The Hulk is finally getting a comic series relaunch and this time he is no longer incredible, now he is immortal … at least he isn’t red or sporting a beard or faux-hawk. At long last, the one and only Hulk/Bruce Banner will make a return to Marvel comics! The setup for his return is currently playing out in the Avengers: No Surrender story arc which will lead up to a new ongoing series titled The Immortal Hulk starting this June! Why does the series use the immortal descriptor? Well, apparently, Bruce Banner will walk the earth during the day, while the Hulk will come out after nightfall. But here’s the catch: Bruce can be killed during the day but the Hulk will always come to life at night, hence the immortal tag and horror theme. If you are familiar with the Hulk’s history, you will recognize the homage to the character’s early day/night activity as depicted in the original 6 issue comic series so this plays well as an homage to the Hulk’s origin. The horror theme is also a great nod to the inspiration that Stan Lee drew from the Frankenstein and Jekyll/Hyde horror stories when creating the Hulk. See below for a teaser description of the series:
When night falls across the Marvel Universe its heroes must be extra vigilant because that’s when the monsters come out; both the human and supernatural kind. This summer though a new monster with incredible strength will lay claim to the night. During the day this savage creature will be chained inside the psyche and fragile physical form of a human, but when the sun goes down the savage and undying brute will run free.
Al Ewing (writer) and artist Joe Bennett’s new ongoing series Immortal Hulk will carry a horror themed approach with the Hulk being more of a monster at night. The Hulk as a monster? Yeah – that works for me! Below are a few excerpts from a CBR interview with Al and Joe which I highly recommend reading if you want some great insight about the story and the art for the series.
Al Ewing: Okay – to begin with, the title character is Bruce Banner, and Bruce Banner is the Immortal Hulk, the World’s Mightiest Mortal, the Green Goliath, the Strongest One There Is, et cetera, et cetera. A lot of people have been a little wary that we’re actually bringing him back for keeps this time, so I figure this is as good a place as any to confirm that yes, this is Banner, he’s back, he’s got an ongoing solo series and he’s not going to die again any time soon. In fact, that’s kind of the point.
Joe Bennett: Tom Brevoort asked me if I’d be interested in a new Hulk series featuring unique visuals and atmosphere. Al’s scripts really evoke those elements, too, so I decided I should approach the book with a style reminiscent of Bernie Wrightson. The Green Goliath will have a darker and more nocturnal look in this book. I’m trying to evoke the feel of all those great Warren magazines like Eerie, and Creepy
Al Ewing: Banner can die. The Hulk can’t. If you shoot Banner in the head – he’ll fall over dead. He’ll lie there all day, dead as dirt, growing cold, getting stiff… right up until the sun goes down. And then… well, night is the Hulk’s time. And the Hulk remembers.
A couple additional teases of note are the introduction of a female reporter named Jackie McGee which is an obvious homage to the TV series character and the inclusion of Walter Langkowski, aka the Sasquatch within the story. The cover art by Alex Ross looks fantastic and is a great homage to the Hulk 105 issue (wow, lots of homage going on here). I have been cautiously optimistic about this series but this story now has me hooked and expecting great things! The anticipation to see what Marvel has in store for our favorite Jade Giant is sky high! See below for some sneaked artwork for the series – click to enlarge. Enjoy!