I'm finally covering the Immortal Hulk 'Issue #3,' and you can slowly see pieces of a puzzle start to come together. Really, Al Ewing is doing a fantastic job with Bruce Banner and The Hulk. I'm really interested as to what Ewing is trying to go for with the night being the Hulk's time (as we see Bruce say in the first and second issue). After re-reading this issue, I can finally see all of the hints that Ewing has been dropping and I can't wait to explain my theory to you after the post on the fourth issue of this title. So let's just hop straight into the story.
A very quick note: If you are seeing my posts and they connect to other ones, like posts on previous issues, I will link them at the end of the post.
The story begins with Jackie McGee, a reporter from Arizona investigating the Hulk sightings that we've covered in other posts, and this time she is investigating a lead in South Dakota. It starts off with her interviewing a police officer where he gives his point of view. Essentially, the police were called because of a hostage situation at a church on Mercer Avenue. When the police enter the church they find a person named Hotshot the Human Ray Gun. The officer says that they needed a hero to help them with the situation... and a hero sure did show up.
Hotshot: The Human Ray Gun
Louis Lembert was a guy that was exposed to radiation by the Hulk villain The Leader. He and his girlfriend Jailbait (Jess Harrison) eventually left the Leader and became crime fighters if I'm not mistaken. If not, then they left super-business altogether to do their own thing. Hotshot has the ability to shoot gamma rays from his hands. Jailbait can create force fields. They aren't big characters, but they are significant figures in this issue, and likely are a key to this mystery that Ewing is cooking up in this title. There isn't a whole lot of information about these characters as they haven't been active in the Marvel Universe for quite a while. Also it was insanely hard to find images of these characters apart from the appearance that Hotshot makes in the issue. If I were to use the image for Jess it would be a major spoiler for what will happen in the issue.
The next person that Jackie goes to is a bartender that says that he saw a guy with dead eyes and looked kind of like he could be a serial killer who wanted to use the bar's bathroom. The bartender seeing that this guy was probably bad news ends up getting into an argument with the weird guy that walked into his bar. Their argument ends with them veering over to the TV and seeing the event at Mercer Avenue unfold. Seeing these events, the weird guy grabs a knife from a nearby couple sharing a meal and storms out of the bar, likely to go to Mercer Street. As we know from the comic, this person was Bruce Banner because of the fact that his eyes changed color when he was arguing with the bartender.
The next point of view is hilarious and comes from an old lady, one of the witnesses of the event. The way this woman sees it is that Hotshot was just a young guy that was trying to save his girlfriend and get the priest to perform the Last Rites on his girlfriend. She believed that this was a distraught young man that was desperate to help the one he loves. But really she is more intrigued by the fact that he looked like James Dean. Her point of view doesn't seem very important now, but it will be.
If you read the issue, the story for the most part has been pretty light-hearted. Well that changes with this last witness, the priest at the church. The priest says that he saw Hotshot enter and he was acting crazy. He looked it too what with him looking like trash, looking like he hadn't slept in days, and that smell of urine and cobwebs emanating from him. Not only that but Hotshot is acting crazy too. He was screaming about how his girlfriend needs an exorcism and that she got possessed by "The One Below." He then goes on about this door, a green door, by which "The One Below" found a way to possess his girlfriend. When the police arrive they offer to help and bring in a negotiator, but this only angers Hotshot more saying that all he wants is for someone to listen to him. At this point, the Priest is telling Jackie that he was praying to God for some kind of help to get him and everybody else involved out of this conundrum. That's when the Hulk bursts through the Church's mosaic window, and the priest says that he doesn't think that God is the one that sent the help they got.
We are taken back to the perspective of the old woman who says that she felt horrible that the young James Dean-looking man had to face off alone against the Hulk. In her eyes, the Hulk is the problem and not the guy that was literally going insane and tried to kill a cop and took a couple hostages. She watches in horror as the Hulk violently grabs and breaks Hotshot's hands.
The Cop isn't shown to have any traumatic feelings stemming from the situation because he says that a founding member of the Avengers came to stop a villain. The officer also tells Jackie that after Hulk broke Hotshot's hands, he use them uncontrollably to shoot at the Hulk. This is when things get real dark, so you can probably guess that we move back to what the priest thinks of the situation.
Essentially the priest sees Hulk with a massive hole in his chest, and instead of him falling over and dying, he sees the wound slowly start to heal and slow. And that's when Hotshot says that Hulk is "The One Below," "The Devil Himself."
In response to Hotshot, The Hulk says "You're goddamn right" and proceeds to kick Hotshot's ass. So the cop says that the Hulk left immediately, and he and the other cops put him in cuffs and went to the motel that Hotshot and Jailbait stayed at. The priest came too. And this is where Al Ewing gives us more insight as to what is this story arc is about.
We are given this horrifying scene before we are taken back to Hotshot while he is in prison for murdering his girlfriend. He tries to tell everyone that he didn't do that and eventually hangs himself in his cell. Before the issue ends we are taken to the point of view of Jackie who receives a call from Walter Langkowski, a member of Alpha-Flight and essentially the Canadaian equivalent of the Hulk, saying that he has been reading McGee's articles and that he wants to help her find Banner because he is an old friend that wants to see if his college roommate is okay. He also says that he needs Banner's expertise to help Langkowski with a problem though we don't exactly know what that is. It likely has something to do with the Green Door Mystery.
This issue was absolutely amazing. I really enjoyed the art styles by different artist when the alternate point-of-views of the witnesses were being explored. I also found that though I knew exactly what was going to happen by the end of the issue, it was still incredibly suspenseful, leaving me at the edge of my seat. And having Sasquatch make an appearance in this issue, and the next couple of upcoming issues is something I'm very excited to see because that means a Hulk/Sasquatch showdown. I'm always happy to see a Hulk butt heads with another Hulk. So overall this title is most definitely my favorite comic book title that Marvel has come out with recently. I felt that the other titles were okay, but Immortal Hulk is something completely different. It's a mix of Sci-Fi with some good ol' horror.
When it comes to the Green Door, it looks like I was right about the direction that Ewing is taking being a supernatural one. This issue leaves me with more questions than answers though, like what the Green Door is and why it's important, what does Banner mean when he says that night is "his (Hulk's)" time, and what this meeting between Sasquatch and Hulk will bring to the table.
After this post, a quick post about Sasquatch will come out explaining who he is followed by a post on the fourth issue of Immortal Hulk. We still have the regular X-Men stuff coming out too. See you in the next post!
Note: I do not own any of the panels, texts, and images shown in this post. All panels, texts, and images belong to their respective owners.