“Point of View”
Written by: Al Ewing
Art by: Joe Bennet, Leonardo Romero, Paul Hornschemeier, Marguerite Sauvage and Garry Brown
Bruce Banner is back from the dead. Is he a man or a monster? Whatever he is, when night falls, the Immortal Hulk walks the streets!
Previously in Immortal Hulk:
Our dear friend, Dr. Banner, is continuing his trek across America. Yet wherever Hulk goes, trouble isn’t far away. After spending some time to chat with the locals, Banner learns of a mysterious “chain of grief” affecting the town. A local sports star has died suddenly and no one is sure why, but he has a hunch and decides to check out the cemetery to investigate. It doesn’t take long before the culprit is found and given some justice by the Hulk. Sadly in this case, there are no heroes and villains. Only the ones we’ve lost and the ones that remain behind. With another mystery solved, the good doctor takes his leave to continue his journey.
What will our big green hero run into next? Keep reading to find out!
Our story begins with an earnest reporter by the name of Jackie McGee investigating another “sighting” of the mysterious Hulk. There were numerous witnesses to the event, with each one having a unique story to tell. It’s up to Jackie to put the pieces together and find out what happened. It seems that a frightened yet powerful teenager going by the moniker of Hotshot had taken a church hostage, with two poor innocents trapped inside with him. One sees him as a poor, unfortunate soul. The other sees it less so. It isn’t long before the Green Goliath makes his entrance. The perpetrator is quickly defeated and his motivations for crime are soon uncovered as well. Perhaps he was just a poor soul after all.
Finally, after gathering her notes, our ace reporter is contacted by a certain, formerly monstrous, Canadian. What does he want with our hero and where will the lonesome road lead him next? Come back next time to find out!
Personal Thoughts and Opinions:
After only being three issues into this new title, the sudden change in storytelling and style was a bit jarring, but not unwelcome. The story is still told in a linear fashion, but it’s chopped into varying perspectives from each character present in the tale. Each character tells the story with a unique interpretation of the events: the cop sees things as an action filled adventure, the bartender is just irritated by the encounter, the old woman sees a tragic young man being forced to take on a monster, and the priest sees only demons invading his church. While at first this change in style was surprising, it was interesting to see how each character saw the same event. It’s a great way of showing how different people are from each other. Like artwork in general, many people can all look at the same piece and interpret it in vastly different ways. Mr. Ewing still continues to move the plot forward though by introducing an interesting tease at what’s to come down the line. Overall, the story told here is a simple one, but it’s not what’s being told that’s interesting, it’s how. Sometimes that can make all the difference.
My only real negative opinion towards the story itself is that things are left a little unclear as to what was occurring with the “villain’s” girlfriend. Perhaps things will be explained in a later issue or I simply missed something, but for now I’m left a little perplexed.
While it would have been enough simply to tell the story from the different views, what really enhances the experience is the vastly different types of artwork associated with each witness. Each story has a very clear style and tone attributed to it and the artwork reflects this beautifully. The cop sees it as an adventure, so his story’s art looks like a comic of the 60s or 70s. For the old woman, it’s a tragic love story, thus the artwork is full of overtly beautiful people and a lot of posing. Each story is visually striking and does a great job of elevating the multiple perspective premise to a new height.
My only real nitpick would be that the artwork associated with the bartender’s story falls very short compared to the others. The character designs are simple, the backgrounds are plain, and the majority of the panels are all the same shot of the bartender facing forward, explaining what happened. I commend it for having its own style, but it’s just not a style I personally find pleasing to the eye. Overall though the artwork is fantastic and I hope this type of collaboration is done again on occasion.