Yes, I know he doesn’t really turn into Mr. A.

§ November 18th, 2020 § Filed under this week's comics § 7 Comments

It’s interesting how DC can’t seem to get away from their shared-universe navel-gazing in their events, where everything is a Crisis and the very nature of the universe in which they exist is at stake. I’ve gone on before about how DC has, time and time again, tried to make that Crisis on Infinite Earths “never not was” as they try to put all the pieces back to the way they were, or at least find viable workarounds (like “hypertime”).

Not to say Death Metal isn’t entertaining, because it is. Tossing all the pieces of the DCU into the air, and printing however it falls to ground. Okay, there’s a little more planning to it than that, but if we’re going to have constant explorations of how the DC Universe works, at least let it be entertaining like this.

I would like to thank whoever decided to change the Batman Who Laughs’ dialogue from red-on-black to white-on-black, so that my beleaguered eyeballs may more easily read them. And while I get DC’s glad to have a hit on their hands, maybe for their next Dark Nights series (and there will be one, surely), maybe have fewer $5.99 one-shot tie-ins? While, again, they’ve all been entertaining, the constant onslaught of them is beginning to bum people out. I mean, find a way to squeeze all this into the main series, somehow, honestly.

Apparently the Al Ewing/Joe Bennett run is ending at issue #50, so we only, what, seven, eight months to go? Well, plus tie-ins to events like “King in Black” and whatever other one-shots they’re gonna get in before the end. And I can’t help but wonder how Marvel is going to follow this series with a new Hulk #1. Well, okay, we know they will, but this series has been such a bull-in-a-china-shop when it comes to the character’s premise, its twisting about of the Hulk’s multiple personas in a horror context, that’s been so excellently done that’s it hard to imagine where one would go after that. I mean, they have to, Hulk’s not going away, but as good as this run is, I am sort of excited to see what comes next. I’m pushing for some sort of domestic comedy.

Look, my pal Weshoyot drew a story in this, so you should pick it up. I’ve known her since she was a kid coming into my previous place of employment, and over the ensuring years she’s become a wonderfully talented artist. So glad to see how much success she’s achieved, and look forward to seeing what she does next.

Boy, this is a weird comic. I mean, aside from the fact that there are ads in this book and one moment, you’re in someone’s idea of the Watchmen universe, and the next you’re nose-deep in a Snickers ad. Previous Watchmen knock-offs have had ads in them, I realize, but it seems somewhat more egregious in this title. Particularly that Snickers ad, I swear to God it gets me every time I’m reading a DC.

Anyway, the comic is basically about “What If Steve Ditko Actually Became Mr. A?” and I was amused at first but…I can’t exactly say it’s mean-spirited, but the inspiration it takes from Ditko’s actual life feels just a tad disrespectful. Part of me finds it oddly interesting, part of me is like “yes, we get it, Ditko was kind of an oddball, quit piling on.” Also, this doesn’t really feel like something that should be a twelve-issue series, but who knows, maybe “Kack Jirby” will show up to punch Nazis or something.

Well, what can I tell you, I missed out the first time, so I’m jumping on now. Whether they’ll actually manage complete reprinting of the entire series issue-by-issue is something of a longshot, but hopefully there are enough 1) people like me who missed out and didn’t get trades for whatever reason, and 2) completists who are buying every variant cover for every issue, I suspect there’s a non-zero chance of reaching the end.

That said, I think this is a good package, with plenty of backmatter notes on the making of the issue before you. It is also kinda weird to be reading this in serialized form when, while not having read it as such, I have flipped through enough of the comics as I unpacked them out of the shipping boxes to have at least a mild appreciation of what had been going on, so actually reading the comic now gives me, to say the least, a little more understanding of the nuances of storytelling. You know, like that splash page of Rick shouting “We ARE the walking dead!” which, if there is any justice in this fallen world, will have every letter in that balloon a different color once the reprints reach that point.

7 Responses to “Yes, I know he doesn’t really turn into Mr. A.”

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    I have not been paying any attention to IMMORTAL HULK, so I have to base my guesses entirely on that cover. So…

    …”Immortal” in the title could imply a long time span in the series, i.e., the Hulk has actually been alive for centuries, and here are some of the adventures he has had during all that time. The cover clearly depicts a young(ish) J.K. Simmons. I therefore assume that this issue depicts the Hulk meeting J. Jonah Jameson some thirty or so years ago.

    Am I right?

  • Thom H. says:

    I’ve been loving the Immortal Hulk, which is weird because I’ve never been a big Hulk fan before. The twisted premise is just so, so good. And the fact that it’s underpinned by real sympathy for all of the characters just shows what a good writer Al Ewing is. I’m excited for the rest of this story to play out.

    I have to say that I don’t mind Tom King poking holes in Steve Ditko’s legacy. No disrespect to Ditko’s talent or contributions to the comics industry, but Objectivist ideology is frequently unpleasant and can be downright inhumane. Ditko’s adherence to it (and espousal of it in his comics) means I’m comfortable with lampooning him a little bit.

  • Robcat says:

    Of course there will be fewer $5.99 tie-ins. Probably none at all.

    They will be $6.99 tie-ins..

  • Chris V says:

    I’m guessing since Immortal Hulk is so much a deviation from what we usually see in the Hulk (while still staying loyal to said character) and due to Ewing seeming having an end point to the series that Marvel is allowing him, I can only assume that Ewing will somehow end up erasing most of the changes he brought to the character in the end.
    Then, the next series will be back to boring “Hulk smash!” hijinks.

    I don’t imagine we’ll be seeing the changes Ewing has made to the Hulk being used by future writers.
    I’m not sure any writers at Marvel could do justice to Ewing’s concepts.

  • King of the Moon says:

    The closest equivalent to Immortal Hulk is Swamp Thing “The Anatomy Lesson”.
    It changes everything and nothing can be the same after yet successfully honors everything that came before.

    I know they have to out the toys back on the shelf as they were when they are done but I can’t wait to see what happens with the next creative team that plays with what has been created.

  • Snark Shark says:

    ” Hulk”

    I’d like to know how the cover artist for that issue above managed to make the Hulk look almost EXACTLY like the Sal Buscema version! A VERSION I LOVE!

    “You know, like that splash page of Rick shouting “We ARE the walking dead!””

    In one sense, THAT should have been the climax of the series, as it was this BIG CATHARTIC MOMENT, but the the series ran another 150+ issues.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Swamp Thing “The Anatomy Lesson”.”

    I FINALLY read the entire Alan Moore run this year. The reoccurring events of Swampy and Abby getting separated & getting back together make me think the series was a LOVE story!

    I’m as surprised as anyone.