Despite “Marvel Worldwide” stating at its time of printing that this twenty-page periodical supposedly sported the start of “The Green Door” storyline, it is difficult to believe many readers of “The Immortal Hulk” were particularly enamoured with Al Ewing’s lack-lustre visit behind the walls of “the mysterious Shadow Base”. Indeed, with the exception of a conscientious monitor who is ordered to have their “implant procedures reversed by 0600” so as to “report to sanitation for a mop”, little in the way of either excitement or interest arguably occurs throughout the entire publication.
Admittedly, the brief cameo by Alpha Flight within which General Reginald Fortean demands the extradition of Walter Langowski so as terminate him via death by “lethal injection”, as well as the subsequent confrontation between Colonel Carol Danvers and Bruce Banner on a deserted night-time Iowa roadside, certainly bodes well for this series’ future instalment. But such dialogue-heavy sequences debatably do little for Issue Six of “The Immortal Hulk” except establish the comic as nothing more than a disappointing ‘filler’ packed full of Captain Marvel’s prevarications concerning the Avengers being on hand not “to hurt you, Bruce” and General “Thunderbolt” Ross’s trusted second-in-command pontificating as to the dangers of even remotely caring about the innocent bystanders who “have all given aid and comfort to the Hulk.”
In fact, in many ways the “2000 A.D.” writer’s narrative for “Action/Reaction” consists of the author simply penning a somewhat never-ending procession of panels featuring or mentioning almost everyone (and anyone) who has ever previously come to note as a secondary cast member within the Green Goliath’s previous tales, such as Jackie McGee, Betty Ross, Leonard Samson, Amadeus Cho, Rick Jones, Jennifer Walters, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. Whilst “the soft-spoken bearded Brit” simultaneously introduces a bewildering number of his own characters from deep inside the United States Hulk Operations secret headquarters; “I seem to remember the Great America Public wasn’t too thrilled with how Gamma Base was run back in the day. If they knew about Shadow Base…”
Questionably this comic’s greatest frustration though has to be the pencilling of “Lovely” Lee Garbett, whose scratchy-styled drawings are shockingly very much to Ewing’s liking, according to the book’s letters page. Described by Al in his “Gamma-Grams” foreword as someone “I’ve been wanting to do something with… since our Loki: Agent of Asgard days”, it is hard to imagine just how poor this title’s “first full-issue guest artist” must have been whilst illustrating the God of Mischief’s magazine if “his art’s taken a quantum leap into new levels of gorgeousness since…”