing readers to get a sense of his size that does not seem to fit in any panel. Bennett started off his comic career drawing horror stories in Brazil, which has allowed him to do a great job on this title.

As the interview progressed with Ewing, it was interrupted several times by fans of the book who expressed how thrilled they were with this version of the Hulk. With seven issues out it’s definitely not too late to jump on and enjoy The Immortal Hulk.

Have you read any of The Immortal Hulk? Let us know in the comment section below!

Marvel Comics’ The Immortal Hulk #8 will hit comic book stands on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018.

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Manny Gomez

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