What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Immortal Hulk #34! As of recently it has been revealed that this book will be coming to a close at issue #50. Some might be disappointed by this bit of news, but me? I’m excited, because not many Marvel books like Immortal Hulk get the chance to run all the way to #50. Sometimes they aren’t good enough to make it anywhere near that number. And by the way? That still means we have sixteen more issues before the book ends. If you ask me, that is also still a lot to look forward to, and even then we too now know that following Immortal Hulk will be Immortal She-Hulk. The potential in that is infinite.
With that said, there was a reason that we were all looking forward to this next issue in particular. With the conclusion to the last story arc, came the big reveal that The Leader has been among the group for some time now. Not only this, but in the body of Rick Jones? It really made you wonder how it came to this. How no one on the team could have picked up that one of their own was not being himself. These were questions we needed to get to the bottom of, and it seemed like the entirety of this issue was going to be treating us to the very things we wanted to know about how The Leader of all people has been connected to the Green Door. Truthfully, I’m just shocked by how easy it was to forget all about The Leader, considering everything which has been unfolding since issue #1. If you weren’t here, or the She-Hulk with the Avengers, than you probably assumed that the person was de-powered from when the Hulk went draining everyone some time ago.
Now what better way to understand this new revelation than to go all the way back to the start. The story which Ewing weaved together for The Leader was brilliant. His experience was unlike anyone else’s. In fact, I appreciated that the existence of the Green Door was given more depth through his story. This wasn’t a thing which just suddenly popped up at the start of this book, we come to learn that it has been around for some time. The Leader was our entrypoint into understanding a bit more about what this thing is capable of. Not only for the way it brings the Gamma-irradiated back to life, but for the way it toys with the minds of those who aren’t quick enough to challenge the reality that they are in fact dying and coming back to life.
Where the horror of this kicked in was the audacity of belief from The Leader. Leave it to a madman like this that his first death would create a descent into madness. Doing everything in his power to get the what, how, and why. More effort than any of the others put in. This issue was all about exploring everything unnatural about the Green Door, and giving the worst guy the keys to the kingdom.
It wasn’t surprising that with this issue we would instead have a guest artist in Butch Guice, and guest inker in Tom Palmer. Butch Guice was not a name I could have a problem with either. This is a writer who I have found to be very fitting for stories like this. In fact, I was more impressed with his work here because the product was more demanding than anything else I have seen him draw before. I mean, when you think of The Leader, you don’t think of anything too significant. Though when you mix everything surreal about the Green Door? There was a lot of things he was able to have fun with. Abominations, inventions, not to mention changes in scenery from his numerous trips to the other side. His pencil strokes were able to capture all of this with detail and depth. As for Paul Mounts on color, of course it was this guy who set the atmosphere for everything which unfolded in this story. The colors were tame with consistency, but the green popped as well to create a sense of wonder for The Leader. Once more it was also the shade(s) of green he used which stood out most. I mean, this is as supernatural as it gets when you are dealing with anything Hulk related.
When life gives you a Green Door, why not walk through it until you understand what’s on the other side? Immortal Hulk #34 may have been an issue designed to give insight into The Leader’s involvement, but it also created a chilling experience for the insanity that comes with purposefully looking into the abyss. In The Leaders case? It does tend to look back.