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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Reader's Diary #2153- Al Ewing (writer), Joe Bennett (artist): The Immortal Hulk vol. 1

It's a cliche at this point that no one stays dead in the comics. And while it's usually just laughed off, I'd say that it's a real problem. It's why in 2016, when Hawkeye killed the Hulk, it should have been shocking, should have had readers in tears, but instead it was met with shrugs. We all knew he'd be back and most likely soon. Sure enough, he's back. And to add to the problem, new writers are coming up with new characters all the time, some of whom are even obvious replacements. But with publishers insistence that readers will miss legacy characters too much or some nonsense, we wind up with a world way too populated with superheroes and no one really given the chance to invest in new versions (unless it's Miles Morales, maybe Ms. Marvel). Sure The Immortal Hulk is good, but there's no reason a similar story couldn't have been told with the Amadeus Cho version of Hulk rather than drag Bruce Banner back from the meaningless dead.

Jeff Lemire writes the intro to this collection and based on his high praise, I was convinced it would be so good as to make me forget all that. It was not. Again, it's a decent comic. There's an arc but each story stands alone, it has horror elements, and the art is fantastic. Plus I liked cameos by characters I've not really had enough exposure to (notably Sasquatch). But overall, I was never able to shake the feeling that there's no reason for the book to exist.

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