Absolutely crammed full of some of the Green Goliath’s hardest punches ever depicted, at least as far as the God of Thunder is concerned, Al Ewing’s script for Issue Seven of “The Immortal Hulk” contains a truly astounding fist-fight between its titular character and the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes which must surely have mesmerised many of this comic’s audience in October 2018. In fact, it is debatably difficult to recall a time when the likes of Ghost Rider, Thor Odinson, the Black Panther and She-Hulk have ever been so royally hammered by Bruce Banner’s alter-ego; “He overloaded the vibranium in my suit — Almost an impossibility.”
Rather enjoyably however, this twenty-page periodical’s plot isn’t simply about the Avengers getting their proverbial clocks cleaned at the hands of the gamma-powered giant either, as the British author also pays some welcome attention to the hapless citizens of Iowa who must understandably flee for their very lives once the “Green Alert” is sounded. Focusing primarily upon tiny Julian, an infant who was previously enjoying playing with his Captain Marvel and “Mega-Laser” Iron Man action figures before the alarm was sounded, these intermittent insights into the cost and utter upheaval the ensuing battle creates engagingly brings home the realisation to the reader that there’s more than physical penalty to every super-strong thump thrown; especially when it results in Carol Danvers having to “organise putting a thousand people on Alpha Flight transports” moments before the entire habitable area is vaporized.
Similarly as successful is the “2000 A.D.” writer’s remarkable ability to pen Tony Stark at his arrogant best, despite the “proficient” scientist’s supposedly all-powerful New Hulkbuster suit being bent into “a total write-off” within a matter of moments. Straight from the fight’s start, the dislikeable playboy is desperate to utilise “our big gun parked at 10,000 feet”, even though Shell-head’s team-mates have yet to witness the staggeringly awesome savagery of their jade-skinned opponent. Clearly capable of incinerating anything and everything within its nuclear radius, the Helios Laser is evidently a major last resort, yet the moustached industrialist seemingly can’t wait for an excuse to activate it and mercilessly ‘kill’ “a friend in need.”
Undoubtedly this book’s biggest asset though, has to be Joe Bennett’s sense-shattering pencilling, which really imbues each and every blow drawn with some significant weight. The Incredible Hulk’s trumping of Thor with a single, tooth-jarring sock to the jaw is bone-shudderingly sketched, and it’s evident from the artist’s subsequent panels depicting the bleary, red-eyed Asgardian just how much the skull fracturing hit hurt him.