“The Walking Ghost”
Written by: Al Ewing
Art by: Joe Bennet
Bruce Banner is back from the dead. Is he a man or a monster? Whatever he is, when night falls The Immortal Hulk walks the streets!
Previously in Immortal Hulk: Hulk is back from the dead and back on the run. With the whole world thinking he’s dead, our hero is granted more freedom than usual to explore rural America. Unfortunately, trouble has a way of finding Hulk. While Bruce Banner may be content with laying low, once night falls the Hulk has other plans on how to spend his time. After a robbery goes wrong, Hulk finds his way to the criminal’s hideout to dispense a gamma-powered beat-down. Those bikers may be tough, but they’re not tough enough to take down the Hulk. This little act of vigilante justice creates some new heat for Banner as a perceptive cop is now on their trail. Where will our wandering hero show up next, and who will be unlucky enough to encounter the Hulk? Keep reading to find out!
Today’s Resurrection: Dr. Banner continues his journey across America, following his gut and acting on a hunch when the time is right. Upon arriving at a small town, one of these hunches begins to kick in for Banner. There’s something odd going on in this little town, and Banner thinks it might have something to do with a local scientist. It’s time for Banner to do some investigating of his own. After a stop at the local cemetery to find clues, the perpetrator’s location is soon revealed. Once night falls it’s the Hulk’s turn to investigate. The culprit is soon found, and the mystery of the town’s tragic events is put to rest. Where will Banner’s reliable instincts take him next? Come back next issue to find out!
Personal Thoughts and Opinions: While the first issue of Immortal Hulk was a great way to establish that Hulk is going back to the very beginnings of his character, this issue delves even deeper into that mentality. This comic seems to be going for a very simple yet entertaining premise. Banner makes his way across America, and will continue to run into new occurrences as he does so. While this means we won’t be getting any sort of grand over-arching story (at least not yet), the more grounded storytelling this delivers allows us to dive further into Hulk/Banner as a character.
The writing in this issue continues to be top notch. The backstory of this issue’s villain is brief but incredibly tragic. Even though he’s a single issue character you can fully understand his motivations and reasoning after only a few pages. There’s so many great one-liner’s as well. My favorite this issue being “The itch returns, focused on a single point. Right where the arrow went in.” What’s interesting as well is that Mr. Ewing’s version of the Hulk is clearly not a mindless beast. He speaks nearly as well as Banner, but he’s still a rage filled beast with little remorse or empathy this time around. If Banner continues to be a hero, Hulk has become more of a vigilante this time around. My only wish is that we see some more true fight scenes for the Hulk in future issues. It’s always sad when Hulk doesn’t get to destroy something big.
The art in this issue is just as good as the first one. Each character’s facial expressions are very detailed, making it easy to understand what emotions they’re going through. The Hulk’s design remains the clear stand-out among everything else. His gargantuan size is clearly shown and his face has an almost cave-man like appearance to it (which I think is a reference to his original appearance). The theme of the book continues to express that of a horror movie, and between the horrific events in the book and the artwork used to portray them it definitely earns that comparison.