The Immortal Hulk #50 Review: Marvel Comics’ Evil Problem

0

The Hulk is a character who plays well with that most essential element of all comics: juxtaposition. Comics place images, words, and ideas side-by-side in order to construct new understandings. Hulk functions in much the same way in both literal, as the powerful Hulk and weak Bruce Banner, and metaphorical, as with the childlike Hulk and cynical Joe Fixit. The Immortal Hulk has filtered these contrasts and comparisons through the genres of science-fiction and horror, transforming the concept of gamma radiation into a mythical entity capable of opening the gates to Hell. Yet the existence of Hell suggests the possibility of its opposite and all that entails. The Immortal Hulk may have begun with dark twists on science, but it also began as a morality play and that is exactly where it ends on the grandest scale imaginable.

And so The Immortal Hulk #50 sets out to address the problem of evil.

Even after clearing the decks and delivering only a trio of protagonists to the finale in Hell, this issue utilizes every panel of this 96-page issue well. It’s a necessity for a sprawling narrative which even introduces a new story from the past to frame everything in the present. Spoiling the many revelations of this issue would do a disservice to one of the most masterful runs in modern superhero storytelling, especially one that closes out its story in far greater fashion than most. However, those who are familiar with the problem of evil from philosophy and theology likely already see where this story is directed.

Given that the villains of the piece are The Leader supported by The One Below All—essentially the Devil—the stakes and scope couldn’t get much higher. So it’s no surprise when a childlike Hulk essentially beseeches the universe to explain why the child Bruce Banner had to suffer, to justify the very existence of suffering. It’s a valid question, especially in a universe with higher powers, but answering the question hasn’t become any easier in the millennia since Epicurus posed the question.

That makes writer Al Ewings addressal of the question all the more remarkable. In The Immortal Hulk #1 it seemed possible to address evil with power – a superhuman punch delivered to a child killer. Yet as the story continued and the evils multiplied, growing to include the military-industrial complex among many other complex topics, this childish solution, inherent to the superhero genre, grew… Brinkwire Summary Entertainment News.

Share.

Comments are closed.