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.
This is the description of the title character of writer Al Ewing and artist Joe Bennett's new ongoing series Immortal Hulk, which launches this June as part of Marvel Comics Fresh Start initiative, and features covers by Alex Ross.
Ewing and Bennett spoke exclusively with CBR about their new, horror-themed comic, which finds Bruce Banner walking the Earth and using his savage, nocturnal alter-ego as an instrument of justice and vengeance. And in addition to re-thinking Bruce Banner's classic fate, the series will introduce a new character inspired by the classic Incredible Hulk television show, and feature a former member of Alpha Flight in a supporting role.
In June, you launch Immortal Hulk. Will this spin out of what's currently going on with Banner in “Avengers: No Surrender?” And how similar and how different is this Hulk from some of the more recent incarnations of the character?
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.
To answer another question that's going to be right at the top of people's minds - yes, this is spinning out of “No Surrender,” and obviously we hope you're reading that. However, you absolutely do not need to have read “No Surrender” - or any other comic ever published by Marvel or anyone else - to enjoy Immortal Hulk. We take care of all the hows and whys and wherefores of Hulk's various resurrections in “No Surrender” Episode 10, which I believe is Avengers #684 - that has a special additional 10-page prologue story by me and Joe where will deal with all of that. And then we're free to go into Immortal Hulk with all those questions answered and without any baggage. That was very important to me - to be able to make that promise, from me to you, that you do not need to read a single other comic to enjoy Immortal Hulk #1. Retailers - there's nothing else your customers will need. Readers - I welcome you with open arms. We want every Hulk fan, old and new, to experience this.
Because this is going to be a very good comic, and hopefully unlike any Hulk comic you've read before. It's a comic about a monster who can't die. It's about a man who believes he can use the darkest elements of his personality to do good in the world, and where that belief leads him. It's about mortality, atonement and denial. It's about all the parts of ourselves we don't like to look at. It's a horror comic. And if we've done even half the job I think we have, it'll be one of the most talked-about comics of 2018.