Immortal Hulk: The Green Door – Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Lee Garbett, Martin Simmonds, Ruy Jose, Beau Underwood, Rafael Fonteriz & Paul Mounts (Marvel)

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Bruce Banner was dead. Killed by his friend Clint Barton, Bruce and his rampaging alter-ego were confined to history. Or so everyone thought. But anger doesn’t die easily, and the Hulk wasn’t ready to let Banner drag him into eternal darkness, so he brought them both back to the land of the living. And that was when Bruce Banner realised that he could never die, that the Hulk’s anger would never let him know the peace of the grave and so he surrendered himself to the partnership that defined his life and acquiesced to the strongest there is and began to walk the Earth once more.

Banner by day, Hulk by night, he lurked in the shadows and remained hidden from the world. Until the Hulk clashed with a possessed Sasquatch, drained him of his gamma energy and revealed, and confirmed, his existence to the super-secret, nefarious moustache twirling government affiliated scientists and soldiers of Shadow Base. Once he was on their radar, there was nothing that they wouldn’t do to capture Banner and learn his secrets and The Green Door is the story of how Shadow Base’s attempt to discover all they could about the Gamma irradiated horror backfired spectacularly.

Shadow Base soon realises, after dispatching the Avengers to capture him and creating their own super-soldier to subdue him that the Hulk wasn’t alone after his battle with Sasquatch ended. The thing that possessed Sasquatch found a new home in Banner’s head, and despite his best efforts to rid himself of it, Shadow Base keep throwing a spanner in the works, delaying the Hulk’s mission to eliminate his guest and provide it with a new host that it uses to open The Green Door. However, unlike the jade coloured entrance in the infamous Mitchell Brothers film, Al Ewing’s Green Door doesn’t lead to paradise. Ewing’s door is a portal to damnation and strands the Hulk, and his friends and foes alike, in Hell. 

I was never what you’d call a Hulkamaniac before I became hopelessly inveigled in Al Ewing’s brilliantly imaginative take on the character that embraces the continual struggle between Banner and the Hulk and uses their widely different personalities and goals as his central theme. Ewing doesn’t allow the Hulk to become a bumbling fool and understands that anger and rage are energies that need a release and uses the Hulk to do just that, to unleash them on the world. His characterisation, plot and dialogue are glorious and are equalled only by the majesty of the artistic talent that have gathered together to bring this story to life. In Immortal Hulk, the titular character isn’t a simplistic, semi-intelligent beast content to do a little smashing before allowing Banner to take the wheel again, he’s a single-minded, driven monster who having achieved parity with his creator accepts the horror that walks with him and while he doesn’t revel in it, he gladly acknowledges that it’s this horror, caused by his hands, that will eventually, and completely, break Banner.  The Hulk is finally incredible…  Tim Cundle

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